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Countdown to The King's Speech: Cosmo Lang

Updated: Apr 28

Today's profile takes us to a figure who is little known today but played a key role in the abdication crisis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Cosmo Lang.

Although he was long regarded as a mere bystander to the events leading up to the abdication, Lang in fact was closely involved, as recent research has determined. In private correspondence with Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in November 1936, Lang warned that Edward’s romance with Simpson could no longer be concealed from the British public and urged Baldwin to convince Edward VIII that he must abdicate, adding that “the announcement should appear as a free act.” Baldwin did so, and Edward accordingly abdicated, officially on December 10, 1936, stating in a radio broadcast the following day that “the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone.” Following the abdication, Lang delivered a radio address in which he censured the former king for having maintained a social circle “whose standards and ways of life are alien to all the best instincts of his people.” Widely perceived as ungracious and sanctimonious, the speech was roundly condemned by the king’s supporters and in the press.

We are delighted to welcome David Gow to the Thespians, making his debut as Cosmo Lang. Well known in the area through his many performances elsewhere, this is David’s first time playing a “man of the cloth” having previously appeared as a Doctor, Lawyer and Major. His last role was that of Lord Rory Carmoyle in an award winning production of “Come on Jeeves”.

We will be presenting The King’s Speech at Haslemere Hall at 7:30 pm on Thursday 16, Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May. Tickets are available from the Box Office on 01428 642161 or follow the link

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