Author Topic: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)  (Read 434006 times)

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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1395 on: September 23, 2011, 07:10:59 AM »
I think that gave the story that Wallis was really a man a boost.

Offline feodorovna

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1396 on: September 24, 2011, 02:53:20 AM »
Chic, svelte ,slender, immaculate and stylish are all adjectives which could, and still can, be ascribed to Wallis. Whether or not one likes her style is irrelevant, IMO she had it in bucket loads. However, long before there were questions about her gender I was struck by her hands. I have rarely seen such large and clumsy hands on so tiny a frame. I believe that she was very conscious of them and kept them covered as often as she could-not a difficult thing in those days when it was mandatory for gloves to be worn. Could it be that she developed her style in order to distract attention from the part of her she felt was least attractive?

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1397 on: September 24, 2011, 01:04:39 PM »
You have a very good point there Feodorovna.  It is well known that Wallis had a professionally developed "style" of her won to  hide the fact that she was no raving beauty.  The best couturiers, hair and make up artists. All the bling she attached to herself distracted from her imperfections as well. I imagine she did  the same with her awkward hands.
 Although I do not care for the woman, I give her credit where it is due.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1398 on: September 25, 2011, 06:32:11 AM »
Having big hands she presumably had big feet as well (I do too - my latest trainers are 8s, which is ridiculous when you're a modest 5ft 6!). Is it a coincidence that few published photographs of her seem to show her feet?

Ann

Alixz

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1399 on: September 25, 2011, 10:10:27 AM »
Ann - size 8 would be a wonderful gift to me.  (I am 5"7" on a good day) I started wearing size 10 (US Women's) size 42 in Europe when I as 14.  When I was younger, I always had tight shoes and sore feet.

Before women's running shoes, I used to wear men's size 8 which is the equivalent of women's size 10.

In the US, shoe manufacturers seem to think that anyone who wears larger than a size 9 1/2 doesn't deserve to have good comfortable shoes.  There is usually no 10 1/2 and 11s were too big (if one could find them).

In my older and wiser years I wear nothing but Birkenstocks and I finally have comfortable shoes.  I buy either 41 or 42 depending on the style.  When I feel I need to put on high heels to go to a wedding or some other such engagement, I am still suck with that old size 10 barrier and I usually end up taking off my shoes by the end of the day and walking barefoot.

Oh to be rich like Wallis and be able to have my shoes custom made to fit me! (Or just to be like you and wear a modest size 8!)   ;-)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 10:12:40 AM by Alixz »

Offline LadyTudorRose

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1400 on: September 25, 2011, 12:37:55 PM »
Having big hands she presumably had big feet as well (I do too - my latest trainers are 8s, which is ridiculous when you're a modest 5ft 6!). Is it a coincidence that few published photographs of her seem to show her feet?

Ann

Actually her feet were tiny, like most women of her era. I'm a big vintage person and the average show size has gone up about two or three sizes; most vintage shoes I find are fives or sixes. I believe Wallis was a five/six too; a pair of her shoes were auctioned off recently and they were tiny.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1401 on: September 25, 2011, 10:11:28 PM »
She wasn't a big woman like Mignon, Queen Marie of Yugoslavia or Queen Wilhelmina of Holland.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1402 on: September 26, 2011, 03:31:31 AM »
Alixz

Alas, British size 8 is US size 9! I have bigger feet than my brother, who is nearly 6ft tall!

Back to the Duchess of Windsor.

Ann

Alixz

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1403 on: September 26, 2011, 10:13:21 AM »
Shoe sizes should be standardized through out the world!

I just tried to convert my son's shoe size from US to GB or to European and since he wears a 16 EE in the US, his shoe size isn't even on the charts that I found.  They mostly stop and 14 US for men.

He is 6'5" tall and he would look strange with small feet.

But back to the Duchess and the small sizes that are still in existence from the late 19th and early 20th century.  I have always wondered why the sizes seem to be so much smaller back then.  Perhaps women didn't go around barefoot as we do now and so their feet had no chance to "spread".

Last year, I went to an exhibition of Worth gowns held at one of the Newport "summer cotteges" in New Port, Rhode Island.  All of the gowns were quite small.  I asked the tour guide why there were no larger gowns on display as not everyone could have been a size 2.  He said that he was sure there were gowns that were "less petite" but that what they were displaying was what most people wanted to see.

Although we couldn't get too close, some of the gowns were just behind ropes and I tried to stand close enough to the mannequin to get a better feel as to the size.  Not only were the gowns tiny, but the height of the women must have been about 5 feet.  That had to be just a small sampling of what women truly wore and how big they actually were.

I just don't believe that all of the women in the 1890s through the 1930s were, as he put it, "petite".

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1404 on: September 26, 2011, 10:44:01 AM »
My maternal grandmother, born in 1891, was around 5ft 8 tall and quite stately in build (not fat, however). She died when I was 19 and she was still taller than me. Her wedding photos all show her sitting down as she was taller than my grandfather.

Presumably she is where I get my feet from!

I suspect one reason why shoe sizes seem to have got bigger is that more women have enough sense not to cram their feet into shoes that are too small.

Over here, the largest men's shoes generally available are about a UK Size 12, though there are growing numbers of men with bigger feet than that. I once found myself in the same room with Matthew Pinsent, the rower. It is probably a good thing I didn't get a chance to speak to him, as the first words I would have uttered were 'What size do you take in shoes?' as he had the biggest feet I have ever seen. He is about 6ft 5, by the way (but probably sufficiently well off to get his shoes made to measure).

Ann

Offline feodorovna

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1405 on: September 26, 2011, 02:30:41 PM »
My exhusband took a wide fitting UK size

Alixz

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1406 on: September 26, 2011, 05:13:03 PM »
I guess the "normal" size or average for a man in the US is a 10 D.  I don't know what that translates to in UK or Euro.

I'll bet that the Duke of Windsor took a smaller size than that as even men in the early part of the 20th century seemed to be smaller than they are now.

Part of that is due to better diet and health habits for children up through the 1980s.  Now with all the fast food places, overweight young people are beginning to become the norm.

So many families do not "cook" anymore.  Women who, "have it all", don't seem to have time to be homebodies and cook a meal each night and they have turned to fast food and frozen foods.  With my husband working second shift and my son on his own, I don't cook from scratch much anymore.  I think, why bother just for me?  Sometimes just toast and tea is enough.

I could never imagine eating the way the royals do and the way that the Duke and Duchess entertained.  So many courses and so many meals I think that my clothing would not fit.

The women must have "picked" to get through six or seven courses at each meal and still maintain a proper size.


Offline feodorovna

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1407 on: September 27, 2011, 01:20:23 AM »
Many apologies for my last-meaningless-post. I was attempting to tell you that, as a child, my ex's feet were so wide that one more width fitting would have meant that his shoes would have had to be specially made. Happily, for his poor mother, they grew longer instead of wider!! He eventually achieved 6ft 2in with a shoe size UK 12........Returning to Wallis,. It appears that little weight would be gained at one of her dinner parties as she was the originator of "nouvelle cuisine"!!! Portions were miniscule and even the leaves had to be the same size, not only on one plate but across the table. I believe this was applied to the proteins, too. Hugely time consuming and labour intensive for somebody-presumably not her!!!! Could this behaviour be measured on the OCD spectrum?

Offline LadyCathy

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1408 on: September 27, 2011, 10:07:00 AM »
She may have had OCD, or it may have been stinginess with food.  She and the DOW did not eat a great deal, they preferred to drink their calories.  OCD is a good idea, she certainly was very meticulous about everything.  Of course, she was not doing the work.  In an interview at their Paris home she said it was possible to run the house well with four in help.  I don't think 5'6" is tiny, being only 5'2" myself, but her huge hands and feet may have been hereditary.  She also said she was a descendant of Chief Powhatan.  Maybe he had big feet!

Offline feodorovna

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1409 on: September 27, 2011, 10:59:11 AM »
Loved your post, LadyCathy!! Did they really consume their calories in cocktails? I take your point about her height. 5ft6 cannot be seen as tiny in a woman, however, on a man of that height, which is what the Duke was, coupled with a small frame, it can and at times she appeared somewhat larger than him. It did occur to me when I read of her being a descendent of Chief Powhatan, that there were occasions when, if she had placed a feather in the plait she sometimes wore and added to it a forehead band, she would have looked remarkably like an Indian squaw.