Foreign News: Prince Edward

  • Share
  • Read Later

(2 of 4)

In his historic broadcast, Prince Edward did not defend either himself or Mrs. Simpson. That would have been undignified. The skeleton must not be jangled. Unmentioned therefore by Prince Edward was the clash of wills between himself and the Church of England over whether the Archbishop of Canterbury would refuse or consent to officiate at the Coronation and consecration of a King who intended to marry a woman such as Mrs. Simpson (see p. 18). In the House of Lords, the Archbishop spoke volumes when he said in a broken voice, "Of the motive which compelled the renunciation we dare not speak."

The Archbishop's motive had to do with a feature of the Coronation service scarcely noticed by laymen who suppose that the whole point of a coronation must be that somebody is crowned. There have been British coronations for 1,000 years and until comparatively recent generations the whole emphasis was on the "anointing" of the King, as a newly created bishop is anointed—thus making him a persona mixta or "person of mixed nature," part layman, part priest. Queen Victoria was of the opinion that she was the head of the Church of England, virtually a female Pope. Although Prime Minister Gladstone gently dispelled this impetuous pretension (pointing out certain ambiguities in the Coronation ceremony), Her Majesty was far more right than she was wrong in the eyes of English churchgoers. The unspeakable dilemma in the case of Edward VIII in recent weeks has been: "Can there be consecrated, as a part-priest or part-Pope, one who we all know has done everything to face us with the fact that he is resolved to marry a lady with a past, even if we did our best to keep him from making this known to us?"

Such was the obstacle which proved insuperable last week, and there were several others, nearly insuperable and nearly unutterable. A minor and utterable obstacle was that Mrs. Simpson is not the daughter of either a king or a peer.

Dignified Prince Edward, after dining for a last time with his Queen Mother, new King George VI, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent, drove last week at great speed through night and fog to Portsmouth, intending to embark on the Admiralty Yacht. At the last moment this plan was changed; the name of the yacht is the Enchantress. It was dignified to sail instead on the British destroyer Fury, and "His Grace, the Duke of Windsor"—as Prince Edward was created this week by King George VI—debarked at Boulogne into a private car and a new life of wealth, ease and perhaps happiness. Rolling down to Austria, he established himself high on a crag 25 mi. from Vienna at the castle of Baron Eugene Rothschild, who was host to the King & Mrs. Simpson last summer. Said the Duke of Windsor: "I am remaining here at Castle Enzesfeld until after Christmas."

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4