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January 25, 2020 34 mins

This is two 2010 classics from previous hosts Katie and Sarah, covering the relationship of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, the abdication crisis that resulted, and their sympathies for the Nazi party.

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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Happy Saturday everyone. This is gonna be a couple of
weeks in the past by the time this Saturday episode
comes out, But as we are recording it, a few
days ago, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and Meghan,
Duchess of Sussex announced that they were stepping away from
their duties as senior members of the British Royal family.
And after what seems, at least from my outsider's perspective

(00:24):
to have been a very chaotic few days for the royals,
Queen Elizabeth the Second issued a statement that she and
the royal family were quote entirely supportive of Harry and
Megan's desire to create a new life. That announcement was
just yesterday. As of whin we're recording this tomorrow, it
could all explode, I know, who knows. Of course, this

(00:44):
put us in the mind of another famous stepping away
from the British Royal family, one that had a very
different tone and outcome, and that's the constitutional crisis that
led to the abdication of King Edward the eighth after
he announced his proposal to Mary Wallace Simpson. So we're
going to have that episode today and whenever we have
shared that episode on our social media. Folks have left

(01:06):
various comments about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's Nazi
sympathies that like kind of a gotcha, but like we
know Katie and Sarah who who recorded these episodes, they
knew it also and talked about it in the episode,
and then they also put out an episode on that topic, specifically,
especially related to the contents of an FBI file on

(01:28):
the Windsors. Both of these episodes, which came out, as
I said, they're a bit shorter than our episodes typically
are today, so we are putting them out together today
as sort of a Saturday Classic doubleheater. So enjoying Welcome
to Stuff You Missed in History Class, a production of
I Heart Radios How Stuff Works. Hello, and welcome to

(01:54):
the podcast. I'm Katie Lambert and I'm Sarah Dowie and
Katie and I have had so much fun and talking
about royal scandals recently that we're going to talk about
at least one more. This one is from the twentieth century, though,
so in nineteen thirty six, Britain's King Edward the eight
renounced his throne in order to marry an American divorce

(02:15):
named Wallace Simpson, and he was the only British sovereign
ever to voluntarily resign the crown. So this is a
big deal. Yeah. It forces his shy younger brother to
become king, which ends up putting his eldest daughter in
the line of succession. That becomes Elizabeth the second Um
and Edward and Wallace are shunned by the injured royal family.

(02:36):
They travel the world, they hobnob with Nazis, and they
become style icons. But there's a big question about their relationship,
and that's what Is it a great love story? Did
he give up his throne um to marry the woman
he loved or is there something more tragic? So let's
meet our major players. Bessie Wallace war Field was born

(03:00):
June nineteenth, eighteen ninety six in Pennsylvania, but she grew
up in Baltimore and her birth was a bit of
a scandal because she was born only seven months after
her parents marriage. So do the math. Yeah, and they
were from a fairly elite family and society definitely cared
about that kind of thing. Her father died when she
was only five months old, though, and her mother had

(03:23):
to rely on handouts from a wealthy relative. She grew
up in Maryland and attended the Old Field School and
dumped her first name, And I kind of loved this quote.
She said that so many cows are called Bessie, so
she goes by Wallace instead. So she's part of high
society because she's born into it, but she's not because

(03:44):
she doesn't have the money. And this really bugs her.
So she needs to find a way in, and she
decides the way in is marriage, and she marries Earl W.
Spencer and navy pilot in nineteen sixteen, but it's a
complete disaster from the start. Her husband was an alcoholic
and he was very moody, and she ends up leaving him.
She has a short affair after that and lives in

(04:05):
Virginia for a time, but after her divorce, she has
another longer lasting affair with the then married Ernest Simpson,
who was a US born brit and she writes to
her mother, I really feel so tired of fighting the
world all alone and with no money. So it sounds
like she kind of settles for him well, and I

(04:26):
have sympathy for that sentiment. But they end up getting
married in ninety eight and they live near London. But
later she meets a more illustrious personage. That's Edward, Prince
of Wales, and she meets him at a house party
given by his mistress at the time, Lady Thelma Furnace.
So she's thirty five years old and married. But Wallace

(04:49):
has something seductive about her, something that draws this prince
to her. And who is he? Well, this is the
story of Edward. He was born June and he has
pretty much the longest name ever Edward Albert Christian George
Andrew Patrick David, so his friends called him David. And
he becomes Prince of Wales in nineteen eleven. He's really

(05:12):
not suited to his position. It exhausts him. He feels isolated,
and he's a frivolous young man. He's into drinking and
womanizing and clothes and he likes clothes. Yeah, he one
point writes to his longtime mistress and friend before his
mistress before he meets Wallace. If only the British public

(05:33):
really knew what a weak, powerless misery their press made
national hero was, they would have a nasty shock and
be not only disappointed, but damned angry too, and he
was a national hero. He was incredibly popular, and partly
that's because in the nineteen twenties he undertook extensive foreign
tours in the Empire to represent his father because he

(05:55):
wasn't allowed to serve in the army as crown prince.
He's they want to put him into the direct line
of danger. But yeah, he becomes very popular with his people,
and he's a you know, they're bright, young prince. He's
also during the twenties having a lot of affairs with
married women. Um and kind of a weird side note

(06:17):
that is really not related to anything here. He's somewhat
of an authority on horticulture, especially roses. His father gave
him a refuge, fort Belvedere, and he entertained his friends there,
and he had a he had an unconventional set of friends.
They weren't drawn from just the same aristocracy that generations

(06:38):
of monarchs have been hanging out with. They were more
like the high society. Right, So we've gotten this picture,
you know, Champagne and roses and clothes and lots of women,
but soon there's only one woman. So after Wallace and
Edward meet, they're just friendly for a while. But by
nineteen thirty four, Edward is a regular visitor to the
Simpson home and the relations ship is probably consummated around

(07:01):
this time, not to be too detailed. Yeah, and she
tells her aunt it requires great tact to manage both men.
I shall try to keep them both. So she's got
her husband having your cake and to eat him. And
it's not a discreet affair at all. They really flaunt it.
And you know, it was accepted that the king or

(07:24):
um the prince would have a mistress, but it would
be somebody who he would visit from time to time
and certainly not parade about in public and at public events. Well,
and not a married woman who also has another ex husband. Yeah,
But Edward becomes obsessed with Wallace and she's kind of
got a bullying personality and he likes it. She makes

(07:46):
him put on her shoes for her. Yeah, he's into that.
So the affair was kept out of most of the
British papers until the very end of edwards Kingship. It
was just a suppressed story. But it is a scandal
in America and a lot of the continent, where in
every paper. Yeah, it's it's kind of the original British

(08:08):
royal tabloid scandal, and Edward is proclaimed king at the
beginning of nineteen thirty six when his father dies, and
around the same time Wallace sues for divorce in July
of nineteen thirty six. So upon her divorce, of course
comes the next question will they marry? Edward wants to

(08:29):
marry Wallace, and he tries to get his family's acceptance
and they're not going for it at all. Also against
him as the Church of England of which he's head,
and most of the politicians in Britain and the Commonwealth.
His only notable allies Churchill, who's out of power at
the time. And another sort of side note. Churchill has

(08:52):
a reputation as being a bit of a yeah, but
his biographer said probably the only occasion when he address
us the House of Commons under the influence of alcohol,
not drunk but kind of tipsy, was during the abdication crisis,
when he's actually howled down and there are discussions of
a Morganatic marriage pursued, which is something we talked a

(09:13):
little bit about in the Madame de Montenal podcast. Yea
a marriage of social inequals right where she wouldn't become queen,
but they would be together and their children wouldn't inherit right.
But Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin tells Edward that is absolutely
not happening. It's not an option. And Edward wants to
also address his people through the radio pleading for their support,

(09:37):
and the that's not going to happen either. It's not allowed,
simply not done. He did write a speech though, and
in it he wrote, it has taken me a long
time to find the woman I want to make my wife. Yeah,
for real life without her, I have been a very
lonely man. So this is from his band speech. But
the whole thing really explodes in the press in Parliament

(09:59):
on December word and on the following day the word
abdication starts appearing in the papers. And before you start
to get too sympathetic towards the Prince for his you know,
romantic fairy tale love, we should talk a little bit
about some of the people who were suffering during this
whole thing. Yeah, his brother, known as Birdie to his family,

(10:21):
the future George the sixth, is really shy and he's
fought with a stammer. He's been forced to write with
his right hand, even though he's a lefty. And he's
also really happy where he is in life. He's married,
he has two young daughters, and he's terrified by the
prospect of becoming king. And his wife Elizabeth, told her

(10:44):
mother in law, Queen Mary, that she prayed every day
for the king to see reason and not abandon his people.
But as much as George didn't want to become king,
a lot of people thought he would be much better
at it than Edward was. Even his own father had
once said, I pray God that my eldest son will
never marry, and that nothing will come between Bertie and
Lilabet and the throne. And Lilabet is, of course now

(11:07):
Elizabeth the second Um. But still George isn't happy with
the prospect of becoming king, and he later records that
when he learned his brother would abdicate, I broke down
and sobbed like a child. So this is a tremendous
strain on him, and he's he's horrified by the duty
who's about to have to assume. But the king makes

(11:30):
his final decision December nineteen thirty six, and he submits
his abdication. I Edward do hereby declare my irrevocable determination
to renounce the throne for myself and my descendants. And
the instrument of abdication was endorsed by Parliament on December eleven,
and that evening Edward finally did get to have his
radio broadcast he had wanted pre abdication, and he tells

(11:53):
us people, I've found it impossible to carry the heavy
burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king
as I wished to do without the help and support
of the woman I love. A plea for sympathy, I've
ever heard one, And uh that night he disappears to
the wind. He goes to the continent and lives with
friends in Austria, discreetly apart from Wallace while her divorce

(12:16):
is finalized. And Wallace herself does not have a great reputation,
and at the time she was perceived as a schemer.
But was she because a document that was kept in
the private papers of Stanley Baldwin for years includes a
declaration that's signed by her before the abdication that said
she'd abandoned any interest in marrying His majesty wasn't even

(12:39):
what she was trying to get or at least she
signed a paper saying that wasn't what she was trying
to get. And even in edwards abdication speech, he mentions
that the the other person who is as closely involved
in this as I am, has urged me to the
last to not go through with it. So it seems
as the she was trying to talk him down from

(13:02):
actually giving up his throne. Well, and she had some
qualms about him. She was disturbed by how clingy he was.
And the quote that really struck us was when she
wrote to an uncle and said, how can a woman
be a whole empire to a man? And I think
that's the quote that really haunts their married life together, which,

(13:24):
after this whirlwind courtship and abdication, goes on for a
long time decades. So what's next. Edward is named the
Duke of Windsor by his brother, who's now George the sixth,

(13:45):
and Wallace's divorced. As finalized, they're married June third seven
by a Church of England clergyman at the Chateau de
Conde in France, and even though Wallace is now Duchess
of Windsor the title of Royal Highness is not extended
to her. That's a big deal. It is a big deal.
It's something that really bothers Edward for the rest of

(14:07):
his life. Um. They live in France for the next
two years and visit other countries, most famously visiting Germany asly. Um.
They're actually honored by Nazi officials in October of nineteen
thirty seven and have an interview with Hitler. Um. The
pro German sympathies of the couple end up becoming the

(14:28):
subject of an FBI investigation in nineteen one and also
the subject of a later podcast. So we're gonna sort
of skip over this Nazi period, so we'll jump ahead
to nineteen forty, when their pro Nazi sympathies have become
so obvious that Churchill has basically exiled them to the Bahamas.
The Duke is now the governor there, so they stay

(14:50):
in the Bahamas pretty much for the duration of the war,
returning to France in nineteen and they took up a
life as members of the international set at very flashy
celebrity kind of life that was reported in every single paper.
Time magazine even named Wallace Simpson their first Woman of
the Year. They've only had man of the year since

(15:10):
then because she was so talked about. Yeah, and pugs
and platinum or how I think Katie and I liked
to define them. I had eleven pugs at some point
and they had really cool names, Imp and Disraeli. Yeah,
she'd give them homemade dog biscuits and let them cuddle
up on her bed with her um. She was also
really into clothing and jewelry and were flashy stuff, big

(15:33):
jewels and lots of yellow gold. But interestingly, she banned
anything but platinum from her dinner parties. I guess it
seemed fancier to her. And while they were very rich,
Edward in his later years became very concerned about their finances.
He argued with his brother about his annual allowance and

(15:54):
refused to live in the United States as a private
citizen because he didn't want to deal with the taxes. Yeah.
I think that's to be expected for someone who was
born to be a king and who was king and
living has to settle for, you know, living like a
very wealthy man instead of a king. And Edward's personality,
not just his fortune, has also changed since the abdication.

(16:17):
He becomes as his biographer Philip Sigler says, reactionary to
the point of caricature, even though before the war he
had had many of the same values as conservatives. Yeah,
he's kind of embittered by his situation, and he's very
dependent on Wallace too. He's a very dependent husband, and

(16:37):
as we said earlier, still outraged over the fact that
she can't style herself as Royal highness right, and she's
not received as as she would be usually. So because
of some of this, he only makes short visits to England.
He goes back for the funeral of his brother, George
the sixth, and he goes back for the funeral of

(16:57):
his mother, Queen Mary, and he even fights upon Queen
Mary's death to Wallace, what a smug, stinking lot my
relations are. And you've never seen such a seedy, worn
out bunch of old hags. Most of them have become
so bitter, bitter words, very bitter. He's never gotten over
his family's unwillingness to accept Wallace as one of their own.

(17:19):
The Queen Mom always hated her, but her daughter, Elizabeth
the Second eventually attempted a reconciliation with Edward near the
end of his life, and he was very ill. He
was in bed dying a throat cancer, and his doctors
had taken care to cover up some of the tubing
and machinery that he was using to live. Yes, and
he was told not to get up because he was

(17:41):
so ill. But when she came in the room, he
rose and he bowed to her, and she was very
touched by that display of respect. So Edward dies of
his spirit cancer on the twenty eighth of May nineteen
seventy two in Paris and is buried near Windsor. And
the Duchess spent her remain inning time in isolation and

(18:02):
in inconcreasingly poor health. She's kind of lost without the Duke,
it seems, and she dies in nineteen six and is
buried behind her husband, at his request, in the Royal
Cemetery at Frogmore, also near Windsor Castle. But that's not
the end of our story, because several years ago, right
after the Queen Mother died there some new information came out.

(18:25):
The documents were really right that said maybe Wallace was
two timing Edward during their courtship. Actually there's no maybe
about it. She was so government papers from the time
of abdication were subject to a thirty year rule of secrecy,
you know, protecting people who are involved, and then some
were considered so sensitive that it was decided they wouldn't

(18:46):
be released for a hundred years. But after the Queen
Mother died Um, she was sort of the only living
UM person who was very much involved in the in
the documents. After she died, was decided the papers could
come out and they It turns out that both Simpson

(19:07):
and Edward were under surveillance by a special branch of
the Metropolitan Police. And while she was married pursuing her
affair with Edward, she also had a third lover named
Guy Trundle, a married car salesman who lived in Mayfair,
and he was a kept man. She gave him payments

(19:27):
and also expensive presence, and Edward had absolutely no idea.
Wallace went to great lengths to conceal his existence. There
was a lot on the line, I understand. So this
puts a little bit of a damper, i'd say, on
the on the fairytale romance, and it also shows just
how complex their relationship was. Biographies of Wallace seemed to

(19:48):
either go the way of being really salacious and gossipy
or whitewashing the entire thing. So so it's just a
grand romance, right, and it's and it's hard to find
that that middle bit. Definitely. Hello and welcome to the podcast.

(20:08):
I'm Katie Lambert and I'm Sarah Dowdy and Katie and
I talked about the glamorous jet setting life the Duke
and Duchess of Windsor in another podcast, and we only
briefly touched on what most people would consider the dark
side of their life. And a good symbol of the
dark side of their life would be the picture of
Adolf Hitler kissing the hand of the Duchess of Windsor,

(20:30):
which certainly does suggest problems, right, And this all starts
with a good example their wedding. They're much talked about wedding.
Wallace and Edward were married at the Chateau de Conde
in France, which was owned by a man named Charles Bideaux.
He was an eccentric millionaire known for his work with
scientific management and also for an expedition he sponsored called

(20:53):
the Champagne Safari, but he wasn't as well known for
his work for the Third Reich. He would lay or
kill himself right before he was put on trial for treason.
So from the very beginning, the shadow of the Nazis
is upon this couple. Yeah, and to give a little
context to why the once British king could feel sympathy

(21:15):
towards the Nazis, Edward feels as much German as English.
His great grandfather, Prince Albert, Victoria's husband is of German ancestry,
his mother Queen mary Um and he's also an ancestor
of King George the First, who is from a German family.
He even calls German his mother tongue. But after World

(21:36):
War One, the British monarchy wants to distance itself as
much as possible from its German heritage. Understandably, King George
the Fifth even changes their last name to Windsor from
saxocober Gotha, and Edward wants to reclaim this part of
his German heritage. And he also wasn't allowed to serve
in combat in World War One, and maybe that had

(21:58):
a little something to do with his love for the Germans. Yeah,
you would certainly think that fighting an enemy in World
War One would make you at least have some reservations
against them in the Second World War. But he's not
allowed to fight because he's the Crown Prince, and he
goes on sort of a publicity tour instead, which makes
him very popular with his own people, right, but when

(22:20):
he takes the throne, his sentiments are a bit at
odds with the rest of the British government. Hitler, of course,
is in power and Edward is a fan of his,
and the British government was not to put things simplistically,
when Hitler says he's sending forces into Rhineland, England says
that it supposed the government makes that known, and Edwards says,

(22:43):
both to his own government and to the German ambassador,
which was a huge breach of protocol. We're not opposed
to this. If you try to stop Hitler, I will abdicate.
So the threat of abdication actually came much earlier than
his actual abdication. Well, and it's so shocking here that
he's stepping far beyond the bounds of his figurehead sort

(23:04):
of position and actually threatening to take real action and
grasping at power. Yes, so he does abdicate to marry
twice divorced American woman Wallace Simpson. But back to being
a Nazi, Edward is pretty well informed politically, and he
has some real connections to the Nazi Party and two

(23:28):
people in power. Yeah. At a party in Vienna June
n seven, the Duke tells an Italian diplomat that the
US has cracked his country's intelligence code. So everybody is
kind of thinking, how does the Duke know this information
or how does he even have it. Bido sets up
for the couple a trip to Germany to meet Hitler
in October nineteen thirty seven, only a few months after

(23:50):
their marriage, right, and so they dine with him and
they're you know, the photo of Hitler kissing her hand,
and so we're not just talking about two people who
privately hold pro fascist sympathies. We're talking about people who
are making it obvious and again very at odds with
their own government. The photos of the Duke in Berlin
are used as Nazi propaganda. He even visits a training

(24:14):
camp which is reported about him seeing future Nazi leaders
and the Windsor set. The people who they hang out
with aren't drawn from regular aristocracy folks. It's celebrities. They're charming,
they're famous, and a lot of them are fascists. To write,
they hung out with other Nazi sympathizers such as Oswald

(24:35):
Mosley and his wife Diana Mitford. These two were actually
married in Joseph Gebel's house. He and Hitler were their witnesses,
and even more charming, Diana owned a diamond swastika necklace,
just a you know, special little detail about some of
their friends. Um and the Duke is frustrated at this
point that his family is dithering so much about what

(24:58):
his role will be it in what capacity will he
serve his country? And it's a it's a difficult question
because what do you give to a king who abdicates
you Obviously can't give him too much power, he's sacrificed it.
But he is the son of a king, and he's
someone who has been king, and he can't be completely sidelined,
and he wants power and he wants a voice. He's

(25:20):
advocating appeasement at this time, which was a very unpopular sentiment,
and he records an announcement in March nineteen thirty nine
urging peace with the Germans, and the BBCs is absolutely
not We're not airing that. So Britain declares war September
nineteen thirty nine, and the Duke is stationed in France
as a British liaison, but he's also communicating with the Nazis.

(25:43):
The German Minister mentions in a letter that he has
a direct line of contact to the Duke, and in
May nineteen forty, the Duke gets helpful information to Hitler
who's in Belgium and trying to invade France. And this
is when the red flags start popping up for people
like Winston church Chell. Yeah, the Duke is also the

(26:10):
one who tells the Germans that the Allies have their
plan for invading France. Consequently, uh the Nazis changed their
plan and Frances lost um. So there's an issue though.
The Duke and Duchess are in France when it falls,
and Churchill is terrified that the Nazis will kidnap them,
which is smart because that was actually the plan. The

(26:32):
Nazis wanted to kidnap Edward and they figured when Hitler
had conquered Great Britain, he could install Edward as the
puppet king, and then of course Wallace could be queen,
which was also her goal. And Joseph Gebel said about
the Duke, it's a shame he is no longer king
with him, we would have entered into an alliance. And
I'm going to say that if Gebel's is your biggest fan,
you might want to rethink what you're doing. The Duchess, meanwhile,

(26:55):
is hanging out with von Ribbon, Trope or Trop. We're
not entirely sure how to say that one who is
the Nazi Foreign Minister. Lots of people thought that he
was her lover. He supposedly sent her seventeen car nations
every day to represent the number of times they'd slept together.
And the British government is aware by this point that

(27:16):
the Duchess is having dealings with Ribbon Trop and they
keep moving them all around Europe to try to keep
them away from him. At one point they end up
moving them to Spain, but there are too many Nazi
sympathizers there and it doesn't stop the Duchess from corresponding
with him. So they move them to Portugal, but that
doesn't help either. She still manages to worm her way

(27:38):
in every single time, and the government is scared that
the Duke or the Duchess is going to say something
to the press about their Nazi sympathies. They want the
two of them where they can do no harm. The
idea is to neutralize their influence, shut them down basically. Um.
But they're having a good time hanging out with all

(27:58):
these German agents. It's all very glamorous for them, and
things do get more heated. Edward is giving statements to
the press that are very defeatist and kind of pro Nazi,
and Churchill orders him to come home or be court martialed,
and Edward responds that he's not coming back to England

(28:19):
until his wife is treated like royalty, which gets back
to an issued we discussed in our earlier podcast that
even though she was named the Duchess of Windsor, she
didn't have the title of Royal highness, and this is
a big sore point for the two of them. So
while they're in Portugal and July nineteen forty, the German

(28:40):
ambassador in Lisbon passes a message onto Berlin. The Duke
believes with certainty that continued heavy bombing would make England
ready for peace. So at this point the Duke is
advocating bombing his own people, which well, pretty shocking, yes,
And he also tells the Spanish Royal that England's government
it is going to collapse and that a new government

(29:02):
will take over and make peace with Germany and somehow
his brother George will abdicate and the Duke will get
to rules. So it's sounding pretty delusional, and Winston Churchill
knows the Duke is bad, bad news, and he's finally
had enough right about at this point is interesting too,
because Churchill was the Duke's major supporter when he was

(29:25):
a king, considering abdication well, and then he didn't know
about his his sympathies. It's not until the war he's
seen edwards hidden colors. So instead, the Duke and Duchess
are sent to the Bahamas in August ninety, where the
Duke will be governor, and the two of them hate this.
They absolutely hate it. They think of the Bahamas as

(29:45):
their Elba, which is really self aggrandizing, isn't it. Oh yeah,
we're just like Napoleon. And even there they're both still scheming.
Edwards trying to hang out on the yacht of axel
vennor Gren, who is the best friend of Hermann Goring,
and the British government says, are you kidding? No, that's
just not happening. And in December nineteen forty, the Duke
also gave an interview with Fulton our Slaur, who was

(30:07):
an American journalist, and in it he said that Hitler
was a great man and the right and logical leader
of Germany. And he also wanted Roosevelt to act as
some sort of mediator, which obviously Roosevelt, I mean, no way,
that's not happening. In one even Roosevelt put them under
FBI surveillance when they were visiting Miami, and supposedly she

(30:30):
was going to visit a dentist, but she did all
sorts of sketchy things like this, She was sending all
of her dry cleaning to New York. Why would you
send your dry cleaning to New York if you lived
in the Bahamas, unless you were passing secret messages along.
So the FBI report has some shocking things to reveal,
And the big bomb was that it was the Duchess's

(30:51):
politics that made it impossible for Edward to marry her
and keep the throne. It had nothing to do with
her divorces, which had been the official line all a long.
And so really Wallace Simpson may have saved us all
from the Nazi king. So yeah, that's obviously the big
shocker from the FBI report, but it also mentioned things

(31:13):
like the Duke was drunk a lot of the time,
and the Duchess told people that he was impotent and
she was the only person who could actually satisfy him.
So very uh, personal details for an FBI report, Um,
and pretty pretty surprising. Well, and it was a huge
deal when these records came out because the monarchy in

(31:35):
general had largely denied any allegations of Nazi sympathies, as
had the official biographer of Edward, so these revelations were
even more shocking. Well, it makes you wonder how much
people knew at the time. You know, obviously most people
didn't realize the extent of this couple's sympathies with the Nazis,

(31:57):
but um, what did they know? What did they know?
The Duchess and her memoirs actually paints them as victims
in all this, and says that they were tricked into
going to Germany because Hitler and Edward had a mutual
interest in public housing projects. And once there, you know,
they couldn't be rude. They're such high society people, so

(32:18):
you can't turn down an invitation to dinner. But even
until the end of the war, Edward is still quoted
as saying things like, after the war is over and
Hitler has crushed, the Americans will take over. The British
don't want me as king, but I'll be back as
their leader. Well, guess what, Edward, No, that never happened,
So the question remains, would Edward have been a quizzling

(32:41):
king if he had remained in power? Which is our
new favorite phrase. I think, Yeah, it's from a Norwegian
politician who helped the Nazis conquer his own country, and
it means a trader or collaborator, and um, it's a
it's a scary thought kind of to imagine this pro
Nazi sympathizer remaining King of England. Well, and it couldn't

(33:04):
help but remind me of when Prince Harry got in
so much trouble for wearing that Nazi outfit on Halloween.
Learned some windsor history, Harry. Well, and you're also forced
to think of the comparison of the man who actually
is King, Edward's younger brother and his wife Elizabeth, who
are so well known for their war efforts and keeping

(33:25):
the country together and boosting morale by staying in London
during the blitz right. They were in Windsor Castle and
Buckingham Palace the whole time. Even though they were told
to flee to Canada, they were actually almost killed in
in Buckingham Palace. It's quite a contrast and something to
think about. Thank you so much for joining us today

(33:49):
for this Saturday classic. If you have heard any kind
of email address or maybe a Facebook you are l
during the course of the episode, that might be obsolete.
It might be doubly obsolete because we have changed our
email address again. You can now reach us at history
Podcasts at i heart radio dot com, and we're all
over social media at missed in History, and you can
subscribe to our show on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, the

(34:12):
I heart Radio app, and wherever else you listen to podcasts.
Stuff You Missed in History Class is a production of
I Heart Radio's How Stuff Works. For more podcasts for
my heart Radio, visits i heart radio app, Apple podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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Holly Frey

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