Sunday, 2nd February 1936
The Dean of, Windsor delivered his first public sermon in St. George's Chapel since the funeral. He had been in office since 1917 and had practically grown up in Queen Victoria's court, but he was alert and not hostile to the way in which the world had changed over the years. He began with a conventional enough tribute to George V, emphasizing his simplicity. It was when he turned to the new King, that his sympathies became clearer. Edward should not an "imitation" of his father and it would be wrong to criticize him for this. His father had grown up in an atmosphere of "settled faith" whilst Edward was "plunged into the turmoil of war" and "grew up in a generation of unsettled faith and disturbed thought." The ten years that he had spent traveling the Empire had prevented him developing home ties. At one level the sermon tried to excuse Edward for his poor church attendance and bachelor status. It also hinted at the heavy load the Prince of Wales had borne as his father's increasingly reluctant ambassador. The note of defensiveness, though, is striking. Even at the start of his reign the new King faced muted criticism for his lifestyle.