THE relationship between the Duke of Windsor and his wife, Wallis Simpson, has been a topic of debate for decades.
People are often confused by the Duke’s decision to marry Wallis Simpson – an American divorcee. But life wasn’t always easy for Wallis, and experts are now of the opinion she was unfairly blamed for the abdication crisis which rocked Britain back in the 1930s. Read on to find out more about this important figure in British history.
n December 1936, a British monarch did the unthinkable.
King Edward VIII, after less than a year on the throne, decided to abdicate.
The reason? For love.
Wallis Simpson had charmed the king, and when presented with an ultimatum – the crown or Wallis – Edward picked the latter.
Edward decided to abdicate after less than a year on the throne (Image: Getty Images)
The decision was met with widespread criticism, from both the public and senior members of the Royal Family.
Great issue was taken with Wallis’ status as an American, twice-divorced woman.
But historians have been much kinder in their treatment of Wallis Simpson then the public were at the time of the abdication, with many believing Wallis was the victim of the situation.
Anne Sebba, Wallis Simpson biographer and author of That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, told Express.co.uk of just how resentful Wallis was of being blamed for Edward’s abdication.
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson on their wedding day (Image: Getty Images)
Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII lived in France later in life (Image: Getty Images)
Ms Sebba said: “She was absolutely furious, she didn’t think it was her fault at all.
“But she understood that she was the one who was going to get blamed for all of it.
“She felt she’d given up so much more. She felt she’d given up her good name, that she was hated.
“She felt that she’d given up being able to go out without crowds of paparazzi following her.
The pair were given the titles of Duke and Duchess of Windsor after the abdication (Image: Getty Images)
At some points, it appears the situation was so intense, Wallis even feared for her own life.
Ms Sebba added: “She was terrified whenever a flash bulb went off, she thought it was a gun – she thought somebody was going to kill her.
“As indeed Prime Minister Baldwin thought someone might take a pop shot at her.”
After the abdication, Wallis Simpson married Edward in 1937, and the pair were given the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor by Edward’s brother, King George VI.
The couple would later move to France, and they remained married until Edward’s death in 1972.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK