Edward and Mrs Simpson: Where Did the Duke and Duchess Live During the Second World War?
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.
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
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© 2011 Ethel Smith