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No One Wins Alone (13 of 13)
Series: When Leaders Live Together
How Two Strong Personalities Can Thrive In Marriage
Larry and Devi Titus
In 1936, King Edward VIII of Great Britain announced that he would be abdicating the throne of the United Kingdom. He was king for less than a year and was never crowned. What he gave up his throne for was to marry the twice-married American socialite, Wallis Simpson. Edward had had relationships with a succession of older married women, but had never married. His decision to marry Mrs. Simpson was only one of many tragic decisions that he made during his life-time.
King Edward's decision to abdicate meant that he would spend the remainder of his life estranged from his family. He refused even to write his mother. He was also required to forfeit his title of ''His Holiness,'' lost nearly all of his honors and had to settle for the humiliating title of Duke of Windsor.
His brother, King George VI, refused to answer his daily phone calls because he knew they would be solicitations for money. Neither was he allowed to return to his homeland until the very end of his life. The plans that he made for his funeral indicated a desire to be buried in Baltimore, MD, but the gracious involvement of the Royal Family after his death acquiesced and allowed him to be buried in England.
Edward spent virtually all of his adult life in other nations, particularly France, though for a short stint, he was Governor of the Bahamas, some- thing he considered quite below his dignity and status in life. Quite often, his actions, such as befriending Hitler, caused the British Crown great embarrassment and anguish.
Could there be anything more tragic? To me, it is heartbreaking. He was born into royalty, raised as a prince, proclaimed crowned King, then lost it all. Though he was a king, he settled for a non-descript, fruitless life estranged from his family, deprived of his inheritance and self-condemned to a life of humiliation. Just reading his biography makes me want to cry.
The easiest way for me to explain and rationalize Edward's behavior is that he just made poor choices. God knows that he left a plethora of examples of poor choices if one needed a proof text, including casting away his glorious inheritance for a twice-married woman. I find myself unwilling, however, to settle for the most immediate and obvious rationale that Edward's life was a result of his poor choices, even though that is the case in part. To me, that's too trite an answer.
Kings are supposed to turn their princes into Kings. Queens are supposed to turn their princesses into queens. Leaders are supposed to raise up leaders. Successful people are supposed to replicate their success in their children. Is there a principle that was missed in Edward's case?
Listen to the words of Edward's father, King George V. ''After I am dead,'' King Ge ...
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