The King Who Had To Go: Edward VIII, Mrs. Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis
How does the machinery of government respond when a King steps out of line? The relationship between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson created a constitutional crisis that has fascinated the public for decades. Unwilling to accept the idea of the twice-married American as future Queen of England, the government was determined to pressure the King into giving up Mrs Simpson and, when that failed, into giving up his crown. The King’s phone lines were tapped by his own government, dubious police reports poisoned Mrs Simpson’s reputation, and threats to sabotage her divorce were deployed to edge the King towards abdication. The hopeless attempts of the King’s allies, particularly Winston Churchill, to keep him on the throne were dismissed as sinister conspiracy, whilst the King wrecked his own chances with wildly unrealistic goals and ill-thought-out schemes that served only to frame him as erratic and unreliable as a monarch. As each side was overwhelmed by desperation and distrust, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin fought to steer events to a smooth conclusion. In this fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the royal abdication crisis of 1936, Adrian Phillips reveals the previously untold story of the hidden political machinations and insidious battles in Westminster and Whitehall that settled the fate of the King and Mrs Simpson.
Wallis in Love
In his new book, Andrew Morton reveals new information and sources that totally transform our perception of Wallis Simpson.
It was described as the most poignant royal love story of the century, a man and a woman equally united by a love that divided a church, a parliament, a country and an empire. The decision by King Edward Vlll to abdicate his throne for the sake of the woman he loved, twice-married American Wallis Simpson, shocked and stunned the world.
Wallis in Love reveals the men Wallis truly loved, the men who broke her heart – and the hearts she broke in turn. It exposes for the first time the truly astonishing offer she made days before her wedding to the ex-king, the Duke of Windsor.
In this vivid, fresh and frankly amazing portrait of the Duchess of Windsor, Morton draws on interviews, secret letters, diaries and never before seen or heard primary sources.
From the day she was born in a ramshackle cottage in the hills to revealing what really happened the night her husband died, Morton paints a fresh and enticing portrait of the Duchess of Windsor.
Royal Renegades: The Children of Charles I and the English Civil Wars
The fact that the English Civil War led to the execution of King Charles I in January 1649 is well known, as is the restoration of his eldest son as Charles II eleven years later. But what happened to the king’s six surviving children is far less familiar.
Casting new light on the heirs of the doomed king, acclaimed historian Linda Porter brings to life their personalities, legacies, and rivalries for the first time. As their family life was shattered by war, Elizabeth and Henry were used as pawns in the parliamentary campaign against their father; Mary, the Princess Royal, was whisked away to the Netherlands as the child bride of the Prince of Orange; Henriette, Anne’s governess, escaped with the king’s youngest child to France where she eventually married the cruel and flamboyant Philippe d’Orleans. When their “dark and ugly” brother Charles eventually succeeded his father to the English throne after fourteen years of wandering, he promptly enacted a vengeful punishment on those who had spurned his family, with his brother James firmly in his shadow.
A tale of love and endurance, of battles and flight, of educations disrupted, the lonely death of a young princess and the wearisome experience of exile, Royal Renegades charts the fascinating story of the children of loving parents who could not protect them from the consequences of their own failings as monarchs and the forces of upheaval sweeping England.
Princess Margaret: A Life of Contrasts
One of the most controversial royal figures of the twentieth century, Princess Margaret was admired as well as vilified for most of her adult life. Described by the designer and hotelier, Anouska Hempel, as “Witty, wicked and wonderful,” this charismatic princess not only brought colour and sex appeal into the Royal Family, but did much to help bring the monarchy and its attitudes into the modern world. Adored younger daughter of King George VI and only sister of Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret was a pre-war princess whose world was hugely circumscribed by the strictures and protocol of another age, leading to conflict and misunderstanding in both her private and public life. In his biography, Princess Margaret: A Life of Contrasts, Christopher Warwick redresses the balance. Whilst giving the full, insider story of the Princess’s many love affairs, he also looks at her tireless work for charity, breaking many taboos along the way – Princess Margaret, not Diana, was the first Royal to champion HIV and AIDS awareness.
Sisters to the King: The Remarkable True Story of Henry VIII’s Sisters
The author of the highly acclaimed ‘Elizabeth I’ and the classic ‘Knightsbridge Woman’ presents an analysis of the fundamental role of Margaret, Queen of Scotland and Mary, Queen of France in the European power politics of the Tudor age.
La Reine Blanche: Mary Tudor, a Life in Letters
Mary’s childhood was overshadowed by the men in her life—her father, Henry VII, and her brothers Arthur and Henry VIII. These men and the beliefs held about women at the time helped to shape Mary’s life. She was trained to be a dutiful wife and at the age of 18 Mary married the French king Louis XII, 34 years her senior. Her husband died three months later. As a young widow Mary blossomed, this was the opportunity to show the world the strong, self-willed, determined woman she always had been. She remarried for love and at great personal risk. She loved and respected Catherine of Aragon and despised Anne Boleyn—a dangerous position to take up. Author Sarah Bryson has returned to primary sources, state papers and letters, to unearth the truth about this intelligent and passionate woman.
Catherine of Aragon: An Intimate Life of Henry VIII’s True Wife
Catherine of Aragon continues to fascinate readers 500 years after she became Henry VIII’s first queen. Having lost her first husband, Henry’s elder brother Prince Arthur, she endured years of ill health and penury, to make a dazzling second match in Henry VIII. There is no doubt that she was Henry’s true love, compatible with him in every respect and, for years, she presided over a majestic court as the personification of his ideal woman. When it became clear that she could no longer bear children, however, the king’s attention turned elsewhere, and his once chivalric devotion became resentment. Catherine’s final years were spent in lonely isolation, but she never gave up her vision: she was devoted to her faith, her husband, and to England, and was prepared to be martyred for them. The fidelity of this remarkable woman never wavered.