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100 years ago: Edward returns from India

by
24 June 2022

June 23rd, 1922.

WHEN the Renown dropped anchor in Plymouth Sound on Tuesday a memorable voyage ended. Many Englishmen have come home to the Hoe after great things adventured and done for England, none have returned to meet a warmer or more sincere welcome from their own people. It is true that the Prince [of Wales, the future King Edward VIII] had to face no other hardship than that of incessant toil, none the less heavy because of a ceremonial kind. But there were dangers to be faced, both those which lie always before royalty and those which arose from the unsettled state of India. They were always present to the minds of those who in England followed his progress, they were perhaps exaggerated, for the chivalry of India — even discontented India — was declared by the extremists, who said that not a hair of the Prince’s head should be touched, and that they would be the first to avenge any insult. But leaders cannot speak for all their followers, and there is a sense of profound relief that the long tour is safely ended. There can be no doubt of its value, to him who will in years to come reign over the strange lands and myriad races with which he has made an acquaintance, and to those who who have seen in the Prince one who really cares for simple folk, whose supreme gift is that of an understanding sympathy. The King has had during his reign not a few occasions of legitimate pride, not a few proofs of the affection of his people. He will count not the least among the great days of his life that on which he brought the Prince home through thundering streets in a greater than Roman triumph.

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