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  #2101  
Old 02-29-2020, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
I think he was bored and lonely but I don't think he regretted what he had done. He had Wallis and she was his passion. He had managed to shake off the weight of duty and responsibility, and I think all he regretted was that he had nto been able to hold onto enough royal status to get back to the UK now and again and probably do the odd engagement when it suited him.
I don't think he liked living in France all that much but he knew he could not live full time in England..
I agree that he didn't regret abdicating at all but I do wonder if he regretted that his life had not turned out to be as he had hoped. It was devoid of purpose. A sense of loss over that possibly.
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  #2102  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:04 PM
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There is a lot of regret about the Duke of Windsor for all sorts of reasons. So much thrown away. So many hurt by his actions. And yet, and yet, maybe in the end it was for the best. Best for him & best for us.

I think a lot of people felt real grief over the abdication & didn't want to think about it anymore once the duke had left. Just too raw.

He became a melancholy figure in old age. Echoes of the great (first) Duke of Marlborough in old age looking at a portrait of himself painted in his youth & lamenting that this "was once a man". David was once a king. What a doleful fate. Made all the worse by being self inflicted.
Oh, it definitely was best for everyone...well, not for Bertie, but he did his duty and is rightly admired and loved for it. Heís my favorite Royal.

Yes, to the grief - we have to remember that it was a family being ripped apart, too. Bertie and David has been close, especially when they struggled with their father as boys. David and Mary were close, David and ..was it Henry? All these relationships were torn apart. I can understand wanting put that kind of pain away in a dark corner so you donít have to deal with it. American President Theodore Roosevelt lost his wife - Alice - and mother in the same day. He was so distraught that he never spoke of her again - and it made it very difficult in his young daughter, also named Alice.

Well said, your last comment.
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  #2103  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:09 PM
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I don't think that David cared all that deeply for his brothers, except possibly George,. He snookered Bertie into helping him out financially, he pestered him with phone calls when B was trying to settle into being King.. he sneered at his wife. He made an unkind comment about his little brother JOhn and I think he was critical of Harry for his drinking and stupidity. He made unkind remarks about his mother.. and he himself was never really welcomed again at home by his family.
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  #2104  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:09 PM
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That seems so to outsiders. However, friends, acquaintances and others have said again and again that David had no regrets about the abdication so long as he had Wallis by his side. She was his obsession to the end.

Quite frankly, although these were two essentially selfish and self-centred people and Britain and the Empire missed a bullet in not having Edward as King, I don't think that regrets about the abdication occupied the ex King's thoughts as an old man, satisfactory though it may be to think so. It was Wallis, Wallis, Wallis to the end.

Her love (obsession) for him wasn't the same at all but she was fond of him and made him happy, and that's what counted with David, empty and vacuous though their lives were most of the time, (after 1936.)
He was definitely all that you described. I donít think he regretted the abdication per se because he wanted Wallis above everything, but I do think itís possible - Iíd like to ask Hugo Vickers about this - that he regretted, or at least felt deep sadness, at losing people he did love. Vickers describes him as looking desperately sad when he saw him as an old man. Yes he had Wallis, and riches, but he couldnít go home (not really, though he was allowed to return for Bertieís funeral) ...ever. Maybe he didnít feel any of these things, but maybe he did - there are many things an older person feels that a younger one does not after living his or her life.
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  #2105  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:16 PM
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I don't think David regretted abdicating at all. He had a purpose as a King Emperor and rejected it in favour of Wallis. He wasn't a man of huge charitable impulses or he would have taken up causes among say ex servicemen when the couple were living in France and helped with their charities. The life the couple lived after the war didn't HAVE to be aimless. They could have become, if they had wanted, great international ambassadors for all sorts of endeavours and causes. There was nothing stopping them. Neither of them wanted that, however, as they were both essentially empty vessels.

I believe David quite enjoyed being a social butterfly. There's ample evidence from his youth that he dreaded the thought of being King with its huge responsibilities. He simply didn't want it. In a way that obsessive love for Wallis became the catalyst for that long-held longing (since WW1) and so he 'escaped'.

That doesn't mean that at times he didn't miss his homeland or the Royal trappings he once had but on the whole he was content so long as he had his wife, plus status, and money to maintain their lifestyle.
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  #2106  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
I don't think David regretted abdicating at all. He had a purpose as a King Emperor and rejected it in favour of Wallis. He wasn't a man of huge charitable impulses or he would have taken up causes among say ex servicemen when the couple were living in France and helped with their charities. The life the couple lived after the war didn't HAVE to be aimless. They could have become, if they had wanted, great international ambassadors for all sorts of endeavours and causes. There was nothing stopping them. Neither of them wanted that, however as they were essentially empty vessels.
Was there really nothing stopping them, though? Certainly both David and Wallis's own lack of charitable ambition or drive to assist others, but also anything they attempted to do would likely have been seen as "making themselves prominent" and severely frowned on by BP. I'm not sure if the balance is 60/40, 70/30, or something else, but both factors were there.

London did not want any kind of meaningful attention directed their way at all, and were certainly happy enough for them to continue to be useless.
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  #2107  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:37 PM
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BP and the British Govt didn't like the visit to Germany in 1937. However they did little to stop it. They didn't like some of the WW2 financial shenanigans or some of David's actions as Governor in the Bahamas but he carried on regardless.

There would have been nothing BP could have done (beyond grumbling among courtiers) to prevent the Duke and Duchess adopting a range of charities in France. Many would only have been reported in France (and possibly the US.) The late 1940s and 1950s aren't like today with international news services 24/7.

The Duke and Duchess did nothing in that line (and David would have been effective. He was very much admired by British and Allied ex WW1 servicemen for example) because they didn't wish to. They liked their social life, or at least Wallis did and she took the lead, and that took preference.
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  #2108  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
I don't think David regretted abdicating at all. He had a purpose as a King Emperor and rejected it in favour of Wallis. He wasn't a man of huge charitable impulses or he would have taken up causes among say ex servicemen when the couple were living in France and helped with their charities. The life the couple lived after the war didn't HAVE to be aimless. They could have become, if they had wanted, great international ambassadors for all sorts of endeavours and causes. There was nothing stopping them. Neither of them wanted that, however, as they were both essentially empty vessels.

I believe David quite enjoyed being a social butterfly. There's ample evidence from his youth that he dreaded the thought of being King with its huge responsibilities. He simply didn't want it. In a way that obsessive love for Wallis became the catalyst for that long-held longing (since WW1) and so he 'escaped'.

That doesn't mean that at times he didn't miss his homeland or the Royal trappings he once had but on the whole he was content so long as he had his wife, plus status, and money to maintain their lifestyle.
I canít argue with you - I agree generally with all of your points. Iím just not quite willing to say that he never experienced - in his last years -any real sadness about how it had all turned out. He definitely didnít regret abdicating - but he lost a lot more than he bargained for. David has been described as troubled, and I would agree with that.
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  #2109  
Old 02-29-2020, 07:52 PM
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Yes, he was a troubled man and a very complex personality, with a large streak of self pity and maudlin sentimentality.

I certainly think, with his right wing views, that David regretted the course of post WW2 Britain, the loss of Empire, the great social changes etc he observed as an old man, and maybe thought that with himself steering the British ship of State (yes, he was that vain) things may well have turned out differently. Beyond that, and a twinge or two about the Royal trappings, No.
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  #2110  
Old 03-04-2020, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Betsypaige View Post
I canít argue with you - I agree generally with all of your points. Iím just not quite willing to say that he never experienced - in his last years -any real sadness about how it had all turned out. He definitely didnít regret abdicating - but he lost a lot more than he bargained for. David has been described as troubled, and I would agree with that.
I think thtat he had some regrets in the sense that he found at times that life with Walis wasn't quite as good as he hoped. But overall, I think he was relieved NOT tot have to be king and be bothered by people insisiting he behave in a certain way or lecturing him on hs duty. I think at times he was hurt by Wallis, because at least in the earlier years she wasn't IMO all that caring towards him..and there was that affair with Jimmy Donahue.. (sort of affair). And at times he may have indeed as Curryong says have felt that England had gone to the dogs and he would have made a better King than Bertie.. but not to the point of relaly wanting to be king and he HAD essentially got what he wanted, freedom, and he still had great wealth and a comfortable life and a social status..
I think at times too he was bored.. there is that famous time he spoke to some American lady and said that he had spent the day doing nothing.. the Duchess was having her Frenc lesson and he stood and watched some American soldiers in the park...But honestly I don't think he regretted not having to turn up to visit a cold dreary northern town and shake hands with people.
I don't know if he was realy a social butterfly as such.. I think it was more that social life was all he knew, apart form royal duties.. and he wasn't a reader or thinker.. so he went to parties because that was what one did, and Wallis enjoyed it.
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  #2111  
Old 03-05-2020, 03:29 AM
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Based on what Iíve read, my impressions are that David was angry after the abdication because Wallis was denied HRH and because no member of his family attended his wedding. Those two incidents & his anger over them suggests that he wasnít expecting to be completely ostracized from the RF. Prior to that, I think he expected to have his cake and eat it too, to still be the popular w/ the public older brother whoíd always outranked & thus gotten his way with Bertie. Heíd have the public platform heíd always had but be freed of all of the boring stuff. Heíd been so very popular as POW, and Bertie had always followed his lead, it most likely never occurred to David that once their roles changed, Bertie would stand up to him and tell him no.
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  #2112  
Old 03-05-2020, 04:13 AM
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I think he just expected to swap places - Bertie and Elizabeth would be King and Queen, and he and Wallis would assume the role of younger brother and spouse. He didn't have a clue! And I don't think Wallis expected any of it - I think she did love him, but I get the impression that she thought, like Freda Dudley Ward and Thelma Furness, she'd have all the kudos of being the royal mistress, and get in with all the leaders of society, but that eventually it'd come to an end, and they'd both move on with no hard feelings.
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  #2113  
Old 03-05-2020, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
I think he just expected to swap places - Bertie and Elizabeth would be King and Queen, and he and Wallis would assume the role of younger brother and spouse. He didn't have a clue! And I don't think Wallis expected any of it - I think she did love him, but I get the impression that she thought, like Freda Dudley Ward and Thelma Furness, she'd have all the kudos of being the royal mistress, and get in with all the leaders of society, but that eventually it'd come to an end, and they'd both move on with no hard feelings.
No I don't think she expected to marry him. She was fond of him, but not imo in love.. and thought their affair would end and she would return to her husband whom she probably cared more for. But when he became so obsessed that he wanted to marry her, she was wiling to go on with it and Ernest was fed up with her being awy all the time with the Prince so he had moved on and wanted to marry another woman.
with David I agree that yes he did think it was just a steping back from King to Prince.. and that in a few years, he wuodl be able to live in the UK at times.. and do a bit of royal duties and still be the beloved Prince that he ahad been but without the burdens of kingship. ANd he called up Bertie all the time for a bit giving him "good advice" till Bertie finally had to refuse to take his calls, and had to make him realise that he was now King and David wasn't and that he had no place in the RF now.
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  #2114  
Old 03-05-2020, 05:58 AM
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Its occurred to me that in looking at the two different couple of David and Wallis and then Bertie and Elizabeth, it also is a good study into what maes a good marriage work. I'd be willing to lay money on the bet that if David and Wallis had married and David had retained the throne, the marriage wouldn't have lasted.

Both marriages did go the distance but it was in the strength of the marriage between Bertie and Elizabeth that fortified George VI through those war years. The bond of family affectionately known as "us four", the stabilizing strength of a wife that stood by her husband no matter what as in "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave." These are the anecdotes I remember most when I think of the Queen's childhood and her parents and see how their example installed such a deep sense of duty.

David and Wallis had, to me, a superficial marriage. As long as the good times rolled and the money flowed and the attention was there, they had the good life. I sincerely doubt they could have coped together through harrowing times
when strength would have been needed to support each other. David was an obsessive and possessive type of a man and those characteristics surfaced in all the intimate relationships he had. Wallis, I don't think, really cared if she married David or not and would have been happy to remain as mistress to the King but with David conspiring with Ernest Simpson to obtain a divorce, I think she was left with no other option would allow her to "save face".

Two totally different couples with two totally different types of marriages. Of the two, there's no question as to which one would be an example for others to build a marriage on.
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  #2115  
Old 03-05-2020, 09:24 AM
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Its occurred to me that in looking at the two different couple of David and Wallis and then Bertie and Elizabeth, it also is a good study into what maes a good marriage work. I'd be willing to lay money on the bet that if David and Wallis had married and David had retained the throne, the marriage wouldn't have lasted.

Both marriages did go the distance but it was in the strength of the marriage between Bertie and Elizabeth that fortified George VI through those war years. The bond of family affectionately known as "us four", the stabilizing strength of a wife that stood by her husband no matter what as in "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave." These are the anecdotes I remember most when I think of the Queen's childhood and her parents and see how their example installed such a deep sense of duty.

David and Wallis had, to me, a superficial marriage. As long as the good times rolled and the money flowed and the attention was there, they had the good life. I sincerely doubt they could have coped together through harrowing times
when strength would have been needed to support each other. David was an obsessive and possessive type of a man and those characteristics surfaced in all the intimate relationships he had. Wallis, I don't think, really cared if she married David or not and would have been happy to remain as mistress to the King but with David conspiring with Ernest Simpson to obtain a divorce, I think she was left with no other option would allow her to "save face".

Two totally different couples with two totally different types of marriages. Of the two, there's no question as to which one would be an example for others to build a marriage on.
Bertie and Elizabeth were the real ďGreatest RomanceĒ...not David and Wallis. I agree with you completely - and it was their relationship that solidified in George V that his younger son would be a good king, as opposed to his eldest, who he expected to ruin himself after heíd gone. Bertie and his father grew quite close later on. Itís a wonderful thing for the Queen to have had such a loving bond with her parents and sister - itís stood her in good stead all these years. Her example of her papa doing his duty despite all that it cost him personally remains foremost in her mind - itís why she would never abdicate.

David just did not want to be burdened with any kind of responsibility, and Iím not sure he would have been capable of dealing with any real adversity. In reading about those two books on Wallis I referenced above, plus one by Anne Sebba, it seems that she never wanted to leave Ernest Simpson, wanted in fact to remain married to him. She didnít expect her relationship with David to go so far, and never wanted him to abdicate. I suspect that she must have felt throughout their life together a pressure to be the kind of woman someone would give up a Kingship for. I canít imagine how suffocating that must be.
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  #2116  
Old 03-05-2020, 09:56 AM
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I think she was ok with it.. though there was some pressure. She may have been fonder of Ernest back in the day but I think in the end she preferred to be Duchess of Windsor to Mrs Simpson wife of a moderately well off gentleman. However I think there was the problem of amusing a man like David who had lilte interior furniture and had given up a role where everything was arranged for him.. He was still rich and well looked after, but his life's work had disappeared suddenly and he did not have anything much to put in its place, except for Wallis
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  #2117  
Old 03-05-2020, 04:17 PM
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Once he was King, why did Edward VIII pose for his State portrait in his Coronation robes if he planned to abdicate?
Probably because he didn't actually intend to abdicate when he came to the throne. It appears that he, at least initially, thought he could tell the government that he was going to marry and that would be that. I think it really came as a bit of a shock to him when his plans weren't just blindly accepted by those around him.
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  #2118  
Old 03-05-2020, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Betsypaige View Post
Bertie and Elizabeth were the real ďGreatest RomanceĒ...not David and Wallis. I agree with you completely - and it was their relationship that solidified in George V that his younger son would be a good king, as opposed to his eldest, who he expected to ruin himself after heíd gone. Bertie and his father grew quite close later on. Itís a wonderful thing for the Queen to have had such a loving bond with her parents and sister - itís stood her in good stead all these years. Her example of her papa doing his duty despite all that it cost him personally remains foremost in her mind - itís why she would never abdicate.

David just did not want to be burdened with any kind of responsibility, and Iím not sure he would have been capable of dealing with any real adversity. In reading about those two books on Wallis I referenced above, plus one by Anne Sebba, it seems that she never wanted to leave Ernest Simpson, wanted in fact to remain married to him. She didnít expect her relationship with David to go so far, and never wanted him to abdicate. I suspect that she must have felt throughout their life together a pressure to be the kind of woman someone would give up a Kingship for. I canít imagine how suffocating that must be.

I have read the situation like that also, they were trying to meet the right people in London , to improve their status , and basically hit the jackpot with the royal circle. From what I have read Wallis didn't intend to divorce Ernest, she was happy as things were and thought it could continue even when David became king. Likewise David thought he could marry Wallis and still be king.
There are very few photographs of them really smiling or happy , even on their wedding day they appeared subdued.I think that is why there has always been this idea that he spent the rest of his life regretting his actions or at least unhappy. Not sure if that is correct but there does appear to be evidence that they thought they could come back to the UK and just carry on as before , lead a party life style and do bits of work.
The rest is history as they say.
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  #2119  
Old 03-05-2020, 05:45 PM
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It was quite strange how things got out of Wallis's control - I don't think she was looking for anything more than a bit of fun, and she ended up being vilified as the woman who stole the king. The idea that a king, especially one who'd already had a load of other affairs which had all fizzled out, would abdicate to make an unsuitable marriage was unthinkable: I'm sure she never in a million years imagined that that was what he'd do. Until he did.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:09 PM
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I have read the situation like that also, they were trying to meet the right people in London , to improve their status , and basically hit the jackpot with the royal circle. From what I have read Wallis didn't intend to divorce Ernest, she was happy as things were and thought it could continue even when David became king. Likewise David thought he could marry Wallis and still be king.
There are very few photographs of them really smiling or happy , even on their wedding day they appeared subdued.I think that is why there has always been this idea that he spent the rest of his life regretting his actions or at least unhappy. Not sure if that is correct but there does appear to be evidence that they thought they could come back to the UK and just carry on as before , lead a party life style and do bits of work.
The rest is history as they say.
David just looked very sad as an older man - it's in his eyes. I'm not saying he regretted abdicating, but no matter how he acted, no matter what kind of dilettante he was, I'm sure down deep he still loved and missed his family. I don't think he ever expected that he'd essentially never see them again. Of course he behaved badly, but by the time he was an old man, weakened with age, those days were a long time ago. It's a rather pathetic life.
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