Author Topic: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)  (Read 535200 times)

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Robert_Hall

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1095 on: August 20, 2011, 01:15:58 PM »
 A bit harsh, Eddie, but I  must agree. IMO, they wanted and expected the privilege and got it,  but not the responsibility, which was either never offered  or, when it was, they avoided [Bahamas]
 In the end, perhaps  Wallis tried to make amends by giving her jewelry collection   for and AIDS research institution, but even then, was that her, or Maitre Blum who instigated it ?
I do not hate the woman,  I just do not like her very much. She had manipulative talents. I give her credit for that.

feodorovna

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1096 on: August 20, 2011, 02:57:12 PM »
To all of you who responded, the point I was trying (badly) to make was that David was incapable of anything much. I think that Wallis did her best but a silk purse from a pig's ear is impossible to make!!

Alixz

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1097 on: August 20, 2011, 11:30:06 PM »
I don't think that Wallis cared very much who or what David became after she married him.  They say she didn't want to be queen, but she didn't plan on 30 plus years of living on the "outside".

I read that on one visit to Canada, David put up a stink about Wallis not being called HRH.  I don't know who it meant more to but it did seem to mean a lot to him.

The one thing that she couldn't avoid though was the marriage after the abdication.  It would have been unthinkable for her to leave him after he gave up the throne for her.  Living on the "outside" with him was better than being shunned for leaving him.

I am looking forward to Greg's book.

feodorovna

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1098 on: August 21, 2011, 03:42:08 AM »
I read somewhere that his first words to her, every morning, were "What am I doing today?"!!! How that must have irritated over time, but the whole of his official life as PoW and briefly, King had been organized and directed. For a while, being free of it may have been a similar feeling to that of being on holiday but when he finally realized that this was going to be his life from now on it could have been something of a shock. The possibilities for him to take up worthwhile and fulfilling causes must have been endless, instead, he chose to irritate his brother, toddle around behind Wallis on endless shopping trips and take holidays-did it become more and more difficult to keep up the pretence of "Isn't life wonderful?" Perhaps he would have been more inclined to usefullness had Wallis not been denied HRH-I think it unlikely-it was convenient to put the blame for his indolence on his brothers' refusal to find him enployment.
I am experiencing some sympathy for Wallis. At times she must have yearned for the comparative freedom that marriage with Ernest gave her instead of which she was tied to a man who required her constant attendance. I wonder, did she ever look in a mirror and ask herself "How the hell did I get here?"

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1099 on: August 21, 2011, 03:53:46 AM »
Oh I am sure Windsors had there good points too, a one time personal assistant to the Duke of Windsor passed away earlier this month and her obituary mentioned that the Duke & Duchess treated there staff ver nicely, which is so important I always think! And they looked after there dogs well :) That's all I can think of at the moment.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1100 on: August 21, 2011, 07:09:46 AM »
Their dogs were abominably spoilt (and insanitary, according to Greg King!)

As I read his introduction, King explicitly set out to write a favourable biography of the Duchess, which worries me. What I would have hoped for was a 'balanced' biography.

I don't think either of the Windsors realised what a shock they had caused to the monarchy, and that they were going to have to keep a low profile and 'earn' a return. As it was, they didn't, and, as someone mentions above, George VI had far more important things on his mind in the midst of WW2 than his brother's constant complaints about his wife being 'denied' HRH.

Incidentally, there is quite an interesting article by Ms Sebba in today's Sunday Telegraph about the 1936 divorce. Certainly the person who comes best out of the whole business is Ernest Simpson! It sounds as though he was something of a snob and social climber but otherwise a decent person. I note that he married Wallis in Coldstream Guards full dress (the picture has come out blue instead of red!) - he had served with them in WW1, but was he actually on the reserve at the time he married? For non-British readers, the Coldstream are a classy regiment to end all classy regiments, with a certain mystique because they don't seek publicity.

Ann

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1101 on: August 21, 2011, 07:18:55 AM »
Their dogs were abominably spoilt (and insanitary, according to Greg King!)

lol, I can imagine! But anyone who is kind to animals cant' be all bad in my opinion! And pugs are soooooo cute!!!
Grief is the price we pay for love.

FREE PALESTINE.

Alixz

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1102 on: August 21, 2011, 10:29:50 AM »
The constant badgering for the HRH must have been insufferable as the war raged and George VI (who truly had no designs or ambition to the wear a crown) did his brother's job.  He did it well.

I have read that Queen Elizabeth II has never forgiven the Duke of Windsor for what she considered her father's "early" death from the stress the Duke caused by his abdication and the additional stress of being king.

Robert_Hall

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1103 on: August 21, 2011, 12:23:39 PM »
Alixz, that was supposedly the stance taken by the late Queen Mother. So, if QEII also shared that opinion, it came from her mother.

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1104 on: August 21, 2011, 01:09:12 PM »


As I read his introduction, King explicitly set out to write a favourable biography of the Duchess, which worries me. What I would have hoped for was a 'balanced' biography.

This is not quite what he says, with its implication of intentional bias.. In the years before starting the book, considering events and evidence, he formed a more favourable view of both the Duke and Duchess than he had hitherto held, and thus he set out to put this down to provide balance in the portrayal of her. He is clear that he had no intention of writing the definitive biography. An honest statement of a book's scope and intention is not something that should "worry" anyone; and you can take his evidence along with anyone else's in forming your own view. A book like this, written by someone who approached the topic cooly and analytically, with no personal emotional investment in it, is actually the sort of biography readers should greatly value. Most of the rest are biased in the extreme, whether they declare it or not, from the nonsense written by people like Charles Higham (sheer common sense dictates that this can't all be true) to Hugo Vickers recent (pro-Wallis) book, in which he implies that he had an obsession with the Duchess from an early age. In talking about his book HV is very wry and funny, but he still seems to go out of his way to present himself as a stalker!!

Anyhow - I don't mean to sound touchy - I have no particular investment in what people think of wallis (though incline to feel that she was more sinned against than sinning); I am a little sensitive about Greg King!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 01:21:38 PM by Janet Ashton »
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1105 on: August 21, 2011, 01:15:13 PM »
Greg King's book is the only one I have actually read about the Duchess herself, so I can't comment on the others.

I was very impressed with Philip Ziegler's official biography of the Duke - now writing that must have been a thankless task!

Ann

Robert_Hall

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1106 on: August 21, 2011, 01:38:22 PM »
There most be dozens of books  about the Windsor couple. I alone have 14 with 2 more on the way. No two viewpoints are the same, but I get the impression that there are more "con"  ones than "pros".
 As I see it, Wallis did  the UK a favour by taking Edward VIII off the scene. The consensus seems to be  he would have been a fairly bad monarch, verging on obstructionism.   On the other side, I resent their luxury lifestyle  while so many around them were suffering.  The Nazis even protected their property when they fled France.
 There is another version of the Queen Mary story BTW;  it seems the Cunard crew had expressed objection to the vast amounts of [Louis Vuitton, no doubt] luggage they carried with them. Storage problem or some such.  Wallis retorted  they could take their business to   a rival line and they would reap the publicity. Apparently Cunard back down.

Alixz

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1107 on: August 21, 2011, 03:25:18 PM »
No matter how one tries, Wallis comes off as unlikable.  Even the Cunard story makes her seem petty and narrow.

I do think that it was a good thing that Edward VIII was not on the throne of England (unless married to Olga Nikolaevna) during WWII.  I think he would have lived up to the reputation of "liking" the German approach.  I do believe that Wallis was a friend of von Ribbentrop and no one needed that man too close to a weak king.

I don't remember where I read it, but I also read that Edward/David was not a particularly good lover and that was why he went from mistress to mistress.  Each had a way of making him feel like a "whole" person and they did tend to call him the "little man" even before Wallis came on the scene.

Wallis was instructed to "take care of the little man" for his last mistress because she had to be out of the country for some reason.  Take care of him, is exactly what she did.

I have the video version with Edward Herman and Jane Seymour and in that one, Wallis is said to have been in love with "David the man, not David the king."  Perhaps that was true but she is still hard to take no matter what light one puts on her.

I always liked her saying that "one can never be too rich or too thin", if that is the true saying.  However, I never have been able to accomplish either.

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1108 on: August 21, 2011, 11:41:29 PM »
Hi,

Poor old Wallis - she does seem to be dragged through the greasy spit of scandal by nearly everybody who writes or discusses her....
I'm kind of happy to hear that Greg King and Hugo Vickers have shone a more favourable light on her.  No one can be all good or all bad and she just seems to have survived either dithering or conniving through life.
She did well for herself in the long haul but ended badly in dementia.  I do feel sorry for her for that.

The lady who asked Wallis to "look after the little man" was Thelma Furness, who in 1934 returned to the USA to support her twin sister in a child custudy battle - the "Little Gloria Case".......

Larry

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
« Reply #1109 on: August 21, 2011, 11:51:14 PM »
Hi Robert,

OFF TOPIC:
I had a good laugh when reading what you wrote about Wallis and her luggage on the Queen Mary - -...

My grandmother and I travelled several times on the Queen Mary between 1946 and 1957 and she usually brought on board 17 steamer trunks and then my luggage too.  She did pay extra but the crew always grumbled and then she sent them a couple of bottles of champagne.
Once when traveliing with Dolores Gray on board, my grandmother was telling about the arrangement she had with her 17 trunks and the crew.  Dolores Gray piped up, "Oh, I have 19 steamer trunks on board!"  My grandmother didn't speak to Dolores ever again.
I, however, became a great friend to Miss Gray and saw her often in NYC over the years...

Now back to the Windsors.......

Larry