2016 sees the eightieth anniversary of one of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century – the abdication of King Edward VIII. Mark Hichens, finding a lot of ambiguities and not fully answered questions concerning Edward, has penned a new book in conjunction with this important date.
Mark looks first at the psychological make-up of Edward VIII, pointing out the flaws in his character, noted by his peers – his instability and his immaturity. Mark also looks at the Duchess, a woman of no great beauty nor apparent intellectual gifts, and with two husbands, who managed to entrance the world’s best-loved man.
The book looks at how she brought the Prince to his knees, and also takes a close look at the Abdication crisis (or ‘King’s Affair’ as it was known) – which has caused much speculation about the motives of those involved, not least those of the prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, who took the lead in negotiations. Mark believes that looking back at these events from the perspective of three quarters of a century will help us to a better understanding of that traumatic upheaval.