Edward and Wallis Love Story
What is is about Wallis Simpson? This American divorcee caught the heart of Prince Edward, who at the time was the King of England
Born Bessie Wallis Warfield at Square Cottage at Monterey Inn, in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, Wallis' family became dependent on her wealthy uncle Solomon Davies Warfield after her father died of tuberculosis.
Warfield paid for Wallis to attend the Oldfield School, which was then the toniest school in Maryland. Here, Wallis befriended Renee du Pont and Mary Kirk, who both came from wealthy families. Wallis was smart and soon topped her class. Her schoolmates remember her as a striver who was always exquisitely dressed.
Wallis and Edward are said to have met while she was still married to her second husband, Ernest Simpson. She was actually introduced to him by his mistress at the time, Lady Furness. Yet historians say that Wallis was able to successfully take Lady Furness' place and to distance Edward from his former paramour. Their affair supposedly began in January 1934, while Lady Furness was in New York.
Both Edward and Wallis denied that they had an affair while Wallis was still married. This contradicted the claims of servants, who said that they had found the couple in bed together.
Some people found Wallis controlling and abrasive, yet Edward was obviously enamored of her. His official biographer writes that Edward became 'slavishly dependent' on Wallis. Meanwhile, Wallis said that she fell for Edward in 1934, while they were both on a cruise on the Rosaura, a private yacht owned by Lord Moyne.
Edward gave Wallis expensive presents like money and jewels. By all accounts, he was deeply in love. He even introduced her to his parents, who were horrified. Soon, complaints began to surface that Edward was neglecting his official duties in order to court Wallis.
Two years after Edward acceded to the throne, Wallis filed for divorce from her husband. After the procedure became final, Edward proposed to her.
At that time, England and the United Kingdom were still deeply conservative. Women who had been divorced were not allowed to be received at court. The fact that the King wanted to marry a woman whose two ex-husbands were still alive caused a large scandal. A consitutional crisis loomed.
In December 1936, Edward officially abdicated the throne to marry, in his words, “the woman I love.”. Edward was later named the Duke of Windsor by his brother, George IV, who replaced him. Edward and Wallis were married six months after he abdicated the throne. They became known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
In the period spanning the 1950s and 60s, Edward and Wallis jetted between Europe and the United States. They were considered celebrities by many in society, and they enjoyed a leisurely lifestyle.
Edward died in 1972, and Wallis soon retreated from the public eye. Whatever caused Edward to fall madly in love with Wallis Simpson, theirs is a love story that continues to be told. It's one for the ages.