Windsor, Wallis Warfield, duchess of

born June 19, 1896, Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., U.S.
died April 24, 1986, Paris, France

U.S. socialite who became the wife of Prince Edward, duke of Windsor (Edward VIII), after the latter had abdicated the British throne in order to marry her.

She had earlier married Earl Spencer in 1916. After their divorce (1927), she married Ernest Simpson (1928) and moved with him to London. As a member of fashionable British society, she met Edward, prince of Wales, and the two gradually fell in love. She filed for divorce in 1936 with the intention of marrying Edward (by then King Edward), but as a woman twice divorced, she was unacceptable as a prospective British queen. Edward renounced the throne, and after she received her divorce they were married in 1937. The two thereafter lived a well-publicized international social life, residing mainly in France.

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▪ American socialite
née  Bessie Wallis Warfield , also called (1916–27)  Wallis Warfield Spencer  or (1928–37)  Wallis Warfield Simpson 
born June 19, 1896, Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., U.S.
died April 24, 1986, Paris, France
 American socialite who became the wife of Prince Edward, duke of Windsor ( Edward VIII), after the latter had abdicated the British throne in order to marry her.

      Wallis Warfield was born into an old established American family and attended the Oldfields School in Cockeysville, Maryland. She married Earl W. Spencer, a navy pilot, in 1916 (divorced 1927). After living for a time in Warrenton, Virginia, she traveled to England, where she met Ernest A. Simpson, a U.S.-born British subject. They were married in 1928 and lived near London. Wallis Simpson met Edward, then the prince of Wales, while moving in fashionable British society. The two became friends and gradually fell in love. Wallis sued for divorce from her second husband in July 1936, with the apparent intention of marrying Edward (who had become King Edward VIII), but as a woman twice divorced she was socially and politically unacceptable as a prospective British queen.

      Edward renounced the British throne on December 10, 1936 (confirmed by the Declaration of Abdication Act the following day), in order to marry Simpson. In referring to the reason for his abdication, he said in a famous radio broadcast: “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.” Immediately after his abdication, upon which he was named the duke of Windsor by his brother, now George VI, Edward left England to live on the European continent. Wallis Simpson's divorce became final in May 1937, and she had her name changed legally to Mrs. Wallis Warfield. Mrs. Warfield and the duke of Windsor were married in France on June 3, 1937. They lived in France and traveled frequently until World War II broke out. In July 1940 King George VI named his brother governor of the Bahama Islands, where the duke and duchess remained through most of World War II. The duke resigned his post in early 1945, and the couple moved back to France.

      The duke and duchess of Windsor were among the most prominent, exclusive, and newsworthy members of the “international set” of socialites and celebrities. For decades their lives consisted largely of traveling, entertaining, and being entertained. In 1956 the duchess of Windsor published her autobiography, The Heart Has Its Reasons. The duke of Windsor died in Paris on May 28, 1972, and the duchess continued to live at her Paris home in declining health and increasing isolation. At her death in 1986, according to her husband's request, she was buried beside him in the royal cemetery at Frogmore, England, near Windsor Castle.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Windsor,Wallis Warfield — Windsor, Wallis Warfield. Duchess of Windsor. 1896 1986. American divorcée who married the Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII of England, in 1937. * * * …   Universalium

  • Wallis Warfield Simpson — noun United States divorcee whose marriage to Edward VIII created a constitutional crisis leading to his abdication • Syn: ↑Simpson, ↑Mrs. Simpson, ↑Wallis Warfield Windsor, ↑Duchess of Windsor • Instance Hypernyms: ↑divorcee, ↑grass widow …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wallis Warfield Windsor — noun United States divorcee whose marriage to Edward VIII created a constitutional crisis leading to his abdication • Syn: ↑Simpson, ↑Mrs. Simpson, ↑Wallis Warfield Simpson, ↑Duchess of Windsor • Instance Hypernyms: ↑divorcee, ↑grass widow …   Useful english dictionary

  • Windsor — /win zeuhr/, n. 1. (since 1917) a member of the present British royal family. Cf. Saxe Coburg Gotha (def. 1). 2. Duke of. See Edward VIII. 3. Wallis Warfield, Duchess of (Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson), 1896 1986, U.S. socialite: wife of …   Universalium

  • Wallis — /wol is, waw lis/, n. 1. Harold Brent /brent/, (Hal), 1899 1986, U.S. film producer. 2. John, 1616 1703, English mathematician. 3. a male given name, form of Wallace. 4. a female given name. * * * (as used in expressions) Vidor King Wallis …   Universalium

  • Wallis, duchesse de Windsor — Wallis Simpson Pour les articles homonymes, voir Simpson. La duchesse de Windsor en 1970 à Washington …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wallis Simpson — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Simpson. Wallis Simpson …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Windsor — Wind•sor [[t]ˈwɪn zər[/t]] n. 1) big Duke of Edward II, 8) 2) big Wallis Warfield, Duchess of (Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson), 1896–1986, U.S. socialite: wife of Edward VIII of England 3) geg Official name, Wind′sor and Maid′enhead. a… …   From formal English to slang

  • Wallis Simpson — (1936) Die Duchess of …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wallis Simpson — Wallis Duchess of Windsor …   Wikipedia

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