Author Topic: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2  (Read 73778 times)

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Offline Greenowl

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #120 on: July 18, 2015, 09:21:36 AM »
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson has voiced disappointment after a British newspaper published images allegedly showing a young Queen Elizabeth II giving a Nazi salute in the early 1930s. The front page story in today's edition of The Sun shows the queen, then aged around six, briefly raising her right hand in the air as her mother, the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, does the same. The headline on the story read: "Their Royal Heilnesses" - a reference to the "Heil Hitler" greeting used in Nazi Germany.

They were apparently being encouraged by the queen's uncle, the future king Edward VIII, who went on to meet Adolf Hitler and abdicated in 1936 over his desire to marry US divorcee Wallis Simpson. The images come from a 20-second black and white home movie which The Sun reported was shot at the royal family's Balmoral estate in 1933 or 1934 and has never been seen before. A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "It is disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from her majesty's personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner."

The Sun's managing editor Stig Abell said the footage was obtained by the newspaper "in a legitimate fashion" and that its publication was "not a criticism of the Queen or the Queen Mum".
"It is a historical document that really sheds some insight into the behaviour of Edward VIII," he told BBC Radio 4's Today. Asked about the complaint by the palace that it had been "exploited", he said: "I understand that they don't like this coming out but I also feel, on a relatively purist basis, that the role of journalists and the media is to bring to light things that happened. What we have done is just brought to light a historical document and we have sought to present it in a contextual fashion around Edward VIII and have made the point relatively clearly. I hope that we recognise, of course, that the Queen and the Queen Mum went on to become heroes of the Second World War and there are no aspersions being cast upon them by the Sun." he added.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 09:23:30 AM by Greenowl »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #121 on: July 18, 2015, 12:39:56 PM »
Here we go again. I get very tired of the self-righteousness of the British press.

The Telegraph takes the more sensible view that this is simply an example of the Royal Family larking about at a time when Hitler was regarded as something of a comic figure (think Charlie Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator').

Ann

Offline TheLionandTheEagle

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #122 on: October 10, 2015, 04:58:04 AM »
How credible is the rumor that Wallis was pro-Nazi?

Also, have any good books been released about her since more papers have been released (in 2003, as stated up-thread)?

Offline Превед

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #123 on: October 10, 2015, 09:34:50 AM »
How credible is the rumor that Wallis was pro-Nazi?

Depends on what you mean by "pro-Nazi". But I think her starting point, as a déclassée member of the upper-class of an inherently racist society (the segregated US), eager to get her revenge on the class-based establishment that had rejected her (Britain) was fertile soil for Nazi ideas about a "natural aristocracy" of the "fittest survivors".

She liked Hitler because he treated her as royalty and just like him she had a huge inferiority complex, especially against the British establishment. Perhaps she and Hitler also had something in common with regard to arrested and perverted sexuality.

She had no social consciousness and probably stood rather far from National Socialism's views concerning breaking down class barriers and doing away with "idle spongers" like herself.  In my view she was more a true collaborateur à la Vichy France or Franquist Spain, who would jump at any chance to get her Platz an der Sonne rather than an adherent of genuine Nazi ideology. Like her husband and many others she probably saw fascism as a necessary antidote to Communism, which she probably opposed solely on practical grounds (as a typical capitalist leech), not because she valued freedom, democracy or free enterprise.

I also doubt she had any particular fascination for ideas about Germanic superiority beyond "white supremacy". She was more into Gallic and Romance culture.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 09:38:46 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline TheLionandTheEagle

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #124 on: October 10, 2015, 06:04:17 PM »
Thank you!

So you don't think she was some kind of spy helping the German war effort?

Offline Превед

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #125 on: October 11, 2015, 07:04:49 AM »
So you don't think she was some kind of spy helping the German war effort?

No, because she didn't have access to any confidential information that could be of use to the Germans. Remember she was ostracized by the British establishment! I don't doubt she may have tried to make herself important by tempting the German establishment with all kinds of insider gossip about the RF or even Churchill, but I doubt that information would have been of much use to them.

BTW do note that her Wikipedia article says:
Following the outbreak of war in 1939, the Duke was given a military post in the British Army stationed in France. According to the son of Lord Ironside, the Duchess continued to entertain friends associated with the fascist movement, and leaked details of the French and Belgian defences gleaned from the Duke.
This based on page 305 of the notoriously unreliable Higham, Charles (2005), Mrs Simpson, London: Pan Books, ISBN 0-330-42678-8.

If you are interested in the pro-Nazi fraction of the British establishment, you should read up on Sir Oswald Mosley and Diana Mitford, who were close to the Windsors and shared their exile after the war.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 07:23:59 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline mcdnab

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #126 on: October 14, 2015, 08:41:23 AM »
I have never thought much of the allegations - Edward in particular was far more concerned with keeping up appearances and the status of his wife and as he grew older denigrating his British relations who he blamed for the idle and rather boring life he was forced to live and what he viewed as their calculated and deliberate slurs heaped upon his wife.

During the mid 1930s a significant proportion of British society were sympathetic to Hitler for a number of reasons 1) a genuine horror of a second war particularly as many had seen action or lost friends and relatives 2) a politically naive view of Hitler as a man dragging his country back from the brink 3) a fear however groundless of the threat of communism 4) people who genuinely thought Germany had been given a raw deal at Versailles

There were of course those who were also attracted by the anti-semitism of the Nazi's and those who loathed him but were so strongly anti-war they would tolerate almost anything.

Many of those people were part of the society that circled around both the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York (who were exceptionally pro-appeasement a point often ignored)

Edward in particular had seen some of the horrors of the trenches as Prince of Wales during WWI and he had very happy memories of his visit to Germany shortly before the war when he stayed with his mother's relatives in Mecklenburg Strelitz. He was well known as someone committed to peace and was considered pro-German (which is not necessarily the same as pro-Nazi)

Mrs Simpson had the ear of the Prince of Wales and later the King - she was therefore much in demand in society and because of that unique access was naturally the recipient of overtures and flattery from all sorts of diplomats including people like Von Ribbentrop.

After the abdication Edward found himself cut off from those who might have been able to protect him from making blunders and to be fair some of those (including his disastrous trip to Germany) were also aimed at upsetting his family in England as his resentment of them grew. Naturally such actions made the relationship impossible on both sides.

His actions in World War II, particularly his departure from Paris which infuriated Churchill (who had been a loyal supporter of Edward VIII), and the dubious characters he befriended have not helped his reputation and have added to the view that he and his wife were pro Nazi when in reality everything was always about feeding his need for approval and his need to feel important.

Of course the pro-nazi line is useful for historians keen to explain the abdication as an establishment conspiracy to get rid of a King who was far too nice to the workers (which in itself was odd given how his something must be done comment as widely reported in the press was followed by inaction and spending lavishly on Wallis)

Offline Превед

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #127 on: October 14, 2015, 11:10:53 AM »
Good points.

Many of those people were part of the society that circled around both the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York (who were exceptionally pro-appeasement a point often ignored)
True, although one certainly wouldn't know from that hagiographic "The King's Speech".

Quote
Edward in particular had seen some of the horrors of the trenches as Prince of Wales during WWI and he had very happy memories of his visit to Germany shortly before the war when he stayed with his mother's relatives in Mecklenburg Strelitz.

Seems like he found Württemberg boring, M-Strelitz OK and Berlin('s nightlife) real fun. Funnily Philip Ziegler writes that the only country apart from Britain he really liked was Norway, because of the informality and sports.

I think his outlook was so narrow and limited that he couldn't really grasp an idea (Nazism) that didn't originate in the British environment he knew. Whereas Wallis was far more cosmopolitan and had experienced as different cultures as the US, China and Britain.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 11:12:36 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #128 on: October 14, 2015, 12:11:33 PM »
I agree with what McDnab has to say - a very balanced and judicious analysis - and would only add that the Nazis did of course actively cultivate Establishment figures in Britain as well as members of the old aristocracy in Germany. Goering was regarded as the most socially acceptable of the Nazi leaders, as he was of good family on his father's side (though his mother had been a waitress in a beer garden, whom his father married hastily after getting her pregnant with Goering's elder brother!), a regular Prussian officer and a holder of rthe Pour le Merite. So he was therefore regularly charged with the job of buttering people up, strange as it might seem today.

I think the Duke of windsor was essentially a shallow personality, very susceptible to flatterly, and even more so to flattery of Wallis. Rather in the same way as the Nazis with Wallis, the Kaiser buttered up Franz Ferdinand by being nice to Sophie.
 
Ann

Offline amelia

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #129 on: October 14, 2015, 03:19:42 PM »
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor socialized with Prince Felix Yusupoff and his wife Princess Irina. In one of Felix's books he mentions that the Duchess of Windsor always called Irina, Your Imperial Highness..... thus makinf Irina calling her Your Royal Highness!!!


Amelia
(Eva McDonald)

Offline TheLionandTheEagle

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #130 on: October 14, 2015, 04:39:12 PM »
Thank you all for your helpful replies.  There's a lot of nuance to it, of course, that people generally ignore when discussing the early parts of Hitler's rise to power, etc. 

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2015, 04:03:03 AM »
I think we also need to bear in mind that it was not until the later 1930s - around 1936 onwards - that the true unpleasantness of Nazism began to be apparent to those outside Germany. Before that, there was an economic miracle turning things round from a situation of 6 million unemployed in 1931.

Ann

Offline thebelgianhare

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #132 on: June 20, 2017, 09:50:09 AM »
Bishop Burch presents a Bible to the Prince




David's message to the people



I haven't received this book in the post yet so haven't got clear scans but is this David greeting his brother Bertie? I can't really see it clear enough to tell perhaps someone else may be able to tell :)

« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 09:52:54 AM by thebelgianhare »

Offline thebelgianhare

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #133 on: June 20, 2017, 10:02:10 AM »
speaking with a wounded veteran of the war



apparently not enjoying being lathered in 'all sorts' of things in public quite so much



the 'perpetrator' of this act jolly King Neptune hehe






Offline thebelgianhare

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Re: Duke and Duchess of Windsor Part 2
« Reply #134 on: July 14, 2017, 06:43:35 PM »