Traitor king : the scandalous exile of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor

by Lownie, Andrew,

Format: Print Book 2022
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Drawing upon newly released archives, bestselling biographer Andrew Lownie tells the story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's glittering lives after Edward abdicated the throne--a world that was riddled with treachery and betrayal.

A Town & Country "Must Read Book"

11 December 1936. The King of England, Edward VIII, has given up his crown, foregoing his duty for the love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. Their courtship has been dogged by controversy and scandal, but with Edward's abdication, they can live happily ever after.

But do they? Beginning this astonishing dual biography at the moment that most biographers turn away, bestselling historian Andrew Lownie reveals the dramatic lives of the Windsors post-abdication. This is a story of a royal shut out by his family and forced into exile; of the Nazi attempts to recruit the duke to their cause; and of why the duke, as Governor of the Bahamas, tried to shut down the investigation into the murder of a close friend. It is a story of a couple obsessed with their status, financially exploiting their position, all the while manipulating the media to portray themselves as victims.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were, in their day, the most glamorous exiles in the world, flitting from sumptuously appointed mansions in the south of France to luxurious residences in Palm Beach. But they were spoiled, selfish people, obsessed with their image, and revelling in adulterous affairs. Drawing upon previously unexplored archives, Lownie shows in dramatic fashion how their glittering world was riddled with treachery and betrayal--and why the royal family never forgave the duke for choosing love over duty.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This gossipy dual portrait of Edward VIII and his American wife, Wallis Simpson, opens with Edward's abdication in 1936 in order to marry Simpson, who was recently divorced from her second husband. Biographer and literary agent Lownie (The Mountbattens) explains that as WWII loomed, the British government saw the Duke of Windsor as a "security risk" due to his pro-German sympathies, and notes that the royal family was not allowed to attend the couple's June 1937 wedding. While Edward and Wallis hobnobbed with Nazi officials, rumors swirled that Edward was bisexual and that Wallis was the only woman who could "satisfactorily gratify" his sexual desires. Universally described as "ambitious," the Duchess was extravagant and demanding of her staff, while the Duke was perceived as aimless. After appealing to Prime Minister Winston Churchill for an assignment, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas, where he befriended Nazi sympathizers and presided over the flawed police investigation into the murder of mining magnate Sir Harry Oakes. Lownie gathers convincing evidence of Edward's collaboration with Germany and amasses a wealth of new material, including intimate details about the Duchess's affair with American socialite James Donahue. Royal watchers will be riveted. (May)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Windsor, Edward, -- Duke of, -- 1894-1972.
Windsor, Wallis Warfield, -- Duchess of, -- 1896-1986.
Marriages of royalty and nobility -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century -- Biography.
Great Britain -- Kings and rulers -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Pegasus Books,2022
Edition First Pegasus Books cloth edition.
Language English
Notes Reprint. Originally published: London : Blink, 2021.
Description 422 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9781639361410
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