It’s the fall of 1936 and the U.K. is in the grip of an acute constitutional crisis reaching right to the top of society. But apart from a select few, Britons are blissfully unaware of what’s going in the highest echelons of royalty. A self-censoring British press has seen to that. But it’s only a matter of time before the story breaks wide open – and it involves the king himself, Edward VIII.
During that fall of 1936, when crisis was looming large, Edward had only been on the throne since January. But even before he had been crowned, there were those that foresaw the possibility of disaster overtaking Edward during his reign. Notable among those who had predicted a calamitous future was his own father, George V.
Keith Middlemas and John Barnes quoted George’s opinion of his son in their 1969 Baldwin: A Biography. Stanley Baldwin was prime minister when Edward succeeded to the throne. Speaking about Edward, George apparently declared, “After I am dead the boy will ruin himself in 12 months.” And this prophecy proved to be uncannily accurate.