IT was one of the most romantic and traumatic stories in British history.
King Edward VIII incredibly renounced the throne in 1936 to marry the woman he loved, the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
The emotion in his voice during that BBC broadcast is unforgettable even for those who first heard his words years afterwards.
Yet the King’s fate had already been sealed before he addressed the nation – and it was nothing to do with Mrs Simpson being previously married.
Before I get into the details of an amazing story partly unveiled by Princess Diana’s biographer Andrew Merton, consider this.
The same constitutional issues apply today over Prince Charles.
He is, of course, married to a divorced woman in Camilla Parker-Bowles, yet there is no doubt that he will be allowed to take the throne upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Instead the only issue is whether Camilla will take the title of Queen.
The real problem facing the King was not the fact that his woman friend – the couple are believed, according to Morton to have been no more than that when he stood side – had two living former husbands.
Instead the concerns were over her political views and allies.
The Duchess came under close surveillance from the moment she was seen on the King’s radar.
And that was intensified when it was noted in 1936 that she was having an affair with Nazis foreign minister Joachin von Ribbentrop, who was in England as an ambassador.
The title of Merton’s 2015 book The 17 Carnations: The Windsors, the Nazis and the Cover-Up reflects the flowers von Ribbentrop sent to Simpson to mark the 17 days they slept together.
The relationship caught the attention of the Specil Branch who reported their concerns over the possible communication of British secrets to the Nazis to the then Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.
He then took the unusual step of consulting 12 men of the Illuminati to provide their own verdict on whether the King should stay or go.
This story has come to light not from Merton but another British source whose grandfather was a leading diplomat at the time and received a medal for being one of the coveted 12.
Reportedly the vote went 10 to 2 against the King who knowing that the elite were no longer behind him sexed up his excuses and left the house.
As hinted by Merton’s work, this was by no means the end of the story.
Instead he reveals that Edward didn’t need a dalliance with the two-timing American to sympathise with Hitler.
Edward and Mrs Simpson, who did of course subsequently become his wife, were warmly welcomed in Germany by Hitler during their war time exile, with the promise he would be restored to the throne should his takeover of Britain prove successful.
Thankfully neither of those events happened.
But Nazi links with the Royals remain strong to this day as a dashing gentleman by the name of Phillip emerged from a family of high-ranking SS officers to take his place beside the Queen.