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  #1801  
Old 12-12-2017, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post

Your comment stating that Wallis would have done being Queen extremely well must have many gasping for breath. I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically, because the scale of the animus goes as far as to fault her for being 'ugly'.
Not as Queen but certainly as a consort with a limited public role.

Indulge me for a minute as I wander into alternative history. It's 1950. David has survived his issues with Baldwin, he's relied heavily on Churchill's advice and has gotten through the Second World War as a popular and unifying figure. Britain has just seen huge reforms and everybody is talking about a modern new era. They all know that David has been having a relationship with the long since divorced Wallis Warfield and that one day, he may wish to marry her. The Duke and Duchess of York and their daughters are hugely popular and there is no reason to suggest that the Duke of York and Princess Elizabeth won't follow Edward VIII.

The government accepts that the King has served his country well and agree to a morganatic marriage. Wallis is known as HRH The Duchess of Lancaster. David was crowned in 1937, there'll be no ceremony to crown or anoint his wife as Queen and a clear distinction is made that whilst she is the legal wife and consort of the monarch, she is not his Queen. She takes on a few patronages, she acts as a private hostess for the King as any other consort would. She greets visitors at garden parties, she welcomes visiting heads of state, she lives with the King, she accompanies him on a few royal engagements and makes appearances at a handful of national events. She says nothing publicly and lives a quiet life.

It's impossible for me to say 100% that this would have been popular or possible. The British public are fickle and can switch on people in a flash. But had Wallis been allowed to have that limited role as a royal consort? She entertained well and everybody complimented her on the way she cared for guests to her home. She was articulate and could hold a conversation. She was intelligent and had her own passions and interests but could always appreciate those of other people. That I could see as a possibility. Naturally she would never be able to accompany the King to church events and there would be other duties that wouldn't be suitable for her to carry out.

But that role in itself would have both suited Wallis and avoided the abdication entirely. By 1950, the resentment from the old guard may have softened, the public may have been more amenable. Unfortunately, David spoiled any chance of that by being impatient, insensitive and incompetent. You catch flies with honey, not vinegar. He learned that all too late.
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  #1802  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:45 PM
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Not as Queen but certainly as a consort with a limited public role.
I see.

Wallis' problem actually was Ernest caving so easily (I assume) to David's demands (oh to be a fly on the wall during that meeting) though maybe he was (like the 'official' story claims) in love with someone else. My question will always be: would Ernest have thrown Wallis over like that had he not been called into a meeting with David? For all these decades it has looked like Ernest just decided to divorce because he was 'fed up' with his wife's dalliance with David and had met someone new (official story) yet we now know it was not that clear-cut. Did Ernest 'fall in love' after the meeting with David? Was that the sum of it? David showed Ernest another path?

What is the kicker is that Ernest made the deal with David without ever checking with Wallis. It appears that while maybe they were not 'in love' they were a 'good fit' as Wallis wrote, they were good friends. So the question stands: is that any way to treat a good friend? I really feel for Wallis on this score. The magnitude of that 'betrayal' of friendship. Had he checked with Wallis, maybe she would have asked him not to do the divorce as her protection (she was clearly fine with his 'on the side'). But she needed the marriage to be genuinely free, able to say yea or nay to David. Simpson doing that deal was really Wallis' undoing. So what was the pressure (or inducement) that David supplied in that meeting with Ernest?

The biggest alternative history scenario is if Wallis never got the divorce.

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Originally Posted by Gaudete View Post
Indulge me for a minute as I wander into alternative history. It's 1950. David has survived his issues with Baldwin, he's relied heavily on Churchill's advice and has gotten through the Second World War as a popular and unifying figure. Britain has just seen huge reforms and everybody is talking about a modern new era. They all know that David has been having a relationship with the long since divorced Wallis Warfield and that one day, he may wish to marry her. The Duke and Duchess of York and their daughters are hugely popular and there is no reason to suggest that the Duke of York and Princess Elizabeth won't follow Edward VIII.
Interesting, because the 'spin' now is how bad a guy the man was and how he needed to be removed. The story about his politics and all that are the rationales for having his abdication 'sit right'. Britain was 'saved'.

If David never pressed Ernest to divorce, if David remained discreet regarding his mistresses, and if David followed Churchill's advice/instructions (in the end), he would have remained on the throne. Any other scenario would have been treason, not so?

This is marginally off topic, but I have wondered about the Charles/Camilla tapes and the Squidgy tapes in the late 1980's. They are so peculiar. It occurs to me that Charles was already by then clearly a man with his own political views and progressive economic outlook. He could not have been a supporter of Margaret Thatcher's 'austerity' policies. Were those tapes the first salvo in a long game of removing the monarchy altogether? Treason of course, but it had been done before: back room treason to depose a king (1688).

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Originally Posted by Gaudete View Post
The government accepts that the King has served his country well and agree to a morganatic marriage. Wallis is known as HRH The Duchess of Lancaster. David was crowned in 1937, there'll be no ceremony to crown or anoint his wife as Queen and a clear distinction is made that whilst she is the legal wife and consort of the monarch, she is not his Queen. She takes on a few patronages, she acts as a private hostess for the King as any other consort would. She greets visitors at garden parties, she welcomes visiting heads of state, she lives with the King, she accompanies him on a few royal engagements and makes appearances at a handful of national events. She says nothing publicly and lives a quiet life.
IF Wallis gets the divorce. My hunch is Wallis did not want that life, she was not in love that way with David. She would have preferred marriage to Ernest.

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Originally Posted by Gaudete View Post
It's impossible for me to say 100% that this would have been popular or possible. The British public are fickle and can switch on people in a flash. But had Wallis been allowed to have that limited role as a royal consort? She entertained well and everybody complimented her on the way she cared for guests to her home. She was articulate and could hold a conversation. She was intelligent and had her own passions and interests but could always appreciate those of other people. That I could see as a possibility. Naturally she would never be able to accompany the King to church events and there would be other duties that wouldn't be suitable for her to carry out.
Agree with the bolded. Wallis seems to have been doomed to be judged by her photographs, and at an exceptionally stressful time for her. She was not a happy woman at her wedding to David. But from all reports she was socially adept at least and shone as a hostess.

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Originally Posted by Gaudete View Post
But that role in itself would have both suited Wallis and avoided the abdication entirely. By 1950, the resentment from the old guard may have softened, the public may have been more amenable. Unfortunately, David spoiled any chance of that by being impatient, insensitive and incompetent. You catch flies with honey, not vinegar. He learned that all too late.
Interesting scenario, but key to it all is Wallis' real will in the matter., which we have every reason to believe was quite 'other'. Having a fling with the Prince of Wales, and maybe even the King, is one thing, but to marry? I think it's clear she had no intention of going that far with him. She was forced into that chute, by David, no less, via Ernest caving.
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  #1803  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post

If David never pressed Ernest to divorce, if David remained discreet regarding his mistresses, and if David followed Churchill's advice/instructions (in the end), he would have remained on the throne. Any other scenario would have been treason, not so?
They were going to get rid of him - simple as that - how was the only question by the middle of the year.

Treason - maybe but they may very well have had to reveal that he was totally indiscreet and saying things to the wrong people. They would have set him up to be shown to be the traitor himself e.g. sent him a document that then appeared in the wrong hands and thus exposed him that way. The government had successfully had its way in the past and remember that since 1660 it is the government that rules not the monarch so if the government decides someone has to go then that person has to go.

Make no mistakes - Wallis was a convenient excuse but the government were determined that he had to go - even if it meant the whole royal show had to go.

They would have totally destroyed him if necessary.
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  #1804  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
They were going to get rid of him - simple as that - how was the only question by the middle of the year.

[...]

Make no mistakes - Wallis was a convenient excuse but the government were determined that he had to go - even if it meant the whole royal show had to go.

They would have totally destroyed him if necessary.
Do you have sources for this timeline, Iluvbertie?

I understand that you are expressing yourself with such certitude because of letters you have seen that no longer exist. However, the suggestion is extreme and would need corroboration, as any good journalist would require 3 corroborating witnesses, or documentation, for the claim. Even if your relative's letters were extant, there would still have to be additional evidence for it to fly as fact. Your relative could have been claiming more than what was afoot. You know the problems with these things.

What strikes me is that there is a lot of rubber that has hit the road regarding the abdication. There is definitely an 'official story' about it that pretty much is as you say: 'they' wanted him out, he was indiscreet, the abdication was a relief, etc. The story as stands is a justification for the abdication.

I'm not an historian of the period but from what little I know of British society I don't believe they could have removed 'the whole royal show' at that time (¡930's). Can't imagine the public of those times would have withstood such a change, as it was the abdication (after all) that rocked the world of the common man. David was loved, hence there had to be compelling, persuasive reasons for the abdication. Even so the public reeled, and the new King was up against considerable negative reaction. I would think they would have done everything they could to make it work with David. Just my ill-formed opinion.

They did not have to remove David, I think. There were endless ways they could 'control' his indiscretions, not so? Might your relative's view been an outlier?
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  #1805  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:08 PM
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My relative was in the government at the time and was one of those who did know what was going on.

This is also what was being taught at University in the 1970s when these letters and other documents were still existing but most have now either been totally destroyed or permanently sealed in the Royal Archives. I was able to use the letters then but my lecturer had heaps of other documents that he had used while studying the issue in the 1950s and went and researched in the private libraries of many of the members of the government of the day. He also interviewed a number of them as well and their stories match the letters I saw.

There have been a number of documentaries on this as well. I used to have copies on video but never bothered moving them to DVD when we stopped teaching either the abdication or any British/European History at all in Australian schools around 2000 - other than how we won WWI.

There is a lot of information out there besides my relatives letters written throughout 1936 and right down to his death about the private discussions on how to remove him - what to do and how to bring him down but all were put aside when Wallis was confirmed as an issue.
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  #1806  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:18 PM
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False Flag Operation? Dirty tricks?

"Memorable Day has grave but happily harmless sequel. New Colours for the Guards and an impressive speech by His Majesty ... them immediately afterwards a shocking revolver incident on Constitution Hill ... The whole Empire rejoices that no hurt was done to it's devoted Sovereign King Edward VIII."

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  #1807  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:25 PM
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As a poster says about this documentary: "I think the word 'plot' here is a bit misleading; as if there was a conspiracy to get rid of Edward OUTSIDE of the 'official' story. This show didn't tell us anything we didn't already know: Queen Wallis was unacceptable and therefore Edward had to go. It doesn't show a plot against Edward as much as just a behind-the-scenes look at the mechanics of how they forced the choice on him -- a choice Edward, ultimately, freely made himself. The world already knew that. Not exactly a news flash."

So wondering, Iluvbertie, can you supply a documentary, or refer to book(s), that tells the story of "a conspiracy to get rid of Edward OUTSIDE of the 'official' story"?

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  #1808  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:48 PM
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Why would there be 'dirty tricks' involved regarding the attempted assassination of King Edward VIII? George McMahon was an obviously unstable individual who was already under investigation by the Security Services in the mid 1930s for making unfounded allegations of gun running by Irish Republican groups and disseminating anti-Semitic literature, among several other things.

Like 99.9% of attempted assassinations of British public figures, McMahon's attempt was foiled. He was disarmed by people next to him in the crowd when he produced a revolver while the King was riding on Constitution Hill. The unfired revolver fell harmlessly to the pavement.

McMahon was one of a large number of pathetic and mentally troubled individuals who attempted to kill British (English) monarchs. None succeeded. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that McMahon was acting in conjunction with or under the orders of anyone else.
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  #1809  
Old 12-12-2017, 11:06 PM
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Interesting article. I am trying to establish when the meeting between David and Ernest took place.

LINK: https://www.politico.com/states/new-...erently-067223

TEXT: "If the story author Anne Sebba tells in her new book, That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, is true, then the narrative of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor that has been passed down is very much a myth. The story Sebba tells is more like this: an emotionally and morally stunted prince who never wanted to be king becomes obsessed with a woman who—although she enjoys his attention, the jewelry, and the lifestyle—he essentially has to corner into marriage.

"The trouble with writing about this particular story and this cast of characters is that much of the work that goes into it is purely interpretation of documents written or letters sent by people who knew they were on the historical record, and had an interest in curating their legacies even as they were inventing them. Still, Sebba’s interpretation is credible, and unusual.

[...]

"[T]hroughout her life she was, in the circles she was closest to, often a form of 'that woman,' someone remarkable yet always apart. She was the sort of person who always had the material - the past, the personality - to be a legend, going back to the circumstances of her birth.

"She went to the most prestigious preparatory school in Maryland, Oldfield’s, where she got a reputation for smoking, sneaking out, and having boyfriends. While she displayed a strong and outgoing personality that made her magnetic to some of the girls—in particular her best friend, Mary Kirk—that same disposition offended most adults, including Mary’s family. 'Some of the parents at the time believed that there was something extraordinary about Wallis and that her influence was malign,' Sebba writes.

"It is a description that, if one were to substitute any number of social groups for 'parents,' would accurately describe the reputation Simpson established in many places throughout her life.

[...]

"Wallis was a talented and notorious flirt, lit up by men in a way she never was with women, so much so that Win Spencer’s sister said of her, 'she could no more keep from flirting than breathing.' "


Regarding Simpson -
"The man she finally chose to marry, or who chose her—one comes away with the impression that in all of Wallis’ relationships, it was usually one way or the other, rather than a mutual choosing—was Ernest Simpson, whom she had met in New York through her childhood friend Mary Kirk, now Mary Raffrey. Simpson was already married, but became taken with Wallis and asked her if she would marry him once they were both out of their marriages. She agreed. Simpson was not that rich, nor was he particularly glamorous, and her decision to marry him as well as her continuing affection for him after they were married suggests that, though concerned with social status, Wallis was most interested in security. Ernest fit the bill. He was good-looking, bookish in a way that implied good breeding, and, what did turn out to be his greatest appeal, dependable."

While I take exception to many aspects of Sebba's narrative regarding the couple, there are innumerable nuggets of information that go to round out Wallis' impact on her social circle. She is far more complicated than allowed by many.
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  #1810  
Old 12-12-2017, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Why would there be 'dirty tricks' involved regarding the attempted assassination of King Edward VIII?
My query was directed to Iluvbertie given what she is saying of the government at the time: "Make no mistakes - Wallis was a convenient excuse but the government were determined that he had to go - even if it meant the whole royal show had to go. They would have totally destroyed him if necessary."

I am asking if they would have gone as far as assassination.
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  #1811  
Old 12-13-2017, 01:52 AM
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My understanding is 'yes' but they wanted to have him walk away by making the position totally untenable for him. Hence Wallis was the excuse. Had it not been that then there would have been something else e.g. sent him on a State Visit and have it made very clear to him that he didn't know what was the relationship between the two nations as he was out of the loop with anything sensitive.
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  #1812  
Old 12-13-2017, 02:20 AM
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Of course they would not have assasitated him. butif he had continued to be indiscreet as he was during his year as King, they would have sidelined him, stopped sending him confidential documents and warned him that he was getting out of his depth. Perhaps eventually he would have been pressured to abdicated...
However while Wallis was the main issue in 1936, as quite simply the public and establishment did not want a twice Divorced American woman as queen, and as Ed was so stubborn that he wanted her and only her and that he wanted to marry her, He was willing, and I think even eager to go.
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  #1813  
Old 12-13-2017, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
My understanding is 'yes' but they wanted to have him walk away by making the position totally untenable for him.
Do you have any corroboration for this belief other than a relative's letter from years ago that no longer exists, Iluvbertie? This suggestion is an amazing supposition. Where is the evidence?

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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
Hence Wallis was the excuse. Had it not been that then there would have been something else
Yet Wallis was an issue because of what David did, not anything the government did. I'm just not following this line of thinking. You say there have been documentaries and books about this scenario: can you supply the names and authors?

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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
e.g. sent him on a State Visit and have it made very clear to him that he didn't know what was the relationship between the two nations as he was out of the loop with anything sensitive.
Not sure how this would make the job he would be doing untenable.
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  #1814  
Old 12-13-2017, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Nimue View Post
Interesting article. I am trying to establish when the meeting between David and Ernest took place.
The meeting took place in February 1936 (Anne Sebba) or March 1936 (cheesy documentary).
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  #1815  
Old 12-13-2017, 05:19 AM
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One thing that doesn't exactly gell with any picture of poor reluctant Wallis being dragged unwillingly to the altar is the evidence of Edward's aides that he was filled with new determination to fight after phone calls and letters from her.

As in this letter, written by her a week after the Abdication, to Edward.

'If they don't get you this thing' (possibly a Civil List pension, money was often on the couple's minds.) 'I will return to England and fight it out to the bitter end. The Coronation will be a flop compared with the story I shall tell the British Press. I will publish it in every paper in the world so the whole World shall know my story.

Your mother is even persecuting me now....On the front page of every paper is a black bordered notice stating that she has never seen me or spoken to me during the past 12 months. I know it is true but she need not persecute me. She could have helped you so much; you, the only son that matters.'

NA MEPO 35/10 Channing to Game, 19th December. Mrs Simpson to Duke of Windsor.

The King Who Had To Go: Edward VIII, Mrs Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis: Adrian Phillips, Chapter 22.
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  #1816  
Old 12-13-2017, 05:21 AM
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I think she certainly didn't want him to give up being king, and would rather have been a royal mistress to a King, than wife to an abdicated King..
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  #1817  
Old 12-13-2017, 05:29 AM
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Well, that prospect involved keeping a extraordinarily needy and easily bored man with no inner resources happy and entertained for the rest of their lives, didn't it?

Nevertheless, once the deed was done they were both determined to get the most out of the situation that they possibly could from the British Govt and the BRF, she just as much if not more than he.
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  #1818  
Old 12-13-2017, 05:38 AM
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I think she had not expected to marry him.. but she had intended to enjoy to the full the privileges of being his mistress as POW and maybe as King for a time. She didn't expect the affair to last forever. She problaby believed that in a few years, she would be "retired" and would return to her old life, with some nice jewels.

But when he got so obsessed with her that he would insist on marriage, she was unsure of what she wanted..
She didn't love him, she was probably comfortable enough with Ernest and felt happier with him, provided she had a degree of freedom.
But she had left Ern to his own devices too long and he was now in love with another woman. So she was pushed towards marriage with Edward. However I think that if Edward had offered her a permanent situation as his mistress in private, while he remained a bachelor king, she would have liked that better than marrying him after he had left the throne, and when their situation was bound to be different to what it was if he had remained king.
I don't think she was more than fond of him, at first and didn't really relish the thought of having to live in exile at least till things blew over and his being so dependent on her.. emiotionally.. so she urged him to hold firm and to try and keep on being king even if it meant that she was just his mistress or at best a morganatic wife.
I think tat his attitude AND hers was that if they DID have to leave the throne, they weren't going to go without getting as much money and if possible good PR (romantic story of King giving up his throne for woman he loved)....
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  #1819  
Old 12-13-2017, 06:04 AM
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I think her need for financial security was at the heart of what made Wallis who she was. Poverty -and that's entirely relative, of course- and memories of seeing her Mother having having to grovel to Uncle Sol to make ends meet, would undoubtedly have fired her determination to rise above such an existence. Was she so busy chasing it that she failed to see -until it was too late- that she was as dependent on David as had her mother been on Uncle Sol?
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  #1820  
Old 12-13-2017, 06:12 AM
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Bear in mind that the Windsors had little choice but to play hard ball for money. David wasn’t allowed to take on paid employment as he was still considered to be a member of the Royal Family. All that was open to them was charging extortionate amounts for interviews but even that didn’t bring in the funds they really needed to support their lifestyle.

It’s certainly the case that after the death of George VI, the Queen Mother began to interfere in the civil list and David and Wallis were not the only ones who found their income slashed because of old grudges. The obvious answer of course was that the Windsors should have lived within their means but I don’t think David ever really had any concept of what real life was. Wallis certainly did but she was escaping that as others have rightly said.

The situation in exile was a messy one, never really clearly defined with no framework to make it work. Bertie promised David enough money to live on if he kept his silence and kept a low profile unless specifically asked to perform some kind of task, e.g the Governor General of the Bahamas. But that agreement wasn’t a legal one, only a gentleman’s agreement between brothers. David got used to it, believed it would always be that way and then found that it was unceremoniously ditched. This doesn’t excuse his behaviour in the way he demanded money of course, but it wasn’t as simple as Wallis being greedy or wanting more cash to play with. It was a complex situation based on handshakes.
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