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Would Britain really not have fought in WW2 if Edward VIII never abdicated?

Author : Jewel

Submitted : 2018-02-26 00:05:59    Popularity:     

Tags: WW2  fought  Britain  abdicated  VIII  

When I asked a question here about royal sucession, someone brought up an interesting point that Edward VIII may have been pro nazi and Britain might not have been in WW2 (Europe) had he been king.

Answers:

with or without Edward we still had a Pact with Poland and Edward would have followed Parliament decision

The monarchy had no power by the time the war came, the government decided whether we went to war or not, remember the royal family are german, and must have felt torn at time during the war years, edward was right wing, like a lot of upper classes in britain admired hitler at that time.

Not in any formal Constitutional sense. The King had no practical power.

However, there was a great deal of sympathy for the Nazis in pockets of the English ruling class focussed, to an extent, on Edward. There were also strong pro and anti abdication camps. If Edward had not abdicated it would have been an indication of the strength of pro Nazi sentiment in the people who actually ran the country. That would have flowed through to foreign policy.

No, that is a dumb question. The UK constitution is based on the SOVEREIGNTY OF PARLIAMENT. The monarch is constitutionally forbidden to engage in politics. This has been the case for some centuries and whatever the reasons for Edward VIII abdicating we are unlikely to find out much more till 2036, if then. My guess is the fact that his dear lady was a bit too close to the German ambassador had something to do with it, he was I suspect not given any choice in the matter.

If it wasn’t for Churchill; Britain would not have fought after the Battle of France.

King Edward VIII and wife (American commoner Wallis Simpson) pictured shaking hands with Hitler in Munich in 1937 (from the first link below, history.com). In 1917, in order to appear more British and less German, the monarchy (from the time of Queen Victoria) changed its name in 1917, to Windsor (from Saxe-Coberg and Gotha). Queen Victoria's mother was Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Victoria took power after her three elder brothers died (I believe the disease might have been "argggggh, I have a dagger sticking in my back)"--a common ailment of crown princes. In October, 1937, the Duke and Duchess of Widsor visited and heiled Hitler at Berchtesgaden. The link below says "Just after the war, American diplomats uncovered 400 tons of German diplomatic papers, at Marburg Castle. Named the Marburg files, they included a cache of documents damaging to the royal family called the “Windsor File”—some 60 documents (letters, telegrams and other papers) written by people working around the Duke, including German agents, during the war." "Among these documents are details of the Nazis-devised plan “Operation Willi,” where the Germans would gain control of Britain and overthrow the monarchy, returning the Duke to the throne." In WWII, the Duke was a major-general in France." The British government tried to suppress the documents.

Hello Jewel,

Edward had absolutely no say in whether Britain declared war on Hitler or fought against him.

It was a decision made by the Government and although Edward could have expressed his wishes that war was not declared, that's all he could do.

Poseidon

It wouldn't have mattered. The prime minister tends to have sweeping powers checked only by the need to retain the support of his or her own MPs. The phrase elective dictatorship was coined by former Lord Chancellor Quintin Hogg in 1976 to highlight the enormous potential power of government afforded by the constitution. As for Edward, after private accusations that he held Nazi sympathies, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in retirement in France.

Whatever Edward VIII's merits (or otherwise) as a man and as a king may have been, they would have had no effect on Britain's entry into WW2. It simply wasn't up to him to say yes or no to any piece of government decision or piece of legislation. He was a constitutional monarch. He reigned, but he didn't rule.



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