Joy H.'s Reviews > Royal Feud: The Dark Side of the Love Story of the Century

Royal Feud by Michael Thornton
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's review
Apr 02, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, royalty, royalty-british
Read in March, 2010

RE: Royal Feud: The Dark Side of the Love Story of the Century Royal Feud: The Dark Side of the Love Story of the Century (1985) by Michael Thornton

Added 3/7/10 - I read this book in March 2010.
"Story of the feud between The Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and Wallis Simpson, American, who became Duchess of Windsor when King Edward VIII, in 1936, abdicated the throne to marry her. This story dramatizes the course of this feud and explains its origins. It also tells how, in old age, a peace was finally made between them."

I am awed by the amount of research which went into this book about the break between the British Royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor after Edward VIII's abdication. The footnotes abound (leading me on to other books I'd like to read). It's a fascinating story detailing, among other things, the animosity between Wallis Windsor and George VI's wife, Queen Elizabeth. The Duke never gave up in his attempts to persuade his brother, the king, to allow Wallis to use the title HRH (Her Royal Highness).

Also, from page 226: "The King's decision not to give the Windsors any further official work may have resulted from the documentary evidence of the Duke's 'indiscretions' during the war." (This refers to the Duke's interactions with Hitler before and during WWII. On page 226, it says: "Hitler had not yet abandoned his plans for the restoration of Edward to the throne from which he had abdicated.")

PS-I've been lucky enough to find a YouTube video in which both the Duke and the Duchess are speaking. They tell about the beginning of their relationship and how they met. See the video here: ====>

PPS-I'm trying to see both sides of the story, as to whether the British Crown did right or wrong in their ostracism of the abdicated king and his wife, Wallis Windsor.
ADDENDUM - 4/2/13:
p.324 - "If age had caught up with Wallace, it had not robbed her of style."

p.334 - "The Prince was dead. The royal fairy tale was over... The leading lady was left on stage surrounded by her props and all the tinsel of make-believe."

p.335 - "Between the Duchess of Windsor and her sister-in-law, the Queen Mother, there remained a strange and touching epilogue to be played out."

p.360 - (re the Queen Mother) "... making any house she lives in a unique haven of cozinesss and character... (words of Prince Phillip in book's preface (?))

p.360 - (re the Queen Mother) "... whose greatest gift is to enhance life for others through her own effervescent enthusiasm for life."

(The article, by Michael Thornton, is entitled: "The Queen Mother? That spiteful old soak dedicated herself to making our lives hell")
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