A lost memoir of Edward VIII has come to light and for the first time we hear the authentic inner voice of the man who had briefly been King.
And what does that voice sound like? Whiny, romantic, wild, egotistic, a top note of royal petulance underpinned with a faint grasp of reality? Exactly. A typical Windsor male, in other words.
'I was a bachelor, alone and tired,' he moaned. It sounds like the opening line of a Johnny Cash song, but he was describing how he felt before he met Wallis Simpson. 'To live without love would have been intolerable,' he said, after he had fallen for her.
To his adviser, Walter Monckton, he set out his plans following the death of his father, King George V, in 1936. They are shocking to this day, because naive Edward really did think he could become King and have the twice-divorced, plucked and powdered Wallis by his side as Queen.
'I refuse to become a prisoner of the past. I must have a private life of my own,' he wailed.
Naive Edward really did think he could become King and have the twice-divorced, plucked and powdered Wallis by his side as Queen
Not so fast, your majesty. Private Secretary, Sir Clive Wigram, quickly informed him of the sobering truth of his situation in 1930s Britain. He said: 'Sir, you are quite mistaken. The King has no private life whatever.'
On hearing this, Edward threw all his toys out of his Silver Cross pram and abdicated instead.
All this is revealed in Once A King by Jane Marguerite Tippett, which throws a fresh perspective on how and why Edward chose to abdicate rather than live without the only woman he ever loved.
And reading the truth about Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, I'm afraid I am not filled with syrupy admiration for his romantic sacrifice and subsequent elopement, but more struck by his selfishness and utter dereliction of duty. Edward kicked everyone in his family to the kerb, so that he and Wallis could live an aimless and empty life in exile, coddled by luxury but not much else.
Ditto Prince Harry with another American divorcee, nearly a century later. Meanwhile, King Charles and Queen Camilla? Let's not rake over those still-smouldering coals.
Yet while the Windsor men indulge themselves with their own wants and needs, it is noticeable that the Windsor women have always put duty first. Queen Elizabeth II, of course, rock solid on the throne for 70 years, no further explanation needed there.
Princess Margaret was no saint, but when she had to give up the love of her life because he was divorced, she accepted her fate so as not to upset the monarchy.
Princess Anne is not going to come over all rom-com any time soon, but whatever the right thing is to do, she has always done it.
Down the years his love story has echoes in the tortured relationship of others including the ongoing drama of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
You can't always say the same for her brothers, uncles and occasionally wayward nephews.
Indeed, when you think about it, you have to wonder how the Windsor dynasty has managed to stagger on for so long. Certainly it is in spite of these selfish men rather than because of them.
It was Edward VIII who sowed the petulant seed that grew the giant hogweed of entitlement, and down the years his love story has echoes in the tortured relationship of others; in the long-running affair that preceded the marriage of King Charles and Queen Camilla; in the ongoing drama of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
History repeats itself over and over, right down to Edward VIII moaning about the Press while blaming everyone else for his own feebleness and limitations.
He was blinded and entranced by a woman in kick pleats from the New World who he believed could rescue him from the misery of privilege and the burden of destiny. Sound familiar?
Princess Margaret was no saint, but when she had to give up the love of her life because he was divorced, she accepted her fate so as not to upset the monarchy
In one chapter, he even rates Wallis Simpson's defining characteristics, writing down that she was 'demanding, strict, inflexible, exacting, chic, must-have-the-best and is easily hurt'.
Ring any bells in Montecito? Any glimmer of recognition or acknowledgement of shared experience from his Mini-Me great-great nephew? Thought not.
But, really, how have the Windsors got this far? To be a successful dynasty there must be strong leadership and a constant supply of family members who are committed to the cause; team players who vow to ensure clan survival above personal needs.
The Habsburgs, Mughal Empire, Hindujas — tick, tick, tick. The Cadogans and the Grosvenors, all the Lords of Bath; look upon them and wonder.
They have all managed to hang on to their fortunes, their vast estates and their power down the centuries with barely a blip; woe betide anyone who comes between a Cadogan and a month's rent, or a Grosvenor and an inch of their 300 acres of prime Belgravia and Mayfair, a family asset since the 17th century.
In one chapter, he even rates Wallis Simpson's defining characteristics, writing down that she was 'demanding, strict, inflexible, exacting, chic, must-have-the-best and is easily hurt'
Clogs to clogs in three generations, as the saying goes. The miracle is the Windsors have survived at all, for it always seems that the achievements of strong Windsor women will for ever be frittered away by weak Windsor men.
The rot started with Edward, but where will it end?