Wednesday, June 19, 2013
June 19 - Wallis Warfield Simpson
Socialite Wallis Simpson was born Bessie Wallis Warfield on June 19, 1896, in a hotel near Gettysburg, PA. She acquired great poise at Baltimore’s finest girls’ school and, at age 20, married a U.S. Naval officer. Following an affair with a diplomat, she obtained a divorce and married Ernest Simpson, an Anglo-American businessman (whom she already knew) and moved with him to London, where she fell into a circle that included the mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. The prince, who enjoyed charming women, soon fell in love with Wallis, who divorced Simpson in preparation to marry Edward. However, on the death of his father, King George V in 1936, the prince’s plan to marry a twice-divorced woman caused a constitutional crisis and led to his abdication – done, in his words, for “the woman I love.” The couple married in 1937, the same year they were courted by Adolf Hitler. Denied royal titles, they became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. A voracious consumer of couture, the Duchess was known to travel with 141 pieces of luggage.