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Edward and Mrs Simpson: Where Did the Duke and Duchess Live During the Second World War?

Updated on January 3, 2019
ethel smith profile image

With a keen interest in British politics this writer is never afraid to share her opinion

The happy couple
The happy couple | Source

Does anyone still care about this couple?

Prince Edward and Mrs Simpson may have died many years ago but the world is still fascinated by this couple. For a King to abdicate his throne for one woman makes it a rather special love story.

A question about where this couple lived during the war seemed to need a hub rather than a simple answer, so here we go.

An audience with Herr Hitler
An audience with Herr Hitler | Source

When Edward, now King of England went through the final stages of abdication from the throne Wallis was tucked safely away in the south of France, out of the prying eyes of the British and World’s press. The media intervention may have been less intrusive in some ways at this time, but she was still big news.

Following the abdication of Prince Edward, he and Wallis were persona no grata in the U.K. and that remained a fact for decades.

Many ordinary British people still held Edward in great affection but in time that would change.

Edward And Germany

Edward’s loss of popularity was due in part to the fact that his successor soon became a good king but also because Edward made some foolish friendships and alliances.

He was in many ways a loose cannon.

Whether the British people and the establishment would in time have accepted an American divorcee as Queen is debatable. It was a very different time when hushed up affairs were acceptable but a prominent royal marrying a divorcee was not.

In the run up to the second world war Edward and Wallis were seen on more than one occasion getting friendly with senior German officials. Edward went a step too far though when he and Wallis were seen shaking hands with Herr Hitler and then giving the Nazi salute.

His remaining friends in England turned their backs on him and Wallis.

When leading Nazi, Rudolph Hess, was arrested in Scotland, in May 1941, many believed Edward was involved in a plot that explained why Hess was in Scotland. On May 10th, 2011, 70 years since his capture mystery and conspiracy theories surrounded Hess and his imprisonment and they continue to this day.

One theory alleges his ally was Edward.

If gossip is to be believed Edward was prepared to make a pact with Hitler if he could regain his throne.

We shall never know the truth now.

Was Edward Prepared To Sacrifice The U.K.

Life Away From the U.K.

Back in time, 4 years earlier in 1937, Edward left the U.K. and went to Austria.

Nothing was left to chance meaning he and Wallis lived separately initially, so that her divorce would not be compromised. However as soon as her decree absolute was granted Wallis and Edward were reunited, in France.

The pre second world war years were spent in France and even when war was declared France remained the couple’s home. However, as the war intensified the couple spent some time in Portugal before being dispatched to the Bahamas.

During their time in the Bahamas the Duke, as Edward was now known, was installed as Governor of the island.

It seems that in spite of making enemies people in high places were watching out for him and Wallis, though the reasons may have been selfish.

The couple’s war years were spent either in the Bahamas or swanning about the Caribbean.

One thing is for sure, they did not suffer regular and deadly bombings plus other war time hardships such as rationing unlike Edward‘s “people” in the U.K

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Ethel Smith


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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      15 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Peggy

      I am nit a royal fan but it is our history here

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      This was interesting to find out where they lived after Prince Edward abdicated from the throne and married Mrs. Simpson after her divorce was finalized. I had never known that he became the Governor of the Bahamas. Thanks for filling in those details.

    • MJFenn profile image


      6 years ago

      Ethel Smith: Well, everyone has particular perspectives, of course, but anyway here in Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King, who wrote some revoltingly naïve and reckless comments about Hitler, whom he met in the 1930s, also went on to lead a highly successful war effort: under Mackenzie King, Canada had the 4th largest navy in the world at the disposal of the Allies; there was the Commonwealth Air Training Program; huge loans (written off as gifts) were made to Britain; Canadian action at Juno Beach on D-Day, etc.: all make it hard to for it to be claimed that Mackenzie King was a fascist, even though he at first was embarrassingly misled, as were many other foreign leaders.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      He did not need to speak of it. Images of him with Hitler making the Nazi salute said it all for me. Thanks for stopping by and your input

    • MJFenn profile image


      6 years ago

      Historically, other prominent figures such as Lloyd George and even Canada's William Lyon Mackenzie King were at first favorably impressed with Hitler, as the Duke of Windsor seemed to be (I say 'seemed', because as a Royal Duke, he was precluded from speaking on political subjects). This does not mean, however, that any of them was a fascist, or that they did not subsequently revise their views.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      This has always fascinated me. voted up! Hope you and your husband are doing better!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes I think it was more to make them seem to be working but was really to keep them safe

    • SilentReed profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      The Hess conspiracy theory is something I missed in an article I wrote about Wallis Simpson.Thanks for the information. With her rumored friendship and romantic relationship with high Nazi officials there appears to be some basis for this theory.That they were ship off to the Bahamas for the duration of the war could be considered a way not only of keeping them safe but also a preventive measurement against any conspiracy or plot that would only embarrass the royal family.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information. I had never heard about this before. Thanks for writing this and share with us. Cheers...

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks my friend

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A great piece of history. Splendidly written.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks to you all for visiting. This couple continue to intrigue even after all this time

    • Ancillotti profile image


      8 years ago from Brasil, Vitoria - ES

      Knowledge is never enough! I had no idea of ??the history of this couple! Thank you for sharing it!

    • IzzyM profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      That was interesting Ethel, and thanks for that bit of history :)

    • feenix profile image


      8 years ago

      Ethel Smith, fascinating hub about a fascinating bit of history. This work was very educational for me, and because I saw the film, "The King's Speech", this article is even more interesting to me. Thank you for publishing this.


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