THE WHILOM KING

by Professor Revilo P. Oliver

January 1986

Edward VIII succeeded his father, George V, on 20 January 1936, and abdicated the throne on 11 December of the same year. The ostensible reason for his abdication was his determination to marry "the woman he loved," his mistress, an American divorcee named Wallis Warfield Simpson. His wish to marry the woman morganatically was disapproved by the Prime Minister, a bumbling politician named Stanley Baldwin, who, in a happier age, would have succeeded his father as proprietor of a small foundry, and thus have occupied a position for which his mind and soul qualified him. Edward could have used his royal prerogative, but he abdicated instead.

Everyone knows that the abdication rejoiced the unsavory gang then in power in England. Edward was not burning with zeal to start a second World War and kill Germans to punish them for their unconscionable failure to adore Yahweh's Yammering Yids. Had Edward remained king – and one should remember that he was personally perhaps the most popular of British monarchs since the last of the Tudors – he would have been an obstacle to sacrificing Great Britain and her Empire to satisfy Jewish rancors.

Now Englishmen who claim to have been in a position to know give two virtually antithetical explanations of the abdication, videlicet:

1. Edward was a highly intelligent and perspicacious man, and the real reason for his abdication was his discovery that the British aristocracy had become so decadent and demoralized that they would not support him in his determination to avert an utterly useless and highly immoral war that would necessarily be catastrophic. Some say there were rumors that the war party was scheming to kidnap or assassinate him to curry favor with the international parasites.

2. Edward was a stupid wight who got into his muddled noggin a notion that he should make an "honest woman" and left-hand queen out of his somewhat shop-worn but evidently satisfactory mistress – a particularly idiotic notion since, needless to say, no one would have had the impudence to complain of his retaining her as his concubine and even as his "maitresse en titre."

The question has been posed anew by the publication of what purport to be letters exchanged between Edward and Mrs. Simpson, who, after his abdication, became his wife and Duchess of Windsor. The letters, reportedly obtained from the Duchess after she lapsed into senile dementia, are conclusive evidence, "if" they are genuine – a proviso that will be added by all who remember such lucrative recent masterpieces as "Hitler's Diaries" and the "autobiography of Howard Hughes."

The question appeared to be of such importance to the anonymous editor of the "Special Office Brief," an extremely expensive private intelligence service that I have mentioned several times in these pages, that he, in the parlance of such services, "blew his cover." In his issue for 12 May 1986, he wrote:

"Several readers wish us to publish the real facts of the abdication because our Editor not only knew the Duke and Duchess of Windsor very well indeed, but he chaired all the private meetings of MPs and Peers in 1936 which took place in a degree of sympathy for the King's problem....

No one was personally fonder of Edward VIII than this Editor. Few received more confidence from him after the abdication... .

Those [recently published] letters clearly evidence that Mrs. Simpson knew she was leading a besotted middle-aged man into a complete disaster. That he was besotted is beyond doubt... She worked at besotting him for five years... For years [before 1936] his letters had betrayed his total captivity and did so in language which would have been exaggerated in a boy of 18... .

She led a King of England into a disaster from which he never recovered and which obsessed him to his last hour. He was never happy for a single day after his abdication...

It was all the odder because the Duke of Windsor was not only a nice man; he was intelligent, honest, and energetic. Unhappily he was totally possessed by another personality, viz. that of the Duchess. He was her mental prisoner. It was nothing akin to love."

De Courcy thus confirms from his personal knowledge of the King and the Duchess (whom he claims he "personally liked" and whom he admired when he "saw how efficient she was at housekeeping") the conclusion to be drawn from the letters, which were edited by a Michael Blum, published in England early this year, and have now been published in this country as the selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club for August. But we are left with something of a mystery or, at least, a question.

That Edward was an intelligent man is confirmed by many who knew him. We all know, however, that some women have by some mysterious art the power to fascinate men whom one would suppose unlikely to become dependent on them. Mrs. Simpson was, with the aid of cosmetics, a rather attractive woman with a veneer of hard sophistication. Men who compare her photographs with the several portraits of the famous Louise de Keroualle will differ as to which was the more allicient sexually. Louise, who was the secret agent of Louis XIV of France, so fascinated Charles II, who was an intelligent man, that he made her simultaneously Baroness Petersfield, Countess of Farehan, and Duchess of Portsmouth, and strained the British treasury to gratify her. She was so successful in keeping England subservient to France that Louis XIV augmented her nobility by making her the Duchesse d'Aubigny in France. And although Charles (like Edward) could have had many more beautiful women in his royal bed, Louise retained her ascendancy over him to the end. She was the protegee of Louis XIV and worked for him as well as herself.

That Mrs. Simpson was, like all adventuresses, ambitious, goes without saying. But if she "knew she was leading a besotted middle-aged man," King of England, "into a complete disaster," did she do so only from a female propensity for making mischief? Or is it possible that she was the protegee of someone who wanted such a disaster?