somewhat venturesome subtitle suggests that she has discovered some
hitherto undiscovered truth about the abdication.
Whatever this may
be, it is certainly not based on new facts. There is no material in
her book that was not already available - to this biographer at least
- except for the Special Branch reports. These are of interest in
that they show the police considered it their duty to monitor the
activities of the Prince of Wales and his mistress, but otherwise are
no more than modestly entertaining. The most pungent charge they
contain is that Mrs Simpson, while married to Ernest Simpson and in
hectic pursuit of the prince, was simultaneously conducting an affair
with a raffish motor-car salesman, Guy Trundle, on whom she lavished
expensive gifts and cash.
reasonably doubts whether Wallis Simpson could have found time to fit
Trundle into her life. She might also have pointed out that giving,
rather than receiving, expensive presents was not Mrs Simpson's
style, but references to the Duchess of Windsor's meanness would not
have fitted comfortably into Williams's master vision.
This book is an
exercise in rehabilitation. As such it is overdue. The Duke of
Windsor has been spectacularly traduced in recent years; the
culmination being a programme called Edward: the Traitor King,
without even the courtesy of a question mark. Williams reminds one of
Edward's extraordinary charm, his ability to talk with people of
every kind, his wit, his genuine concern for the underprivileged. But
she lays it on a bit thick. To refer to the "democratic
leanings" of a man who believed in strong and authoritarian
government is wholly to misinterpret Edward's political opinions; the
real dismay that lay behind his comment on the horrors of
unemployment in South Wales - "Something must be done" -
needs to be set against his conspicuous failure to do anything about
it when preoccupations about his love life absorbed his energies.
determination to present the Windsors in a favourable light leads to
occasional unfairness to other people. Cosmo Gordon Lang is perhaps
fair game, but Williams does less than justice to Stanley Baldwin's
affection for Edward and anxiety to keep him on the throne. When Mrs
Simpson took on the role of hostess at Balmoral, and stepped forward
to greet the Yorks, Williams describes her behaviour as being a
"gesture of friendship" and reprimands the future Queen
Mother for snubbing her sister-in-law-to-be. Others might feel that
only a woman of extraordinary insensitivity would not have thought it
better to keep discreetly in the background at such a moment.
energetically exploited source is the mountain of letters written by
members of the public to Edward VIII, as well as letters to
Churchill, Baldwin and other dignitaries, contemporary diaries and
other manifestations of vox populi. Williams's contention is that
Baldwin "misjudged the feelings of the British public";
that there was more support for the King and readiness to accept Mrs
Simpson than was acknowledged by the Establishment; and that the
working classes and the liberal elements of the bourgeoisie believed
that Edward VIII should follow his heart and marry the woman he
There is quite a lot
in this; she assembles a dossier to suggest that, if there had been a
plebiscite in 1936, the result might not have been as conclusively
against the King as ministers assumed. But again she weakens her case
by its tendentious presentation. Voices expressing the other point of
view are from time to time audible. "Dear Ted. I think you are a
bugger. Bill" was one succinct example, but the King's
supporters get the lion's share.
It is interesting to
speculate whether, if Edward VIII had stuck to his guns, Baldwin had
resigned, and Churchill had led the Cavaliers into an election, the
King's party might have won the day.
Probably not, but
Williams's book suggests that it might have been a close-run thing.
Her thesis is not totally convincing, but it is well worth presenting
for all that.
The People's King
follows the six intense weeks leading up to the abdication of Edward
VIII, considered by many to be among the most compelling love stories
of the last century. Just six months before their wedding, the only
people who had heard of Wallis Simpson were those people who belonged
to the tiny social circle surrounding the royal family. Press
coverage and newsreels were strictly censored. Through contemporary
letters and diaries, many never before published, Susan Williams
demonstrates the huge popularity of the King and the events that led
to his downfall.
vilification of Wallis Simpson
VIII’s abdication on 11 December 1936 was an event that shocked the
nation. Susan Williams investigates how Wallis Simpson, the woman for
whom Edward gave up the throne, was savaged by society.
This article was
first published in the December 2006 issue of BBC History Magazine
In the summer of
1936 Lady Diana Cooper remarked that “Wallis is wearing very very
badly. Her commonness and Becky Sharpishness irritate”. As far as
the English upper classes were concerned, Wallis Simpson was a
cunning social climber, like Becky Sharp in William Thackeray’s
novel Vanity Fair. They simply could not understand what King Edward
VIII saw in her – a woman considered too lower-class to qualify for
any kind of royal attention, as well as being a divorcee and an
But Edward adored
her. He had met her in 1931, when he was Prince of Wales, and she was
married to her second husband, Ernest Simpson. It was not long before
they were in love. “My own beloved Wallis”, he wrote in 1935, “I
love you more & more & more & more… I haven’t seen
you once today & I can’t take it. I love you”.
Winston Churchill believed that Wallis was good for him. “Although
branded with the stigma of a guilty love,” he said, “no
companionship could have appeared more natural, more free from
impropriety or grossness”. Well-read, with a lively sense of
humour, Wallis had a warm and sincere heart. She was devoted to her
mother and her aunt and she did not conceal – even in circles where
paid work was thought to be vulgar – the fact that her aunt worked
for a living. Her servants liked her as well. “All the maids,”
said a kitchen maid, “spoke well of Mrs Simpson”.
The Prince of Wales
with Churchill in 1919. Churchill thought that Wallis, who Edward
first met in 1931, five years before he became king, gave him "more
confidence in himself". (Getty Images)
By January 1936,
when Edward became king, he had decided to marry Wallis. It was said
in court circles that Wallis was scheming to be queen. But this was
not true: rather, she wondered if it might be better to “be content
with the simple way” – where she would be his mistress, rather
than his wife. But Edward swept aside her misgivings and persuaded
her to start proceedings for divorce. In November 1936, when she had
obtained her decree nisi, he announced his marriage plan to the prime
minister, Stanley Baldwin. As sovereign, he was free to marry anyone
he liked, except a Roman Catholic, under the Royal Marriages Act of
1772. But Baldwin said it was impossible: public opinion would not
approve of a divorced woman becoming queen. Churchill, Lord
Beaverbrook and Lord Rothermere came up with a solution – a
morganatic marriage, by which Wallis would become Edward’s wife,
but not his queen. It became known as the “Cornwall plan”,
because Churchill suggested that Wallis could be styled the Duchess
Until the start of
December 1936, only the tiny world of Society, with a capital “S”,
knew about Edward’s love for Wallis, because it had been kept out
of the news. But on 2 December 1936, the story broke. The nation was
stunned: the streets were packed and newspapers sold as fast as they
were printed. “Papers full of harpy & the King”, wrote Mrs
Baldwin in her diary.
led by Baldwin, the Church of England, the Tory press and the royal
court, had expected the nation to oppose Edward’s plan for
marriage. But to their horror, most people wanted to keep him as
their king on any terms. He was immensely popular: like Princess
Diana many years later, he had a star quality that was irresistible.
But more than anything, he was appreciated for his concern for
ordinary people, with whom he had served at the front in the years of
war, and for his many visits to the poor. Many people also liked the
idea that Wallis, like them, was not rich and privileged. “It is
character that Counts here, & in the Great Beyond, not a Tytle”
[sic], wrote a woman from South Wales to the king.
The country was
divided, just as it was split in 1997 after the death of Diana. On
the one side, there was the Establishment. On the other, there was
the mass of ordinary people, as well as middle-class liberals and
intellectuals, like George Bernard Shaw. “The People Want Their
King” insisted a Daily Mail headline. Diners rose in restaurants to
propose a toast to Edward and in the cinema, the National Anthem was
heard with enthusiastic clapping and shouts of “We want the King”.
The newsreels acknowledged there was a crisis, but presented it as a
love story, not a scandal. In the Commons, MPs cheered when Churchill
stood up to demand that no pressure be put on the king. Many people
suspected that Baldwin wanted to get rid of Edward – that Wallis
was “a godsend”, because she provided the perfect excuse to
bounce him off the throne.
But over the weekend
of 4–6 December, there was a proliferation of rumours through the
nation, planting seeds of doubt. There was widespread speculation
that Churchill was going to form a “King’s Party” and bring
down the government. It was also rumoured that, in the words of Sir
Horace Wilson, Baldwin’s advisor, Wallis was “selfish,
self-seeking, hard, calculating, ambitious, scheming, dangerous”.
Most damaging for Edward, a story was spread that Wallis was a friend
of von Ribbentrop, the German ambassador, and was selling the
nation’s secrets. These sorts of things, observed the publisher
Francis Meynell, “were bound to be said but other incidents of
which I heard made one view her with much suspicion on this point”.
portrait of Wallis Simpson in 'The Bystander', April 1937: she wrote
in an October 1936 letter to Edward “I feel like an animal in a
trap”, which is rather how she appears here. (Credit Illustrated
But Wallis had met
Ribbentrop only twice; the first occasion was a large luncheon, which
was also attended by Churchill. Neither she nor Edward were part of
any social circle frequented by Hitler’s ambassador. He was a
favourite guest of Lord and Lady Londonderry and of the social
hostess, Mrs Ronnie Greville, who admired Hitler and fascism. But Mrs
Greville’s royal friends were Albert, the Duke of York, and his
wife Elizabeth (the future George VI and Queen Elizabeth) – not
Wallis and Edward.
On 3 December, the
day after the story broke, Wallis had fled to the south of France to
stay with friends. She was a resourceful woman: she had survived an
abusive first marriage and had travelled extensively through Europe
and Asia. But she had sensed a “mounting menace in the very
atmosphere” and felt close to a nervous breakdown. Once away from
England, she became aware that Edward, who had by now been told by
Baldwin that a morganatic marriage was impossible, had decided to
abdicate. She tried to stop him. On 7 December, she issued a
statement to the press – that she was willing to renounce the king.
Baldwin was unnerved: “Only time I was frightened. I thought [the
king] might change his mind”. He quickly sent a telegram to the
Dominion prime ministers, stating that he had “every reason for
doubting bona fides of Mrs Simpson’s statement”.
Edward stood firm in
his decision to go. On 10 December, knowing Baldwin was going to make
an announcement to the House of Commons, Edward sent him a note,
asking him to tell the House of Mrs Simpson’s efforts to prevent
him from giving up the throne. Horace Wilson pinned a note of his own
to the one Edward had sent: “I asked the PM whether he had any
intention of mentioning Mrs Simpson (If he had, [I] was quite willing
to draft appropriate passages!). The PM said he would make no
On 11 December,
Edward gave his own speech to the nation, which Churchill had helped
him to write. It had become impossible for him, he said, “to
discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help
and support of the woman I love”. Wallis listened in France, lying
on a sofa with her eyes closed. “Darling,” she wrote to him
afterwards, “I want to see you touch you I want to run my own house
I want to be married and to you”.
Edward VIII asked Baldwin to tell the House of Commons that Wallis tried to dissuade him from abdicating. The prime minister’s advisor noted (pictured below) that Baldwin had no intention of doing so. (Credit The National Archives)
(Credit The National
They were finally
married on 3 June 1937, in France. But the new king, George VI,
forbade any of Edward’s brothers or his sister from attending the
wedding. Then he sent word that the title of HRH – Her Royal
Highness – would not be extended to Wallis. She would be simply
Duchess of Windsor. It was a wounding blow to Edward – and it meant
that in the end, his marriage to Wallis was morganatic. “I hope you
will never regret this sacrifice,” Wallis wrote to Edward, “and
that your brother will prove to the world that we still have a
position and that you will be given some jobs to do”.
But this was not to
be. The couple made repeated requests for useful employment, but were
turned down. It was feared in court circles that, as Horace Wilson
told Neville Chamberlain in December 1936, Mrs Simpson intended “not
only to come back here but… to set up a ‘Court’ of her own and
– there can be little doubt – do her best to make things
uncomfortable for the new occupant of the Throne. It must not be
assumed that she has abandoned hope of becoming Queen of England”.
“I think you
know,” wrote George VI in December 1938 to Chamberlain, now prime
minister, “that neither the Queen [Elizabeth, later the Queen
Mother] nor Queen Mary have any desire to meet the Duchess of
Windsor”. Churchill observed sadly of the Duchess of Windsor,
“No-one has been more victimised by gossip and scandal”.
The ugly rumours
lingered on, even beyond Wallis’s death in 1986. In a sense, they
became worse, because the Establishment’s perception of Wallis in
1936 prevailed, eclipsing the sympathetic view of ordinary people at
the time. It is maintained that a China Dossier exists, listing
sexual tricks learnt by Wallis in Shanghai, which she had used to
ensnare the king – but nothing has been found in any archive. The
allegation that she was a Nazi agent is still current, even though
there is no reliable evidence in either the British or the German
In 2005, Prince
Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles, a divorcee, on the very
morganatic basis denied to Edward: Camilla became Duchess of Cornwall
and was styled HRH. If this solution could be achieved for Charles
and Camilla, then why had it not been possible for Edward and Wallis?
“I am profoundly grieved at what has happened,” wrote Churchill
to Lloyd George on Christmas Day 1936. “I believe the Abdication to
have been altogether premature and probably quite unnecessary.”
Susan Williams is a
senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies,
University of London, and author of The People's King: The True Story
of the Abdication (Penguin Books, 2003).
the people want Wallis?
Roberts reviews The People's King by Susan Williams
Back in January this
year the Public Record Office released hundreds of files relating to
the Abdication Crisis of 1936, and the historical advisor to this
important event was the University of London historian Susan
Williams. Having been there, I can attest to her diligence and
scholarship on that occasion, and this book is based on the work she
has done on that vast labyrinth of documentation.
The book's title - a
quote from a letter to the King from a member of the public - was
presumably chosen for its conscious reference to Diana, Princess of
Wales, and indeed the similarities between Edward VIII and "the
People's princess" are striking. Both were seen as unstuffy
representatives of a new Zeitgeist, standing up for society's
underdogs against a snobbish and hidebound Establishment.
Edward VIII's remark
that "Something must be done" for the unemployed, made on a
visit to South Wales in November 1936, was a precursor to the
Princess of Wales's work for the dispossessed and marginalised. Yet
there was always something disgraceful about the King - who had
already made up his mind to abdicate when he made that radical and
open-ended commitment - writing such a vast blank cheque that he
secretly knew he was never going to have to be around to cash.
Just as after
Diana's death huge numbers of people wrote to express their sympathy
and support, so Edward VIII was deluged during the Abdication Crisis,
and Susan Williams has trawled her way through thousands of the
letters to extrapolate common themes. She suggests that ordinary
people in Britain and the Empire were quite ready for Wallis Simpson
to be Queen. Huge numbers of people, she argues, simply wanted the
King to be happy.
The major media
story back in January was the discovery that Special Branch believed
that a car salesman called Guy Trundle was Mrs Simpson's secret
lover. But Susan Williams does not accept that he necessarily was:
"She found it difficult enough, as she told her aunt, to manage
her marriage and the relationship with Edward, and was also caught up
in a whirlwind of activities and social occasions which she found
exhausting." Sex is something that people often seem to be able
to make time for, however. I think the best argument against the
relationship having taken place is that Mrs Simpson had an altogether
greater catch in mind and wouldn't have wanted to take unnecessary
It is a shame that
the author did not use any of the information that was unearthed by
our newspapers when Trundle's name became public earlier this year,
including the testimony of his surviving friends and members of his
family. They told us much about his background that would have
strengthened her case.
Williams's political feel for the Thirties is generally good, it
occasionally utterly deserts her, as when she states that "Even
without any backing from Germany and Italy, the King of Britain (sic)
could have sought absolute rule, as a kind of benevolent despot."
Does the author seriously imagine that the Household Division would
have surrounded Parliament on Edward VIII's orders, with the
Coldstream Guards clearing the Commons chamber of MPs?
Much of the "true
story of the abdication" has already been told, principally in
Michael Bloch's various works on the period, but it is good to have
the newly released Cabinet minutes of the Crisis between hard covers,
and much else besides. That this book is written from a point of view
very sympathetic to the couple is no bad thing either, although the
author did not change my view that the Empire was far better off
three years later with George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham
Palace than it would have been with King Edward and Queen Wallis.
myth - that the Duke of Windsor was a quisling-in-waiting and friend
of the Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop - is dealt a firm
and welcome blow. As for the duchess, who was recently described in
the Guardian as a lover of Ribbentrop's, she only met him twice, both
times in large groups and once when Winston Churchill was present
(and uncharacteristically silent.)
It is intriguing to
think that, since the British state took 67 years to release the
secret papers on the 1936 Abdication, some time in January 2064
journalists and historians might be crowding into the Public Record
Office to read Special Branch and other reports on the events
surrounding the Princess of Wales's death. I hope that when it
happens there will be a historical advisor of the skill and sympathy
of Susan Williams.
'Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership' is published by
Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
It’s 1923. He’s
a poor young man, she’s a wealthy widow in a Holland Park mansion.
There’s a jealous housekeeper and a weighty candlestick in the
drawing room. It’s Agatha Christie on Boxing Day.
I don’t think I’ve
had a happier hour all Christmas than last night’s opening episode
of The Witness for the Prosecution (BBC1). Perfectly crafted,
expertly cast and beautifully scripted by Sarah Phelps, who gave us
her brilliant adaptation of And Then There Were None last year, it
was simply all you could want from your Boxing Day treat.
Sex and the City’s
Kim Cattrall (to give her her full official title) is the wealthy
widow, Emily French, who buys and discards young lovers under the
watchful, appalled and fascinated eyes of her housekeeper Janet
(Monica Dolan). It sounds like a retread of her Samantha role in
SATC, but in fact she made French tender and quietly desperate by
turns in a performance far more akin to her subtle, heartbreaking
turn as Rudyard Kipling’s wife in My Boy Jack a few years ago. And
may I say that her English accent survived the line: “After that
debacle with plates and glasses, what will you do?” – which is
quite the cruellest collection of words ever put into the mouth of
anyone charged with reproducing postwar British vowels without being
born to the purple – with an aplomb that I think deserves a special
Bafta. See to it, please, could you?
The story, at least
so far, is relatively simple. French is found bludgeoned to death in
her home shortly after Leonard Vole (Billy Howle), her latest lover,
whom she has made sole beneficiary of her will, is – according to
Janet – seen leaving the house. Vole’s girlfriend Romaine Heilger
(Andrea Riseborough, genuinely enigmatic, and genuinely shocking in
her pivotal scene) says she can alibi him but when she finds out the
extent of his infidelity, withdraws her testimony and is immediately,
gleefully gathered to the bosom of the Crown to become a witness for
His lawyer, John
Mayhew (Toby Jones, as delicate and nuanced as ever) remains
convinced of Vole’s innocence. But is Janet or Romaine lying? Or
both? Or, double-bluffingly, neither? Maybe Vole – who, in Phelps’
and Howle’s version, seems less of a chancer or con artist than a
naive young man as hopelessly out of control of his destiny in
French’s world as he was in the trenches of France where we first
meet him – finally rebelled against life as a lapdog and killed
her. All will be revealed, but it is a measure of the production’s
quality that it almost doesn’t matter. The evocation of this
shell-shocked, grief-stricken period of history is really the thing –
in the hostility of her fellow chorus girls to the Austrian Romaine,
to Howle’s reduction to “being priced like a piece of meat”
instead of coming home to the hero’s welcome his savaged generation
were promised, to Mayhew’s ruined lungs and his broken wife (Hayley
Carmichael, mesmerising with barely a word spoken) sitting in their
late son’s empty bedroom, there is an all-pervading sense of people
moving reluctantly into and about in a world where any evil is now
possible. No certainties any more, and no comfort anywhere.
I doubt there has
ever been more brought by a cast, crew and writer to Agatha Christie.
It is the most gorgeous gift to the viewer and this one at least
looks forward with delighted anticipation and gratitude to unwrapping
its second half next week.
Sir Charles Carter
Last updated: 12.12.2016 at 14.54
Burdened by poverty
and guilt, John Mayhew lives a grey and passionless existence.
Leonard’s case changes everything for this exhausted solicitor; his
personal connection to the young man fires Mayhew with an unexpected
determination to fight for him, to stop at nothing to prove Leonard's
Played by Andrea
A child of the First
World War, Romaine Heilger emerges from the depths of the European
bloodbath an ingenious survivor and afraid of nothing. At heart a
loner, this Austrian singer’s enigmatic allure commands attention
wherever she roams; Romaine is destined to enter the limelight sooner
Played by Billy
Haunted by his time
at the front, Leonard Vole has been spat out of the war restless,
disillusioned and incapable of settling on a job. A friendless
innocent in a corrupt world, the odds stacked against him, Leonard is
accused of a brutal murder and only one person can save him from the
Played by Monica
Devoted to the point
of possessive, Emily French’s loyal housekeeper has an uncanny
ability to pre-empt her mistress’s practical as well as emotional
needs, suggesting a bond that surpasses a platonic master-servant
relationship. However, Janet’s carefully controlled universe is
challenged with the arrival of Leonard Vole…
Played by Kim
wealthy widow Emily French is beautiful, glamorous and bored. Used to
getting exactly what she wants, she glides through the London
highlife, indulging in champagne, raucous nightclubs and meaningless
affairs with her favourite pastime: younger men.
Played by Hayley
Stifled by years of
repressed emotion, Alice has as much verve and vigor as the grey
meals she makes Mayhew for dinner. Haunted by the memory of her son
who died at war, her few, precious moments of happiness are spent in
his bedroom, left perfectly intact since the moment he left.
Sir Charles Carter
Played by David Haig
Whilst he enjoys a
hearty lunch, this wealthy barrister salivates even more over the
prospect of arguing sensational crime cases. He considers Leonard’s
case to be a lost cause, until he finds out just how wealthy Leonard
will be if he’s proved innocent.
Gentleman's Farm: Elegant Country House Living
by Laurie Ossman and Debra A. McClane, Photographed by Walter
sumptuous volume features gracious country homes that blend the very
best of vernacular tradition, classical architecture, and high-style
elegance. For four centuries, the ideal of the gentleman’s farm has
inspired Virginians to create extraordinary homes on landscapes of
unparalleled beauty. Often places of retreat, these houses display
the virtues of the very best of American historic and classical
architecture, incorporating harmonious proportion, elegant interiors,
and thoughtful design in traditional styles. Each one in its way a
model of taste and beauty, the houses of The Gentleman’s Farm are
an expression of an American ideal of domestic happiness, the very
picture of home, which has served to influence the style of
residential building across the country. The houses featured,
including a centuries-old home for a president as well as recently
built residences, present a stylish, traditional aesthetic, hallmarks
of which include warm, wood-paneled libraries, plaster walls hung
with paintings of horse riding scenes, classical motifs, lovingly
wrought architectural detail, screened porches, large windows that
frame inspiring vistas of the country landscape—all those things
that say home to the country and suburban gentleman and gentlewoman”
Ossman is director of museum affairs at the Preservation Society of
Newport County, Newport, Rhode Island, author of Great Houses of the
South, and coauthor of Carrère & Hastings: The Masterworks.
A. McClane is an architectural historian and preservationist and the
author of Botetourt County, Virginia, Revisited.
Smalling is a widely published architectural photographer whose books
include Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County,
West Virginia, 1735–1835.
During my last visit
in Lisbon, the city where I was born, I took the opportunity to visit
Diniz & Cruz http://www.dohomem.pt/dinizcruz/eng/index.htma top Factory and Creation Platform, which combines
European Standards with Portuguese “gentillesse” and “savoir
They have important
international customers and they also create and produce for each
season, their own collections very well balanced between tradition of
craftmanship , technological development , great quality of materials
and good taste with a dashing touch.
I was very well
received with uncomparable Portuguese hospitality.
I had in the back of my mind
the prototype / three piece green tweed suit, used in the making of the
promotion film “The Lisbon Connection” …
After a very useful
and pleasant day chatting and visiting the important production line
and seeing lots of beautiful men's cloths, I left.
Then, when i was
already standing at the bus stop, I was really suprised with the
unique, warm and “gentile “ Portuguese touch . They had found the
unique suit and a car appeared to take me back to my desired piece.
The Wolseley Hornet built at Longbridge was a revival of a previous name from the 1930’s Wolseley Hornet. This was applied to this special version of the Mini, in a similar manner to the Riley Elf, featuring a longer tail and enlarged boot, but with the appropriate Wolseley grille and better-equipped interior.
Initially the Wolseley Hornet had rubber-cone suspension along with the standard 848cc engine as with the mini, but with improved interior and more sound-deadening material than the standard Mini.
In 1963 the Mk II appeared with a larger 998cc engine increasing the power to 38 bhp, top speed to 77 mph and 0-60 in 24.1 seconds. Fuel consumption improved slightly to 35 mpg. Shortly after the Mk II launched Hydrolastic suspension was introduced in 1964.
The Mk III appeared in 1966, a notable change being the sliding windows upgraded to wind-up windows, and face level ventilation added to the fascia.
1969 saw the end of the long-tail derivative of the Mini for both the Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf.