Author Topic: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2  (Read 53901 times)

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Offline feodorovna

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2011, 05:31:59 AM »
As new poster I concur with much that I have read thus far about this couple and would like to share my own views with you. IMO Davids development,emotional, mental,psychological-possibly even sexual became retarded at or around puberty when mumps was compounded by orchitis. Physical evidence of this can be seen in his slight body and smooth, hairless skin - Ziegler's bio reports of him as a young man that his body was virtually hairless and underdeveloped. At a mental level, exanining his treatment of both Thelma Furness and Freda Dudly Ward, one can call to mind the actions of a child who dumps the old toy in favour of the new. His interests at that time were high risk, like a child, he craved constant stimulation with little thought of consequences. His utterances sound to me like a child repeating what grownups say, part of which, I feel, was about seeking parental approval which he craved but never received. Examples we have of his writings have so little form and content that they could be the work of a twelve year old. Much has been made of his sexual exploits and we all know that princes, to a man, are handsome Adonises and virile, insatiable lovers!!! so we shouldn't be surprised to learn that TF spent a night in "Pardise" when she accompanied him to Africa-could she have said anything other? I don't believe that his relationships with married women were accidental, I feel that he sought to replicate what he already knew, severity that he could be obedient to and rewarded for (an impossibility for a British subject) combined with the nuturing care that he yearned for but had never experienced. The searching stopped when he met Wallis Simpson. Sadly, I feel that this personality is incapable of success in life, the neediness is too great, the intellect too poor. I don't believe he ever wanted to be King and Wallis gave him the reason not to be. "Thankyou" Wallis, for taking him away and keeping him happy. It can't have been easy.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2011, 01:46:12 PM »
I can't say I feel there is much evidence of a link between what may have been the Duke of Windsor's late adolescent develpment and an immature attitude to romantic relationships.  There is no evidence that he was physically immature other than the features which Ziegler commented on which could apply to some of his brothers - Princes Albert and Henry also appeared rather immature as adolescents.  As for his intellect, unquestionably his correspondence with his female lovers which has survived, chiefly letters to Freda Dudley Ward and Wallis Simpson, is pretty fatuous, it was private and not expected or intended to be published, and does not mean that his intelligence was not equal to the role of kingship.  Indeed, one of the great griefs at his abdication of supporters such as Winston Churchill was that they believed his intelligence and charisma meant a severe loss to the country and to the monarchy.  Those personally close to him were the recipients of his doubts about his role and had experienced his self-regarding behaviour to have their doubts, but it was by no means clear to most people that he had the intellectual level of a twelve year old.  Undoubtedly he had the emotional maturity of a twelve year old, but many people both then and today function perfectly well in all levels of responsibility in that situation!

While there is an attraction in the idea that the succession of married lovers somehow represents 'looking for mummy', i.e. some sort of nurturing presence, it should also be remembered that for a young man in the aristocratic society of his generation, this was the most attractive group of women sexually available to him.  Young unmarried aristocratic women were heavily chaperoned and generally much less mature or fashionable than the young married woman in high society whose marriage was often pretty relaxed and whose partner could be relied upon to look the other way.  And Freda Dudley Ward was his age, Thelma Furness and Wallis Simpson slightly younger, so he wasn't as obviously looking for a mother figure.  Of the other women associated with him, Lady Sybil Cadogan was 1 year older, Lady Cynthia Hamilton 3 years younger, Lady Diana Manners 2 years older, Lady Rachel Cavendish 8 years younger, Lady Rosemary Leveson Gower 1 year older and only Marion, Vicountess Coke, was 12 years older.  And there is some evidence that he was relatively serious about marriage with Lady Rosemary Leveson Gower, but for various reasons she wasn't considered suitable by the king and queen (Queen Mary must have kicked herself for this later).  So his lady friends were by no means clear replacements for Mummy.

Offline feodorovna

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2011, 12:19:51 PM »
Regarding your last sentence, CountessKate, one might have hoped that lessons from the past would have been learned when it comes to parents dictating who children  marry on the grounds of what they perceive as unsuitability on the part of the chosen one!!! Dear me, how history does repeat itself! To try and clarify some of my other points, I was suggesting less that David was a late developer,more that some kind of trauma at the prepubescent/pubescent stage- and here we could take our pick,fear of father? fear of being bullied at Naval college? fear of failure all compounded by a ghastly bout of mumps/orchitis-resulted in a cessation in development. About his letters, it was more his phraseology that I was refering to "Thankyou ever so much for..." and "It was ever so kind of you to...."sound rather juvenile but  may have been socially acceptable then as , you pointed out,was the sowing of wild oats by young aristocratic males with married women. In what I see as his unconscious search for a "perfect" mother, I don't believe the womans' age to be relevant. It might have been a tone of voice, a smell, a gesture, that triggered something hugely needful in him. It may have been that the times he could gain his mothers' attention were those during which she admonished him so he grew to regard admonishment as love, and public admonishment the ultimate expression of it. It would take a very special woman to humiliate the POW in such a way and from what we read Wallis was remarkably good at it. We also read in one of her many bios, that on the morning of her marriage with David, she confided with Baba Metcalfe that she "had been married to two men but had not had intercourse with either" and "nobody is allowed to touch below the Maginot line."  Noel Coward, in his diary, writes of David "He hates me because I'm queer and he knows that I know that he's queer." Make of this what you will, I am certain that however dysfunctional their relationship, they were perfect for each other.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2011, 10:47:15 AM »
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Regarding your last sentence, CountessKate, one might have hoped that lessons from the past would have been learned when it comes to parents dictating who children  marry on the grounds of what they perceive as unsuitability on the part of the chosen one!!! Dear me, how history does repeat itself!

I wasn't actually saying a marriage between the Prince of Wales and Lady Rosemary Leveson-Gower would have been a success, merely that Queen Mary was likely to have regretted not encouraging this when it looked like he was perpetually in thrall to married women.  History can hardly repeat itself in anticipation; and the future George V had told his fiancee frankly that he had been fond, but not in love with her, and had subsequently grown to love her deeply.  She might well have reasoned that either he would do the same or he could have his cake and eaten it as so many men of his class did, done his duty and produced an heir in marriage and had a married mistress or three as well. 

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We also read in one of her many bios, that on the morning of her marriage with David, she confided with Baba Metcalfe that she "had been married to two men but had not had intercourse with either" and "nobody is allowed to touch below the Maginot line."

Mrs Keppel, at the deathbed of Edward VII, also proclaimed that she was innocent of any wrongdoing (i.e. adultery), but failed to convince her audience.  I have to say I don't believe Wallis Simpson, either.

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Noel Coward, in his diary, writes of David "He hates me because I'm queer and he knows that I know that he's queer."

He may very well have disliked Noel Coward, but the evidence of his being gay is so slight even Noel was unable to identify any man he might have been attracted to, nor have any biographers who have studied the Duke of Windsor exhaustively. 

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I am certain that however dysfunctional their relationship, they were perfect for each other.

I absolutely agree.


Offline feodorovna

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2011, 01:38:09 PM »
So sorry, CountessKate, what I was trying to say, clearly not very well, was this - David was discouraged from marrying Rosemary because she was considered unsuitable and forty or so years later Charles was discouraged from marrying Camilla because she, too, was considered unsuitable. Wouldn't it be interesting to speculate the situation had both marriages met with parental approval.
Enjoying your posts. Hope to read more. Best wishes.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2011, 04:09:08 AM »
So sorry, CountessKate, what I was trying to say, clearly not very well, was this - David was discouraged from marrying Rosemary because she was considered unsuitable and forty or so years later Charles was discouraged from marrying Camilla because she, too, was considered unsuitable. Wouldn't it be interesting to speculate the situation had both marriages met with parental approval.
Enjoying your posts. Hope to read more. Best wishes.

Was Charles actively discouraged from marrying Camilla?  I thought he dithered and she went off and married someone else.  But yes, either way it is interesting to speculate.  In fact, if there had been a Rosemary Princess of Wales, would Philip of Greece been quite so keen on Elizabeth of York, and would Charles even have been born?  No doubt, given David's romantic history, it is unlikely that he would have made a go of marriage to Rosemary L-G, but would he have actually divorced her?  And indeed - would she have agreed to divorce him? 

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2011, 11:15:18 AM »
As I understand it, back in the early 1970s Camilla was considered a bit 'fast', and Charles was anyway in two minds about subjecting her to royal life (they were both only about 22 anyway). He was packed off to Australia and she married Andrew Parker-Bowles on the rebound.

What became of Lady Rosemary in later life?

Ann

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2011, 03:40:50 PM »
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What became of Lady Rosemary in later life?

She married William Humble Eric Ward, then Viscount Ednam and later 3rd Earl of Dudley, on 8 March 1919.  There is a British Pathe film of their arrival at their wedding, showing the Prince of Wales who attended (http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=77068) - I've read he was the best man and he remained friendly with them both.  The Ednams had three sons, one of whom,  John Jeremy, died tragically in December 1929 at the age of seven when hit by a truck while riding his bike.  Rosemary Ednam died on 21 July 1930 at age 36, horrifically killed in a plane while returning from visiting her husband in Le Touquet, France to Croydon. The plane broke to pieces in the air over Meopham in Kent, killing the two pilots and four passengers.  At the time she had been involved in a local campaign to extend what was called the 'Cripples Home' of the North Staffs Cripples Aid Society, which had been founded by her mother, Millicent Duchess of Sutherland.  When she was killed there was a surge in donations and the target money was reached in record time.  The Prince of Wales opened the new buildings which were named the Rosemary Ednam Memorial Extension after her in 1931, and was said to have had tears in his eyes when he left.  He remained on good terms with her widower who became Earl of Dudley in 1932 and he and Wallis spent part of their honeymoon at the Ednam's home, Himley Hall.

Here is a portrait of her by Sargent:



She apparently confided to her friend, Lady Victor Paget, that she thought she could make something of the Prince of Wales. 


Offline feodorovna

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2011, 01:24:26 AM »
Many thanks for that fascinating info - I'm intrigued to learn that part of the Windsors' honeymoon was spent at Himley Hall. Such a surprise that they came to England so early in their marriage. Was it common knowledge? At some point? they stayed in St Margarets Bay in Kent, I assume with friends because lovely as the area is, it is somewhat remote and I can't imagine them doing remote.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2011, 04:30:06 AM »
Himley Hall is 4 miles from Dudley so is not especially remote, though it is in parkland and as a private house, was not then open to the public.  Edward VIII apparently spent his last weekend there before his abdication.  I'm not sure about how early they went to it on the 'honeymoon' - in a sense the rest of their lives were a honeymoon, as they had no real job.  But they'd spent time together there before, so it was certainly a place they had associations with, and the Earl was a friend - consequently it was a favoured place to revisit and where they knew they would be given the consequence they obviously needed.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2011, 08:49:39 AM »
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Anyone who thinks there is no evidence that the Duke and Duchess of Windsors were Nazi sympathisers or more should read this.  it was published in the Guardian.
http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/6-29-2002-21438.asp
there are a lot of other articles floatinag around the internet.  The sources for this story are British government sources and the FBI

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http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foi/images/0,9069,1443560,00.html
here is the original
there are two more

About a year ago on the 'Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 1' thread, Constantinople provided a link to a fascinating article in which the FBI had provided information to the British government on the covert surveillance from 1941 of the activities of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor which were considered to be pro-Nazi.  A good deal of this highly sensational information had been provided by Father Odo', a monk from Wurttemburg, identified by Constantinople as Carl Alexander, Duke of Wurttemburg, a prominent anti-Nazi. 

I've just been reading 'A lonely business - A self-portrait of James Pope-Hennessy' which is a selection of James Pope-Hennessy's letters, diaries and 'royal portraits', the latter of which are memoires of significant interviews he had with various people in the course of writing his life of Queen Mary.  They are absolutely riveting, and include amongst many others the Windsors, Grand Duchess Xenia and Duke Philip of Wurttemburg and his brother "Dom Odo, a Benedictine priest, head of all the Catholic youth, one of Hitler’s most prominent opponents whom the Gestapo tried to assassinate in Switzerland and America during the war....”  He and Duke Philip were the sons of Duke Albrecht of Wurttemburg, the Catholic branch of the family who succeeded Wilhelm II king of Wurttemburg, and James Pope-Hennessey had a wonderful time staying with them in 1958 and hearing all they had to say.  “Dom Odo is.....very tall, immensely fat, with a stomach like a ten-gallon barrel beneath his habit....with a histrionic sense he is always throwing his glance towards the ceiling before embarking on some new scandal or piece of family gossip.  I liked them immensely....Pater Odo speaks English, at times with an American accent of which he is ashamed, as he loathes Americans and the U.S.A...”  Later when the two Wurttemburgers retailed much family gossip, the following gives a flavour of it: “Father Odo [contributed] many stories – most infinitely exaggerated – e.g. Marie Strelitz, her mother and her sister Jutta all had children by Hecht the footman (‘All?’ ‘Yes, yes, my mother told me so herself’) which were then taken to an institution and killed.”  The two brothers touched on the Duke of Windsor “‘Il ne faut jamais s’encanailler comme il l’a fait’, [One should never slum it as he did] said Dom Odo: ‘Jamais,’ replied the Duke, ‘mais aussi il ne faut jamais ni plus se metre sur un piedestal’ [Never, but also one shouldn’t put oneself on a pedestal either], clearly alluding to the Duke of Windsor’s associates with Nazi connections, and to his taking some sort of moral high ground after the war to which he was clearly not entitled.  While Dom Odo’s anti-Nazi activities were highly laudable, and he was clearly a wonderful person to talk to, his information was obviously highly suspect and there’s no evidence he had much of a connection with the Windsors other than a distant family relationship.  The information Dom Odo provided to the FBI that the Duchess had been sleeping with von Ribbentrop, the German ambassador in London, had remained in constant contact with him, and had continued to leak secrets, must be put alongside the information he gave to James Pope-Hennessy that all the women of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz royal family had been sleeping with the footman and all had borne children who were subsequently killed!  Exciting though it all sounds, it is more likely that Dom Odo’s love of gossip and his sensationalist delivery, combined with his German nationality, genuine relationship with the Duke of Windsor, and dislike of the Windsors’ nazi connections, convinced the FBI that he had some insider knowledge which James Pope-Hennessy, for all his pleasure in Dom Odo’s company, was shrewd enough to interpret more objectively.

But the portrait of Dom Odo is a fascinating one and I would recommend it to anyone for its sheer fun – and also the piece on the Windsors which is similarly brilliantly written and very perceptive.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2011, 01:28:18 PM »
Since the last thread was over 90 (about 3 times as large as we usually let the threads get) and had seemed to come to a conclusion of the last-discussed topic, now would be a good time to start part 2.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2011, 02:30:51 AM »
5ft 6 is certainly not 'tiny' for a woman. I am 5ft 6 and tower above tiny colleagues of 5ft nothing!

Ann

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2011, 01:05:14 PM »
I see 5"6" as average for a woman.  Probably because I am 5"6" and 5"7" on a day when I stretch well.

I have a woman friend who is 6" and I am short to her!

I think it has to do with perspective.

Offline LadyCathy

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2011, 02:36:29 PM »
They may have looked smaller than they were because they were both so painfully thin.  They did not eat very much, they preferred to drink.  One of their friends was once interviewed.  She said that the Duchess and other "ladies who lunched" would go to the Colony, the most exclusive restaurant in New York for lunch.  They would eat a few asparagus spears and drink.  I have always found name calling distasteful.  While these people were living it up between New York, Paris and pleasure spots for the rich and famous all over the world, they were fond of calling the Queen Mother that "fat Scotch cook."  They always made fun of her weight.  When she had her major operation and had to have a colostomy, Wallis remarked, "It must have been all those chocolates."  In her later years Wallis existed on a few vegetables and nips of vodka throughout the day.  They were empty shallow people, both of them.  The Duke was probably of a better character than Wallis, but they were both dreadful anti-Semites and appearance oriented people.