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who is the current duke and duchess of windsor

267–269; Duchess of Windsor, pp. [34] He divorced his first wife, Dorothea (by whom he had a daughter, Audrey), to marry Wallis on 21 July 1928 at the Register Office in Chelsea, London. 104–106, King, pp. Following Edward VIII's abdication as King-Emperor in 1936, he was created Duke of Windsor by King George VI in 1937.. In 1937, the couple made a high-profile visit to Germany where they met with Adolf Hitler. 274–277; Vickers, pp. There were rumours that the theft had been masterminded by the royal family as an attempt to regain jewels taken from the Royal Collection by the Duke, or by the Windsors themselves as part of an insurance fraud—they made a large deposit of loose stones at Cartier the following year. 99–120; Ziegler, p. 555, King, p. 506; Menkes, pp. In 1945, the duke resigned his post, and the couple moved back to France. Rogers. An only child, Bessie Wallis (sometimes written "Bessiewallis") Warfield was born in Square Cottage at Monterey Inn, a hotel directly across the road from the Monterey Country Club, in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. [80], Edward was created Duke of Windsor by his brother King George VI prior to the marriage. [97] Wallis performed her role as the Bahamas' first lady competently for five years; she worked actively for the Red Cross and in the improvement of infant welfare. [124] The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince and Princess of Wales attended both the funeral ceremony and the burial. [116] She suffered several falls and broke her hip twice. For example, during his 44-week training course in the army, he was referred to as "Officer Cadet Wales" rather than "Officer Cadet Mountbatten-Windsor." However, things did not go as smoothly as one may have hoped. Wallis grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. [103] Another of their acquaintances, Charles Bedaux, who had hosted their wedding, was arrested on charges of treason in 1943 but committed suicide in jail in Miami before the case was brought to trial. [96], In August 1940, the Duke and Duchess travelled by commercial liner to the Bahamas where he was installed as governor. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince and Princess of Wales also attended the funeral and burial. T his is the untold story of the Duchess of Windsor. On 28 May 1972, Edward died from throat cancer, and his body was returned to Britain to lie in state at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. During the trip, Wallis's investments were wiped out in the Wall Street Crash, and her mother died penniless on 2 November 1929. Her father died shortly after her birth from tuberculosis which left Wallis and her widowed mother partly supported by their wealthier relatives. [62] She was perceived by many in the British Empire as a woman of "limitless ambition"[63] who was pursuing the King because of his wealth and position. For over four decades the will of the Duke of Windsor, once known as King Edward VIII, has remained sealed and hidden away from prying eyes. In 1937, they visited Germany and met Adolf Hitler. Seriously, the title of Duke of Windsor was expressly created for Edward VIII in 1937 after he abdicated 11 Dec 1936 to marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, who was henceforth known as the Duchess of Windsor. [127] The British royal family received no major bequests. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor visit Finney General Hospital in Thomasville in 1946. 8. Duke, Duchess of Windsor’s wild orgies. [73], Wallis and Edward married one month later on 3 June 1937 at the Château de Candé, lent to them by French millionaire Charles Bedaux. Duke of Windsor, Writer: A King's Story. [21], In 1920, Edward, the Prince of Wales, visited San Diego, but he and Wallis did not meet. 237, 242, King, pp. 55–56, Higham, p. 119; King, p. 61; Vickers, p. 263; Ziegler, p. 224, King, pp. [95] The Duke and Duchess moved to Portugal in July. However, letters patent, passed by the new king and unanimously supported by the Dominion governments,[81] prevented Wallis, now the Duchess of Windsor, from sharing her husband's style of "Royal Highness". Some biographers have suggested that Wallis's sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, remained bitter towards her for her role in bringing George VI to the throne (which she may have seen as a factor in his early death)[83] and for prematurely behaving as Edward's consort when she was his mistress. [17], In 1946, when the Duchess was staying at Ednam Lodge, the home of the Earl of Dudley, some of her jewels were stolen. After the abdication, the former monarch was created the Duke of Windsor by his brother and successor, King George VI. I thought the rest of us could be fence-sitters while the Nazis and the Reds slogged it out. In 1935 and 1936, the Prince (and later King) was seen on holiday with Wallis in Europe leading Edward’s courtiers to believe that Wallis was interfering with his royal duties. The Duke and Duchess also attended the memorial service for the Duke’s sister, the Princess Royal, that same year in Westminster Abbey. Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor (1896-1986), is remembered for her stylishness. The brooch was designed to incorporate several meaningful symbols that were important to the couple. [7], According to a wedding announcement in the Baltimore Sun (20 November 1895), her parents were married by C. Ernest Smith at Baltimore's Saint Michael and All Angels' Protestant Episcopal Church on 19 November 1895,[8] which suggests she was conceived out of wedlock. The Duke of Windsor was born Prince Edward of York on 23 June 1894. Their intention to marry and her status as a divorcée caused a constitutional crisis that led to Edward's abdication. Michael S. Rosenwald. This is true for many current members of the royal family. Wallis returned to England and with the shipping business still buoyant, the Simpsons moved into a large flat with a staff of servants. [77] Edward presented her with an engagement ring that consisted of an emerald mount in yellow gold set with diamonds, and the sentence "We are ours now" was engraved on it. [107] They travelled frequently between Europe and America aboard ocean liners. 344–345, When telling a story of how Wallis complained about blacks being allowed on, Sebba, pp. For the ducal title, see, Wife of Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, Relationship with Edward, Prince of Wales, According to 1900 census returns, she was born in June 1895, which author. The decision took the royal family and the Duchess's friends by surprise, as she had shown little interest in charity during her life. Share this article: Share Tweet Share Share Share Email Share. She made up her mind to go to the head of the class, and she did. Before, during, and after the Second World War, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were suspected by many in government and society of being Nazi sympathisers. They stayed in Cascais, at Casa de Santa Maria, the home of Ricardo do Espírito Santo e Silva, a banker who was suspected of being a German agent. She told United States ambassador to Spain Alexander W. Weddell that France had lost because it was "internally diseased". [94], As the German troops advanced, the Duke and Duchess fled south from their Paris home, first to Biarritz then to Spain in June. 62–64; Sebba, pp. Ultimately, Edward would abdicate in December of 1936 to marry “the woman I love.”. [50], In 1935, the head of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch told the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that Wallis was also having an affair with Guy Marcus Trundle, who was "said to be employed by the Ford Motor Company". [17][100] She referred to the local population as "lazy, thriving niggers" in letters to her aunt, which reflected her upbringing in the Jim Crow South. Her first marriage, to U.S. naval officer Win Spencer, was punctuated by periods of separation and eventually ended in divorce. [105] The couple returned to France and retirement after the defeat of Nazi Germany. [43] Wallis soon ousted Lady Furness, and the Prince distanced himself from a former lover and confidante, the Anglo-American textile heiress Freda Dudley Ward. [55] The King's behaviour and his relationship with Wallis made him unpopular with the Conservative-led British government, as well as distressing his mother and his brother the Duke of York. [3] Her funeral was held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, attended by her two surviving sisters-in-law – the Queen Mother and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester – and other members of the royal family. [45] At an evening party in Buckingham Palace, he introduced her to his mother—his father was outraged,[46] primarily on account of her marital history, as divorced people were generally excluded from court. Jan 31, 2012. Between 1931 and 1934, he met the Simpsons at various house parties, and Wallis was presented at court. [117], After Edward's death, the Duchess's French lawyer, Suzanne Blum, assumed power of attorney. Wallis married Edward six months later, after which she was formally known as the Duchess of Windsor, but was not allowed to share her husband's style of "Royal Highness". But now it will be unsealed. [72], The King signed the Instrument of Abdication on 10 December 1936, in the presence of his three surviving brothers, the Duke of York (who would ascend the throne the following day as George VI), the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent. In 'The Crown' season 3, we see the Duke of Windsor, also known as the Former King Edward VIII and Queen Elizabeth's uncle die. The two would remain friends with Wallis sending him flowers when Simpson was in the hospital for surgery. [113], Upon the Duke's death from throat cancer in 1972, the Duchess travelled to the United Kingdom to attend his funeral,[114] staying at Buckingham Palace during her visit. [38], Through a friend, Consuelo Thaw, Wallis met Consuelo's sister Thelma, Lady Furness, at the time the mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales. [91] The visit tended to corroborate the strong suspicions of many in government and society that the Duchess was a German agent,[17] a claim that she ridiculed in her letters to the Duke. The Duke and Duchess lived in France during the pre-war years. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. [112] Both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles visited the Windsors in Paris in the Duke's later years, the Queen's visit coming only shortly before the Duke died. [56] The British media remained deferential to the monarchy, and no stories of the affair were reported in the domestic press, but foreign media widely reported their relationship. The Duke was buried in the Royal Burial Ground behind the Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at the Frogmore Estate; until 1965, the Duke and Duchess had planned to be buried in Baltimore with the Duchess’s father before an agreement was reached with the Royal Family. The stolen pieces were only a small portion of the Windsor jewels, which were either bought privately, inherited by the Duke, or given to the Duke when he was Prince of Wales. [79] Guests included Randolph Churchill, Baron Eugène Daniel von Rothschild, and the best man, Major Fruity Metcalfe. Home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. An auction of his collection was announced in July 1997 for later that year in New York. According to Wallis, it was during a cruise on Lord Moyne’s private yacht in August of 1934 that Wallis fell in love with Edward. Wallis claimed that her parents were married in June 1895. [71] However, Edward was determined to marry Wallis. Her funeral was held at St George’s Chapel on 29 April and was attended by her two surviving sisters-in-law, the Queen Mother, and Princess Alice, the Duchess of Gloucester. He was in the army and was an uncrowned King for a little under a year after the death of his father in 1936. [12], On 17 April 1910, Wallis was confirmed at Christ Episcopal Church, Baltimore, and between 1912 and 1914 her uncle paid for her to attend Oldfields School, the most expensive girls' school in Maryland. Sebba, p. 98; Vickers, p. 287; Ziegler, pp. Their affair and subsequent marriage had tongues wagging on both sides of the Atlantic and was the constitutional crisis of the twentieth century. In 1937, they made a high-profile visit to Germany and met Adolf Hitler at the Berghof, his Berchtesgaden retreat. In 1931, during her second marriage, to Ernest Simpson, she met Edward, then Prince of Wales. Her father died shortly after her birth and she and her widowed mother were partly supported by their wealthier relatives. "[110], In 1965, the Duke and Duchess visited London as the Duke required eye surgery for a detached retina; Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, visited them. Gay American playboy Jimmy Donahue, an heir to the Woolworth fortune, claimed to have had a liaison with her in the 1950s, but Donahue was notorious for his inventive pranks and rumour-mongering. Biography of Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor and the Duchess of Windsor, Nee Bessie Wallis Warfield. [74] The couple were reunited at the Château de Candé, Monts, France, on 4 May 1937. On her instructions, according to Andrew Morton on the basis of an interview with Rogers's stepdaughter-in-law 80 years later,[69] the ghost-writer made no mention of her confession that Herman Rogers was actually the love of her life. [42] Edward denied this to his father, despite his staff seeing them in bed together as well as "evidence of a physical sexual act". The Duke of Windsor Dies at 77 By Reuters. [115] The Duchess became increasingly frail and eventually succumbed to dementia, living the final years of her life as a recluse, supported by both her husband's estate and an allowance from the Queen. At an evening party at Buckingham Palace, Edward introduced Wallis to his mother; his father was outraged by the situation primarily because divorcées were typically excluded from court. Trees for the Platinum Jubilee as new initiative to mark The Queen's special anniversary is announced, Queen Sonja starts Christmas countdown at the Royal Palace, Crown Princess Family of Sweden celebrates First Sunday of Advent, The royal bride who changed England forever, Stories of the Stuarts: Queen Anne's 18 pregnancies, King of Thailand rents entire hotel in Germany for his harem, Royal Wedding Rewind: George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece, Royal Central readers show off their royal memorabilia - part 2, The much maligned mistress who helped create one of Britain's most popular kings. [13] There she became a friend of heiress Renée du Pont, a daughter of Senator T. Coleman du Pont of the du Pont family, and Mary Kirk, whose family founded Kirk Silverware. [37] In 1929, Wallis sailed back to the United States to visit her sick mother, who had married legal clerk Charles Gordon Allen after the death of Rasin. For fans of the the Netflix series, "The Crown," Britain's Duke of Windsor (the former King Edward VIII, who abdicated in 1936 to marry an American, Wallis Simpson) spent the In January 1934, while Lady Furness (mistress of the Prince of Wales) was away in New York City, it was alleged that Wallis became the Prince’s mistress. [106], In 1952 they were offered the use of a house by the Paris municipal authorities. [75] The date would have been King George V's 72nd birthday; Queen Mary thought the wedding had been scheduled for then as a deliberate slight. My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. 227–228, King, p. 113; Duchess of Windsor, pp. [60] Additionally, at the time both the Church and English law only recognised adultery as a legitimate ground for divorce. [4][5], Her father was Teackle Wallis Warfield, the fifth and youngest son of Henry Mactier Warfield, a flour merchant described as "one of the best known and personally one of the most popular citizens of Baltimore" who ran for mayor in 1875. [111] Later, in 1967, the Duke and Duchess joined the royal family in London for the unveiling of a plaque by Elizabeth II to commemorate the centenary of Queen Mary's birth. Some, though, felt that Avedon’s impulses had a cruel edge, showing the face in a harsh light. John Theodore Goddard, Wallis's solicitor, stated: "[his] client was ready to do anything to ease the situation but the other end of the wicket [Edward VIII] was determined." In the opinion of her biographers, "she experienced the ultimate fairy tale, becoming the adored favourite of the most glamorous bachelor of his time. Wallis wore a "Wallis blue" Mainbocher wedding dress. Michael S. Rosenwald. He was the son of the future King George V and Queen Mary. [51] Claims of an affair were doubted, however, by Captain Val Bailey, who knew Trundle well and whose mother had an affair with Trundle for nearly two decades,[52] and by historian Susan Williams. The duke and duchess set sail from Lisbon on August 1, 1940, narrowly escaping a Nazi SS team sent to seize them. [125], She was buried next to Edward in the Royal Burial Ground near Windsor Castle, as "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor". Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (born Bessie Wallis Warfield; 19 June 1896[1] – 24 April 1986), known as Wallis Simpson, was an American socialite and wife of the Duke of Windsor, the former British king Edward VIII. [25] According to the wife of one of Win's fellow officers, Mrs Milton E. Miles,[26] in Beijing Wallis met Count Galeazzo Ciano, later Mussolini's son-in-law and Foreign Minister, had an affair with him, and became pregnant, leading to a botched abortion that left her infertile. He drank even before flying and once crashed into the sea, but escaped almost unharmed. [17][88] Within the household of the Duke and Duchess, the style "Her Royal Highness" was used by those who were close to the couple. [79] The marriage produced no children. Two years later, they helped the Royal Family celebrate the centenary of Queen Mary (Edward’s mother)’s birth; they joined The Queen for the unveiling of a plaque in Queen Mary’s honour. In November 1916, Wallis married U.S. naval officer Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. in Baltimore, but periods of separation led the couple to divorce in December 1927. [129] Blum later claimed that Egyptian entrepreneur Mohamed Al-Fayed tried to purchase the jewels for a "rock bottom price". 47–52; Vickers, pp. [61], The British and Dominion governments believed that a twice divorced woman was politically, socially, and morally unsuitable as a prospective consort. Ernest was beginning to encounter financial difficulties, as the Simpsons were living beyond their means, and they had to fire a succession of staff. Their intention to marry and her status as a divorcée caused a constitutional crisis that led to Edward's abdication. [47] Edward showered Wallis with money and jewels,[48] and in February 1935, and again later in the year, he holidayed with her in Europe. [58], The monarch of the United Kingdom is Supreme Governor of the Church of England—at the time of the proposed marriage, and until 2002, the Church of England disapproved of, and would not perform, the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouse was still alive. However, in 1960, career criminal Richard Dunphie confessed to the crime. [10] For her first few years, she and her mother were dependent upon the charity of her father's wealthy bachelor brother Solomon Davies Warfield, postmaster of Baltimore and later president of the Continental Trust Company and the Seaboard Air Line Railway. 258, 261; Duchess of Windsor, pp. [89], According to the wife of former British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley, Diana Mitford, who knew both Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Windsor but was only friendly with the latter, the Queen's antipathy toward her sister-in-law may have resulted from jealousy. The idyll went wrong when, ignoring her pleas, he threw up his position to spend the rest of his life with her. "[15] Wallis was always immaculately dressed and pushed herself hard to do well. After the visit, Hitler said of Wallis, "she would have made a good Queen". The Duke and Duchess of Windsor at their controversial meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1937. Bessie Wallis Warfield – more commonly known as Wallis – was born 19 June 1896 in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, to Teackle Wallis Warfield and Alice Montague. Blue Ridge Summit referred to as "a fashionable summer resort ... then greatly patronized by Baltimoreans" in Francis F. Bierne (1984), Carroll, vol. Wallis grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She decided to flee the country as the scandal broke, and was driven to the south of France in a dramatic race to outrun the press. 20–21; Vickers, p. 257; Duchess of Windsor, pp. The Duchess of Windsor was always immaculately dressed and never casual. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor gaze happily into one another’s eyes following their return to England on September 16, 1939. [92] U.S. FBI files compiled in the 1930s also portray her as a possible Nazi sympathiser. In 1942 when his son, the current Duke of Kent, was seven years old, George was travelling to Iceland in a Sunderland flying boat. On 7 December 1936, Lord Brownlow read to the press her statement, which he had helped her draft, indicating Wallis's readiness to give up the King. [16] A later biographer wrote of her, "Though Wallis's jaw was too heavy for her to be counted beautiful, her fine violet-blue eyes and petite figure, quick wits, vitality, and capacity for total concentration on her interlocutor ensured that she had many admirers. Less than a year later, on 21 July 1928, Wallis married Ernest Simpson, an American-born British shipbroker in London. But there is no document which proves directly that she was anything other than a victim of her own ambition, who lived out a great romance that became a great tragedy. In 1940, the Duke was appointed governor of the Bahamas, and the couple moved to the islands until he relinquished the office in 1945. After the visit, Hitler notably said of the Duchess, “She would have made a good Queen.” The trip led to government suspicions that the Duchess was a German agent – a claim she often ridiculed in her letters to the Duke. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s love story created a scandal. Simpson would also later offer advice and clarification when his former wife was working on her memoirs. The couple divorced on 3 May 1937. See more ideas about duke and duchess, duchess, wallis simpson. 8 November 1916 – 21 July 1928: Mrs. Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. 21 July 1928 – 7 May 1937: Mrs. Ernest Aldrich Simpson, 7 May 1937 – 3 June 1937: Mrs. Wallis Warfield, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 02:08. [118] Blum sold items belonging to the Duchess to her own friends at lower than market value[119] and was accused of exploiting her client in Caroline Blackwood's The Last of the Duchess, written in 1980 but not published until 1995, after Blum's death. 3, pp. On 11 December 1936, Edward said in a radio broadcast, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love. [66], Wallis's relationship with the King had become public knowledge in the United Kingdom by early December.

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