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

Here is the third scene of Act 4 of John Waddington-Feather's must-read play about a crisis in British dynastic affairs.

Time: September 1936
Place: Prime Ministerís office. Stanley Baldwin and Anthony Eden, his
Foreign Minister at the League of Nations are discussing the King and
Mrs Simpson.

Baldwin: The King really has put the cat among the pigeons now heís openly declared
his intention of marrying Mrs Simpson.

Eden: I understand her divorce has gone through double quick at Ipswich and it
went through unchallenged. So the King is set on wedding her, sir, and
wonít change his mind no matter what we say. I met them at a dinner last
week, and he was bewitched by her.

Baldwin: Heís been bewitched by women all his life, Eden, but this time we have
a crisis on our hands just when we least need it. His marrying her
will split the country in two. What with the popular press on the one
hand rooting for the King being able to do his own thing; then
the Church and a large section of the country against it, weíre in a cleft
stick, Eden. Ironically, now that the press have at long last leaked the
Kingís affair to the public, the masses have turned against him. The morality
of monarchs in the past may have been questionable, indeed the Church
of England was founded on a Kingís marriage to a whore after a divorce,
but attitudes have changed since then. His marriage now to Mrs Simpson
is unthinkable!

Eden: I agree with you, sir, but whatís to be done?

Baldwin: The whole Cabinet is against this marriage.

Eden: But whatís the alternative?

Baldwin: Abdication. The King must choose his throne or his woman.

Eden: And if he chooses his woman?

Baldwin: His brother Albert, the Duke of York, will take over. And oddly enough,
itís what his father always wanted. The Duke of York is a family man,
more stable and suited in every way to become King, despite his shyness.
Heís also married to a woman of sound commonsense who upholds all
thatís good in marriage. I canít think of a greater contrast than the
Duchess of York and Mrs Simpson.

Eden: Youíre right, sir. Abdication is the only way out of this mess the King has
landed us in. He acts as if Parliament and his ministers simply donít exist.

Baldwin: Iíve been on edge all the time heís been cruising abroad with this
woman, wondering where heíd turn up next and who heíd see. You know,
for two pins heíd have met Mussolini and hob-nobbed with Franco if I
hadnít warned him off; and I was worried to death he might decide to stop off
in Germany on his way back through the Balkans and turn up at one of
Herr Hitlerís rallies.

Eden: Iím afraid the King will always go his own way and wonít accept advice
from any one ever, sir.

Baldwin: Then his own way he must go Ė but not as King. With war looking more
and more inevitable, we canít enter it having a King who supports the other side.

Curtain

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