Talk:Edward VIII abdication crisis

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Alternative Views[edit]

Has anyone editing this article read Susan Williams' book, 'The People's King: The True Story of the Abdication' (2003)? I have also come across several other books from the time, which strongly supported the King and were critical of the role played by Baldwin and his allies in the crisis. It seems to me that this article does not take a balanced view in that it is critical of the King and Mrs Simpson, but does not offer as a counterpoint some of the dissenting views of the time, and of more recent historians such as Williams. I personally found her case to be convincing.

The role played by Churchill in attempting to forma 'King's Party' is also an interesting aspect of the story.

I might also add that the opposition Labor Party in Australia and certain members of the conservative United Australia Party were strongly opposed to the King's abdication, so the picture presented by Baldwin to the King of a universal opposition by the dominions was not the full picture. I understand the advice released in 2003 from the New Zealand government was also keen to avoid abdication. -Aronpaul, 21/2/06
I saw a BBC documentary on this last night, and in the light of that I find this article to be very poor treatment on a number of fronts. There is no mention of the groundswell of public support for Edward that arose when the crisis was finally revealed to British public, to the fact that it was largely the establishment and the establishment alone that opposed the marriage (the editor of the Times and the Archbishop of Canterbury in particuliar were both key figures who go unmentioned here) or to Baldwin's dishonest presentation to the King of the Dominions' opinions on the matter (Canada and Ireland stayed on the fence, while Australia supported the King, yet Baldwin presented the opposition as unanimous).
Churchill's key role, the various meetings and negotiations between the King and Baldwin and the Kings visit to Wales (specifically the timing of the visit) are also all underplayed. The article is clearly unbalanced and dwells far too much on the various scurrilous rumours against Ms. Simpson (though they absolutely should be mentioned, it should be in a far more measured and contextualised way - not with some "hearsay" proviso added on seemingly as an afterthought).
Most egregiously of all the passage "Given the content of the speech, and what it reveals about his disdainful attitude towards the British constitution, it is small surprise that many judge Edward VIII's abdication a "lucky break" for both Britain and the House of Windsor which preserved the political neutrality of the Crown. His own Assistant Private Secretary, Alan Lascelles, said of Edward: The best thing that could happen to him would be for him to break his neck." displays plainly the bias which, in more subtly disguised form, permeates this article.
There is a suggestion here that this article has the makings of "a solid encyclopaedic resource". As currently presented, I could not object more strongly. Hueysheridan 10:49, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I would rather claim that it is the program which distorted the events:

1. Churchill's so-called "King's Party" was a dismal failure, and is only considered important now because of Churchill's subsequent career as Prime Minister. On the Monday after the story broke in the British press MPs returned to Parliament after having spent the weekend in their contituencies gauging public opinion. Churchill was the only MP supporting the King. Everyone else who had initially supported him withdrew their support in the face of the overwhelming opposition they encountered from their constituents.

2. The majority of letters received by Baldwin and the King were unequivocally against the marriage. The program only reported the minority of letters written in support. Some estimates put the number of against letters at 95% compared to 5% in favor.

3. According to most of the sources I have read, the official Labor party in Australia did not support the marriage, it was a only particular small bunch of left-wing members that did so.

4. The program reported that Canada and New Zealand were in favor of the marriage. You say that Australia supported the marriage. As I set out below, and is set out in Ziegler and Bradford and Beaverbrook and Baldwin and Taylor and Broad and Monckton and the papers in the Public Record Office (and those in the dominion records), this is absolutely not the case.

In summary, the "groundswell of support" did not exist, and it is the program which misrepresents the Dominion's replies rather than Baldwin. DrKiernan 12:03, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

    • Indeed, one resource as compared against another - which bear in mind was presented in populist media in a prime-time slot - does not necessarily denigrate this article's achievements. Granted, it presents one side of the story more heavily than others but the point of a peer review is, inter alia, to knock it into neutral shape. As a resource it is an undeniably useful starting point for the casual reader reviewing the subject. Hueysheridan, you could always be bold and make those edits you view necessary Dick G 15:21, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
      • I'm going to try to integrate stuff from Williams' book into the article over the next few weeks. DrKiernan (talk) 07:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Regarding the number of abdications:[edit]

Mary Queen of Scots, John Balliol, Edward II and Richard II were forced to abdicate, James II was "deemed to have abdicated" (And there are probably others, so I think it's best to not use an explicit number.)

Edward VIII's abdication was different in that it actually was a choice. He wasn't told he had to abdicate, he was told he wouldn't be permitted to marry Mrs. Simpson unless he did. --- Someone else 23:13 Jan 9, 2003 (UTC)

Good clarification.JTD 23:23 Jan 9, 2003 (UTC)

By the same token as the previous comment (by Someone else) though, James II wasn't told to abdicate, either... but the advancing army led him to think that it might be a good idea to flee. However, I agree that the wording as it currently stands, with the word "voluntarily" is about as accurate as can be achieved in a single sentence. TheAMmollusc (talk) 12:47, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Declassified Files[edit]

Top secret files, which originally were embargoed for 100 years (until 2036) have just been released by the British Public Records Office. I've included details, taken from the British Daily Mail newspaper, which ran a four page spread today (Jan 30). I've deliberately included references to the rumours surrounding Wallace Simpson, because though distasteful, they contextualise what happened, explaining why the British establishment saw Simpson as so unsuited to be a royal consort. A lot of the rumours were scurillous but they did form the background to the image Wallace had. Without them, a reader of this article would not understand the full strength of opposition to Wallace. It wasn't that she was American, or even simply that she was divorced. She was perceived as a 'man-eater' who had gone through two husbands and numerous lovers. Claims that she was a hermaphrodite or a lesbian indicate the urban myths that were attaching to the King's mistress, again another reason (even if they were untrue) that would have made the establishment absolutely determined to block a marriage. JTD 21:29 Jan 30, 2003 (UTC)

Academic Tone[edit]

It doesn't seem proper to refer to Mrs. Simpson as "Wallis," which this article does throughout. I recommend refering to her by her surname throughout. Notcarlos 17:26, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

More Explanation and Chronology needed[edit]

I think this article stands to be substantially rewritten and needs a better introduction explaining the events. A chronology would help. Also, a discussion of the media aspect and Edward's longstanding relationship with Mrs Simpson before hand. Also perhaps Freda Dudley Ward. -Aronpaul

I totally agree. Along with not giving any background information, the article never actually gives an explanation of how the abdication came about-- all the meetings between Edward VIII and Baldwin, or the numerous Cabinet meetings, everything that happened from late October '36 onwards. The material here is interesting and could be included, but there is far too little description of the actual event- the kind of information an encyclopedia should have. I've read a lot on the subject but don't have a lot of time to edit now-- regardless, the whole thing needs an overhaul. TysK 05:26, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Crystal Palace[edit]

Burnt down on 29 November 1936

Title of article[edit]

IMHO, Abdication Crisis of Edward VIII >> should be Abdication crisis of Edward VIII or, better yet, Edward VIII abdication crisis. Any other thoughts? jengod 01:47, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree, Edward VIII abdication crisis is probably the best name.Kevin M Marshall 01:51, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Ascension after abdication[edit]

A recent documentary ("The Queen's Lost Uncle", 07/12/06) said, and I quote, "The urgent question now was - who would replace [Edward] as king? As Edward had abdicated, and not died, in theory, any one of his brothers could now ascend the throne..." Is this statement at all true? – DBD does... 01:26, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

No and Yes. No, because Prince Albert, Duke of York was heir presumptive and first-in-line-to-the-throne. Yes, because the throne is not hereditary but bestowed by Parliament, and so anyone can be offered it (such as for example, Oliver Cromwell (who declined) or George I of Great Britain (who accepted)). There is no law covering abdication, which is why one had to be passed (see His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936). Presumably, the basis for linking abdication with a change in the succession is that, historically, abdicated kings were not succeeded by their direct heirs (see Henry IV of England and Richard II of England; and James II of England). If Parliament had decided to follow this supposed precedent they could have passed an amendment to the 1936 act, or a new law, choosing another brother over Albert. DrKiernan 08:41, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

To my knowledge Britain is a hereditary monarchy and such parliamentary claims are presumptions on the part of parliament. George I was next in of succession. Henry IV succeeded because he forced King Richard from the throne in a coup. The "Glorious" Revolution can be seen in this light too. (And Cromwell ... please ... this was the era of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, completely outside of the history of the monarchy.) And there are also examples to the contrary: Henry VIII's three children succeeded according to the line of succession regardless of political sympathies (one even ousted a pretender preferrred by the former Regent). James I/VI succeeded as the next heir. All Protestant MPs could not make the Duke of Monmouth King.
And these claims would raise the question: how a Parliament do anything like this without royal assent? Str1977 (talk) 14:47, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Since 1701, Britain has been a hereditary monarchy only because of an Act of Parliament, the Act of Settlement 1701, which lays out an algorithm for determining becomes monarch when the old monarch dies. Under that act, the current senior heir to Sophia of Hanover is always the monarch, and there was no legal provision established for abdication. Edward VIII would have remained king no matter what he did, because he was the senior heir to Sophia of Hanover. In passing His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936, Parliament altered the rules of succession to allow Edward to cease to be king legally. In theory, they could have in the process made whomever they wanted king in Edward's place, although in practice they disturbed the existing line of succession as little as possible, simply cutting Edward and his potential heirs out of it.
Of course, Parliament legally couldn't do any of this without royal assent. In the event, Edward chose to voluntarily participate in the legal process that removed him from the throne, and so his assent to His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act was his last act as monarch; as soon as he assented to it, George VI became king. I rather imagine that if he had not assented -- indeed, if any monarch attempted to stop the passage of a law -- the UK would find itself a republic soon enough. --Jfruh (talk) 06:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Wrong. ( (talk) 15:49, 11 November 2010 (UTC))

Peer review[edit]

This article appears now to have the makings of a solid encyclopaedic resource. Is it time for it to be peer reviewed, and if so, what is the appropriate channel/category? Dick G 13:19, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I approve of peer review but would like to see the six [citation needed] markers replaced with references or the comments they refer to removed before review. DrKiernan 14:18, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Got it down to two markers... Dick G 17:20, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

New Zealand’s position on the abdication[edit]

Susan Williams’ recent re-interpretation of New Zealand’s response to Baldwin’s telegram which was examined in her BBC documentary (look in the credits where she is listed as Consultant) is disputed:

1. New Zealand was neither in favor of nor against the morganatic marriage. The Prime Minister of New Zealand (Michael Joseph Savage) did not actually define his views in his reply to Baldwin’s telegram, which was more in the way of a string of discussion points rather than a definitive answer. This has been known since at least the 1960s and is not new information. See for example A. J. P. Taylor’s edition of Lord Beaverbrook’s memoir page 62 and Ziegler's biography page 307.

2. The actual document used as evidence for her theory is shown on screen during her documentary – close examination of the screen shot shows that the words "if a morganatic marriage is possible" (or similar) can be seen. The key words here are "if possible". Baldwin’s firm view was that it was not possible.

3. As Baldwin did not get the answer he required from Savage, he demanded further clarification of the New Zealand Government’s position from a New Zealand Minister currently resident in London. The Minister gave Baldwin the assurance he desired that the marriage would not be supported.

4. Savage was Catholic, and consequently unlikely to support personally the remarriage of a divorced woman (or indeed her divorce in the first place).

5. The New Zealand press was almost universally hostile to the marriage. See for example Broad, pages 105-106. DrKiernan 07:59, 16 January 2007 (UTC)


Oxford English Dictionary (Sept 2003 edition):

Negus: (The title of) a king of Ethiopia or of a province or kingdom within Ethiopia; spec. (the title of) the supreme ruler of Ethiopia; the Ethiopian emperor.

1594 T. BLUNDEVILLE Descr. Plancius his Mappe in Exercises f. 265v, The Emperor of Æthiopia.., his owne subiects doe call him Acegue, and Neguz. 1613 S. PURCHAS Pilgrimage VII. i. 549 The Great Neguz his titles comprehend thus much [etc.]. 1664 S. BUTLER Hudibras II. i. 18 The Negus, when some mighty Lord Or Potentate's to be restor'd [etc.]. 1667 MILTON Paradise Lost XI. 397 Th' Empire of Negus to his utmost Port. c1718 R. FRAMPTON Life (1876) 114 The King of that countryis stiled the Nechos. 1805 R. SOUTHEY in C. C. Southey Life & Corr. R. Southey (1849) II. 314 The king, or, to give him his proper title, the Neguz. 1865 Lit. Churchman 25 Mar. 124/2 That strange compound of intelligence and savagery the Negus Theodore II. 1910 Encycl. Brit. I. 93/1 Siefu, brother of Haeli Melicoth, proclaimed himself negus of Shoa at Ankober. 1939 Fortune Nov. 121/1 The Cabinet..was in no mood to fight to save the Negus's throne. 2000 B. J. C. MCKERCHER in J. M. Nielson Paths not Taken iii. 85 Italy would get control of most of Abyssinia while the Negus, Haile Selassie, would retain nominal sovereignty over his kingdom.

Please check your facts before correcting me. DrKiernan 12:13, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia: Good article[edit]

I wrote everything I could in the Peer Review, and it was good even before responding to my comments. Well done. I think I'd support it for Featured Article, even. --AnonEMouse (squeak) 19:20, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I put it under History/World History/Europe on the WP:GA page, and that's not necessarily the best place for it; arguably as Emperor, he affected more than just Europe. Feel free to move it to a better place. Maybe History/Royalty ? --AnonEMouse (squeak) 19:26, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Baldwin's interest?[edit]

I don't see reference to the school of analysis that holds that Baldwin saw the crisis as a way to get rid of Edward. I have seen several references to the notion that Edward, who was popular with workers after interventionist comments in a few strikes, was also an admirer of continental fascism/nazism -- not in the sense of racist ideology, but here meant more as in the strong-handed reconstruction of society. So, some say as I have read, that Edward had ideas about parlaying his popularity into an expanded role for the king in government and reasserting the role of the sovereign in national policy. Baldwin wasn't happy about that, and saw Edward as a threat to the established constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy he was hoping to stabilize in that turbulent era. Thus, forcing the abdication crisis, on moral grounds, was a way for him to dump Edward in favor of his more constitutionally traditional younger brother. Perhaps there should be some reference to this point of view here. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:45, 16 May 2007 (UTC).

Anyone note the irony here?[edit]

One of the arguments made against Edward VIII's desire to marry Simpson was that as head of the Anglican Church he could not marry a divorced woman whose ex-husbands were still living. Seems to be the very definition of irony, since the Anglican Church was established by Henry VIII for the precise reason of being able to marry who he pleased (specifically so he could marry Anne Boleyn despite the Catholic Church's refusal to recognize the King's divorce of Katherine of Aragon). I wonder if this irony has been noted by any notable, reliable source... if so seems worthy of inclusion in the article. 04:21, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Technically a divorce and an annulment are two different things. Popular history says Henry wanted a "divorce" but he was actually seeking the annulment of his marriage to his brother's widow. (But I guess "Had her marriage annulled, beheaded, died, had her marriage annulled, beheaded, survived" doesn't make for a memorable rhyme.) And his marriage to Anne of Cleves was also annulled. An annulment is considered by the Church to be a state of affairs where the marriage never happened in the first place. Timrollpickering (talk) 20:19, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Could be that cutting heads off was considered out of style 400 years later? (talk) 03:45, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Controversial alternative view[edit]

[1] Perhaps this could be integrate, albeit in a more NPOV manner? DBD 20:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm going to try to integrate stuff from Williams' book into the article over the next few weeks. DrKiernan (talk) 07:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Modern Parallel Biased[edit]

The modern part about Camilla and Charles appears to have been written by a Buckingham Palace PR man. It makes no real criticism of the hypocrisy of the future Head of the Church of England getting married in a civil ceremony rather than by the Church, certainly not the same thing as a blessing by the Church afterward. It says that polls show widespread support for the marriage of Camilla and Charles, but the cite given is a book. Just what poll is this? Do other polls show the same thing? Seems terribly fawning to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 11 March 2008 (UTC) So, cite another source that says something different. Don't simply add your own point of view, and commentary Mayalld (talk) 07:14, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't think we need a comparison to Charles and Camilla at all in this article. It would be better added to their respective pages. Doktor Waterhouse (talk) 03:56, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, it's startling to see this section in this article; it may be a comparable topic, possibly worthy of inclusion as a single sentence with a link to the appropriate article, but not as the huge digression it is now. P.T.isfirst (talk) 08:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Religious grounds[edit]

Surely under canon law, a civil marriage is not valid anyway. So regardless of whether Mrs Simpson had been married before and regardless of whether Mrs Simpson had not annuled her marriages but divorced, then surely Mrs. Simpson was not validly married under canon law. Therefore, any religious marriage she would later partake in would be a valid marriage under canon law and would make her eligable to become Queen. The political implications (given that civil law is a legal there was no hindrance to any subsequent remarriage.

Her first marriage to Win Spencer was a religious one: at the Protestant Episcopal Christ Church in Baltimore. Her second marriage, clearly, was civil because under canon law you can't have a "second" religious marriage if your first spouse is still living. Her divorces were civil. Hence, in canon law, her second and third marriages might be considered bigamous because her first marriage was still valid. DrKiernan (talk) 10:50, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know the specifics in Anglican canon law but under the Roman Catholic "version", it is not accurate to say that "a civil marriage is not valid anyway". Roman canon law recognizes as marriage the union between a Christian man and a Christian woman, regardless of the formalities (of course certain conditions, e.g. like monogamy, must be met). Only for Catholics (and only since the 16th century) it prescribes marrying in church in the presence of a priest. For Protestants, marriage is anyway a wordly thing. Now, Anglicans are of course a special case and as I said, I don't know how canon law works here but I would assume that it at least developed from the pre-Trent state of Roman canon law which did not insist on any form. Str1977 (talk) 14:30, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

The marriage would produce no children[edit]


in your blanket revert you also reverted a whole other things back apart from this issue.

Anyway, the sentence "The marriage would produce no children (the first marriage of Prince Charles had already produced two legitimate heirs to the throne), leading the governments ..." is problematic to the extreme.

What does "The marriage would produce no children" mean? Is Mrs Parker Bowles unable to conceive? And is that part of the legal arrangements of this marriage? Or is the couple legally banned from having children? That would quite a presumptous act on the part of parliament, even in light of its common presumption! Or is it merely an expectation that there will be no children? Such a one may have led to political bodies keeping their noses out of the matter but it would not have any legal consequences.

Therefore I changed the word "children" to "heirs", as it is quite possible that any children coming from this marriage would be excluded from the line of succession. My assumption could of course be wrong (the referencing link does not work) but that can be no basis for reverting it - the whole sentence would be silly and pointless.

Please, if anybody knows, clear this up. But don't just revert back to nonsense. Str1977 (talk) 14:30, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll clear this up for you -- Camilla Parker Bowles is OLD... she has obviously all ready gone through menopause, therefore their marriage will produce no children.

I don't mind if "children" is changed to "heirs", as both statements are true. They won't have any children and they won't have any heirs. DrKiernan (talk) 09:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Then why did you change it the first time around? And whence do you have prophetic powers that you can say whether they will have children. It is exactly this attitude of supposed knowledge that creates nonsensical sentences like the one I changed. Str1977 (talk) 16:00, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I can see in to the future. I have prophetic powers and foresee everything. Camilla will not have any more children. It is written in the stars. DrKiernan (talk) 16:16, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
A strange creature thou art, Doctor. Still, on WP even such superbly gifted ones should act as if they were mere mortals. Str1977 (talk) 16:43, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Two full stops[edit]

I think having two full stops at the end of some references is unnecessary and misleading. It can be confused with an ellipsis and thus misread as indicating missing details. DrKiernan (talk) 08:59, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

You are correct. Any occurence like that would be an oversight. But please comment on the much more important things (section above) instead of trivialities. Str1977 (talk) 09:11, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
BTW, "pp." is utterly uncessary as the page numbers given perfectly indicate that there is more than one page. I will not reinstate this for now, hoping that you will address the more important issues. Str1977 (talk) 09:13, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Could you please edit the "Historical precedents" section properly. As I said before, you've got a sentence ending in "and" with no full stop. DrKiernan (talk) 09:39, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
You've still got a misspelling ("anulments") and Latin phrases should be italicised. DrKiernan (talk) 16:16, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Then by all means, correct the misspelling. I did not introduce it - it was there before I came along. Str1977 (talk) 16:42, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Camilla Parker Bowles is OLD... she has obviously all ready gone through menopause, therefore their marriage will produce no children.

Modern parallel[edit]

Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall; formerly Mrs Parker Bowles

In 2005, Charles, Prince of Wales married his long-time mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles. As his previous wife, Diana, was deceased, there was no bar to the Prince marrying again. However, just like Mrs Simpson in 1936, Mrs Parker Bowles was a divorcée whose previous husband was still living.[1]

Unlike the situation in 1936, however, the marriage did not lead to a constitutional crisis. In contrast to Mrs Simpson's first divorce, the Parker Bowles divorce is recognised by most members of the Church, on the grounds of her husband's adultery,[2] and is valid under English law.[3] The Church of England has moderated its stance on divorce, and now accepts that civil marriages after a divorce may be blessed in a religious service in a church.[4] Divorce is now both more common and more acceptable in the public mind than it was in 1936.[5] Polls taken shortly before the marriage of the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles showed widespread support.[6] Mrs Simpson had a reputation as an adventuress and was less socially acceptable as a bride than Mrs Parker Bowles.[7]

It was only after the Church of England had changed its canons, and several years after the death of Diana, that the Government of Prime Minister Tony Blair announced the terms and conditions of Prince Charles's wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles. The marriage of the Prince and Mrs Parker Bowles was endorsed by the Royal Family and the British Government and blessed by the Church of England.[8] As the marriage would produce no heirs (the first marriage of Prince Charles had already produced two legitimate heirs to the throne), the governments of the other Commonwealth Realms deemed the granting of formal approval unnecessary, unlike the Prince's first marriage, for which the Queen's Privy Council for Canada assembled to grant consent.[9] However, Camilla is styled as "Duchess of Cornwall" instead of "Princess of Wales", and on her husband's accession, Camilla will not use the style of "Queen", but will be known instead as the "Princess Consort".[10] Because of this, her and the Prince's union has been referred to in the media as "a sort of morganatic marriage".[7]

  • I've moved this here because I don't think it has a place in this article, except perhaps as a See also entry. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 01:11, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Above this on this talk page there are three contributions to the effect that the section 'Modern parallels' does not belong in this article: from User:Doktor Waterhouse on 8 July 2008, from User:Malleus Fatuorum on 26 August 2008, and from User: P.T.isfirst on 14 February 2009.

In one of these cases, User:Malleus Fatuorum actually removed the section to this page, saying "I've moved this here because I don't think it has a place in this article, except perhaps as a See also entry."

Six days later, User:DrKiernan restored the section, giving an edit comment "This section is relevant. Its absence leads to questions from the reader about why Charles and Camilla are married, and renders the article non-comprehensive. Also, I dislike ending on the Nazis", but not apparently making any argument on this talk page.

I came looking on this page because I read the article (it's featured today) and went "What on earth is that section doing here?" I agree absolutely with with Malleus, and have replaced the section by a 'see also'. --ColinFine (talk) 22:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

As I said before, in a full, complete, discursive, and explanatory edit summary, removing the section causes confusion. Readers cannot understand why Edward had to abdicate when Charles's position is unaffected: [2]. The article is not comprehensive, as the legacy of the crisis is not fully expanded upon and the article's subject matter is not placed in its full historical context. Hence, the article fails criterion 1b of the criteria for featured articles. DrKiernan (talk) 17:14, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The reader to whose comment you linked was commenting on a different article: they may or may not have read this one. I have pointed them to this one, as I believe that this article as it stands answers their questions. I do not agree at all that removing the section on Charles and Camilla renders this article less than comprehensive: I agree that a link to it is appropriate, but no more. --ColinFine (talk) 19:19, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Style italicisation[edit]

From the lead's third paragraph:

Edward was given the title His Royal Highness the Duke of Windsor following his abdication, and he married Mrs Simpson the following year.

I believe that the specific style ("His ... Windsor") should be italicised, as it is not used to refer to the person bearing the title, but rather to the title itself, as a case of using "words as words". True, Wikipedia:Manual of Style (text formatting)#Words as words does not make specific mention of phrases, but this case fits the pattern and such usage matches with established practice (see also the next section in the guideline, referring to proper names as another case of "words as words"). Quotation marks can be used instead of italics, but I do not recommend it; their use should be preferably restricted to quotations.

The same treatment should be applied on "His Royal Highness" from the first sentence of the last body section. ("Duke of Windsor", however, should remain roman, i.e. not italicised.)

Great article, by the way. Waltham, The Duke of 19:17, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that makes sense. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 19:27, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. I had to see the revert to realise that the italics were not self-evident. I have just made the edit (including a "Her Royal Highness" at the end of the paragraph, which I had missed). Waltham, The Duke of 20:09, 31 August 2008 (UTC)


I noticed the FAC was closed pretty soon on this article and that since it closed it has been edited substantially by the original nominator - who seemingly was not able to respond to the copy-edit work arising out of the FAC process before it closed. As a result perhaps the FA decision was a little premature? I am not against the article reaching FA but feel it might not have had full consideration from the community and it is now a significantly different article to the one that was made FA last week. Thoughts? Dick G (talk)

I do not agree that the FAC was closed prematurely, but I do agree that some of the subsequent changes have compromised this article's FA status. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 23:41, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Assenting to the Irish legislation[edit]

The article notes that, due to de Valera's convoluted constitutional fiddling, Edward technically remained king of Ireland for a day longer than he did elsewhere. Later, it says that "It was Edward's Royal Assent to these Acts, rather than his abdication notice, which gave legal effect to the abdication in the United Kingdom and the British Empire." Does this mean that Edward gave a Royal Assent to the Irish legislation after he had ceased to be king elsewhere -- one last royal duty, on the 12th? --Jfruh (talk) 06:45, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

The Constitution (Amendment No. 27) Act of the 11 December 1936 removed the role of the monarch from legislation in Ireland. Subsequent Acts (such as the External Relations Act the following day) were not confirmed by royal assent but by the signature of the Chair of Dáil Eireann. Perhaps that sentence should be removed? DrKiernan (talk) 07:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Who helped Hardinge draft the letter?[edit]

Senior British ministers knew that Hardinge had written to the King, and may have helped him to draft the letter.[6]

This sentence confused me until I had re-read it about 5 times. I think it means to say: Several senior British ministers knew that Hardinge had written to the King; some of them may have helped him to draft the letter. But I don't own the book that's cited as the source — could a knowledgeable person rewrite the sentence for clarity? Tempshill (talk) 06:32, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

"Divine grace"[edit]

Nevertheless, the British Press remained quiet on the subject, until Alfred Blunt, Bishop of Bradford, gave a speech to his Diocesan Conference on 1 December. In it he lamented the King's need of divine grace saying: "We hope that he is aware of his need. Some of us wish that he gave more positive signs of his awareness."[9]

I don't understand the quote. It sounds to me like the bishop was alluding elliptically to a couple of things; but I, for one, am not being let in on the secret of what he's really talking about. What exactly does "divine grace" mean in this sentence? (The wikilink doesn't help.) Why is the bishop lamenting the need of it? Can someone edit this sentence to increase clarity? Tempshill (talk) 06:36, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Divine grace and human grammar[edit]

"Alfred Blunt, Bishop of Bradford, gave a speech to his Diocesan Conference on 1 December. In it he lamented the King's need of divine grace." He may well have lamented the king's lack of grace, but I think he could accept and even welcome the need for it. PiCo (talk) 03:40, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Americans and their social status[edit]

"At the time, many members of the British upper class looked down on Americans with disdain and considered them socially inferior"

The words "At the time" suggest that the British upper classes (insofar as such a category remains) now view Americans as their social equals. That is not correct. The so-called "British upper class" would have a similar reaction were the Prince of Wales or the King to marry a US citizen today, the difference is that today the British upper class doesn't really have much of a significant or unified voice.

The British media can be heard making negative comments about the Duke of Edinburgh's impoverished Greek origins (implication: Greek people are generally inferior to the British) and even about the Queen's German ancestry (implication: German people are socially inferior to the British).

The British upper classes expect the royal family to consort with and marry members of the aristocracy, ie not necessarily rich or titled but those whose family can be traced through Burke's or Debrett's etc. Again look at poor Kate Middleton, greeted with "Doors to manual", because her mum was an air hostess. Because America is a new nation it does not have such people: it just has very rich people, not the same at all. If the monarch today married an American it would not provoke a constitutional crisis but it would be a new era in the Royal Family and it would be unpopular with many or at least ridiculed. Mr Poechalkdust (talk) 07:04, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorry? I'm British, and I've never heard the media "making negative comments about the Duke of Edinburgh's impoverished Greek origins", nor comments about the Queen's german ancestry. The media comments on the Duke of Edinburgh, certainly - for saying stupid things, not for being Greek. Kate Middleton is fussed over by the tabloids, yes, but mainly centred around the fact that she's dating Prince William, not that her mother is an air hostess. I'm not quite sure where you're living, but it seems to be somewhere with only a tenuous connection to the real world. Ironholds (talk) 10:39, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you're quite right, I made it all up. Apologies. But have a look at this link darling just to see the sort of thing that I am getting at:
The fact that you're British doesn't really answer the point does it? I mean I have seen these sorts of comments, so that suggests that I have seen something that you haven't, or is that not a possibility? But even if I had not that Telegraph article (and others like it) demonstrates that the daughter of (say) an American soap magnate would get a certain amount of stick.

Why does any of this mean that I have only a tenuous connection to the real world? Mr Poechalkdust (talk) 12:06, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

It demonstrates nothing about "daughters of american soap magnates" - the article makes it clear that the failure to follow protocol and the social faux pas that creates was the problem. That isn't necessarily something class-based; I'm middle class, but if I walked up to the queen and shook her hand that would be just as inappropriate. In future, also, try and limit your comment to things that aren't complete bollocks.Ironholds (talk) 13:48, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that helpful advice Ironholds, so charmingly presented. I see that you intend to become a barrister. I suspect that you will do well with your quick mind and careful social skills. I wish you luck my friend, although you hardly need it! Mr Poechalkdust (talk) 14:35, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I have just re-read the Telegraph article:

"The photographs merely confirmed the prejudice among some royal observers, mainly in the tabloid press but also among some of William's acquaintances, that Mrs Middleton was "too common" for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh."

How is that not class-related? "Toilet" and "pleased to meet you", both cited in the article are obviously class related, not protocol related. You need to read some Nancy Mitford.

"While Miss Middleton's father is from a classic middle-class background, her mother is descended from a long line of Durham coal miners."

How is that not class related?

Anyway have a look at this article in the Mail:

which has similar rubbish. They even have a link "what class are you?" So that also is sort of about Ms Middleton's class, isn't it? I think by analogy we can be pretty confident that if and when Prince William or one of his descendents mates with an American citizen there would be more of that kind of thing: courtiers and the like muttering about breeding and the like, as they did 70 years ago.

I wonder what kind of barrister you're going to become...Mr Poechalkdust (talk) 16:55, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Messed Up[edit]

I'm new to Wikipedia, but it appears someone has messed up this article. It says "the Killer's's" instead of the "King's", and it says "stupid" a couple of times, including "Edward the Stupid". I don't know how to fix it, but I hope one of you will. Jeff —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. It is called Vandalism, and happens often especially on featured articles. You can fix it just as you edited this page, but for reverting vandalism it's better to pick the 'history' tab, choose the last version before the vandalism, and pick 'undo'. Please sign your contributions to talk pages with four tildes (~~~~) --ColinFine (talk) 21:46, 24 May 2009 (UTC)


As demanded [3], I have changed "Ireland" to "Irish Free State", against my judgement. DrKiernan (talk) 10:58, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Independent states[edit]

The Balfour Declaration and the Statute of Westminster were issued in 1926 and 1931, respectively; thus, by the time of the abication crisis, they were not subservient to the British government, and thus not part of the Empire. In fact, the SoW makes explicit reference to the former colonies becoming members of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is therefore historically inaccurate to state - even implicitly - that the Dominions remained a part of the British Empire post 1931. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 13:46, 5 August 2009 (UTC) I've added a tag to the head of the page as the lead now contradicts the correct information laid out in the "Abdication" section. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 13:50, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

The Balfour Declaration states "[Dominions] are autonomous Communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another". I never said they were subservient, or implied it. Do not put words in my mouth that were never there. The Dominions and the United Kingdom were equal parts of the Empire. DrKiernan (talk) 13:55, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
It was indeed you who edited the article so that it claims that the Dominions were part of the British Empire in 1936, which implies those states were subservient to the British government; that is the nature of empire. I also pointed specifically to the Statute of Westminster's use of the phrase "Commonwealth of Nations" over "Empire", and you have ignored it. Further, it is extremely poor form to remove a maintenance tag before the issue has been resolved, especially by an administrator. I have added an inline tag this time asking for additional clarification of what has been made inadequate, anachronistic, and inaccurate. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 15:22, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I have provided a source that explicitly states (1) the Dominions were a part of the empire and (2) the Dominions were equal in status to the United Kingdom. Your claim that I have said or implied the opposite is untrue. You have provided no diffs that show that I have, nor have you provided any source that contradicts what I have said. I pointed specifically to the inclusion of the Dominions in events such as the 1938 British Empire Games and you have ignored it. It is extremely poor form to abuse maintenance tags by tendentiously placing them in bad-faith, especially by a serial offender. It is not inadequate or anachronistic or inaccurate. It is true, fair, accurate, reliable, and representative of contemporary opinion. DrKiernan (talk) 08:17, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Please adhere to WP:AGF and WP:NPA.
The Statute of Westminster was passed in 1931, after the Balfour Declaraion of 1926. The abdication took place in 1936, after the Statute of Westminster was passed in 1931. Thus, claims of Empire post 1931 are anachronistic; and I'm sure you don't mean to suggest that the name of a sporting event has more gravitas than constitutional legislation. The inaccuracy, that contradicts not only this very article, but also Wikipedia's own (verifiably sourced) on the British Empire, can be rectified by merely shifting three or so words up one line from their current location. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 09:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you ever follow your own advice?
The Statute to which you have referred at no point says "the Dominions are henceforth not part of the Empire". There are plenty of sources which refer to "the British Empire" in the 1930s as including the Dominions. There is no inaccuracy or contradiction. I think your attempts to remove all mention of the Empire are driven at best by misguided political correctness or historical revisionism that seeks to whitewash the truth. The Empire is a fact of history, whether you like it or not.
This article and the British Empire article are reliably sourced featured articles. Correctly, neither one says the Dominions left the Empire in 1931. DrKiernan (talk) 11:33, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Attempting to ascribe non-existent motives to me is truly a waste of your time; the same baseless accusations could be turned back on yourself: your attempts to promote the Empire are driven at best by misguided feelings of superiority or historical revisionism that seeks to whitewash the truth. But, I've never made such an accusation. I assume we both seek to be historically accurate, though one of us may hold misguided views.
The SoW indeed doesn't explicitly say "the Dominions are henceforth not part of the Empire." Neither does it say "the Dominions henceforth remain part of the Empire." What it does do is specifically mention that they are part of the Commonwealth of Nations, making no mention of Empire what-so-ever. Perhaps you could present these sources that state the Dominions remained part of the Empire after their independence in 1931 (aside from the name of a sporting event)? Maybe there is some other definition of the word "empire" I'm not aware of? One source I have at hand right here - my two volume history of the British Empire - states "Balfour, by putting it on paper, removed the corpse of Empire and substituted a living Commonwealth", that the British authorities gave up "imperial restrictions" on the Dominions, and that there was a "Commonwealth meeting" in Ottawa in 1932. That, to me, would affirm that the Dominions were not part of the British Empire post-1931. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 14:20, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I think looking back now, we can point to SoW as being a defining moment in some sense, but I'm pretty sure anyone speaking at the time would have still have been pretty likely to speak of Empire, rather than Commonwealth, I know you don't like the example of the Empire Games, but they retained that title until at least 1951, and at the era this article is concerned with there were still many Imperial institutions about including for defence, the title Chief of the Imperial General Staff was still current, and the Committee of Imperial Defence was still very important. The transition was in practice much more gradual than you are trying to make out. David Underdown (talk) 14:40, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is trying to imply that the Empire came to an abrupt end in 1931; of course, there were still wide swaths of it across Africa and Asia. I am only saying, based on the sources I have, that the Dominions - i.e. Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Irish Free State, and Ceylon - alone were no longer part of it. Hence, my position that the lead should say:
In 1936, the desire of King-Emperor Edward VIII to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, caused a constitutional crisis in the British Empire and Dominions of the Commonwealth.
The marriage was opposed by the King's governments in all his realms. Religious, legal, political, and moral objections were raised.
This merely requires that four words be moved up one line. The more contemporary term "British Commonwealth" could even be employed. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 14:57, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Sources for within the Empire:

Notes on the Statute of Westminster, 1931 by M O Hudson, Harvard Law Review, 1932 vol. 46 pp. 261 ff.: "When the Statute was under consideration in the House of Commons at Westminster, an amendment was moved that this expression [British Commonwealth of Nations] should be changed to read "British Empire or Commonwealth of Nations." To this the Solicitor General replied, "The British Commonwealth of Nations is not the British Empire...The British Empire is a great and magnificent community, but it is not the same thing as the British Commonwealth of Nations, which is the accurate description of the autonomous Dominions which are generally included within that term...this Bill wishes to emphasize or describe accurately what is a part of the British Empire, namely, the Commonwealth of the self-governing Dominions."[11] ... The term British Commonwealth of Nations now seems to be more generally used to apply to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State, and Newfoundland. It may also be used to include India. The British Empire is a larger grouping which includes all the members of the British Commonwealth of Nations and, in addition, the various territories of the British Crown which are not members of the British Commonwealth of Nations."

Robert Menzies also discussed "the place of Australia, or of any other Dominion, in the British Empire" in 1935 in "Australia's Place in the Empire" R. G. Menzies International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1931-1939), Vol. 14, No. 4 (Jul. - Aug., 1935), pp. 480-495. He says Australia and the Dominions are in the empire.

There is also Professor A. Berriedale Keith's "The Government of the British Empire" of 1935, which covered the constitutional law of the Dominions and their relationship to Britain, within the British Empire. DrKiernan (talk) 15:02, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm... Well, that did give me something to chew on during my ride to work. Now that I'm here... well, I've still got no real resolution. With the addition of British Cabinet papers from 1931 that repeatedly make reference to the Dominions as members of the Commonwealth of Nations, we have reliable, yet conflicting sources. In doing some further research, the words of the Canadian Encyclopedia seemed to ring true, given the above information: "The Commonwealth of the 1930s was a study in contradiction, a mixture of the national and the imperial, and confusing to outsiders." Does it help to reword my proposal so it says In 1936, the desire of King-Emperor Edward VIII to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite, caused a constitutional crisis in the British Empire, including the autonomous Dominions of the Commonwealth? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:37, 6 August 2009 (UTC)


User:DrKiernan has now objected to both the words "dominion" and "realm" being used in the article's introduction; the first was rejected because it somehow didn't include the UK and India and the second because it was apparently never used before 1952. These are curious positions to take, given that "dominion" has a meaning other than a self-governing former colony of the UK and "realm" similarly has had a usage that long pre-dates 1952 and goes beyond the Commonwealth of Nations.

1: kingdom 2
2: sphere, domain
3: a primary marine or terrestrial biogeographic division of the earth's surface
1: domain
2: supreme authority : sovereignty
5: absolute ownership

I suppose the last alternative is "territories"; however, I don't see the need to discard the perfectly applicable words above.

Further, DrKiernan has twice relegated the dates of the abdication in Ireland and South Africa into a footnote as "not relevant" to the lead. When one date is given (11 December), and is thus presumably relevant, it's unknown why the others are not. The random selection seems contrary to WP:NPOV, thus the three dates should be included in the opening, or merely the year, 1936. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 12:02, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

(As an unrelated post-script: I did attempt to partly revert myself on the peerage titles, with the summary that I still contend that the casual usage causes confusion but is the long-term usage on the page. I would seem DrKiernan reverted me while I was in the process. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 12:19, 31 August 2010 (UTC))

His Majesty's Instrument of Abdication Act 1936 applied in South Africa, hence, the abdication took place there, legally, on 11 December under the British act until the South African parliament legislated for itself. The move to 10 December was retroactive. So, in South Africa between 11 December 1936 and the passing of the South African bill (whenever that was), the abdication took place legally on 11 December. After the passing of the South African bill, the abdication took place legally on 10 December. This is an unnecessary digression for the lead.
In Ireland, the Constitution (Amendment No. 27) Act removed the King from the constitution on 11 December, so it can be argued that Edward was removed on that day. Anyhow, the wording of the External Relations Act of 12 December specifically says that the abdication takes effect as "if His said Majesty had died on the 10th day of December", so it is not entirely clear what the situation was in Ireland, the abdication could have had effect from 10 or 11 December. The following day the External Relations Act carefully avoided saying anyone was King of Ireland, it specifically says: "as long as [Ireland] is associated with the following nations, that is to say, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, and South Africa, and so long as the king recognised by those nations [my emphasis] as the symbol of their co-operation...the king so recognised may, and is hereby authorised to, act on behalf of [Ireland] for the like purposes as and when advised by the Executive Council so to do". So, the act on 12 December reinstates the King as a potential diplomatic representative, but does not recognise the king as head of state, as that office was "abolished" (in some sense and I acknowledge that there are arguments to the contrary) the previous day. Again, as this has to be hedged about with all the corollaries, I believe it is too long and convoluted for the lead. DrKiernan (talk) 13:31, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, yes; despite the richness of that detail, it is excessive for the lead; it was never my intent to go into all that. However, now that you've raised these additional facts, and while they do further complicate the matter of which day Edward abdicated in which state, it does also point to the inappropriateness of selecting 11 December for inclusion in the lead; doing so indicates to readers that the abdication took place on that date everywhere, when that wasn't the case. Changing it to simply "December 1936" is a rather elegant solution, but I'd say the footnote that follows is redundant; the information in it is already in the body of the article. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 15:24, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I am not especially possessive of the footnote but fear that if it was removed, someone would rapidly come along and stick in an 11 (or a 10). DrKiernan (talk) 17:28, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
And I'm not devoutly against it; it just seems a tad redundant. If anyone did try to insert an 11 or 10 in there, they could always be directed to this conversation.--Ħ MIESIANIACAL 17:47, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Any sources re: shifts in public attitudes over the decades?[edit]

As an American, I can remember distinctly that as recently as the 1970s, this matter was widely seen on this side of the pond as romantic -- there were pop-culture references such as a movie or TV-movie on the matter and episodes of such period dramas as The Waltons (episode: The Abdication) that took this view of the matter. More recent portrayals, such as a PBS series a few years ago about George VI and last year's The King's Speech seem to see it as a more self-obsessed decision by a narcissistic man. All of that, admittedly, is my own personal reading, which brings me to my question: Are there external, reliable/verifiable sources describing this shift in opinion on the part of the classes and groups traditionally most sympathetic to the couple?Lawikitejana (talk) 12:30, 24 July 2011 (UTC)


I'd appreciate an explanation from DrKiernan as to why he insists on changing in a reference template the field "last" to "publisher" when he's been made aware that doing so causes the {{Harvnb}} templates to no longer function properly. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 18:04, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

"last" is for authors not publishers. The article doesn't use Harvard templates or citations. DrKiernan (talk) 18:23, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I see now you deleted them. Why, then, do you prefer duplicate references? --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 18:28, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't wish to call a publisher an author, invent a publisher, or use different citation styles in the same article. I don't think the repetition of one publisher is especially onerous. DrKiernan (talk) 20:32, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Baldwin on 8 December[edit]

A contemporary source says "later in the morning, Sir Francis Floud came to the library to tell me that he had received a communication from Mr. Baldwin to say that he had made every effort to persuade the King, in his talk with His Majesty yesterday evening [8 December], to renounce the idea to marry Mrs. Simpson, but his determination remained unalterably fixed." That's a first-hand account of events, yet DrKiernan feels the information is inadmissable because he assumes "Baldwin might be lying". I'm curious as to why this kind of assumption is proper justification for any edit. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 18:10, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

No, that's not what I said actually. I said you assumed Baldwin was telling the truth, and that there are other sources giving alternative interpretations. I haven't told you my personal opinion at all, and frankly why should I? My opinion, and your opinion, are irrelevant. The opinions that matter are those of established scholarship, which we present neutrally and without bias. We should be presenting information that published commentators have selected as of interest not selecting primary sources that we pick out ourselves. DrKiernan (talk) 18:23, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Semantics aside, there is nothing biased or opinionated about the phrase "Baldwin communicated to the Canadian Prime Minister that he had, up to as late as 8 December, continued his efforts to persuade the King to change his mind". It might not be entirely representative of the source, since (now that I’ve looked again at King's diary) the direct communication was between Baldwin and Floud; but that can be rectified by rewording to "Baldwin communicated to the British High Commissioner to Canada that he had, up to as late as 8 December, continued his efforts to persuade the King to change his mind." Postulations on whether Baldwin might be lying or not lying or high on LSD are irrelevant. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 18:38, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
The use of a selected primary source to the exclusion of other primary and secondary sources is unwise. Baldwin's address to Parliament or the King's response to the Cabinet's appeal of the 9th or a sentence encapsulating the agreed points in the description of events in published scholarly biographies are preferable to your personal selection of what Baldwin was reported to say to the High Commissioner of Canada in the Prime Minister of Canada's diary. It just looks like yet another desperate attempt to mention Canada. DrKiernan (talk) 20:32, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
You're the only person so far who suggested any sources be excluded. Perhaps you shouldn't distract your mind with dreaming up other people's motives for them. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 14:21, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Correct tense[edit]

In this quote: "I intend to marry Mrs. Simpson as soon as she is free to marry ... if the Government opposed the marriage, as the Prime Minister had given me reason to believe it would, then I was prepared to go."

The first part is in the present tense, the second is in the past. Should it say "intended", instead of "intend"? Perhaps someone who has access to the source can check to make sure the quote is accurate? Tad Lincoln (talk) 07:57, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Remilitarization of the Rhineland[edit]

iN THE POLITICAL REASONS OF THE ABDICATION, there is no mention of the main cause : the intervention of Edward during the Rhine Crisis in february 1936. The king has said he would abdicate if UK or France intervened against Hitler's coup. This is the begining of the 'war' between the government and the king. This is a huge event.

I am sorry that it is not even mentionned in this article.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:38, 27 October 2013 (UTC) 

When Abdication took legal effect / Irish position[edit]

I was trying to edit the article to include that:

  • Firstly, that the Abdication took effect on different dates in different places. South Africa - 10 December 1936; Irish Free State - 12 December 1936 and rest of Commonwealth - 11 December 1936.
  • Secondly, that the Irish Free State supported keeping the King and him marrying.

My edits were reverted. I was in the middle of an edit to improve sources when it was reverted again. Regrettably, despite my edit summary stating I was mid way through an edi etc. In any event, this has been cut out and I would like to discuss why? As I read it, the article presently presents the dates of Abdication incorrectly and misrepresents the position the Irish government took. Frenchmalawi (talk) 16:59, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

I thought you'd finished. Your first point is already in the article. BTW, the Irish act specifically says that Edward "shall ... cease to be king ... on 10th day of December, 1936". On the second point, please post material on the talk page so we can see what you want to add. It would prevent back and forth edits on the article. DrKiernan (talk) 17:11, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
I think I stand corrected on when the King ceased to be King in Ireland. It was the same as in South Africa really. Even if the legislation was a day later. Thanks for that. I will close this discussion and open a separate one dealing only with the IFS Government's position. Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:20, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Irish position[edit]

I believe the way the Irish Free State's position is represented in the article does not accord with the facts. The IFS Government in fact supported keeping the King and the King marrying but not having his children entitled to the throne. There is a history article confirming this by reference to sources, which are quoted at length so that the position is not in any way unclear. I wanted to add in in the article sentences in the following terms:

Nonetheless, opposition to the marriage was not universal. The Government of the Irish Free State informed the British Government that it favoured the King marrying Simpson without her becoming Queen, on the ‘assumption that divorce was a recognised institution in England’.[12]

Éamon de Valera, (President of the Irish Free State Government), in a telegram to Baldwin on 3 December 1936 informed the Prime Minister that he favoured option 2 on the ‘assumption that divorce was a recognised institution in England.'[13][14] De Valera sent a message directly to the King seeking clarification as to what his intentions were.[15][16]

As it stands, the article is plainly inaccurate in the way it presents the Irish as being uninterested or against option 2 etc. They were anything but uninterested. They even sought clarification directly from the King. Obviously they were not big fans of Royalty and in that sense were not interested, but that's not really the point. Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:29, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Per the Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources guideline, we only rarely use blogs, forums or other wikis as sources. The Irish Story is a blog[4]. The material that is in the article is from published biographers and academics. Per Wikipedia:Verifiability, the reliable third-party sources should be favored over blogs and our own reading of primary documents. DrKiernan (talk) 10:47, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I think accuracy is paramount here. The source I have provided is a specialist article. You describe it as a "blog". Regrettably, the Irish position on the Abdication Crisis has probably never been the subject of very much specialist study nor much specialist publication. A book on it would not make for a best seller. The article which I provided quotes primary sources at length. It leaves no doubt that the Irish supported the King staying. Do you dispute this?
If we can't achieve a consensus for reflecting the material as I have asked, I would rather the article was silent about the Irish position altogether. Better silent than inaccurate. Would you support that?
Separately, on a related sort of point albeit not on this article, what about that article on the Irish Head of State in the 1930s. Would you join me in seeking its total deletion as unsourced? It's been that way for nearly 6 years. It seems double standards to me to reject pretty good material (that which I have suggested here) and leave a whole article without any sources (bar 2 minor ones) ....Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:36, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
This is the source that I would like to use and which DrKiernan thinks should not be used Frenchmalawi (talk) 23:39, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
I think we have to say something. I've already removed the statement that de Valera claimed to be uninterested, as that did not adequately express that although de Valera claimed to be uninterested he was actually very interested. The two insertions that you've suggested are repetitions of the same point, and directly contradict the published biographies, which say that de Valera was initially willing to accept option 2 but eventually decided option 3 was the only alternative. DrKiernan (talk) 18:39, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

I think we have failed to reach any consensus. The position is that one source records the following:

Éamon de Valera, (President of the Irish Free State Government), in a telegram to Baldwin on 3 December 1936 informed the Prime Minister that he favoured option 2 on the ‘assumption that divorce was a recognised institution in England'. De Valera sent a message directly to the King seeking clarification as to what his intentions were.

Another source, shows the following:

In communications with the British government, Éamon de Valera, (president of the Irish Free State government), remarked that, as a Roman Catholic country, the Irish Free State did not recognise divorce. He supposed that if the British people would not accept Wallis Simpson then abdication was the only possible solution.

As the sources have substantially different accounts of the position and we haven't reached consensus, I think the article must be silent on the view the Irish Government took. The alternative risks being inaccurate. Frenchmalawi (talk) 12:54, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

For the benefit of others reading this, DrKirwan editor, rejected the above approach. He reverted my edit of making article silent on what position IFS government took with the edit comment "source written by an acknowledged expert who examined the original documents is clear". Editor, it appears, has unquestioning faith in one author. Clearly, I don't agree with his approach and think the article is now misleading as regards what position the Irish government took. Frenchmalawi (talk) 13:26, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I've already commented above. DrKiernan (talk) 13:29, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Back to discussion, DrKiernan - clearly you have a lot of faith in one author - You say that author "examined the original documents". Does the author provide any evidence in the book that she examined "NAI DFA Secretary’s Files S57, 7th Decmber 1936"? Is that document referred to in her book? Frenchmalawi (talk) 13:32, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Bradford and Williams are not one author. You seem to have an unquestioning faith in a self-published online blog over established biographers publishing in reputable third-party sources. I do not need to discuss this further until you provide a proper source. DrKiernan (talk) 13:36, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
I accepted that the sources differed and concluded that it was better we stay silent because we don't want to risk being inaccurate. That puts faith in no author. On the other hand, you disregarded this and placed full faith in one author. But you haven't answered my question. Did the author examine the referenced Irish government record?
Footnote 51 which is marked against the relevant passage refers to Williams. Is the referencing wrong too? Assuming there is a source, could you fix it if its wrong. Frenchmalawi (talk) 13:44, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
To the notion that you can put full faith in one author until other sources are provided. I refer you to "NAI DFA Secretary’s Files S57, 7th Decmber 1936". Frenchmalawi (talk) 13:56, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

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