He was the King of England who fell so deeply in love with an American socialite that he decided to abdicate and hand over his place on the throne.
But now it’s been revealed that Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson’s controversial narrative was far less romantic than we all thought.
It turns out that Wallis was married to her second husband until one month before her big day with Edward and while she may have had her sights firmly set on becoming queen, she was devastated when she found out that would never happen.
They’re depicted as madly in love in the Netflix series The Crown, but in a new book, called Wallis In Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, The Woman Who Changed the Monarchy, author Andrew Morton details how their union turned toxic.
Wallis was married to her second husband, Ernest Aldrich Simpson, when she met Edward at a party, after which she set about masterminding ways she could get into his life.
Affairs were commonplace amongst the elite in those days and with Edward’s lothario persona, it’s thought she knew she could easily pursue him.
She spent the next few years attending events she knew he would be at and eventually they formed a bond, before starting a three-year affair.
The pair’s relationship soon turned serious and while Edward at first tried to convince members of government to grant him permission to stay on as Monarch of the royal family, he knew that there would be mayhem in the country if he did so he abdicated, handing the baton over to his brother, King George VI.
Wallis was an American divorcee and socialite, who the royal family always refused to ever giver Her Royal Highness status.
Shortly after his abdication in 1936, the pair were married in an intimate ceremony at Château de Candé in France.
There were reportedly only 20 guests in attendance and no members of the royal family were present.
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Wallis’ dreams of becoming queen were well and truly dashed and while the couple put on a united front for a few years, it’s thought their relationship was seriously strained behind closed doors.
Their marriage was further put to the test when they were slammed for visiting Bavaria and having tea with Hitler in 1937.
“It was a total mess,” Andrew Morton told the New York Post.
“He was utterly adoring, and she had to put on an act, realizing that he had given up the throne of the greatest empire in order to marry a twice-divorced American.
"If she kicked him to the curb, she’d be the most reviled woman in British history.”
Despite this, they remained together until Edward passed away in 1972 at the age of 77, after a battle with cancer.
It's reported that Wallis wasn't with her husband when he died and he took his final breaths in the arms of a nurse.
Wallis lived until she was 89, passing away in 1986 after suffering from dementia and was buried next to her husband.
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