Queen’s pivotal role in getting Royal Family member exiled exposed – ‘Had to go’ | Royal | News

Queen Mary was shocked when her eldest son announced he would give up his rights to the throne in order to marry his American divorcee lover, Wallis Simpson. King Edward VIII’s sparked a national crisis which threatened the standing of the Royal Family and the Dowager Queen was forced to intervene to ensure her son and his new wife did not become a threat to the new king. Channel 5 documentary ‘Queen Mary: How She Saved the Royals’ narrator Stephen Greig said: “Mary put monarchy before family and with the reputation of the Crown under threat, she had a hand in ensuring Edward was revoked of his royal duties and exiled, along with Wallis Simpson, to France.”

Royal historian Prof Kate Williams noted Queen Mary had prepared herself to a complete break in all communications with her eldest son when he abdicated.

Prof Williams said: “She loved her son but having abdicated that meant she could no longer see him.

“He was an exile, she would not go to his wedding. If he were to have children, she would not meet them.”

Lady Colin Campbell suggested the Dowager Queen had been shocked by Edward’s decision as she herself had sacrificed her life to serve the Crown.

Lady Colin said: “Queen Mary could not believe that anyone being a King of England would give it up for anybody or anything. 

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She had given up her whole life for the Crown and here was this son of her just chucking it over.”

King Edward VIII abdicated less than a year after taking over the throne from his father and his coronation never took place.

While Edward renounced his kingly title, King George VI announced the day after the abdication his older brother would receive the title of Duke of Windsor.

The decision to make the former king a royal duke is believed to have been an additional move to ensure Edward could not stand as a candidate for the House of Commons nor speak of political issues in the House of Lords.

The former monarch moved to France with Wallis Simpson shortly after he left the throne and they pair ultimately married in June 1937, less than a month after the coronation of George VI.

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The former monarch moved to France with Wallis Simpson shortly after he left the throne and they pair ultimately married in June 1937, less than a month after the coronation of George VI.

No member of the Royal Family attended the wedding despite the Duke of Windsor expressing his desire to have both his younger brothers, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent, as well as Lord Louis Mountbatten with him during the ceremony.

Relations between the former king and his relatives remained strained for many years, especially because of the king’s refusal to allow Wallis Simpson to be styled as Her Royal Highness.

Expert Ingrid Seward said: “What Mary felt is, ‘if that’s what my son wants and he wants to marry Wallis Simpson, he can, but she’s never going to be a Royal Highness to me. And she’s never going to get the title Royal Highness.’

“‘And he can stay out of this country because I’ve got to help my second son take his role as king and I don’t want my first son interfering and trying to maybe stir up affection for himself.’ Because people loved him.”


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The Duke and Duchess of Simpson reportedly had planned to return to the UK a few years after the abdication but were warned they would see their allowance cut if they tried to visit the UK without an invitation.

Upon his abdication in 1937, Edward and Wallis were removed from the Civil List and the began to receive a yearly payment from the King.

Edward received £21,000 per year, approximately £1.4million in today’s money.

The new amount was negotiated down from the £25,000 (approximately £1.65 million today) originally requested as His Majesty had discovered Edward had not been honest about the amount he had accumulated while he still was Prince of Wales.

In a letter address to his mother after he was refused an invite to the dedication of his father’s tomb, Edward said: “Your last letter (…) destroyed the last vestige of feeling I had left for you and has made further normal correspondence between us impossible.”

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor did briefly return to the UK shortly before the outbreak of the war in 1939.

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