Andrew Lownie was interviewed by Michael Stephen at Waterstones bookshop on the Kings Road on his recent book “Traitor King.” Forty members attended.
In December 1936 – the king of England, Edward VIII, has given up his crown – abandoning his duty for the love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. Their courtship has been dogged by controversy and scandal but with Edward’s abdication they can live happily ever after – but do they?
Beginning his astonishing biography at the moment most biographers turn away, the historian Andrew Lownie reveals the dramatic lives of the Windsors post-abdication. This is the story of a prince shut out by his family and forced into exile; of the Nazi attempts to recruit the Duke to their cause; and how the Duke as Governor of the Bahamas dealt with the police investigation into the murder of a friend.
According to Lownie, they were a couple obsessed with their status, financially exploiting their position, and manipulating the media to portray themselves as victims. “The Windsors were in their day the most glamorous exiles in the world flitting from sumptuously appointed mansions in the South of France to luxurious residences in Palm Beach but they were spoiled, selfish people obsessed with their image and revelling in adulterous affairs.”
Drawing upon hitherto unexplored archives Andrew Lownie shows how their glittering brittle world was riddled with treachery and betrayal, and why the royal family never forgave the Duke.