Duchess of Windsor
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor have been showing up all over the media recently, in the Academy Award-winning movie The King’s Speech and Madonna’s upcoming movie W.E., in auctions of jewellery and letters, and in a couple of new biographies of the Duchess. One of the most unusual contributions to the Windsor story is the biography Behind Closed Doors by Hugo Vickers, author of several books on royalty including a highly acclaimed biography of the Duchess of Windsor’s nemesis, the Queen Mother.
The Abdication Crisis of 1936 was resolved on 10 and 11 December when Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication on the evening of the 10th and it was enacted into law the following day. The British public knew nothing about the crisis, which had been going on for months, until early December when a speech by the Bishop of Bradford mentioning the king’s apparent lack of interest in religious observance gave the British press an excuse to break the story they’d agreed to suppress in the national interest. The news shocked the public, but nobody was more traumatised than the king’s younger brother Prince Albert, who would become king in his place.