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The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Warfield Simpson Marriage Profile

Royal Marriages

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Duke of Windsor and Mrs. Wallis Simpson Wedding

The Duke of Windsor marries American divorcee Mrs. Wallis Simpson at the Chateau de Conde, France on June 3, 1937.

Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images
The marriage of Edward VIII and Wallis Warfield Simpson sparked sensational headlines in newspapers around the world.

Born:

Edward was born on June 23, 1894 in Surrey, England.

Bessie Wallis Warfield was born on June 19, 1896 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Died:

Edward died on May 28, 1972 in Paris, France.

Wallis died on April 24, 1986 in Paris, France.

The couple were buried together in the royal burial ground of Windsor Castle.

Courtship:

Edward first met and was attracted to Wallis Warfield Simpson, a married woman, in 1930. They had a somewhat public, non-secret affair for nearly seven years.

Although not well received by the public or his family, the Prince and Wallis took a cruise together and went skiing in Austria. Wallis shocked British politicians and society by appearing with Edward VIII at his first formal dinner as King of England shortly after he received his title in January 1936.

Edward's Decision to Abdicate:

There was nothing in the British Constitution that prevented Edward VIII from marrying Wallis. Public sentiment against Wallis because of her two divorces and political adversaries left him with only two choices: either give up Wallis or give up the throne.

On December 10, 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated. Edward's younger brother, George VI, became king and gave Edward the title, Duke of Windsor.

Read the text of the December 11, 1936 radio announcement that Edward VIII made announcing giving up the throne.

Wedding Date and Info:

Edward and Wallis were married in a quiet ceremony in France on June 3, 1937. They lived out their lives together in Paris.

Children:

None.

Previous Marriages:

Edward, none.

Wallis had two previous marriages.

  • Earl Winfield Spencer: On November 8, 1916, she married Spencer, a U.S. Navy pilot. They divorced in 1927 apparently because of Winfield's alcoholism.
  • Ernest Aldrich Simpson: In July 1928, Wallis married Simpson, a banker. They divorced on April 27, 1937.

The British government released documents in 2003 that revealed that Wallis Simpson was involved in an affair with a car dealer from London named Guy Trundle while she was involved with Edward. Apparently Edward was not informed of Wallis' relationship with Trundle before he gave up the throne.

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