Back in February, 2005, I transcribed this:
“Over my shoulder, a backward glance. This Paul Harvey was still in high school in Tulsa, OK, working evenings on KVOO, when the studios were in the top of the Philtower skyscraper. So I was on duty when the King of England, in love with an American woman, went on the air to announce his resignation. “At long last”, he said, “I am able to say a few words of my own.” It was an agonizing soliloquy, that cold December day in 1936, as he set aside the crown, choosing to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson. In subsequent years the two of them visited the United States often, usually as self-invited house guests of the rich and the famous, and from one of those families, I, a fledgling teenage reporter, learned what Paul Jr. would one day recall as “the rest of the story.” I learned that after months of tedious debate with the British government and the Church of England, and with public opinion, a rock was hurled one night through a window of Clarence House, and the woman he loved, terrified, left the house, and left England, and fled to Paris. In those more responsible days, a journalist cleared such stories with the subject. So I sent my notes to Mrs. Simpson, captioned “A ruffian threw a rock through a window, and toppled a king from his thrown.” Well, she was furious. Furious! She protested, her attorney threatened, and I kept the story to myself, until today. In today’s modified morality, England’s future king and the divorcee he loves have lived together openly, and negotiated their divorces and planned with due diligence, for them, today’s royal couple to live happily ever after. After the 8h day of next april, history is equally hopeful, if less optimistic.”
It was said at the time that the King persuaded Lord Beaverbrook of Express newspapers and Lord Rothermere of the Daily Mail not to publish anything that would distress Mrs Simpson. The truth or otherwise of that may be in their family archives. It is possible. Both press lords cordially detested Baldwin.
But it does not explain the silence. This newspaper would not have entered into any such agreement. Nor would The Times, the liberal Guardian and News Chronicle, the Daily Mirror or Lord Riddell’s saucy News of the World.
So why did the affair remain hidden from most of this country’s newspaper readers? …
Newspapers of those days printed virtually nothing that diminished the Royal Family. The King had a mistress? That was his affair, and a private matter. His grandfather, Edward VII, had several. It was no part of the newspaper’s job to discuss it with the public. The Royal Family stood above such criticism.
We have changed far more than we realise since 1936. To a more open, honest society? Well, perhaps.