Amidst the delightful run-up to the royal wedding, take a moment today to sing “happy birthday, you naughty man” to Guy Trundle.
Trundle is one of the great background players in British royal marriage history. Remember how King Edward VIII gave up the throne in 1936 to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Warfield Simpson? (As shown just recently in The King’s Speech?) Turns out that while King Edward was agonizing over that choice, his sybaritic wife-to-be was also “having it off” on the side with Mr. Trundle, a Ford car salesman in London.
Guy Trundle was a “charming adventurer” and had quite a reputation as a ladies’ man: he was said to “boast that every woman falls for him.” The Times even called him “the Thirties love machine.”
The police had their eye on Wallis Simpson and so knew about her affair with Guy Trundle. He even admitted to them that he received money and “expensive presents” from her. However, it was all kept hush-hush at the time — except in the inner circles of government, where the news probably helped seal Edward VIII’s fate. Guy Trundle’s modest role in the abdication finally came to light in 2003, when a trove of secret documents were published by the British Public Records Office.
Guy Trundle was born on this day in 1899 (just four days before another great royal, Duke Ellington), so he’d be 112 years old today. If if he hadn’t died in 1958.
With today’s aggressive tabloids and all those London surveillance cameras, we’re guessing that Kate Middleton is not, right this second, “having tea” with a car salesman in the West End. If she is, we hope she at least moved up from Ford to Bentley. They did, after all, make the limo she’ll someday be riding in.