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Feather's Miscellany: Edward - Act 3, Scene 4

John Waddington-Feather continues his play about the greatest royal drama of modern timers.

Time: May 1936
Place: Fort Belvedere. The servants’ quarters.

Smith: Things ain’t looking good for His Majesty, eh, James?

James: [Sighing] I’m afraid he’s his own worst enemy. He’s so outspoken, and
between you and me, Smith, he doesn’t always think first about what
he’s going to say. He just blurts it out. Not like the old King who
always thought before he spoke.

Smith: I keeps it inside me what I thinks - ‘cept when I’m speakin’ to
you, ‘cos I knows I can trust you, James.

James: Even walls have ears inside kings’ palaces, Smith. More than ever now,
what we see and hear we keep to ourselves for I tell you this, Smith, once
the King goes, so do we, then what’ll we do?

Smith: Oh, something’ll turn up.

James: I’ve just heard the coronation’s being planned for next May.

Smith: Who told you that?

James: The King himself, so it’ll be a busy time for us all from now on.

Smith: ‘Ere, James, did yer hear about the tellin’ off His Majesty had from one o’
the Members of Parliament?

James: No. What about?

Smith: Well, it were like this. Yer know how it rained hard all last week.

James: Hardly stopped.

Smith: Well, last Thursday His majesty told me he didn’t need me ‘cos
he’d decided to walk from the Palace to the Duchy of Cornwall
Estates Office where he had a meeting. It’s only a couple of minutes
away from the Palace round the corner, but he’s always been driven
there. Anyway, off he goes on foot for a bit of exercise, he says, him an’
his secretary holding their umbrellas over their heads chatting away like
they always do.

James: What happened?

Smith: They was seen by one o’ the press photographers what’s always
tailing him an’ he took his photograph and they put it in the
evening papers walking through the streets with his umbrella.

James: So what?

Smith: One o’ them old buffers in Parliament saw it an’ was very upset that
the King walked the streets with the rest of ‘em going to work,
an’ he told Mrs Simpson about it when they was sat next to each other
at some dinner or other they was at, and of course she told the King.

James: He’s never mentioned it to me. How did he take it?

Smith: He wasn’t very pleased to be told that it ain’t fitting for a King to
be seen holding an umbrella walking on the streets with the rest of
us. He said the King must be above that sort of thing and not
look common an’ that I oughter be drivin’ him to his office in his Daimler.

James: What did Mrs Simpson say?

Smith: The waiter what was serving them said to me that she told the old buffer
straight that she was American an’ couldn’t advise the King what to
do. He didn’t speak with her the rest of the night, but the waiter told
us all what went on the next day.

James: His majesty’s ruffling a few feathers in the establishment and
always has done, but he’s taking no heed of what they say.

Smith: He’s still very popular with the people. They think the world of him.

James: But for how long? The longer he hangs about with Mrs Simpson,
the more he’s asking for it, for she’s not liked at all by some people
now she’s put in for a divorce – and there’s others, also, in high
places thinks she’s too close to the German ambassador who’s a
right one for getting from the ladies what he wants to know about
the country.

Smith: The King’s always thought a lot of the Nazis and Herr
Hitler. He’s for ever going on about him an’ how good he is.
D’yer think she’s getting divorced ready for marrying the King?

James: No doubt at all.. That’s the whole purpose and I tell you, Smith,
all hell will break loose when it goes public he’s going to marry her.

Smith: He can marry who he wants as long as I keeps me job.

James: And that goes for me, too, Smith.



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