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Feather's Miscellany: Edward - Act 4, Scene 2

Here is the next scene in John Waddington-Feather's reads-like-a-novel play about a crisis in Britain's royal succession.

Act 4 Scene 2
Time: August 1936
Place: Fort Belvedere.

Edward: I feel sure thereís a conspiracy against me in Parliament,
headed by Baldwin and that wretched Archbishop Lang. Theyíre
both determined to imprison me in the past and direct my life for me.

Mrs Simpson: Theyíve certainly made me aware of what they think of me. Itís quite
obvious every time we meet.

Edward: Theyíve also poisoned my family against you, darling, so weíre fighting a
battle now on two fronts; yet Iím not going to give you up, Wallis Ė
never! Youíre the only woman I love and youíre the woman Iím
going to marry.

Mrs Simpson: [Coyly] And did you say that to all those other women you had before me?

Edward: [Laughing] They were merely a learning curve. I was serving
my apprenticeship in love being groomed for you, Wallis. [Kisses her]

Mrs Simpson: I love you so much, David. More than Iíve loved anyone in my life.
You wonít leave me now, will you?

Edward: Never. Iíll fight tooth and nail for you to be my Queen, sweetheart.
[Knock on door] Yes?

James: Lady Furness has arrived, Your Majesty.

Edward: Then send her in, James.

James: Yes, sir.

[Exits as Lady Thelma Furness enters. She goes to Mrs Simpson
and embraces her first, then Edward]

Edward: [Jokingly] I didnít notice you curtsey when you entered, Thelma.
Remember Iím King now.

Lady Furness: Iím American, David. I donít bow the knee to anyone.

Edward: Not even the King of Britain?

Lady Furness: [Bobbing a mock curtsey] Well, perhaps to him Ė seeing as heís
one of us, darling Wallis.

Mrs Simpson: You never change, Thelma.

Lady Furness: But, my dear, Iím changing all the time. Arenít we all?

Edward: All except the British. Theyíre stuck in the past.

Lady Furness: We Americans have so little past to stick in, we can only look to the future.

Mrs Simpson: I hear youíre returning to the States, Thelma.

Lady Furness: Frankís missing me and wants me home, so look after dear
David in my absence, darling.

Mrs Simpson: Thelma, Iíve some news for you. David and I are going to marry?

Lady Furness: Congratulations, darling! Youíve succeeded where I failed. I always
fancied dear David as my hubby, so lucky you.. Whenís the happy day?

Mrs Simpson: Just as soon as my divorce comes through, but thereíll be other problems
to sort out first.

Lady Furness: There are always problems to sort out in marriage. They never end,
but dear David will solve yours. He always does.

Edward: I do my best for everyone, Thelma, and now that Iím King I have
more clout.

Lady Furness: But theyíll expect you to conform, darling. They always do.

Edward: They can expect what they like but I will not be a kow-towing
King, Thelma. Iíll be my own man. Right now, there are too many
old codgers telling me what to do, but this young buck will put them in
their places.

Lady Furness: You were always one for putting people in their places, darling.

Edward: And Iím going to do more of it now Iím King.

Mrs Simpson: [Linking in with Edward] Whatever the old brigade say, Thelma,
weíre going to marry. No one has the right to keep us apart.

Lady Furness: It wouldnít happen in the States.

Edward: And itís not going to happen here. Iím going to give the Establishment
a shake-up it hasnít had in centuries come hell or high water.

Lady Furness: Just make sure they donít give you the once-over in the process,
darling. Thereís some hard-bitten minds hiding under bland English masks.
You English are past masters at deception.

Edward: Youíll be glad to return to the States, Thelma. The seasonís almost
over here.

Lady Furness: My season never ends. I flit from party to party whatever the time of
year. But I must confess Iíll be glad to get down to Miami. The weather
in London becomes too sticky for me in summer.

Edward: Like our politicians.

Mrs Simpson: Youíre too hard on them, David. Anyhow, theyíll be off our backs for
the next few weeks when we sail into the blue beyond.

Lady Furness: Which part of the blue beyond are you sailing into, darlings?

Mrs Simpson: David has hired a yacht for the rest of August and September for
a cruise round the Mediterranean.

Lady Furness: Lucky you, darlings.

Mrs Simpson: I thought it time we had a break so weíre cruising into the sun.

Edward: And escaping from all the hassle here. Theyíve just informed me that if
Wallis and I marry I wonít be crowned in the Abbey like all the
monarchs before me.

Lady Furness: Why on earth not? I was beginning to look forward to being at your
coronation, darling, seeing Wallis at your side as Queen. Now that
really would go down fine in the States Ė an English King married to an
American Queen crowned in Westminster Abbey. Youíd be
honorary royals for life in America. Theyíd simply adore you!

Edward: I certainly always feel at home there, for Americans are more open. I
know where I stand with you; but here, I never know when
Iím going to be stabbed in the back by some grinning politician. Itíll be
a relief to get away from it all for a few weeks before the knives come out
again.

Mrs Simpson: We were hoping to visit Venice and meet Signor Mussolini, then on
to Germany and Spain, but the Foreign Office has stuck its oar in and
advised us not to go because of the unrest Ė at least, thatís what they say,
but Iím quite sure thereís a hidden agenda.

Lady Furness: In other words steer clear.

Edward: Exactly. The Prime Minister is adept at innuendo. He never says precisely
what we must or must not do. He simply says this or that is unwise so that
Iím never allowed to make up my own mind. You see, Thelma, Iím
only King in name, but once Iím away on holiday on board ship, I can
be myself; best of all I can be myself with Wallis.

Lady Furness: Lucky you, Wallis, darling, to have a King on a holiday romance; a
floating kingdom with you as Queen.

Mrs Simpson: More than that Ė itíll be like our honeymoon, wonít it, David?
[She holds his hand and he pecks her cheek]

Edward: Life has been one long honeymoon ever since I met you, Wallis.

Lady Furness: And youíre still my Prince Charming, darling. You know, Iím beginning
to envy you, Wallis.

Edward: [Kissing Lady Furness on the cheek] But Iíll always have a soft spot
for you, Thelma.

Lady Furness: And, darling, I hope youíll keep it warm!

Curtain

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