BASH: Edward and Mrs Simpson
Section: Local history
BASH: Edward and Mrs Simpson
2010 oct 5
The 5th October 2010 BASH talk was a slide show 'Edward and Mrs. Simpson' by Marilyn Roberts.
Marilyn started by telling how Harold Wilson's government had originally intended the files on Edward & Mrs Simpson should remain hidden for 100 years as they were felt to be so damaging. This includes, for example, the Nazi sympathies and connections that have come to light in recent years. She said her talk would show the gradual change of Edward, over the years, from "beautiful boy" to "bitter old man".
(At this point in the talk Marilyn paused to suggest to the audience that early Christmas presents for the ladies might be in order, because some of the Duchess jewels - reputedly worth up to £100 million - are going on sale at Sotheby's in London in November.)
She spoke of the early life of Edward including his time in the First World War. He left a lasting impression with the troops - partly because he was always so well turned out. The is because he didn't live with the troops in the trenches but in a chateau up the road from the front.
Edward travelled the Commonwealth for several years but was soon bored. Even so, when his father was very poorly it took 3 summands to get him to go home. When Edward met Mrs Simpson he had been involved with a woman 17 years - and he dropped her almost instantly.
Wallace Simpson thought herself an aristocrat as she was from a southern family who had lost everything in the civil war. She married to escape Baltimore but, after 7 years, they divorced. She then married Ernest Simpson and came to London. She met Edward at Melton Mowbray and the relationship developed.
The arguments against the marriage to a twice-divorced woman were intense. He was to marry her anyway and had to abdicate in 1936. His brother "Bertie" became George VI and he became the duke of Windsor.
The photograph shows, from left to right: Pat Parkinson (BASH committee), Marilyn Roberts (Speaker), Graham Austin
(BASH committee) and Caroline Sharp (BASH committee) % 2010sep21 BASH: From Australia to Brigg
In 1937 he toured Nazi Germany. During the War there were accusations that he held pro-Nazi sympathies and he was moved to the Bahamas as Governor - where he and Wallace did very little for the region. After the war they spent the remainder of their lives in retirement, both becoming increasingly bitter at their loss of position and status.
The next BASH meeting, on 2nd November 2010 at 8:00 pm at the Brigg & District Servicemen's Club, will be "The History of The Scunthorpe Telegraph" - a talk by Nigel Fisher. Also, on Sunday 31st October 2010 the BASH Halloween Ghost Walk takes place.
- Copyright Phil Allen and Pat Parkinson
Thought ..."First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win" - Mahatma Gandhi