Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thursday 10th December 1936

Daily Mirror, at breakfast: “The King Decides” “Abdication Plans” Daily Express: “Abdication Fears” “Definite decision to be Announced Today” All day there was speculation, criticism and wild rumours. One very strong rumour was that the Duke of York had refused to succeed his brother, and that Princess Elizabeth (aged about 9) would become Queen with Queen Mary as Regent.

A dull, grey sort of day. About 4 o’clock one of the drivers came in with a paper. He showed me the stop press. “The King abdicates announced in House of Commons this afternoon.” Mr Val came into the lab with the news that the abdication was in favour of the Duke of York. If the Duke had refused, my faith in the Royal Family would have been utterly shattered! But, dammit, I never dreamed Edward 8th would let us down like this. I, Like many others, thought he was going to be a fine King and something much more than a figurehead. Nevertheless I admire him for being stubborn and keeping to his decision.

Mr Val, works manager: “I blame the bottle more than the woman.” Mr Brandford, chemist: “I’m sorry, I thought he was going to be different.” Gladys Perkins, stores girl: “Oh, isn’t it a shame! It’s all her fault.” Blay, cellulose foreman: “Yes, I admire his stubbornness alright but still, he’s a shit-bag.” Harris, stores foreman: “It just shows what a bit of skirt can do.” Mr Nimo, cellulose manager: “He wants bloody well shooting.” Crancher, lorry driver: “This sort of thing won’t do the Monarchy any good.”

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