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Public and Political: General: Abdication of Edward VIII: Correspondence and memoranda., 02 Jul 1936 - 18 Jul 1950

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CHAR 2/264

Scope and Contents

Correspondents include: Walter Monckton [former Attorney-General to the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, and Duke of Windsor] (2); King Edward on subjects including military ceremonies before the Abdication Crisis, an attack on himself by [George Andrew McMahon] and his gratitude to WSC (6); Amy Guest; Josiah Wedgwood; Robert Boothby on subjects including harm done to the King's cause and WSC himself by WSC's actions, WSC's political enemies, and the possibility of Windsor returning to Britain (3); Herbert Evatt, Justice of the High Court of Australia, on his support for WSC and on the Government's unconstitutional behaviour; 2nd Lord Hamilton of Dalzell [earlier Gavin Hamilton, former Lord-in-Waiting to King George V], on subjects including advice previously given to him by WSC and his memory of the King as Prince of Wales before George V's coronation; Geoffrey Dawson [Editor of the Times] on criticism of WSC in the Times; Roger Fulford on the bearing of George IV's marriage on the crisis; Pierse Loftus; [Henry] Wickham Steed on his disagreement with WSC, and the risk of endangering the principle of Parliamentary supremacy; Lady Violet Bonham Carter [earlier Violet Asquith and Violet, Lady Bonham Carter, later Lady Asquith of Yarnbury], on her disagreement with WSC; John Morgan, Counsel to the Indian Chamber of Princes, suggesting that WSC could form a new Administration; Desmond Morton on public support for the King if he gave up Wallis Simpson [later Wallis, Duchess of Windsor], and suspicion of Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister; J Alfred Spender, disagreeing with WSC; [John] Walton Newbold; 4th Lord Salisbury [earlier Lord Cranborne] on WSC's reasons for not supporting Baldwin and the King's irresponsibility.Draft letters and copies of correspondence by WSC to individuals listed above, and others including [Bernard Baruch], [Baldwin] and Neston Diggle, on subjects including: gossip about the King; a possible formula for the King remaining on the throne; support from 1st Lord Craigavon [earlier James Craig], Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and "Max" [?1st Lord Beaverbrook, earlier Max Aitken]; the alternatives before the King; the Times' treatment of the King, his prospects of returning to Britain, and a possible immunity from the press for him; the King's refusal to ask for more time and his mental exhaustion; the lack of hostility towards WSC himself; the success of the King's broadcast and the reaction to that of the Archbishop of Canterbury [Cosmo Lang]; support for the King from Sir Samuel Hoare [later 1st Lord Templewood] and advice from Neville Chamberlain [Chancellor of the Exchequer] about continuing to receive money from the Civil List; the results for Baldwin of Wallis Simpson's divorce not going through after the abdication.Also includes: notes from Denis Kelly [literary assistant to WSC] on his papers about the crisis; a memorandum by WSC on the crisis and his own actions, particularly his visit to Fort Belvedere [Berkshire] before the abdication; press cutting from the New York American with an article by William Randolph Hearst [Editor] on the abdication; a print of the King's speech on presenting colours to the Guards regiments; press statement issued by WSC asking for time and patience.The majority of material in the file dates to 1936 - 1937.


  • Creation: 02 Jul 1936 - 18 Jul 1950

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1 file(s) (1 bound file (165 folios) and duplicates for some folios in a separate file.)

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