Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978): Season 1, Episode 6 - Proposals - full transcript

With the chances of getting the government's support for his marriage to Wallis ever diminishing, the King attempts to get their support for a morganatic marriage. Used in some countries when royalty marries a commoner, a morganatic marriage results in the sovereign's wife not becoming Queen and does not allow the children to inherit the throne. There is no provision in British law for this type of marriage and there is no support, either from the government or the Opposition, to enact the necessary legislation. Wallis for her part simply can't understand why the King just doesn't order everyone to accept their situation. Wallis and the King agree that she should go to France for the time being.

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[ "God Save the King" plays ]

[ Up-tempo music plays ]

♫ I've danced with a man
who's danced with a girl ♫

♫ Who's danced
with the Prince of Wales ♫

♫ "It was simply grand,"
he said ♫

♫ "Topping band" ♫

♫ And she said,
"Delightful, sir" ♫

♫ Glory, glory, alleluia ♫

♫ I'm the luckiest of females ♫

♫ For I've danced with a man
who's danced with a girl ♫

♫ Who danced
with the Prince of Wales ♫

[ "God Save the King" plays ]

[ Up-tempo music plays ]

Thank you.

Trouble, Alec.

His mind was made up.

He was all ready to go
and go quietly.

And now this.

Encouraging him to think
the country would stand by him

if it came to a showdown.

And that he might, in the end,

be able to make a divorced woman

"The King Edward touch.

The royal technique
repays study.

He went to Wales
resolute to find the remedy.

He went to see for himself."
Et cetera. Et cetera.

My God.
Just listen to this.

Even such deadweight lethargy

as surrounds Britain's
most vital need, rearmament,

would yield
to the King Edward touch.

In other words,
the Mail is saying,

"Let's have a king's party
in Parliament."

Fortunately, The Times
has countered very heavily.

"The king's
constitutional position

is above and apart
from party politics,

and all those that cherish
the institution of the monarchy

will always strive
to keep it so."

So much for a king's party.

Nevertheless, this pernicious
piece in the Mail

has given him enough hope
to seek delay.

How have you advised him?

How have I advised him?

Prime Minister, it's Monckton
who now advises him.

But the fact is
that he no longer listens

to anything
he doesn't wish to hear --

or to anybody,
except that woman.

As I say, he would have gone
quickly, but this --

this is a direct encouragement

for him to believe in the
possibility of a king's party.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

What exactly does morganatic
mean, Mr. Harmsworth?

A morganatic marriage

is a marriage where a commoner
marries a prince

but cannot share his royal rank,

nor would their children

What is the position
of the commoner?

Well, a subordinate title
is often arranged --

outside that of royal rank.

And the, uh, usual
regal comforts are available.

And there is love.

I'm not sure we should be
discussing this matter.

It's not the same
as becoming royal, you know.

It does have a certain cachet,

and it might work
as a compromise in this case.

I think I like the idea,
in view of the circumstances.

Well, what do you think of it,

There's no provision in our law
as it stands today, sir,

whereby the sovereign of England
can make a morganatic marriage.

Even if the Cabinet approved
of the idea,

special legislation would be
required, and the necessary bill

wouldn't stand much chance
of getting through.

I'm afraid that Walter's
probably right.

Well, I still think
it's worth a try.

At least the idea
could be aired,

not just stifled at birth.

Well, with respect, sir,

I'd be reluctant
to take it to Downing Street.

Well, how about you, Esmond?

Yes, Esmond.

Oh, I'll go to Baldwin.
He won't frighten me.

EDWARD: Would you consider
going tonight?

Of course, sir.

Well, thank you.
That's very good of you.

I'll call Mr. Baldwin now.

The people love him.

The people want him to have
the woman he loves.

They don't even know
who she is yet.

In England,
apart from the royal set,

hardly anyone knows she exists.

Thanks to the forbearance
of ourselves

and other newspaper proprietors.

You'll not forbear forever,
I daresay.

Sooner or later,
they'll know all about her.

And they won't want her.

The Daily Mail thinks otherwise.

I know the people
of this country better than...

better than the Daily Mail.

The people of this country will
not want that woman for queen.

That's the whole point
of the present proposals --

a morganatic marriage.

The woman the king marries
becomes the queen.

Such a marriage is
constitutionally impossible

without special legislation,

and neither house of Parliament
would ever pass it.

Surely they would.

The whole standard of morals

is much more broad-minded
since the war.

Quite right.

Ideals of morality
and of duty and self-sacrifice

have certainly gone down
since the war.

But the ideal of kingship
has gone up

because people want to see
decency somewhere.

The ideal of kingship,

has never in history stood
so high as it stands now.

And I tell you --

The British people
will never accept

this thing which you suggest.

More coffee, David?

No, thank you, darling.

Of course you do know, Wallis,

that if this morganatic proposal
were accepted,

your position as my wife
would only be altered

in the technical sense.

You'd still be able to help me
in my official capacity.

Well, wouldn't there be
political advantages as well?

After all, we would be unifying

the two great English-speaking


Your own vitality could then be
the greatest possible asset.

Oh, if only Esmond
could get through to Baldwin.

Well, there must be a way.


The attorney general, sir.

Thank you.

Your advice, please, Sir Donald.

The king is entertaining some
idea of a morganatic marriage

between himself
and Mrs. Simpson.

What should I say to him
about this

from the point of view of law?

You should say to him,
Prime Minister,

that in England,
the wife of the king is queen.

To pass an act
to make this not so

would be tantamount to declaring

that the king desired to marry
someone unfit to be his queen

and therefore, by definition,
unfit to be his wife.

Thank you, Sir Donald.

You need say no more.


Before I see His Majesty,
I must be quite clear.

If we had to resign
over this issue,

what would your attitude be
as leader of the opposition?

I should certainly refuse to
form an alternative government.

Thank you.

And now what about you, Winston?

Would you support me
if I resign?

As opposed to doing what,
Prime Minister?

You and certain others are known
to favor the king.

I should not indulge in faction,
if that is what you mean.

This matter is far too serious.

I do wish the king well.

So do we all.

I wish him very well.

But if the government resigns,
I should support the government.

Divine rubies, Wallis dear.

Those stunning Cartier settings.

And something quite
fascinatingly unusual

about the cut of the diamonds.

A new man has been discovered.

-In Rome.

-By Cartier?

Cartier don't approve
of his methods.

So whose idea was it
to risk letting him loose

on such very rare stones
as these?

Let us say mine.

Is that enough for your dossier,

[ Laughs ]

My two favorite Americans.


But since Chips is a member
of your House of Commons,

he can hardly still count
as American.

Oh, very well, then.

Wallis, my one favorite

I'm afraid that's not true

We both feel more European.

Wallis is absolutely right.

The sad thing about Americans
is they lack style.

And we both like style,
don't we, Chips?

[ Chuckles ]

[ Door opens ]

Good morning, Mr. Baldwin.

Good morning, sir.

Do sit down, won't you?

Thank you, sir.

Prime Minister, I've asked you
to come and see me

because I've heard nothing
from you for five days.

Has a suggested proposal
for a morganatic marriage

been put to you?

Yes, sir, it has.

And what do you think about it?

I have not considered it, sir.

I don't understand, Mr. Baldwin.

I do not mean
that I've ignored it,

but I am not in a position
to give a considered opinion.

I don't mean
I haven't thought about it,

but I have not considered it

which would mean
putting it to the Cabinet

and to the Dominions as well,

But if you want
a horseback opinion,

I think Parliament would never
pass the necessary legislation.

But it has yet to be consulted.

Might very well understand how
important this lady is to me.

Their understanding, sir, is
that the lady is twice divorced.

But if you wish, I will examine
the proposal formally.

Please do so, Mr. Baldwin.

If you insist, sir.

Yes, I do.

I do.

Very well, sir.

[ Air horn blowing ]

-Lord Beaverbrook.

I'm Hewittson, king's messenger.

I'm to tell you from His Majesty

that you're most welcome
back to England

and that you're to lunch
with him at Fort Belvedere.

Well, that's all fine,
but I think I'll lunch at home.

I have a new diet.

His Majesty's chef

has telephoned Your Lordship's
staff at Stornoway House,

and luncheon will comprise only
such dishes as are admissible.

Are you sure they talked about
the latest diet?

Not the other one,

but the one I started on
as I was leaving England.

Oh, yes, My Lord.

Your Lordship's staff
at Stornoway House

specially contacted the chef
on board your liner

before supplying final details

to His Majesty's chef
at Fort Belvedere.

Hm. Now, that's what I call
really thoughtful.

Yes. Yes.
Very thoughtful of you, sir.

Thank you.

Whilst on board ship, I had time
to assess the situation,

and it seems to me that your
popularity in this country, sir,

is indestructible.

Particularly after your tour
of South Wales.

Well, I'm glad it was thought
to have been successful.

You comforted, restored,

Your people love you.

You may marry whom you choose.

The government has no right,
in law or precedent,

to forbid the banns.

But what you must not do, sir,

is to propose
morganatic marriage.

Well, Wallis rather liked
the idea.

And so did I.

It was Harmsworth's suggestion,
and he put it up to the PM.


And what did the PM say?

That it would need
special legislation

which would not be passed.

You see, sir,
by putting up this proposal,

you and Harmsworth have laid
Your Majesty open to every sort

of frustration and humiliation
at the hands of your ministers.

If you just marry, sir,

you'll give the politicians
no room to maneuver at all.

But if you ask for
a morganatic marriage

that needs special legislation,

you pass the power
to the Cabinet.

I see.

So, uh, here's the course
that I suggest, sir.

One, you withdraw
the morganatic proposal.

Two, you find some friend in the
Cabinet to represent your case.

And three, postpone any decision

until we have measured
the strength on either side.

But whom can we find in the
Cabinet who would speak for me?

I have in mind Sir Samuel Hoare.

From the outset,

I've had no faith
in a morganatic solution.

And I told the king so.

I agree.
I have said as much myself.

Well, what was his reaction?

Well, he appeared to accept
what I had recommended,

but I wasn't entirely sure.

I had the feeling
that, uh, his agreement

would be based on
Mrs. Simpson's approval.

She favors it.


As we are both against
this morganatic proposal,

will you help me enlist
Sam Hoare?

[ Exhales deeply ]

Well, if this thing
is to drag on,

I suppose the king must be
well represented in the Cabinet.

What do you mean, drag on?

I thought you were
the king's friend.

Oh, you know I am, Max.

But I believe

that he should abandon this
struggle to retain the throne

unless he means to give up
Mrs. Simpson.

Oh, he won't give her up.

And we must not give him up.

Then perhaps
we should approach Sam...

see if he's our man.

Right, Walter.

I'll see him tonight.

What we need is a strong
representative in the Cabinet.

Do you indeed?

Well, I'm afraid
you can't have me.

Why not, Sam?

It's a futile cause.

You could, nevertheless,
speak as the king's friend.

The cause is discredited, Max.

Look, you don't have to say
that you approve it.

Your role could be that of, um,
watching advocate.

My role will be that
of devil's advocate.

Max, I don't want it.

I know how you feel, David --

that a morganatic marriage
is far from perfect.

But we've both agreed --

It's all that's left to us
at the moment.

Well, I'm not so sure, Wallis.

You deserve better.

Under these circumstances,
wouldn't it be best?

Well, we've got to do something.
That's certain.

Oh, why hasn't Max telephoned?

I don't know, and I'll find out
in the morning.

-Well, why not now?
-Oh, Wallis, the time.

It's a bit late
to disturb him now.

Shouldn't he have telephoned
before he went to bed?

All right.
I'll put through a call.

Put through a call
to Lord Beaverbrook, please.

Darling, what I want is whatever
will make you happiest.

[ Telephone rings ]

-[ Telephone rings ]


Uh, yes.
Oh, yes, sir.

Yes, I-I have spoken
with Sam Hoare,

but I've been unable
to persuade him.

Well, I wish I'd known
a little earlier, Max.

I thought I should sleep on it.

Max, I must have Wallis
on any terms.

That's the truth of it.

And what are the terms, sir?

Well, I very much appreciate
the proposals you've made today

and the energy with which
you've tried to forward them.

But I have to say, Max, that
the morganatic marriage proposal

is still the one we favor.

[ Sighs ]

I must tell you, sir --
If you pursue this line,

you will lose the fight
before it's begun.

Oh, but it's fairly late, sir.

Perhaps we should both
sleep on it.

Well, I can't sleep, Max.

But, of course, you must,
and you shall.


Good night, Max.

[ Groans ]

In answer
to the king's insistence

that a morganatic marriage
should be considered,

I replied that I would first of
all need to consult the Cabinet

and that the Dominions' cabinets
would also have to be consulted.

The king, of course,

could consult the Dominions'
governments direct

through the governors-general.

But I am loath
to employ that channel

because I consider the matter
to be too delicate

and too personal to be handled
by the king himself.

Cables are therefore
being prepared

and will be dispatched
to the Dominions,

inviting them to give
their views

on each of the three
following courses --

firstly, that the king
should marry Mrs. Simpson

and that she should be
recognized as queen.

[ Men murmuring ]

that he should marry her

and yet that she should not
become queen --

the morganatic proposal.

[ Men murmuring ]

And thirdly,
that His Majesty should abdicate

in favor of His Royal Highness
the Duke of York.

today is November 27th.

Our next regular Cabinet meeting
is on Wednesday, December 2nd.

Between now and then,

I shall receive replies
from the Dominions.

Between now and then,
you must resolve in your minds

and in your hearts what is to be
done in this unhappy affair.

I shall then be in a position,

strengthened by your advice
and that of the Dominions,

to approach His Majesty and tell
him the will of his people,

both here in Britain
and throughout the empire.

He told his mother,
he told his brothers,

and he told me that if he had to
go, he would go quietly.

Yet it continues.

Ever since Harmsworth came up
with this morganatic notion.

I know Mrs. Simpson likes
the idea.

She thinks it would work,
and so does the king.

Then there's Beaverbrook
buzzing about.

Is he still taking
the same line?

Well, he's encouraging the king
to hang on.

He's against
a morganatic marriage

because of its legislative

But he's for the marriage,
which he says the king can make

without permission
of the politicians.

The Rothermere press
at the morganatic end,

the Beaverbrook press

at the "just get spliced
and damn their eyes" end,

all of them pro the marriage.

And yet, Walter --

And yet I'm sure
that the press barons

do not speak for the people
of England.

I agree.

And by the same token,

I venture to suggest that
the voice of Max Beaverbrook

is not necessarily the voice
of his native Canada.

When do you expect responses

to the telegrams you sent
to the Dominions?

Not for a day or two.

And your own Cabinet?

The Cabinet meets on Wednesday.

Chips, darling, thank you
for the beautiful flowers.


Well, I'm sorry I had to cancel
last night's dinner party,

but the doctor says

I have to have absolute quiet
for several days

and avoid all excitement.

Even the electric telephone,

and especially electric visitors
like you.


Thanks again.

Bye, Chips.

Aunt Bessie, I'm so bored.

I think I'll get up tomorrow
and go out.

Oh, would that be wise, Wallis?

If I don't do something, I'll be
driven crazy by this waiting.

Well, drink this down.

It'll help to calm you.

Only for a few hours,
I'm afraid.

Wallis, when you're feeling
a little better,

do you think we could leave
London for somewhere quieter?

Where would that be,
Aunt Bessie?

These days we carry
our own noise along with us.

Hang it, Walter!

These bloody politicians
have made Wallis ill!

-I am sorry to hear that, sir.

And Beaverbrook keeps opposing
the morganatic suggestion

when he knows perfectly well

it's what Wallis and I
both want!

And when will there be answers
from the Dominions?

Very soon, sir.

Please try to be patient.

Well, Beaverbrook says
that Baldwin has slanted them

to get the answers
that he wants.

Well, I don't know
the precise text, sir.

But I'm assured
by the permanent secretary

at the Dominions office, where
these cables were prepared,

that the account given
and the choices proposed

are scrupulously fair.

All right.

If only those wretched answers
wouldn't take forever to come.

Before the Cabinet meets
in two days' time, Mr. Attlee,

I once more need to know
where the Labour Party stand.

Neither mine nor the party's
attitude have changed.

While the Labour people
have no objection

to an American becoming queen,

I'm certain they would not
approve of Mrs. Simpson

for that position.

-And the morganatic idea?
-They'd object to that as well.

There are certain sophisticated
elements in London who favor it.

Important not to think

that London is typical
of the country as a whole.

The Labour Party's ideas
are rooted

in the provincial decencies,
not in metropolitan chic.

There is a lot of sympathy for
the king on the Labour benches.

Despite the sympathy felt
for the king

and the affection his visits
to depressed areas have created,

the party, with the exception
of a few of the intelligentsia,

who can be trusted to take
the wrong view on any subject,

is in agreement with the views
I express.

Are you quite sure
of everything you say?

Absolutely, Prime Minister.

I might add that the patience
of the industrial constituencies

is much shorter
than that of London

and that the opinion
of the Commonwealth

is likely to coincide
with that of the provinces.



There's, uh, some time
before the next Cabinet meeting,

but it's now
virtually established

that all ministers will support
the prime minister

as will Attlee
and the opposition,

bar a few exceptions
who seek personal advertisement.

And what of Churchill?


Churchill will want
the king treated

with as much kindness
and respect as possible.

But in the end,
he supports Baldwin.

An undivided
parliamentary front.

Max, the prime minister hopes
that when the story breaks...

As break it soon must.

...the press will also present
an undivided front.


I cannot speak for others
any longer.

I fancy things have gone too far
for that.

But for myself, Sam, I have
taken the king's shilling,

so therefore
I am the king's man.

Yes, David.

The car has just arrived.

How like you to think of that

when you have
so many other worries.

Yes, Krug '27 will solve
some of the problems.

Would it could take care
of them all.

David, what's happening?

Oh, I see.

Of course I understand.

But you will let me know
if there's anything new

just as soon as you can?

Remember who is the king.

BESSIE: Just the usual supply
of champagne.

Oh, the king's servant
was downright disobliging.

I asked him to carry the wine
down to the basement for me,

but he pretended not to hear
and left it in the hall.

I expect morale is rather low
in his household just now.

This letter for you
was just dropped into the box.

Thank you, Aunt Bessie.

Oh, my God.

How horrible.

What, Wallis?

I must call David.


Oh, my dear.
How -- How dare they.

[ Telephone rings ]


Of course, Mrs. Simpson.

Yes, Wallis.
What is it?

David, the most frightening
thing has just happened.

Aunt -- Aunt Bessie and I
r-received an anonymous letter

threatening us.

And we're all alone here.

Yes, Wallis.
Of course I understand.

Please try and stay calm.

You mustn't let it upset you
like this.

It's not like you.

Well, now.


Well, I think the best thing
would be for you to come down

and stay at the fort.

Well, you'll be quite safe

I can look after you.

Now, Wallis,
you leave everything to me.

And please don't worry.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

[ Engine turns over ]

The Cabinet decision
was as I feared.

Except for Duff Cooper,

a unanimous rejection
of the morganatic proposal.

And the cables to the Dominions
were framed

in the same rigid way

as Baldwin had presented
the case to the Cabinet.

Well, how did you hear this?

Over lunch,
with a member of the Cabinet.

Sir, you have placed your head
on the execution block.

All that Baldwin has to do now
is swing the ax.


I'm expecting the executioner
at 6:00 this evening.

Don't worry, sir.

I'm sure we'll find
some solution.

We mustn't lose sight
of your popular support.

Have you, uh, have you seen
the cables to the Dominions?

Not yet.

They've been slanted
to bring them behind Baldwin.

I was hoping to hear the replies
very soon.

Have you seen the papers?


I must warn you, sir,
that this will get worse.

There will be
sensational disclosures

in a London morning paper.

So it's about to break.


Well, I'd like to spare Wallis

Be prepared, sir, for a virulent
attack on you in The Times.

I beg you, sir,

please lift the restrictions
on those papers friendly to you.


Very kind of you, but I do not
wish to divide the nation.

Well, the criticism
in the provincial papers

is all rather discreet,
Aunt Bessie.

I'm not even mentioned by name.

It's rather to do with
the king's self-dedication.

However, they are drawing all
sorts of ridiculous parallels.

One reporter even sees a portent

in the destruction
of the Crystal Palace.

Superstitious English.

[ Chuckles ]

Well, the king will do
what he can

to silence the London papers.

Remember, your interests
are foremost in his mind.


And -- And he has got
powerful friends.

And they're working
on his behalf --

and yours, Wallis, honey.

Come in.

Do sit down.

Thank you, sir.

I have some of the replies
from the Dominions, sir.

At last.

Knowing how anxious you are,
I brought them with me.


Well, what do they say?

Although they are not yet

they do show that a morganatic
marriage would not be accepted.

Who would not accept it?

Here are the cables, sir.


"His Majesty could not now
re-establish his prestige..."

"...or command confidence
as king."

Well, that's Australia.

Savage of New Zealand says
he will not quarrel

with anything the king does

nor with anything his
government do to restrain him.

He's rather hedging his bets,
isn't he?

It's only fair to Savage, sir,
to say

that he had never heard of Mrs.
Simpson before he had the cable.


New Zealand is a very distant
country, Prime Minister.

Well, what about
the other Dominions?

India is divided.

Canada and South Africa
definitely against.

What about Parliament?

The answer, I'm sure,
would be the same.

But it has yet to say as much.

I have put inquiries in hand,

I am convinced that neither
Parliament nor the people

would approve of your marrying
Mrs. Simpson.

Then let Parliament and the
people say so for themselves.

They'll say so soon enough, sir,
if you force them to it.

Our hope is that you will
enable them to remain silent

by giving up any idea
of this marriage.

That is the first of three
courses open to you, sir,

and the one
I pray you will take.

And the other courses?

Secondly, you may marry
and abdicate.

And thirdly?

You could marry against
the advice of your ministers,

in which case, sir --

In which case, Mr. Baldwin?

I should resign
if you persisted,

and no one would be prepared
to form a new government.

There would have to be
a general election

on the issue of your marriage.

Your name would be hawked around
the polling booths --

degrading for you, sir,
and a disaster for your kingdom.

So please believe me, sir.

If you marry Mrs. Simpson,
you will have to go.

But we all hope --
please believe me, sir --

that you will stay.

Well...since my whole happiness
depends on our marrying...

...I have no choice, then,
but to abdicate, Mr. Baldwin.

Your happiness, sir,
could surely be found elsewhere.

In serving
and reigning over your people,

in fulfilling
your responsibilities

and your duties to your country.

Only I know
where my happiness lies.

But you must know
where it should lie.

Wallis is the most wonderful
woman in the world.

Well, sir...
I hope that you may find her so.

And whatever happens,
I hope that you will be happy.

Thank you.

they don't want me anymore.

We do want you, sir.

Well, you wouldn't think so
to read all this.

And tomorrow there'll be more
of it -- and worse.

We must protect Mrs. Simpson
against all this.

You must forbid
Dawson of The Times

to publish anything against her.

I cannot forbid Dawson, sir.

In England, the press, like
every man's speech, is free.

But Dawson must be stopped.

Would you speak to him for me?

I can promise nothing, sir,
but I will talk to him.

Thank you.

I'm so sorry, ma'am.

Thank you, my dear.

That will be all for now.

Morning, Aunt Bessie.

Morning, my darling.

May I see a paper?

There was none on my tray
this morning.

Let's see what they have to say

Well, I thought -- We thought --
Oh, that is, the king...

Where's David?

Oh, don't upset yourself,
Wallis, dear.

But this is dreadful.

This is simply dreadful.

-Wallis. Wallis, dear.



David, have you seen the papers?

Have you read
what they're saying about us?


Now, Wallis,
please don't let this upset you.

But it's -- it's --
it's -- it's so dreadful.

I-It's so cheap and degrading.
It's so cruel.

I did what I could to stop them.

I-I don't understand.
What do they want from me?

They've driven me from my home,
I'm hounded wherever I go,

and now my name
is a dirty household word!


Why didn't you tell me
it was going to be like this?

Darling, I'd no idea
they'd be so vile.

Oh, Wallis,
wouldn't it be better

if you went away for a while?

Went away?

Well, I mean if you went abroad.

You are my first concern,
and I'm terribly worried

about the effect
that this is having on you.

Now, please,
wouldn't that be the answer?

[ Sighs ]

I don't know anything anymore,

Well, I do.

And I won't have you exposed
to this anymore.

Now, you must go abroad,
and the sooner the better.

And I shall handle everything.

Now, you leave it to me.


Come in.

Do sit down, won't you?

It was very nice of you to come
at such short notice, Perry.

These bloody newspapers
are much worse than I feared.

The press hounds
just won't let up on her.

Do sit down, won't you?

It's an ugly business, sir.

Yes, and it's getting uglier,

which is why I've asked you
to come and see me, Perry.

Could you drop everything and
escort Wallis to France for me?

It will be an honor, sir, to do
anything in my power to help.

Thank you very much.

Now, Wallis and I
have discussed it all,

and we think that it's best
that she go to stay

with the Herman Rogers
at their villa in Cannes.

-You know them, I believe.
-Yes, sir.

When would we go?

Soon as possible.

Short notice, I know.

That's all right, sir.

-Will we fly?
-No. By car.

Of course,
it'd be quicker to fly.

Solve a lot of other problems,

But Wallis is very nervous
of flying,

and particularly
just at this moment.

That's understandable, sir.

Now, I've arranged for Ladbroke
to drive,

and you'll be accompanied
by Evans, my detective.

It will be just the four of you.

And I know you'll look after her
for me.

That goes without saying, sir.

Shall I book the passage
on the night steamer?

No. It's already been done --
under assumed names.

I hate all this cloak-and-dagger

but obviously Wallis' identity
has to be protected

from the press.

It's awfully good of you, Perry.

I'll be with you in a minute,

David, please,

you must think about my idea
of broadcasting to your people.

I will. I'll work on it.
I promise.

Like President Roosevelt's

Just cut through the red tape
and appeal directly.

Yes. Now, Wallis,
we haven't got very long.

You must accept Perry's
protection as if it were my own.

When will I see you again?

Well, I can't say,
but it won't be very long.

But you must stay in Cannes,

and you must telephone me
every day.

You'll telephone as well?

Of course.

[ Voice breaking ]
Every day?

Every day.

I can't bear the thought
of being without you.

Now, there's the draft
of my broadcast.

And that is what I wish to tell
my people.

I shall consult my colleagues,

but I have no doubt
what their opinion will be.

For you to appeal
directly to the country

over the heads of the government
would be unconstitutional.

[ Exhales deeply ]

You want me to go, don't you?

But before I do,
I think it is right,

for her sake
as well as for mine,

that I should speak.

What I want, sir, is what you
told me you wanted --

to go with dignity,
not dividing the country,

and making things as smooth
as possible for your successor.

If you are allowed to make
this broadcast,

you will be telling
millions throughout the world,

among them a vast number
of women,

that you are determined
to marry one

who has two husbands living.

The thing would make chaos

But I would ask you at least
to consult your colleagues.

Yes, sir.

I can do that.

All I'm asking for

is that I should be allowed
to marry whom I choose.

She needn't be the queen,

just have a title
befitting to my wife.

And I could tell the nation
all this on the wireless

and then go away somewhere...

...to Belgium, perhaps,

while the people came
to their verdict.

David, ask the people.

Broadcast in person
to your subjects.

Make them let you speak.



Do you hear me?

Do you understand?

David, I-I have to go now.

The press are at our heels.

Goodbye. I'll call you again
as soon as I can.

You must not abdicate!

[ Indistinct conversations ]

We have to get away, Wallis.

The courtyard is crowded
with photographers.

It was so difficult.

We could hardly hear
each other speak.

We'll try and shake them off,
and then you can call again.

Now, stay close to me.
We'll make a dash for the car.

[ Indistinct shouting ]

[ Horn honking ]

[ Honking continues ]

[ Door opens ]


All this, David, and you haven't
been to see me for 10 days.

I didn't wish to involve you

in something
which I must handle alone.

Whatever is to happen,

it closely concerns your
brothers, particularly Bertie.

I told Bertie
soon after I first told you.

But since then, nothing.

I wished to spare him distress
as well as you.

You must consult with Bertie,

He has a right to know
what is going on.

Well, I wish I knew myself.

That's all I have to say.

Do your duty, at least in this.

Consult the brother who is to
succeed you when you go.

Good night, Mama.

Will you be happy, David?

When you leave your own country,
where will you go?

[ Door opens ]

Oh, good heavens.
You've been waiting, Walter.

That's quite all right, sir.

That was very kind of you.

I've been seeing my mother.

I'm afraid I bring
little comfort, sir.

I've shown your draft
to Winston.

He says it's useless.

The Cabinet will regard it
as unconstitutional

if you go to the people over
the heads of your ministers.

They'll never let you
broadcast it.

I see.

You think that's final?

Yes, sir, I do.

Like a drink, Walter?

Um, not at the moment,
thank you, sir.

[ Sighs ]

Well, now I'm going to leave
this palace...

which I have always hated...
and drive down to the fort.

At this time of night, sir?


Well, then I hope you'll let me
come with you, sir.

Might be rather poor company,

but thank you, yes,
I'd be very glad of yours.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Mr. Speaker, may I ask
the prime minister a question,

of which I've given
private notice,

whether he is now in a position
to make a statement

on the constitutional position.

Mr. Speaker, I regret to say
that at this moment

I have nothing to add
to what I said yesterday.

Mr. Churchill.

Mr. Speaker, may I repeat the
question which I asked yesterday

and ask
my right honorable friend

whether he can give an assurance

that no irrevocable step
will be taken

-Hear, hear.
-Hear, hear.

-Hear, hear.
-Hear, hear.

I have nothing to add now
to what I said yesterday.

[ Murmuring ]

Mr. Speaker, I should like to
ask the prime minister

whether he has anything to add
to the answer he gave

to the question I put to him

the beginning
of today's proceedings.

Mr. Speaker.

Yes, sir.

In view of the widely
circulated suggestions

as to certain possibilities

in the event
of the king's marriage,

I think it would be advisable
for me to make a statement.

Suggestions have appeared

in certain organs of the press
yesterday and again today

that should the king decide
to marry,

his wife need not become queen.

Such ideas are without
any constitutional foundation.

There is no such thing

as what is called a morganatic
marriage known to our law.

Hear, hear.

The king himself requires
no consent from any authority

in order to make his marriage

But, as I have said,
the lady whom he marries,

by the fact of her marrying the
king, necessarily becomes queen.

And she herself therefore enjoys
all the status and privileges

which, by positive law and by
custom, attach to that position.

The only possible way in which
this result could be avoided

would be by legislation to
deal with the particular case.

His Majesty's government
are not prepared to introduce

such legislation.

Hear, hear. Hear, hear.

BALDWIN: Moreover,
the matters to be dealt with

are of common concern
to the Commonwealth as well,

and such a change
could only be effected

with the assent
of all the Dominions.

I am satisfied,
from inquiries that I have made,

that no such assent
would be forthcoming.

I have thought it right
to make this statement

before the House adjourned today

in order to remove
a widespread misunderstanding.

At the moment, I have
no other statement to make.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Mr. Attlee.

Mr. Speaker, at this stage,

I think it would be,
even if time allowed,

undesirable to make any comment

or to discuss
the prime minister's statement.

It is one to which
we shall all have to give

our very gravest consideration.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Sir, the Cabinet
cannot permit Your Majesty

to broadcast to the nation
in the manner you suggest.

It now only remains
for Your Majesty to decide

if you do intend to abdicate
to marry Mrs. Simpson.

There is still time for you
to change your mind, sir.

And that is indeed the prayer
of Your Majesty's servants.

I will let you know...
as soon as possible.

I heard rumors saying
there were demonstrations

starting in the Mall.

Yes, yes.
Perfectly true.

There are people gathering
outside the palace.

These are people who want you
to stay and Baldwin to go.

Yes, but, Winston, I doubt they
represent the majority opinion.

We shall see.

Even so, sir, there's a good bit
of support for you

and a desire in many quarters
to have you stay at all costs.

I quite agree with you, Walter.

Four nights ago, when I
addressed the Albert Hall rally

attacking the government's
failure to rearm,

it was impossible
not to be inspired by the fervor

with which those assembled sang
"God Save the King."

Very heartening
to hear all this.

That part of my speech
relative to Your Majesty

that I was stopped from making
at the rally,

I have now issued to the press.

Essentially, it is a plea
for time and patience.

A not unreasonable request.

Well, I hope you have more
success than I did, Winston.

Although you cannot speak, sir,
others are speaking for you.

The Daily Mirror is publishing
articles favorable to you

and Mrs. Simpson.

Well, I'm very pleased,
for Wallis' sake.

She's been most miserably
treated in all this.

Even so, sir,
the national press is divided.

The Times, The Telegraph,
and the Manchester Guardian,

the three most influential

all support Mr. Baldwin,
I'm afraid.

But the Mail and the Express
are on your side.

And the News Chronicle.

Yes. That's pretty surprising,
isn't it?

For a nonconformist newspaper,
I agree, sir.

Excuse me, Your Majesty.

The Duke of York
is on the telephone.

His Royal Highness is
very anxious to speak with you.

Oh, yes.

Well, I shall let him know
when to come to see me.

Yes, Your Majesty.

What were we saying, Walter?

That the News Chronicle
supports you, sir.

Oh, yes.

They love you well enough

to overlook
their more pious principles.

[ Chuckles ]

Take time, sir.

I cannot say
that you will win through,

but at least you can assess the
measure of support you receive.

We must have time
for the big battalions to mass.

We may win.

We may not.

Who can say?

But whatever happens, Winston,
I am going to marry Wallis.