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Feather's Miscellany: Edward - Act 5, Scene 1

John Waddington-Feather continues his dramatic play about a royal romance which led to a British constitutional crisis.

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

Smith: I’ll tell you what, James, there’s been such comings and goings ‘ere these
last few days, I don’t know where I am. First the Archbishop, then the
Prime Minister, then his secretary on a special visit.. It’s been a mad house.
And on top o’ that I’ve had to drive His Majesty backwards
an’ forwards all day to see his lady friend at her flat in London.

James: Mrs Simpson?

Smith: He ain’t got another, has he?

James: Not now. [Lowers his voice] He’s hell bent on wedding her come what may.

Smith: She’s got her hooks in ‘im good an’ proper.

James: He’s crazy about her, but it won’t please the old Queen if he marries her -
nor the rest of the royals.

Smith: D’yer really think he will? Everybody seems against it.

James: If I were a betting man, I’d put a pound on it. That cruise they went on
together in the autumn clinched it. It’s set every tongue in London
wagging and it’s certainly ruffled feathers at the top.

Smith: Believe me, James, he’s playing with fire if he marries that one.

James: He’s playing with more than that, Smith. He’s playing with his crown.
It’s either her or his crown.

Smith: How d’yer know that?

James: As I keep telling you, Smith, I keep my ears open and my mouth shut and I
can tell you from what I’ve heard, he’s stacking the odds against himself
the deeper he gets in with Mrs Simpson.


Smith: Why can’t she be made Queen quietly after they’ve crowned him next year?

James: Because she’s been divorced – twice. More than that, she’s a woman with
a past. That’s why they don’t want her to be Queen.

Smith: It’s happened before. Why start being choosy now?

James: Because now’s now and not before. And in any case she’s a commoner.

Smith: Nothing wrong with that.

James: But royalty are supposed to be choosy and people expect them to marry
other royals.

Smith: That lowers the odds, don’t it?

James: Sometimes I wish you wouldn’t be so vulgar, Smith. Royalty don’t lower
the odds, because with them the odds are fixed. They have to marry
who’s chosen for them.

Smith: Poor beggars. Then they’ve a lot to put up with.

James: If the King goes ahead and insists on marrying his woman, it’ll
cause mayhem. He’s very popular with many people, especially
women. They fall at his feet.

Smith: What do you think, James?

James: It’s not for me to make any comment about His Majesty, for he’s my
boss and I’m his butler. And that goes for you, too, Smith, as his
chauffeur. Always remember he pays our wages and keep your opinions
to yourself. The King has enough on his plate without us blabbing about
him and Mrs Simpson.

Smith: I hear that the Prime Minister is coming to see him again today,
so something’s afoot.

James: I believe so.

Smith: He’s certainly winding up the big-wigs, ain’t he?

James: Between you and me, Smith, His Majesty is sailing near the wind.

Smith: What d’yer think’ll happen if he goes ahead and marries ‘er?

James: I daren’t begin to think. It would solve everything if she went back
to America. and stayed there.

Smith: All them lovely high-born ladies and princesses hangin’ out for him an’
he has to go an’ fall for ‘er!

James: We’ve all got the right to choose our husbands and wives. After all,
we’re supposed to live with them the rest of our lives, but I thank my
lucky stars I’m not married when I see how some marriages turn out.

Smith: But a King oughter choose a Queenly woman, one with a bit o’ class an’
yer can hardly say that about Mrs Simpson.

James: It’s not for me to say. The King’s his own master – and mine.
Perhaps we’ll know after the Prime Minister has seen him; but the more
he leans on the King the more His Majesty will go his own way, and
I’ve worked with him long enough now to know.

Smith: But he’s really no choice but to give up Mrs Simpson if he’s crowned.

James: Or not be crowned at all.

Smith: What d’yer mean?

James: I mean he can always abdicate.

Smith: Give up his throne?

James: Exactly.

Smith: And where will that leave us, James?

James: Looking for another job, Smith.

Smith: Then I hopes he’ll give Mrs Simpson the big heave-oh!

Curtain

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