- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2003

LONDON King Edward VIII hoped to tell Britons of his love for American divorcee Wallis Simpson and persuade them he should marry her and still keep his throne, records unsealed today showed.
The text of a radio address that the government refused to let Edward make more than 65 years ago became public as part of the most comprehensive release of papers on the king's 1936 abdication.
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin stopped Edward from speaking, according to the documents, and the king didn't publicly discuss the relationship that ended his short reign until giving a farewell address as he stepped down on Dec. 11, 1936.
"I could not go on bearing the heavy burdens that constantly rest on me as king unless I could be strengthened in the task by a happy married life," reads the text Edward had hoped to deliver on Dec. 4, 1936, on British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "And so I am firmly resolved to marry the woman I love.
"Neither Mrs. Simpson nor I have ever sought to insist that she should be queen," the script continued. "All we desired was that our married happiness should carry with it a proper title and dignity for her, befitting my wife."
Edward's text said he would take time away to give Britons a chance to reflect on his request, adding that "nothing is nearer to my heart than that I should return."
A letter from Mr. Baldwin who firmly opposed letting Edward marry Mrs. Simpson and remain king said government ministers would have to approve such a speech, something Mr. Baldwin refused to do.
Susan Williams, the Public Records Office's historical adviser, said minutes of Cabinet meetings showed ministers feared Winston Churchill then at odds with the Conservative Party he later led would exploit Edward's popularity to form a new party and challenge the government.
The abdication created an international sensation and a constitutional crisis for Britain, because Edward's plans to wed were thought to conflict with the monarch's position as head of the Church of England, which forbade divorce.
Edward's younger brother succeeded as King George VI, and the disgraced former king and his new wife became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, living mainly in France.
The couple failed to produce any children, and Edward died in 1972.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide