Edward VIII | The king who gave up the throne for the woman he loved
WRITTEN DOCUMENT 1936
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
BBC Internal Circulating Memo
Subject: SPECIAL NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT
I am sorry to press the question of making a statement at the earliest possible moment about the news which is so prominently displayed in this morning's papers. There are obviously, however, some factors of extreme importance, and I feel that we can render really significant service to the Empire by making immediate reference to the situation.
It is already far advanced in the day in countries east of England, and as the Premier's interview with the King took place early last evening there is little doubt that the overseas cables will have been buzzing with the news during the night, with the result that it will have been prominently dealt with in morning or evening papers, (in Australia, the East generally and in Africa). Our strong feeling here is that rumours are both rapidly distorted and widely-spread in the East; that a statement by us would help to put the brake on exaggeration; and that listeners will be looking to us for calm news.
Our next Bulletin is at 1.0 p.m. in Transmission 2, but I would specially urge the great value of our making an announcement either at the start of this transmission, at 11.0 a.m. or soon after. This transmission is heard in the very countries in which there has been most time for the development of rumour since the news first appeared: namely Western Australia, the East (including India), and parts of Africa. There is also a good chance of it being picked up in many other places, including Canada.
A further point is that there are News Bulletins in English from many of the foreign short-wave stations during the morning and early afternoon hours here, Germany, France and Italy especially making a point of quoting, as a rule, extracts from the English newspapers in reporting news of any kind. Immediate arrangements have been made for as many as possible of these bulletins to be transcribed; and I attach hereto a provisional draft of the kind of announcement which you might think should be made at this juncture. I very much hope that it can be agreed.
[signed] J.B. Clark
ABOUT THE BBC ARCHIVE
The BBC Archive - sharing pictures, documents and programmes from the last 75 years of the BBC's broadcasting history. To find out more visit the BBC Archive portal.
Document Type | Internal Memo
03 December 1936
The Director of the Empire Service writes to the Controller of Programmes stating the need for a special BBC news broadcast to counter the rumours circulating around the Empire about King Edward VIII's affair with Mrs Wallis Simpson.
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.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.