The Abdication Crisis

  • Dennis Griffiths


The departure of Nicolson meant that the ‘Londoner’s Diary’ was once more under the direction of Bruce Lockhart, and two years later he noted on 2 September 1933:

My birthday — forty-six today and still feebler in character and self-control. Fleet Street is no place for me. With very few exceptions I loathe and despise everyone connected with it, and the exceptions are failures. Most of the successful ones have trampled over their mothers or their best pal’s body to lift themselves up. They are dead to decency.1

The ‘Diary’, however, was not proving a success, and on 14 September Nicolson was invited to lunch by Mike Wardell, who asked him if he would return to the Evening Standard to edit ‘Londoner’s Diary’, with complete control of the staff. Nicolson listed a number of conditions2 before rejoining, to all of which Wardell agreed.


Prime Minister Evening Standard Royal Family Daily Mail Daily Telegraph 
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  1. 1.
    Bruce Lockhart Diaries, Daily Express archives.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nigel Nicolson (cd.), Harold Nicolson. Diaries and Letters 1930–39 p. 154.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kenneth Young (ed.), The Diaries of Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart p. 276.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ibid., p. 293.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 301.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    David Low, Low’s Autobiography p. 250.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. M. Griffiths, Encyclopedia of the British Press p. 179.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Evening Standard Minutes Book, June 1934.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid., July 1934.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ibid., July 1934.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time, The Infernal Grove p. 49.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    John Bright-Holmes (ed.) Like It Was. The Diaries of Malcolm Muggeridge p. 50.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kenneth Young (ed.), op. cit., p. 329.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Howard Spring, Autobiography p. 186.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    A. J. P. Taylor, Beaverbrook p. 352 (see also Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie, Beaverbrook. A Life pp. 330–3).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kenneth Young (ed.), op. cit., p. 333.Google Scholar
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    John Bright-Holmes, op. cit., p. 141.Google Scholar
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    Richard Bourne, Lords of Fleet Street. The Harmsworth Dynasty p. 114.Google Scholar
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    A. J. P. Taylor, op. cit., p. 349.Google Scholar
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    H. R. H. The Duke of Windsor, A King’s Story p. 243.Google Scholar
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    H. R. H. The Duke of Windsor, op. cit., p. 291.Google Scholar
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    A. J. P. Taylor, op. cit., p. 369.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Chips Channon, Diaries of Chips Channon p. 105.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ibid., p. 107.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yorkshire Post files, 2 December 1935, British Library Newspaper Library.Google Scholar
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    H. R. H. The Duke of Windsor, op. cit., p. 321.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    History of The Times, 1921–1948 Part II, p. 1036.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chips Channon, op. cit., p. 118.Google Scholar

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© Dennis Griffiths 1996

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  • Dennis Griffiths

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