The love story of Ms. Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII of England is the stuff of legend.
He literally gave up the crown to be with her. As the head of the Church of England, the king could not marry a divorcée such as Ms. Simpson, since the Church would not support it, especially as both of her former husbands were still living.
His only recourse was to renounce his crown, giving the throne to his brother, George VI, and marrying Wallis six months later, thus spending the rest of his days with the woman of his dreams.
The pair was seemingly a perfect match, although their union remains a matter of controversy.
Added to this is speculation that Ms. Simpson – now the Duchess of Windsor – was in love with another man during her marriage to the former king.
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Wallis and Edward (known to those closest to him as David) met when Wallis was introduced to Thelma Furness, Viscountess Furness, who was Edward’s mistress at the time.
Thelma introduced Edward to her new friend in 1931, and they continued to cross paths for the next few years until, in 1934, she became Edward’s newest love interest.
Their courtship continued, against the better wishes of his parents, King George V and Queen Mary, and despite claims that Wallis was having an affair with Mr. Guy Marcus Trundle.
After the assignation and subsequent abdication of Edward (he reigned for just under a year), Wallis fled the United Kingdom as the scandal of their relationship became public, and went to the south of France.
They remained apart, with Edward taking refuge in Austria in order to avoid compromising the granting of a decree absolute in her second divorce proceedings.
They were reunited in May 1937 in France, and married a month later.
However, according to well-known royal historian, Andrew Morton, the new Duchess of Windsor was in love with someone else during her marriage to Edward, and was only using Edward for his title.
The mystery man in this royal love triangle, according to Morton, was an American named Herman Rogers, who Wallis had met in China when her first marriage fell apart.
They became friends, and she even stayed with Herman and his wife Katherine during her self-imposed exile to the south of France. They were so close that Herman gave her away at her wedding to Edward.
But just 2 days before their wedding, Edward left Wallis alone at Herman’s chateau, where she allegedly tried to seduce him, saying that any child that resulted would be presumed to be Edward’s. It is believed, however, that Herman did not take Wallis up on her offer.
As if this wasn’t enough, when Herman married his second wife Ms. Lucy Wann (Katherine had died in 1948), Wallis apparently told Lucy on her wedding day that Herman was the only man she had ever truly loved.
It is rumoured that there was no love lost between Wallis and Lucy, which is not surprising given the apparent circumstances of their relationship.
Indeed, it would seem that the former Mrs. Simpson became quite bored with Edward, especially after Herman’s second marriage.
She was known to merely tolerate him, and their relationship was more like mother-son than husband-wife, according to some sources.
Some believe that Wallis had had her eye on the queen’s crown the entire time, and was sorely disappointed that Edward gave up the throne for her, instead of fighting for it.
Her dreams of being an American queen were dashed, and she never really forgave him for it. She was not even allowed to be addressed as “Her Royal Highness” despite being a Duchess, and both she and Edward resented the rest of the royal family for it.
Perhaps most telling of her dislike and bitterness towards the entire “institution”: she was not even with Edward when he died from cancer at home in Paris in 1972, although she did travel to the UK for his funeral and stayed at Buckingham Palace.
Perhaps all was eventually forgiven after all, at least by some.