A Daily Mail Royal Book of the Year, 2021
'Darkly compelling...hundreds of eye-popping details...Gripping ... damning portrait of the Windsors' Daily Mail 'Book of the Week'
'Briskly written and compulsively readable...' - A.N. Wilson, TLS
'Meticulously researched' - Spectator
'Entertaining... convincing... timely. Urgent reading for royals' - Evening Standard
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 his astonishing biography at the moment most 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, and manipulating the media to portray themselves as victims.
The Windsors 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 hitherto unexplored archives, Lownie shows how their glittering, brittle world was riddled with treachery and betrayal, and why the Royal family never forgave the Duke for choosing love over duty.