Because I am frequently asked how I came to write on the subject of the romance of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, I thought a brief explanation, as well as a description of the development of my point of view, might be of interest.

The topic was suggested to me by Robert Kuss, who was familiar with my work and thought the match of subject and author to be a good one. I was intrigued for the same reasons so much of the general public has been for the past seventy plus years: why would a king make such a sacrifice? What is the real story? What is the truth of these people as human beings?

After I began my research into the world-famous love story, it soon became apparent that, as in many well-known stories, the truth was even more fascinating than the fairy tale that was familiar to most people of my generation.

I began to feel that instead of "Cinderella," the real tale was "The Fair Maiden Awakens the Sleeping Prince." And the ogres conspiring against the lovers took many forms: the government, the established church, the royal family and the public relations cadre dedicated to the preservation of the monarchy.

Because Edward VIII had been extraordinarily popular, both as Prince of Wales and as monarch, the royal family felt extremely threatened. He was as popular in his day as Princess Diana was in hers, and his successor, George VI, his younger brother, Bertie, did not have his charm and charisma.

It is also worthy to note that, although there are many who have written nasty words about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their married life together, I chose to be influenced by those who knew them well: a butler who worked for them for fifteen years, a secretary who was in their employ for ten years and numerous lifelong friends.

I examined closely photographs of the two together taken over the years of their marriage. In these pictures they often sat with shoulders touching and their bodies at the same angle or facing each other. Their body language revealed a deep compatibility.

Most of all, I relied heavily on their private correspondence which they never thought anyone else would see. These loving, personal letters are compiled in a book, edited by Michael Bloch, entitled: Wallis and Edward Letters 1931-1937, The Intimate Correspondence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The book also includes devoted letters they wrote to each other for many years after their marrige.

Perhaps it will be helpful to view the abdication as a sacrifice of the throne for the woman, in contrast to the present Prince of Wales' sacrifice of the woman for the throne.

The story is, above all, a depiction of the most romantic public gesture ever known. Certainly a subject worth exploring. I hope this effort, which has been considerably enhanced through the collaborative input of many talented people, provides an enjoyable time for all.

-- Judy Steir, Book, Music & Lyrics