The love story of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson is described in memoirs, novels and scripts, but continues to excite the hearts of people to this day. After all, rarely a man for the sake of his beloved refuses the throne and homeland ...
On December 10, 1936, a historic event took place for the British Empire: King Edward VIII signed an official abdication.
His last will as monarch was a radio address to the British people, in which he explained the reason for his action: "I do not find it possible to bear the heavy burden of responsibility and properly fulfill my royal duties without the help and support of the one I love."
Who was this woman, the relationship with whom turned out to be dearer than the royal title and power?
Wallis Warfield - American Ulcer
Little is known about Wallis Warfield's origins. There is no unity among historians even in the year of her birth - either 1895 or 1896. Some say that the baby was born into the family of a bankrupt American planter who soon died. Others claim that her parents were never married, and the unfortunate father ran away from her mother before the girl was born. One way or another, Wallis's mother soon managed to get married quite successfully and even send her grown daughter to a closed school.
Until the age of 18, the girl lived in a private boarding house; I didn't have enough stars from the sky, but I differed in dance and etiquette lessons. Having received a certificate, she realized that her only chance for a prosperous life was marriage.
Finding a good spouse for a bride is not easy without a dowry. But Wallis was charming, tall, slender, with expressive features. Of course, you cannot call her a beauty, but after all, men's tastes are different. After a two-month romance with Lieutenant Winfried Spencer, Wallis hurried to marry him and bitterly regretted it. Her life turned into endless wanderings through the garrisons. The husband's salary was scanty, besides, he suffered from alcohol and then drug addiction.
So ten years passed. Spencer turned out to be not only an alcoholic, but also a sadist: he periodically raised his hand to Wallis. No, she was not born for such a life! Wallis decided to divorce. Everyone tried to dissuade her: acquaintances, spouses of her husband's colleagues, mother and stepfather. At the beginning of the 20th century, divorce was a stigma even for an American woman.
Having received the cherished freedom, Wallis realized that she did not know what to do with it. She has no job, no beauty, no money, no home. It turns out that you need to get married again. If only not to make a mistake again! .. But this woman was not only smart, but also lucky. Her second husband was Ernest Simpson, the heir to a wealthy English shipowner. He took his wife to London and introduced, if not to the highest, but to the secular British society.
Having warmed up in her husband's care and accustomed to a well-fed life, Wallis spread her wings. She eagerly absorbed the traditions of English light: the interiors of rich residences, the styles of dresses and jewelry, the manner of conducting a conversation ... Her husband paid for any of her whims, including the sudden desire to open her own salon.
Representatives of high society in London found Wallis "interesting and even funny" and recognized as their own. In many ways, she deserved it thanks to her sharp tongue, for which she immediately received the nickname "American ulcer". Her friends were ladies close to the court, including Viscountess Thelma Furness, mistress of Prince Edward of Wales. It was she who introduced Wallis to the prince, not suspecting that the American would take her gentleman away from her.
Edward VIII - The Bad Heir
From his birth on June 23, 1894, Edward-Albert-Christian-Georg-Andrew-Patrick-David was a parental headache. Great hopes were pinned on the baby, who received seven names and the title of highness at once, but he did not justify them. Moreover, his great-grandmother is Queen Victoria herself, and the godparents are the Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his wife!
Edward's father, who became king in 1910, was a disciplinarian, both in the army and with his family. Mother, a German princess, was not very emotional and had little interest in raising her son. Eduard, from childhood, grew up as a very impressionable boy and was in dire need of love.
But instead of maternal warmth, he received instructions from governesses and reminders that he was not a child, but a subject of his father and future heir to the throne. In his diary, Edward wrote: "My childhood was full of adversity." Shy by nature and nervous about the press of court etiquette, Edward found an outlet in sports cars and American jazz.
Having left to study at Oxford, the heir sighed a little more freely, however, not for long. The imperious hand of his parents was able to control him there too - through letters, the content of which was reduced to prohibitions and instructions. Not very capable of learning, Edward quickly gained a reputation as a young man of little mind. But success awaited the prince in sports - he became the best player in the Oxford football and polo teams.
However, the father considered these activities not aristocratic enough, and the mother wrote that they can be life-threatening: the crown prince needs to think not about himself, but about his state. Edward gave up sports and took up alcohol. He was handsome and well built. At student parties, dozens of girls from the best British families fought for his attention, but in vain. It was rumored that Edward was not interested in girls, but in guys.
In fact, he suffered from an oedipal complex - by that time this term had already been explained by Sigmund Freud. Tormented by the inattention of his cold mother, Edward could not build relationships with the girls. Someone even started a rumor that he is by nature a masochist and requires special entertainment from his partners. But one thing was true: the prince was attracted to powerful ladies older than him.
So, Frida Dudley, a married woman 16 years older, became Edward's mistress. For ten years, the family of monarchs, like Frida's husband, turned a blind eye to this novel, until Edward suddenly decided to marry Frida. She was frightened by the scandal and hastened to escape from her lover to the remote estate of her husband, and the sad heir was forgotten in the arms of Thelma Furness, who one day introduced him to her friend, American Wallis Simpson.
The secret becomes clear
... A tall thin woman stood at the window with a glass of champagne and gazed into the distance thoughtfully. She was frankly bored at a social event. Edward, who also could not find a place for himself at this celebration of life, decided to talk to her. As befits etiquette, I chose the most commonplace topic: the cold English climate. After all, the woman was American - they were introduced to each other two hours ago. The answer dumbfounded him:
- Since I moved to London, I have heard this question two hundred times. Something more original could be expected from the prince!
Turning around, she went deep into the hall, forever taking Edward's heart with her. How daring! No one has yet dared to contradict him, and even in such a rude manner. The prince was accustomed to the fact that those around him grovelled in front of him and perceived any banality he said as wisdom.
Thoughts of Wallis did not leave his head. What to come up with? Maybe invite the Simpsons for a ride on his yacht? Exactly! Everything will look decent, and he will be able to snatch a few minutes alone with this extraordinary woman.
Since then, weekends for three have become a tradition. Wallis's husband understood everything perfectly, but he was a wise man and did not intend to get in the way of the prince. He only begged his wife to be careful and not to make the novel public.
Soon, Edward and Wallis were walking on the yacht without strangers. He hastened to confess his love to her and ... burned himself against her ironic smile. No, she doesn't mind becoming his mistress, it's even interesting! But their connection is not love, but just an affair, you need to understand this. Her pride was flattered by the trembling affection of a man in whose veins blue blood flows, as well as huge bouquets of flowers and velvet cases with jewelry that came with them ...
Everything secret becomes clear, and even more so the novel of the heir to the throne. The tabloids were full of photographs of Edward "with this American." For five years, the royal court turned a blind eye to their relationship. Edward was happy. Finally, he met a woman who took care of him like a mother. And Wallis got the prince!
The tale was cut short when the news came of the death of King George V. Now Edward must take his place. And it's good if he is married by then. Of course, not on Simpson, but on a girl of a worthy position. According to the British public, Wallis had three global shortcomings: she is American, twice divorced and also Catholic. But the prince, usually soft and malleable, suddenly rested: besides her, he did not need anyone, maybe even a throne!
The royal court was in shock. The Prime Minister did everything to separate the lovers. He even paid a visit to Mr. Simpson to make sure he wouldn't give Wallis a divorce. Imagine the surprise of the guest when he learned that on the eve of Simpson he had personally visited His Royal Majesty and asked for the hand of his wife.
Expulsion from the country
The luxurious villa on the Riviera was shaking. Just now, Wallis, like millions of British subjects, listened to Edward's address on the radio, in which he announced his abdication. Like a panther, she rushed from corner to corner, and then began to destroy everything that came in her way: antique vases, a china service, oak chairs ... “Fool! Silly fool! " Wallis screamed until she fell on the bed with silent tears of powerlessness. The servants did not know what to do: this was the first time they had seen such a hostess, and therefore the maids preferred to retreat to the kitchen.
Of course, the prospect of becoming the mistress of Buckingham Palace and the Queen of England was dizzy. But, as a smart woman, Wallis understood that too powerful forces would prevent this. And then she promised Edward that even in the event of his marriage, she would remain with him in the status of a mistress. And what has he done!
The consequences were even worse than they had expected. The royal family took Edward's act as a betrayal and demanded his expulsion from England. For the sake of his beloved woman, Edward lost not only his throne, but also his homeland. He was left with the title of Duke of Windsor, albeit without the right of inheritance, and assigned an annual rent. On the same night, Edward left England with Wallis. Now France has become their home.
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson: Happy Together
Having got married, they acquired a luxurious villa, which became their family nest. Wallis decorated all 12 rooms so luxuriously that her beloved Edward still felt like the owner of the palace. The spouses organized receptions and led an active social life, with pleasure playing the role of the royal couple in exile - this the English court could not take away from them.
Before the outbreak of the war, Wallis and Edward left for the United States. They enjoyed life as never before. Wallis tyrannically cared about her husband: she forced him to go to the sea, which he could not stand, limited alcohol and cigars, she could reprimand him in the presence of guests if he talked too much.
Many such treatment of the English king, albeit the former, jarred, but Edward was in seventh heaven. And although Wallis could not give Edward children (they say that her infertility was the result of an unsuccessful abortion from her first husband), their place was taken by four pugs, with whom the former king walked with pleasure through the streets of New York. After the war, the couple returned to France.
As much as she cared about her husband Wallis, she could not overcome his smoking habit, which ultimately ruined Edward. The Duke of Windsor died of throat cancer at the age of 77. The only thing that worried Edward in recent days was that his ashes would be taken to the Windsor tomb in England, and after his death he and Wallis would not be able to be together. And only when the reigning queen Elizabeth gave Edward written permission to bury his wife next to him in London, the former king was able to die in peace.
The departure of her husband was a hard blow for Wallis. She now has no reason to live ... Despite permission to stay in London, the widow returned to Paris. A month after the funeral, she suffered her first stroke. She held out, but began to limp, her left hand did not move well. Wallis devoted her life to the memories of Edward and began to write a book about him.
The second blow chained her to bed for many years. She outlived her husband by 14 years. Every evening, lying on her side of the matrimonial bed, Wallis kissed her husband's pillow and said: "Good night, darling!"
The Queen kept her promise: Wallis was buried next to Edward in the tomb of the Windsor. England was able to recognize their love only posthumously. ..