Facts about Wallis Simpson
Wallis Simpson Biography
Wallis Simpson was the American divorcee for whom King Edward VIII gave up the throne of Great Britain.
Wallis Simpson met the future king (then Prince of Wales) early in the 1930s and a few years later they became lovers, though she remained married to her second husband, businessman Ernest Simpson. Matters came to a head when Edward became King Edward VIII in January of 1936. Wallis Simpson filed for divorce from her husband, but the royal family and the British government would not allow Edward to marry her.
That December, Edward shocked the world by stepping down as king, saying 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.” They were married in France on June 3, 1937, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and spent the rest of their lives in exile from England, living mainly in France and the United States.
In 2003 the British government released documents showing that while she was involved with Edward in the years before he became king, Wallis Simpson also was having an affair with a London car dealer named Guy Trundle.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were buried together on the grounds of Windsor Castle… The Duke and Duchess visited Germany in 1937 as guests of Adolf Hitler, creating the lasting impression that they were Nazi sympathizers… Wallis Simpson’s first marriage took place in 1916, to U.S. Navy pilot Earl Winfield Spencer, but lasted barely a year… Wallis Simpson is often credited with the popular saying, “No woman can be too rich or too thin”… The Royal Family’s no-divorcee rule was decisively broken in 2017, when Prince Harry became engaged to divorced American actress Meghan Markle. Harry was fifth in line to the throne at the time.
Something in Common with Wallis Simpson
4 Good Links
- Infoplease offers a short history of her life
- An excellent introduction to the basics of her life
- The BBC's 2003 report on the Simpson love triangle; see right column for other Simpson details
- 2013 feature from The Guardian