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Why Didn't Edward Renounce his Position as PoW?


One thing that is blindingly obvious when you read the biography of Edward is that he never wanted to be King and Emperor; why, then, didn't he renounce his position as Prince of Wales when he still had the chance? He certainly had plenty of brothers, so the survival of the Windsor line did not depend exclusively on him.
If you see the portraits of Edward when he was PoW, his most eye-catching features are his sad mournful eyes; his famous woebegone expression from his old age is already present in his youthful portraits. Didn't anyone at the time realise how unhappy he was?

God is subtle, but He is not malicious. (Albert Einstein)

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Hi
I'm Welsh & I'll try to explain as best I can about the title Prince of Wales. As the eldest son of the monarch he was automatically PoW from 1909 so only a teenager really. I doubt back then especially with "duty" being held in high regard that he would have had a hope of renouncing it. I think if he'd been born in a different era, I believe he would have renounced all of it. I read that book too.

"I cannot live without my life! I cannot die without my soul".... Heathcliff

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He was terrified of his father, King George V. From the time he was a child, his father's word was law and he would never dare disobey. While his father was alive, Edward wouldn't have the balls to declare either his reluctance to become King or his love for Wallis Simpson.

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"God is subtle, but he is not malicious." Keep that in mind. Edward never wanted to be king, even long before he met Wallis. Why? It was a combination of boredom, tediousness, and he simply wanted an "ordinary, quiet life." But--he could not renounce the throne for no reason; this is what most people do not understand, and is an important element of the entire controversy: Abdicating the throne of the United Kingdom was looked upon as one the most gross derelections of duty there could be. As it was, even after he convinced himself that he could not bear to live without Wallis, he pretended to examine every avenue in order to have Wallis and keep the throne. But he was, I'm certain, very relieved when all the pressure began on him from Baldwin and the Cabinet. I believe that everything that happened resulted because of the following assumptions:
1. Baldwin and Cabinet could not conceive that, in the end, Edward would indeed abdicate; they were certain he would give up Wallis. That's why they really took quite an unreasonable position regarding the suitability of a morganatic marriage.
2. Wallis was certain that if Edward stuck to his guns, he would retain the throne, and she, after they married, would eventually become Queen as the furor slowly died down. What she didn't realize is that Edward didn't want to retain the throne. All he was really concerned about was that his allowance be continued so that they could live well.
3. But, as the players were carried along by the maelstrom of events and its extraordinary attention and publicity, they were unable to extricate themselves from positions, even after it was clear that they would not get what they wanted:
a. Wallis was already divorced from Simpson, he was getting remarried, and she was nearly penniless and 40 years old. She had no alternative remaining, even if she would not get to be queen, and Edward would actually lose the throne.
b. Edward was hopelessly besotted with Wallis, did not want the throne to begin with, so abdication was the only choice left.
c. Baldwin and the Cabinet had boxed themselves into unalterable positions, together with the Heads of all the Commonwealth Realms; they could no longer make an about-face, even when they realized that Edward would really abdicate.

Consequently, it could be said that Edward was the only one who got most of what he wanted, with the exception of Wallis's HRH. Like he really cared about that...he probably went through the charade of resenting his family's treatment of Wallis to placate her for their personal relations.

It's really ironic that, barely one generation after these events, 3 out of the 4 of the Queen's children are divorced, Charles is not only divorced, but married to a divorcee whose husband is still living, and who will probably eventually become Head of the Church of England, with Camilla as---? Will she be willing to settle for "Duchess of Cornwall?" Upon Charles ascension to the throne?
Food for thought. How foolish and trivial the entire brouhaha now seems. Baldwin and Cabinet probably just wanted to get rid of Edward and Wallis because of their sympathies with Nazism and Hitler, and nothing else.
I realize that my (1) and my (c) are somewhat contradictory, but the entire matter is so confused and confusing, I think we could lived with one slighht contradiction. Read Wallis's and Edward's Letters to each other for a flavor of how complex and confused was everyone involved, not only about the others' motives, but even about their own.

Allen Roth
"I look up, I look down..."

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I read somewhere that Prince William will get the throne not, Prince Charles. With the wedding coming on almost the 30th Anniversary of his mother's wedding there will be talk of Charles renouncing the throne.

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First: No one can know whether Charles will "renounce" the throne (whatever that means, and I don't think it means anything, because it would be like Harry "renouncing" the throne, before the entire issue arrives concretely). That is to say, Charles is in no position to do anything now; he is not in the status of an uncrowned King, which is what Edward was for 9 months. When the monarch dies, the next in line becomes Monarch immediately, even though the coronation has yet to be performed, because a suitable mourning period needs pass until such a happy ceremony takes place.

2. Charles will never abdicate. I believe this to be true because abdication constitutes an utter dereliction of duty to his entire country. Serving as King is everything toward which his life has been directed and prepared. Your suggestion that he might is like the many such suggestions about his mother, none of which have come to pass. I believe that Queen Elizabeth will reign as long as she is competent (mentally); she will never abdicate in favor of either Charles or William. Why? Because it is her sworn duty. These things are more serious than we in the United States think, because we have a system of government wherein we can change the ruler every four years if we wish. It is completely different with a monarchy. A President does not have to campaign for the office; he CHOOSES to do so. But a monarch is burdened with a future role in which he has no choice at all. He must serve his country, and all the years of education, instruction in comportment, travel throughout the Empire and Dominions, military service, are provided to him by the country in order to prepare him for his future role. The most difficult thing for me to understand about the 1936 abdication is hoe Edward could possibly have imagined that he could ever be allowed to live in England again, after the shabby way in which he treated the monarchy, giving it up as if he had no duty towards his subjects. Especially when one thinks that in 1936 all things were much more governed by tradition, as opposed to today. That's why I believe (as I wrote above), that Edward never wanted to serve as King in the first place; Wallis was his way of getting out of it. If not for her, he would have found another way. He really hated court ceremony and all that went with it.

Allen Roth
"I look up, I look down..."

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[deleted]

I can't say that it didn't happen, but the Queen in a staunch upholder of traditions, so I kinda doubt it.

Allen Roth
"I look up, I look down..."

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[deleted]

What I've never understood is why divorce became such a no-no in the Church of England, which is a religion that exists because of a divorce, no? (Henry VIII's from Katherine of Aragon)

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As I understand it, it was Henry VIII's divorce that created the concept of a national church, with the sovereign as its secular head, and not the Pope. However, this did not create a new religion - there were, and still are, many in the Church of England who consider it to be 'anglo-Catholic' rather than 'Roman Catholic', or as is sometimes said 'Catholic but Reformed' rather than completely Protestant. So divorce has never become entirely acceptable in the Church of England. Historically there was considerable secular opposition to divorce as well amongst the British aristocracy (alluded to in the series) probably because of the complications it caused with property law.

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Technically, Henry VIII did not divorce Catherine of Aragon; their marriage was annulled.

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i doubt he wanted to. He may not have wanted the dull part of the job - all the paperwork etc - but he certainly enjoyed the glamorous side, all the attention and admiration he got.

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I completely agree! He was already trying to change the way things were done, making it easier on himself and doing the duties he liked while skipping out on the ones he didn't like.

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After seeing the show about letter Wallis wrote she never wanted to marry Edward and was still in love with Ernest Simpson. She wanted Edward to be King and forget her. She married him because she felt trapped.

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