Edward VIII | The king who gave up the throne for the woman he loved
CHANNEL | Regional Programme
FIRST BROADCAST | 22 March 1983
DURATION | 14 minutes 18 seconds
The journalist who first broke the story about King Edward VIII's affair with Mrs Wallis Simpson in the British press shares his memories of the event that led to his decision to file such a scandalous scoop. Following a tip-off about a VIP's arrival at Aberdeen railway station, journalist Alex Dempster uncovered an explosive story that ended Fleet Street's 'conspiracy of silence' and, ultimately, led to the King's abdication.
After the King's affair with Mrs Simpson had been made public, cabinet minister Sir Samuel Hoare warned of the need to maintain silence on such matters for the good of the country and the Empire: 'We British know by instinct that we are faced with a situation in which it is much wiser to keep silence and neither to make speeches nor to bandy about controversial remarks. We British, the citizens of a great country and a great Empire, who have passed through many troubles, have learned when to speak and when to keep silence.' Until this point, this had also been the attitude of powerful figures in the press and the personal lives of the Royal Family had remained unreported.
Edward, Prince of Wales, and King George V open the British Empire Exhibition.
A speech at the British Empire Trade Exhibition.
How 'mutual help' might provide a solution to the unemployment problem.
'They must never be forgotten while we are safe and free.'
A rallying call for volunteers.
Announcing the new King.
Announcing the new King at the Royal Exchange, London.
Edward VIII's first message to the Empire as King.
'The decision I have made has been mine - and mine alone.'
The Windsors' first official royal engagement in Britain since the abdication.
Kenneth Harris interviews the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
What kind of monarch might Edward VIII have been?
Lady Monckton discusses her husband's friendship with King Edward VIII.
Recollections of a friend of Edward, Prince of Wales.
Russell Harty interviews Diana Mosley about her biography of the Duchess of Windsor.
John Tusa opens up the Windsors debate.
How King Edward VIII's affair was made public.
What might have happened if King Edward VIII had remained on the throne?
The 'Radio Times' praises the new King's broadcasting abilities.
An eyewitness account of the King's abdication.
The pressing need to inform the Empire about the crisis.
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