The Duke and Duchess of Windsor
At the moment of King Edward VIII's abdication, his brother Albert, the next in line for the throne, became King George VI. On the same day as the abdication, King George VI bestowed upon Edward the family name of Windsor. Thus, Edward became the Duke of Windsor and when he married, Wallis became the Duchess of Windsor.
Mrs. Wallis Simpson sued for a divorce from Ernest Simpson, which was granted, and Wallis and Edward married in a small ceremony on June 3, 1937.
To Edward's great sorrow, he received a letter on the eve of his wedding from King George VI stating that by abdicating, Edward was no longer entitled to the tile "Royal Highness." But, out of generosity for Edward, King George was going to allow Edward the right to hold that title, but not his wife or any children. This greatly pained Edward for the rest of his life, for it was a slight to his new wife.
After the abdication, the Duke and Duchess were exiled from Great Britain. Though a number of years had not been established for the exile, many believed it would only last a few years; instead, it lasted their entire lives. Royal family members shunned the couple. The Duke and Duchess lived out most of their lives in France with the exception of a short term in the Bahamas as governor.
Edward passed away on May 28, 1972, a month shy of his 78th birthday. Wallis lived for fourteen more years, many of which were spent in bed, secluded from the world. She passed away on April 24, 1986, two months shy of 90.
1. Christopher Warwick, Abdication (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1986) 29.
2. Warwick, Abdication 30.
3. Warwick, Abdication 30.
4. Warwick, Abdication 37.
5. Paul Ziegler, King Edward VIII: The Official Biography (London: Collins, 1990) 224.
6. Warwick, Abdication 79.
7. Ziegler, King Edward 277.
8. Warwick, Abdication 118.
Bloch, Michael (ed). Wallis & Edward: Letters 1931-1937. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986.
Warwick, Christopher. Abdication. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1986.
Ziegler, Paul. King Edward VIII: The Official Biography. London: Collins, 1990.