Friday, April 2, 2010
AS SEEN IN:
'Edward And Mrs. Simpson'
AS PLAYED BY:
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC (3 August 1867 – 14 December 1947) was a British Conservative politician, statesman, and pre-eminent British politician of the interwar years. He served three times as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; first from 1923–24 then 1924–29 and again from 1935–37. Baldwin was the first commanding Prime Minister in an age of full democracy and this has led to his generally receiving a positive press from recent historians.
The accession of King Edward VIII, and the ensuing abdication crisis, brought Baldwin’s last major test in office. The new monarch was 'an ardent exponent of the cause of Anglo-German understanding', and had 'strong views on his right to intervene in affairs of state', but the 'Government's main fears … were of indiscretion'. The king proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée, whom the high-minded Baldwin felt he could tolerate as 'a respectable whore', so long as she stayed behind the throne, but not as 'Queen Wally'. She was also distrusted by the government for her pro-German sympathies, and was believed to be in 'close contact with German monarchist circles.'
Baldwin defused a political crisis by turning it into a constitutional question. His discreet resolution (which led to the King's abdication) met with general approval and restored his popularity.
David Waller also portrayed Baldwin in a later TV production, "The Woman He Loved". This would be in a different TV dimension, but it does cement Waller's claim to be the official televersion of Stanley Baldwin.
"When Norman was about, Dinsdale would go very quiet and his nose would swell up and his teeth would start moving about and he'd become very violent and claim that he'd laid Stanley Baldwin." - Gloria, 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'