Recently on May 19th, 2018 world has witnessed royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This wedding was special in many case. It was held on Saturday irrespective of tradition of marriage on weekdays. Meghan Markle is an American born and had an actress career apart from her career in the area of fashion and lifestyle. She was married to American actor and producer, before and has got divorce later in 2013.
An American woman, Not of royal blood and that too divorced. We might end up celebrating this, which is obviously a great shift in the mindset of people over a century. No doubt our societies have become more open minded and acceptable but this was never easy. Today we are going to present life of a women who was once in the same shoe as Meghan Markle is, but certainly she was not that much welcomed. If she would have been welcomed and accepted in royal family probably we would never be able to see these faces of current royal family so prominently.
Wallis Simpsons, another American woman who married twice as well and obviously not a royal blood, was at the verge of becoming queen but the circumstances then didn’t favor her and she end up living a life far from royal family and Britain. It was the time of 1936. This was the year which is known as year of three kings. King George V, King Edward VIII and King George VI. King George V died on 20th Jan, 1930 and being elder son Edward VIII ascended to throne after that. Edward could have ruled the empire long time and this meaning perhaps current queen Elizabeth II and prince would have never gotten this stature but all these happened, history look an amazing turn and all because of a lady, there comes in picture Wallis Simpson.
Bessie Wallis Warfield was born in June 1896 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her father died when she was five and she and her mother become dependent on their relative for daily living. Wallis attended one of the most expensive girl’s school in Maryland. She was smart and had strong sense of commitment.
First and second Marriage
She first married to US navy pilot Earl Winfield Spencer in 1916. This marriage turned out disaster for her. He was a heavy drinker and almost escaped dying after a plane crash. They started living separately since 1922. When she returned from her tour of china in 1925, she filed for divorce and in 1927 they got divorced officially. It is found through various sources that in one of the letter to her mother she had written “I really feel so tired of fighting the world all alone and with no money”.
Meanwhile she began her relationship with Ernest Aldrich Simpson who was a shipping executive. They married on July 1928. In 1929, there comes the famous black Tuesday. On October 29, 1929 Wall street crash happened, which is the worst stock market crash in the history of USA. All of the Wallis’s investments get wiped out in that and her mother died penniless on 2nd November. She moved to England. They used to live extravagant lifestyle and very soon Ernest started facing financial problems. During 1931 she came in contact with Lady Furness who was then-mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales. She very soon introduced her to Prince.
Edward was handsome, raffish and easy going person. Edward used to live life on his own terms, cocktail parties and country house weekends were his moments. Various sources say that His attraction towards married women was already well-known. This gives a view that somehow both were meant to be move along. Between 1931 and 1934 both met at various house parties many times. She attended a party at Buckingham Palace which was given in honor of the Duke of Kent. Prince even introduces her to his mother, but the King George V refused to meet her primarily on account of her marital history, as divorced people were generally excluded from court. Edward showered Wallis with money and jewels, things that she used to love and enjoy, a truly lavish life style. In February 1935 again later in the year, he holidayed with her in Europe. During all these course of event she was still married to Ernest.
On 20th Jan 1936 Edward became King. Very next day he broke royal protocol by being with still married Wallis. His love for Wallis had become obsession now. Despite his several mistresses, Edward has been characterized as Mrs. Simpson’s lapdog. What exactly was the relationship? Why it started becoming obsession that king used to keep all the royal protocol aside when it used to be about Wallis. Philip Ziegler who is official biographer of Edward VIII said “There must have been some sort of sadomasochistic relationship, He relished the contempt and bullying she bestowed on him”. With the time it became clear that king wants to marry her. She had started taken interest in governance and decisions.
The King’s behavior and his relationship with Wallis made him unpopular with the Conservative-led British government, as well as distressing his mother and his brother. Stanley Baldwin, then British prime minister had told king that his subjects would deem the marriage morally unacceptable, largely because remarriage after divorce was opposed by the Church of England, and the people would not tolerate Simpson as queen. King was head of church of England and it was nearly impossible to go against church teaching. Baldwin then presented Edward with three choices: give up the idea of marriage; marry against his ministers’ wishes; or abdicate. It was clear that Edward was not prepared to give up Simpson, and he knew that if he married against the advice of his ministers, he would cause the government to resign, prompting a constitutional crisis. He chose to abdicate.He eventually abdicated on 11 December, 1936. on the same day in his message to people,
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”.
Upon her divorce being made final in May 1937, Wallis and Edward married one month later on 3 June 1937 in France. No member of Edward’s family attended marriage. Edward was created Duke of Windsor by his brother, King George VI, prior to the marriage and after marriage Wallis became Duchess of Windsor. Frozen out by the British royals, the duke and duchess’s alleged pro-German sympathies became the subject of investigation. The couple were guests at Hitler’s mountain retreat. In October 1937, Edward and his wife, by now the Duke and Duchess of Windsor even visited Nazi Germany. They met Hitler, dined with his deputy, Rudolf Hess, and even visited a concentration camp.
What was exactly between both? It remain controversial always and a matter of discussion. The marriage produced no children. Nazis’ foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop had been the duchess’s lover when he was ambassador to Britain in 1936, sending her 17 carnations every day to remind her of the number of times they had slept together. And, 13 years after Edward had given up his throne to marry her, the duchess reportedly embarked on an affair with Jimmy Donahue, a playboy grandson of the stores mogul, FW Woolworth. She was 54, he was 34, homosexual, outrageous and promiscuous. The duke, meanwhile, fully aware of the relationship, trailed behind them for most of the four-year affair. But, it seems, neither the duke nor the duchess found a fulfilling role from the day he gave up the Crown.
As the duchess once said: “You can’t abdicate and eat it.” A document released later also revealed that Mrs Simpson writing to her uncle had said “How can a woman be a whole empire to a man?”
Edward VIII: Abdication timeline. BBC News.