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"There is some danger," wrote the Archbishop of York, "that regret for the loss of the brilliant qualities and sympathy for a monarch who in critical days was confronted with a most painful choice, may divert our attention from the fact that the occasion for this choice ought never to have arisen. The harm was not done in December or even in October when he announced his intention of marriage to the Prime Minister, but much earlier.
"It has happened to many a man before now to find himself beginning to fall in love with another man's wife. That is the moment of critical decision and the right decision is that they should cease to meet before the passion is so developed as to create an agonizing conflict between love and duty. That decision has often been taken by men of honor. And when the power of personal attraction is reinforced by the glamor of the throne, the moral obligation is more urgent for that reason. "Thirdly, let us remember that any kind of love which can be in conflict with duty is not the love of which the Gospel speaks. Love which has its roots in mutual attraction and passion can be united with love which is the very nature of God and the best of Christian graces and this takes place in a multitude of marriages.
"In the New Year we turn away from a sad, humiliating story to what we are confident will be a happier future.
"Let us prepare ourselves to enter into the full meaning of the Coronation as a rededication of the whole national life and ourselves as citizens that God may consecrate us alike as individuals and as a people to His glory and in the service of mankind.
"The King and Queen are not yet so widely known as was Edward the Prince of Wales at this time last year, but they are sufficiently well known to have earned and won the trust and affection of their subjects. We have every ground for the assurance that this trust and affection will become deeper as the years pass."
The Archbishop of Canterbury followed on Sunday with a remarkable broadcast which in effect rebuked himself and the Archbishop of York for having rehashed the affair of Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson and announced it was time that all Britons stopped making any further reference to it. He then switched into a furious castigation of Soviet Russia and made this glancing reference to birth control: "Many regard the rich results of Science as being all-sufficing. This has brought about a loosening of the ties of marriage and restraint upon the impulses of sex. Well may we ask—'Whither is this drift carrying us?' " As the Archbishop of Canterbury was by this time getting definitely a "bad press," the sagacious Primate of All England gave a most sumptuous feast to British journalists in his Lambeth Palace, regaling them with pheasant and choice wines.
With unction the Archbishop drew attention to his principal aphorism on the abdication crisis: "Truly this has been wonderful proof of the strength and stability of the Throne."