When it was published in 2016 The King Who Had To Go established Adrian as a penetrating historian of the hidden ways in which government operates and takes decisions on crucially sensitive topics. It was the first book to focus on the political dimension of the abdication of Edward VIII 1936. Adrian showed how the crisis went far beyond "the love affair of the century" and drove politicians and civil servants to ruthless measures to protect their vision of constitutional stability. He recognised how much the government's attitude was shaped by the fear of a constitutional crisis engineered by Winston Churchill and other undesirables, a topic that he explored in depth in a magazine article "Chronicle of a Conspiracy Foretold."
"....an excellent book which sheds fresh light on events with which many will think they are already familiar." John Campbell, biographer of Margaret Thatcher, Roy Jenkins and many more. (Read the full review)
"Many books have examined Edward's abdication, few do as thorough or cohesive a job....Stylistically the book is both captivating and engaging.....immerses the reader in the untold story of the hidden political machinations and insidious battles between members of the royal family and their political rivaals." David M. Valladares in HISTORY: Reviews of New Books (Read the full review)
"....a dramatic and persuasive account of an important episode in British constitutional history. Based on an impressive range of sources, and written with flair, it makes a compelling case for Edward VIII’s inadequacy as a monarch," Professor Richard Toye, author of Winston Churchill: A Life In The News
"....a remarkable coup. By sedulous research he has been able to shed fresh light on the intricate political manoeuvres surrounding one of most studied episodes in our history..... an elegant and compelling book.” Piers Brendon, author of Edward VIII: The Uncrowned King
"Rigorous and absorbing in equal measure, ...takes us far beyond government gossip and royal tittle-tattle. Phillips’s use of archival sources breathes new life into one of the most dramatic episodes in modern British history." Professor Rory Cormac, author of Disrupt And Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy