40 Facts About Wallis Simpson


Wallis Simpson's father died shortly after her birth, and she and her widowed mother were partly supported by their wealthier relatives.


Five years later, after Edward's accession as King of the United Kingdom, Wallis Simpson divorced Ernest to marry Edward.


Wallis Simpson married Edward six months later, after which she was formally known as the Duchess of Windsor, but was not allowed to share her husband's style of "Royal Highness".


An only child, Bessie Wallis Simpson Warfield was born on June 19,1896, in Square Cottage at Monterey Inn, a hotel directly across the road from the Monterey Country Club, in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania.


Wallis Simpson's father was Teackle Wallis Simpson Warfield, the fifth and youngest son of Henry Mactier Warfield, a flour merchant, described as "one of the best known and personally one of the most popular citizens of Baltimore", who ran for mayor in 1875.


Wallis Simpson's mother was Alice Montague, a daughter of stockbroker William Latane Montague.


Wallis Simpson said that her parents were married in June 1895.


Wallis Simpson's father died of tuberculosis on November 15,1896.


In 1908, Wallis Simpson's mother married her second husband, John Freeman Rasin, son of prominent Democratic party boss Isaac Freeman Rasin.


Wallis Simpson made up her mind to go to the head of the class, and she did.


Wallis Simpson drank even before flying and once crashed into the sea, but escaped almost unharmed.


In 1920, Edward, Prince of Wales, visited San Diego, but he and Wallis Simpson did not meet.


Wallis Simpson toured China, and while in Beijing stayed with Katherine and Herman Rogers, who were to remain her longterm friends.


Wallis Simpson divorced his first wife, Dorothea, to marry Wallis on July 21,1928, at the Register Office in Chelsea, London.


Wallis Simpson had telegraphed her acceptance of his proposal from Cannes, where she was staying with her friends, Mr and Mrs Rogers.


In 1929, Wallis Simpson sailed back to the United States to visit her sick mother, who had married legal clerk Charles Gordon Allen after the death of Rasin.


Between 1931 and 1934, he met the Simpsons at various house parties, and Wallis was presented at court.


In January 1934, while Lady Furness was away in New York City, Wallis Simpson allegedly became Edward's mistress.


Wallis Simpson soon ousted Furness, and Edward distanced himself from a former lover and confidante, the Anglo-American textile heiress Freda Dudley Ward.


Wallis Simpson's courtiers became increasingly alarmed as the affair began to interfere with his official duties.


In 1935, the head of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch told the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that Wallis Simpson was having an affair with Guy Marcus Trundle, who was "said to be employed by the Ford Motor Company".


Edward's behaviour and his relationship with Wallis Simpson made him unpopular with the Conservative-led British government, as well as distressing his mother and his brother the Duke of York.


Wallis Simpson was perceived by many in the British Empire as a woman of "limitless ambition" who was pursuing the King because of his wealth and position.


Wallis Simpson had already filed for divorce from her second husband on the grounds that he had committed adultery with her childhood friend Mary Kirk and the decree nisi was granted on October 27,1936.


Wallis Simpson decided to flee the country as the scandal broke, and was driven to the south of France in a dramatic race to outrun the press.


At her hideaway, Wallis Simpson was pressured by Lord Brownlow, the King's lord-in-waiting, to renounce Edward.


John Theodore Goddard, Wallis Simpson's solicitor, stated: client was ready to do anything to ease the situation but the other end of the wicket [Edward VIII] was determined.


Wallis Simpson bitterly resented the denial of the royal title and the refusal of Edward's relatives to accept her as part of the family.


The visit tended to corroborate the strong suspicions of many in government and society that Wallis Simpson was a German agent, a claim that she ridiculed in her letters to Edward.


Duke Carl Alexander of Wurttemberg told the FBI that Wallis Simpson and leading Nazi Joachim von Ribbentrop had been lovers in London.


Wallis Simpson performed her role as the governor's consort competently for five years; she worked actively for the Red Cross and in the improvement of infant welfare.


Wallis Simpson was heavily criticized in the British press for her extravagant shopping in the United States, undertaken when Britain was enduring privations such as rationing and blackout.


Wallis Simpson referred to the local population as "lazy, thriving niggers" in letters to her aunt, which reflected her upbringing in Jim Crow Baltimore.


In 1946, when Wallis Simpson was staying at Ednam Lodge, the home of the Earl of Dudley, some of her jewels were stolen.


Wallis Simpson became increasingly frail and eventually succumbed to dementia, living the final years of her life as a recluse, supported by both her husband's estate and an allowance from the Queen.


Wallis Simpson suffered several falls and broke her hip twice.


Wallis Simpson died on April 24,1986, at her home in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, at the age of 89 from bronchial pneumonia.


Wallis Simpson was buried next to Edward in the Royal Burial Ground near Windsor Castle, as "Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor".


Wallis Simpson describes Wallis as "charismatic, electric and compulsively ambitious".


Fictional depictions of the Duchess include the novel Famous Last Words by Canadian author Timothy Findley, which portrays her as a manipulative conspirator, and Rose Tremain's short story "The Darkness of Wallis Simpson", which depicts her more sympathetically in her final years of ill health.