King Edward VIII And Wallis Simpson

It was the romance that led to the abdication of a King. King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, learn about the scandalous love between them.

On December 3, 1936, the Commonwealth shook with the news that the King of England, Edward VIII, was in love. The object of the monarch's affection was an American divorcee by the name of Wallis Simpson. The ensuing romance would lead to the loss of the Kingship and a panic that spread across the length of the entire Commonwealth.

Prince Edward first encountered the woman who would change his life on January 10, 1931. On that day he attended a party hosted by Lady Thelma Furness, with whom Edward had had a long term relationship. Also invited were Mrs Simpson and her husband Ernest. Initially the American woman didn't make a very big impression on the Prince. Four months later they met again and from there the attraction began to develop. Seven months after that the Prince had dinner with the Simpson's, staying until 4 a.m.

When Thelma Furness went on a trip to the United States in January, 1934 she asked Wallis Simpson to look after the Prince for her. When she returned, however, she had been replaced in the Prince's life and now Wallis Simpson was the only woman for Edward.

On January 24, 1936 Edward had become king. This was just two days after the death of his father George V. The press proclaimed him as the bachelor king since George 111. However, almost immediately an American woman became a constant guest at Royal dinner parties. Wallis Simpson was the estranged wife of Englishman Ernest Simpson, a member of the Baltic Exchange. Divorce proceedings between the two were still pending. Mrs Simpson already had one divorce to her name. Speculation in the press about the strange American divorcee was immediate and intense.

In August Wallis Simpson accompanied The King on a cruise down the Dalmatian coast in a chartered steam yacht. The press now had a field day over the most unseemly relationship between their King and this American woman. On October 27 Wallis and Edward's Simpson's divorce became final. In Mid November the King held a meeting with the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, in which he informed him that that there would be no coronation ceremony as it was his firm intention to abdicate the throne. He informed his mother, Queen Mary, at the same time. He knew full well that the public would not accept a King who had a divorced American woman as his bride.

On December 10, 1936 the formal announcement came from the King himself. Both Houses of Parliament heard the announcement , which began as follows:



"After long and anxious consideration I have determined to renounce the throne to which I succeeded on the death of my father, and I am communicating this, my final and irrevocable decision.

Realising as I do the gravity of this step, I can only hope that I shall have the understanding of my peoples in the decision I have taken and the reasons which have led me to take it.

I will not enter now into my private feelings, but I would beg that it should be remembered that the burden which constantly rests upon the shoulders of a sovereign is so heavy that it can only be borne in circumstances different from those in which I now find myself."

The day after this announcement was read and subsequently printed in the nation's press, Wallis Simpson left England to stay with an American friend in France. Hours later Edward boarded the destroyer "˜Fury' and was himself on his way to France. He was now free to pursue his heart with the woman he loved. Edward's brother the Duke of York succeeded him as King George VI . The new King made his brother the Duke of Windsor.

Edward, Duke of Windsor, married Wallis Simpson in June 1937. His wife took on the title of Duchess of Windsor. She would not, however, be given the title of "˜Her Royal Highness.' The couple found themselves exiled from Britain and shunned by Royal family members. They would spend the majority of the rest of their lives living in France. On May 28, 1972 Edward died at the age of 77. Wallis died on April 24, 1986 at the age of 89.

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