Cabinet Conclusions

Abdication Papers

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Document reference: CAB 23/86 Vol LIII

A Confidential Annex to the Cabinet meeting of 2 December 1936, recording a discussion at the end of which Baldwin was authorised to tell the King that in the Cabinet's view, it would be useless to proceed with any legislation enabling him to marry Mrs Simpson without her becoming Queen. Baldwin had explained that he had been reassured by the Leader of the Labour Opposition on this matter and had received advice from the Dominions. The text has been altered by the Cabinet Secretary, Maurice Hankey, to weaken the statement that New Zealand's Prime Minister had thought it possible to legislate for a morganatic marriage.

The first envelope containing the Confidential Annex to the Cabinet meeting of 2 December 1936. It has handwritten notes by four Cabinet Secretaries (Sir Norman Brook, Sir Burke Trend, Sir Robert Armstrong and Sir Robin Butler).

The second envelope containing the Confidential Annex to the Cabinet meeting of 2 December 1936. It bears a note dated from 22 December 1987 from the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Robert Armstrong, explaining that he opened the original envelope in connection with a proposal that Philip Ziegler (author of the official biography of King Edward VIII) be allowed access.