Winston Churchill and his difficult friendship with Edward VIII.
SEAL BEACH, 2 December 2012 — The Southern California Churchillians gathered for their annual Churchill Birthday Dinner at the Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach, California earlier this month.
Dr. David Freeman presented a talk with an interesting series of PowerPoint illustrations titled, “Winnie & The Windsors: Churchill, Edward and Mrs. Simpson.”
The presentation traced the long but sometimes strained friendship between Churchill and King Edward VIII.
On the 16th of November 1936 the king summoned Prime Minster Stanley Baldwin to Buckingham Palace to inform him of his desire to marry the woman he loved; the twice divorced American Mrs. Simpson, or “that woman” as she was known in some circles. The King was not prepared to give up Mrs. Simpson and was the first British monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne, becoming then titled HRH Duke of Windsor.
Winston Churchill, a staunch monarchist, fought loyally to the end for a compromise. After the abdication however, he is said never to have forgiven the Duke for giving up “…the greatest throne in world history.”
This episode of British history created a scandal and nearly a constitutional crisis.
Dr. Freeman, serves on the editorial board of The Churchill Centre’s quarterly publication Finest Hour and is a member of it’s Board of Academic Advisors.