Author(s): Rachel Trethewey
Wallis Simpson is known as the woman who stole the king's heart and rocked the monarchy - but she was not Edward VIII's first or only love. This book is about the women he adored before Wallis dominated his life. There was Rosemary Leveson-Gower, the girl he wanted to marry and who would have been the perfect match for a future king; and the Prince's long-term mistress, Freda Dudley Ward, who exerted a pull almost equal to Wallis over her lover, but abided by the rules of the game and never expected to marry him. Then there was Thelma Furness, his twice-married American lover, who enjoyed a domestic life with him, but realised it could not last forever and demanded nothing more than to be his mistress - and fatefully introduced him to Wallis. In each love affair, Edward behaved like a cross between a little boy lost and a spoilt child craving affection, resorting to emotional blackmail to keep his lovers with him. Each of the three women in this book could have changed the course of history. By examining their lives and impact on the heir to the throne, we question whether he ever really wanted to be king.