Sunday, 10 July 2011

Abdication of Edward VIII

Daily Mail (Continental Edition) dated 12th December 1936

King George V died on 20th January 1936 and the eldest of his four surviving sons immediately became King Edward VIII.

As the Prince of Wales Edward had met the then married Wallis Simpson (born Bessie Wallis Warfield in Pennsylvania in 1891). By 1934 they were spending foreign holidays together while he husband stayed at home in England.  In 1936 the as yet uncrowned King took her on Mediterranean yachting holiday that was well covered by the Press everywhere except in England where the privacy of the Royals was still sacrosanct.
In October 1936 Wallis Simpson got a divorce from her husband and Edward told the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin that he intended to marry her. As a divorcee she was barred from a Church of England marriage, but as Supreme Governor of the Church Edward could not contemplate a civil marriage. There was an option to have a Church marriage in which she would not become Queen and their future children would not inherit the throne, but Parliament was against this idea.
The only option left was abdication and this occurred on 10th December 1936 when Edward was succeeded by his bother David as George VI.
Edward and Wallis set sail for France on 12th December 1936 and were married the following June.

I have no interest in football and this list of teams mean nothing to me, but I thought that someone might find it informative

The name that leaps out from this advert for Paris nightlife is Josephine Baker.  Possibly the first African-American woman to become an International star. She was primarily a dancer but also sang and she appeared in 10 films between 1927 and 1954.
She took Paris by storm when she appeared there in the 1920’s with her risqué dance routines that played on the popularity of native African music and rhythms not to mention a tendency to go bare chested.
In 1937 she married and became a French citizen. During WW2 she helped the French Resistance and at the end of the War was awarded the Croix de Guerre by Charles de Gaulle.  In the 1960 she was active in the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.
She died in 1975.

During World War 2 the battleship Gneisenau and the Scharnhorst operated together and participated in the German invasion of Norway. After a successful raid in the Atlantic in 1941, Gneisenau and her sister put in at Brest, France. The two battleships were the subjected to repeated bombing raids by the RAF. In early 1942, the two ships made a daylight dash up the English Channel from occupied France to Germany. After reaching Kiel (where she was launched 6 years earlier) the ship went into dry-dock. On the night of 26th February, the RAF bombed the ship, causing serious damage and a large number of casualties. She never sailed again and was eventually broken up for scrap in 1951.

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