In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire arose when King-Emperor Edward VIII proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing the divorce of her second.
The marriage was opposed by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth. Religious, legal, political, and moral objections were raised. As the British monarch, Edward was the nominal head of the Church of England, which did not allow divorced people to remarry in church if their ex-spouses were still alive.
For this reason, it was widely believed that Edward could not marry Simpson and remain on the throne.
Simpson was perceived to be politically and socially unsuitable as a prospective queen consort because of her two failed marriages. It was widely assumed by the Establishment that she was driven by love of money or position rather than love for the King.
Despite the opposition, Edward declared that he loved Simpson and intended to marry her as soon as her second divorce was finalised.
The widespread unwillingness to accept Simpson as the King’s consort and Edward’s refusal to give her up led to his abdication in December 1936.
He was succeeded by his brother Albert, who became George VI. Edward was given the title of Duke of Windsor, and styled Royal Highness, following his abdication, and he married Simpson the following year.
King Edward used to frequent the Fludyers Hotel to have a few pints with the locals during his visits to Wallis Simpson. He would land his plane at Brackenbury Cliffs.
Wallis Simpson hated Felixstowe
She wrote in her autobiography:
My first impression of the little house in Felixstowe was dismaying.
It was tiny, there was barely room for the three of us (two friends and herself), plus a cook and a maid, to squeeze into it.
The only sounds were the melancholy boom of the sea breaking on the deserted beach and the rustling of the wind around the shuttered cottages.
No hint of distant concern penetrated Felixstowe.
When I walked down to town for the mail and the newspapers not a head turned . . . on fair days, we used to walk alone on the beach and for all the attention ever paid to us, we could have been in Tasmania.
3 thoughts on “King EDWARD VIII’s Favourite Pub in Felixstowe”
If you are able, please provide a verifiable primary source (not the Ipswich Star report) for the statement: “King Edward used to frequent the Fludyers Hotel to have a few pints with the locals during his visits to Wallis Simpson. He would land his plane at Brackenbury Cliffs”. Thanks.
Wallis Simpson spent six weeks living in Felixstowe in the autumn of 1936 in order to gain residential qualifications to have her divorce hearing held at the Ipswich Assizes. When exactly did King Edward fly to Felixstowe to visit her, and on how many occasions? I have read the report by Margaret Taylor, Ipswich Star, 26 February 2016. which indicates that the King visited Ipswich during the divorce proceedings – no mention is made of visiting Felixstowe.
Edward “undertook his first military flight in 1918, and later gained a pilot’s licence. Wikipedia.
I can find no internet reference to planes landing on Brackenbury cliffs in 1936, or at any other time.
Our primary source is by the Late Phil Hadwen.
“Edward used to visit her while she was at Beach House – his plane would land at Brackenbury Cliffs and he would go to the Fludyers Hotel near the house to have a few pints with the locals,” said Mr Hadwen.
Thanks for reading!
I’m not sure Phil was correct in this particular instance – the Fludyers was a very small watering hole at the time – rumour has it they used the Felix Hotel incognito – which seems more likely – Wallis was only in Felixstowe six weeks – and did not want to put the kibosh on the divorce proceedings by being seen with Edward – since she was divorcing her husband on the grounds of his adultery – she mentions in her biog that he came by plane – but only that he visited the house