Myth of the 20th Century: Edward VIII – The Man Who Would Be King

Edward the VIII, King of England and Germanophile, was forced to abdicate on December 11th, 1936. He died in Paris, France, at age 77 in 1972 with his wife Wallis Simpson and no children. The reasons for his abdication are disputed, but the two most common are his involvement with the divorcee (and American) Simpson, and his admiration for the German system and its economic revival under Adolf Hitler. Before and during the war, he sought to make peace between Britain and Germany, but to the war and financial powers that ruled, he was a threat to their desire to finish the Germans once and for all.

— Brought to you by —

Very special guest Fulwar Skipwith @Fulwar_Skipwith

The Myth of the 20th Century – Episode 107 – Edward VIII – The Man Who Would Be King

— References —

– The Proud Tower, Tuchman (1966)
– The King’s Speech, Seidler (2010)
– The Darkest Hour, Gorak (2011)
– The Royals, Schwahn (2015)
– The Crown, Morgan (2016)
– They Will Not Grow Old, Jackson (2018)
– The Last Dukes, Waldman (2015)
— notes —

– was a fan of Germany, approved of Hitler’s economic improvements; thought Britain and France “couldn’t get trains running on time” as is fashion of democracies
– cabinet office began withholding information from him as they worried he would pass information on to Germany
– to get rid of him, created sex dossier from Shanghai on his divorcee girlfriend to sully her reputation; it was forged to convince PM Baldwin
– Baldwin had power to force abdication
– Edward visited Germany, America, promoting peace, wanted Hitler to have free reign in Europe, keep British Empire, America out, and Edward back on throne
– was accused of treason for passing secrets before and during war (cabled Germany of Allied war discussions regarding Hitler’s proposed invasion of Belgium [discovered from a crashed German airplane there]) according to German archives; they blame him for Hitler choosing the Ardenne approach instead, bypassing Maginot line
– Duke Edward, stationed in France during Nazi invasion, didn’t go with rest of British to evacuate at Bordeaux but rather fled to Francoist / Fascist sympathetic Spain
– advised Nazi hosts that bombing of Britain would bring them to negotiate a peace
– Duke and his wife set sail for Bahamas, same day Hitler gave order for mass bombing
– from there he met with Swedish arms dealers, illegally traded currency, and plotted various outlandish schemes for bring peace with Germany