Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crisis in Britain -

December 2, 1936

A "major constitutional struggle" has broken out between Cabinet and King Edward VII over the king's relationship with the twice-divorced American Mrs. Simpson. The crisis has "burst in all its fury upon the astounded British empire."
The British press has removed its self-imposed censorship regarding the King and Mrs. Simpson, and "the crisis has blazed into the open almost with the force of an explosion." The press has turned on the king, "entreating him to remember the obligations of kingship."
It is now expected the king will abdicate in favor of his younger brother, the Duke of York The Duke, who is the total antithesis of his older brother, is married and has two young daughters. He and his family were featured prominitely today on the front pages of many papers.
Last night, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin tried for several hours to persuade the king "for the good of the empire" to break off his relationship with Mrs. Simpson. The King refused Baldwin's request, and "plans to use all constitutional means to combat the cabinet demand."

The New York Times reports that "the crisis is no longer hidden; the conflict between the King and his Ministers has blazed into an open flame."
The Cabinet "has determined that marriage of the sovereign is not a private matter but a public and imperial concern." The King believes that the Cabinet has "no constitutional right to dictate his private life."

There are rumors in London that Mrs. Simpson will leave London tomorrow with the possibility that the King will "go with her."

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