Traitor King by Andrew Lownie: 4****

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There is a lot covered in this brand new look at the former King Edward VIII of England. What differentiates this book from all the others is that it begins with his Abdication and then takes an intimate, very intimate look at his personal life in the newly created title as the Duke of Windsor. Of course Wallis Simpson is also covered in detail and what we seem to get here is a man who was infatuated with a woman (Wallis), gave up his crown “for love” and yet from day 1 of the abdication Wallis Simpson dreads this relationship and never really wanted to marry him. But they did marry and their marriage has created a myth of love and devotion that just was not there. Don’t fall for the story as told by The Crown, once the Duke left England he rarely returned and the Royal Family wanted nothing to do with all his schemes for postings and official British positions, and certainly wanted nothing to do with Wallis Simpson.
Drawing on books, articles, diaries, letters, official British documents and German documents we get a completely different view of this man, a man who considered himself more German than British, who sided with Hitler, wanted peace treaties that would make England a servant to Germany and if this happened Hitler agreed that the Duke should become Monarch once again England would become like Vichy France. This is a truthful expose that peels back the myth and lets us see so many different sides of the Duke that we almost do not recognize him. This is a man who told the Germans they needed to bomb England in order to get them to the peace table, a man who was a huge security leak, a woman who had intimate ties to the Nazi’s, and a lifelong desire to be given the title of Her Royal Highness (HRH).
Why wouldn’t the Duke return to England after his abdication? He did not want to pay income taxes!!! The couples entire life was made up of parties, ripping off merchants for goods the never paid for and a rather bizarre sex life. Let me just say Gay and Bisexual! Yep. It’s is story of indiscreet people who treated people poorly, who expected to be pampered and who most people disliked! Yep, not a lot of love for the Duke and Duchess. And then there is that little murder in the Bahamas, and the rather bizarre behavior of the Duke.
Never knew a lot about this “fairytale” romance, but page after page of this book reveals it was certainly not that, and was more of a nightmare! If you enjoy reading about the Royal Family, if you are interested in the story behind the myth, and some really good history then you will want to read this book.

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