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The Windsor Story

By Charles Murphy and Joe Bryan

When King Edward VIII gave up the throne for Mrs Simpson in 1934, the whole world was gripped.

American Wallis Simpson was twice divorced – and the Royal Family would not countenance a divorcee as Queen. So, Edward took the monumental decision to abdicate. Given the title Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the couple embarked on a life of exile. Never had a man given up so much: not just the throne, but sovereignty over the British Empire as well.

Charles Murphy and Joe Bryan were successful, well-connected American journalists, who interviewed the Duke and Duchess and formed firm friendships. Murphy was commissioned by Life magazine to write the Duke’s memoir – an arduous task due to Edward’s inability to focus. He was then engaged by the Duchess to write her story – a project which also became fraught with difficulty and was completed in the end by another writer.

The two journalists, fed up with the couple’s capriciousness, laziness, avarice and narcissism, then got together to tell the truth about the Windsors’ ill-fated union. They reveal the sad fact that, despite the Duke’s huge sacrifice, Wallis never really loved him. Trapped into marriage by Edward’s obsessive devotion she took to taunting and bullying him, even embarking on a bizarre affair of sorts with gay millionaire playboy Jimmy Donahue. Their association with Hitler is documented, as well as the Duke’s dismal tenure as Governor of the Bahamas. Unable to succeed at any role offered, they were doomed to a life of endless partying.

As confidants of the couple, Murphy and Bryan had unique access. Their analysis of the Duke and Duchess comes from first-hand knowledge of both, as well as personal acquaintance with many of their circle. Detailed, meticulous, but also highly entertaining, this is the definitive account of the Windsor story, and a fascinating inside picture of the British Royal Family.

Praise for The Windsor Story:

‘The best documented and least inhibited account we are ever likely to get of the long, lonely years the Windsor’s spent in exile’ – New York Times

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