Edward VIII chose to give up the throne of the British kingdom and live in exile to be the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson.
It certainly makes for an epic love story, and according to acclaimed Netflix series The Crown’s portrayal of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that’s what it was.
But the real-life relationship of the former King and the woman he renounced his title for isn’t quite as romantic as the series would have us believe.
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A new biography written by royal expert Andrew Morton, paints an unflattering picture of the twice-divorced American and shines a harsh light on the couple’s relationship.
In Wallis In Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, The Woman Who Changed the Monarchy, Morton details how Wallis wiggled her way into the royal family before being brutally booted out.
The pair met in 1931 at a party, through a friend whose sister was dating the then-Prince at the time. (Wallis had been married to her second husband, Ernest Simpson for three years at that stage.) Rather than a serendipitous moment of fate, however, a letter from Wallis suggest it was part of a plan.
“Mission accomplished,” she wrote to her Aunt Bessie.
Over the next few years, she and the royal continued to see each other and in 1934 she even went on a holiday with him while her husband was away on business. By this time, the Prince’s girlfriend was out of the picture, and Ernest knew and accepted the affair his wife was having.