Talk:Wallis Simpson

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Titles and Styles[edit]

Wikipedia Convention re Names[edit]

Should this and other similar entry of famous people known by other names than their birth names be changed? Should she be listed under "Wallis Warfield"? I know, given the many entries, this would be a difficult task but was just wondering. Mowens35 18:01, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have moved this article to Wallis Simpson. This is the name by which she is far better known, not only does the article say so but also the vast majority of articles link to this title rather than Wallis Warfield. Also, as much as I do not like the method, the Google test supports my suggestion (8430 vs. 38300). Rje 01:42, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

Wallis should not be moved to pre-marital name: after all, she was not queen consort. Her marriage was with an ex-monarch, who was peerage Duke (guy with a substantial title) during the marriage. To such, our NC allots "consort name" here. In these grounds, Wallis should be Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. 217.140.193.123 18:54, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Please stop this moving war. This page has been renamed five times since July 4th; four of those times have been in the past 11 days. Also, you're leaving double redirects all over the place. I'd fix them myself, but doing so seems rather pointless when the page will likely be moved again within the next week. 青い(Aoi) 00:04, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Astute data of corresponding rant by a certain editor, see Wikipedia talk:Lamest edit wars ever#Bring in the Queens. The mass of text may exceed two good Agatha Christie novels :)
Who keeps moving this article to the wrong flaming location? In historical naming (which Wikipedia as a matter of policy follows), consorts of kings and ex-kings revert to the pre-marital name on death. Hence Mary of Teck, Catherine of Aragon, Alexandra of Greece, Frederika of Hanover, Blanche of Castile, Catherine of Braganza, etc. Wives who married ex-kings are treated similarly because articles on their husbands often use their regnal name so it makes writing text difficult if they then are referred to by post-marital name when all others in the series are at pre-marital name. As wives of ex-kings they also have a higher status than wives of princes and peers, because many ex-kings, particularly if deposed and a republic declared, are often described as King x of y as a courtesy title for the remainder of their lifetime. Other times, where they have abdicated freely they are described as ex-King x of y. They do not revert to personal name or title unless a new king is reigning. By the way, to sort out the mess quadruple redirects had to be fixed, and triple directs. It is bad enough putting the article in the wrong naming format repeatedly without then making it unusable because much of its links are screwed up.
Also, the claim that the Duke of Windsor was a peer is wrong. He was a royal peer but as an ex-king was treated as superior to all royal peers in forms of diplomatic and historical usage, given that he once a king. FearÉIREANNCoat of arms of Ireland.svg\(caint) 00:21, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

When Wallis married the ex-king, he already was ex, and was Duke of Windsor. She was thus the wife of a guy who held substantive title of peerage and THEY WERE KNOWN under that name and title. Our usage has been not to revert deceased wives of peers to their pre-marital names, they remain in their consort name. Wallis, Duchess of Windsor is the heading in accordance with that. Otherwise, for example Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, Wallis' sister-in-law, gets moved to Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, and dizens of other ladies too.

Regarding the usual pontificating (an misrepresentation-prone) rambling by Jtdirl above, there are plenty of points in his writings themselves that contradict his position, and additionally some of his allegations are untrue, some are false analogies, etc. How typical. Having seen that behavior in several incidents, I must wonder whether he himself understands what he is doing, or is even his comprehension defective nowadays. One of the misrepresentations above is the allegation that "wives of ex-kings" are treated similarly as wives of reigning kings. That reads not in any of NCs here, it apparently comes from thin air. And: Edward was treated and called as Duke of Windsor in diplomatic usage. Not as ex-king, which would have been undiplomatic towards his reigning brother. Mary of Teck, Catherine of Aragon, Frederika of Hanover, Blanche of Castile, Catherine of Braganza were not wives of ex-kings ever. False analogy. Alexandra of Greece was wife of Peter II at the time Peter was reigning king, later they together became ex-king and ex-queen. Despite of which, Jtdirl himself in 2003 wanted to make her here Princess Alexandra of Greece, treating her differently than deceased consorts of reigning kings. Anyway, false analogy, as Wallis married ex-king after abdication, Alexandra on the contrary was queen in the very real reign of her husband. Wallis could be better (but not fully) likened to the morganatic wife of Franz Ferdinand of Austria, or with the second wife of Grand Duke Constantin Pavlovich of Russia (who, after all, renounced as did Edward). Wallis as wife of ex-king had no higher status than a duchess consort, and she was well KNOWN as Duchess of Windsor. You know, she did not even become HRH. Where then is her purported "higher" status, in reality as opposite to someone's imagination? Edward VIII was not referred as King of anything in the remainder of his life, not as courtesy nor as a pretension. Reality check, please. Untrue allegations do not help here. He reverted to another name (title, D of W) precisely because another was already reigning - Jtdirl, please read yourself what you write. 217.140.193.123 01:32, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree with 217 here - Wallis was not a consort of a reigning monarch, or even of a pretender (as, for instance, Anne of Bourbon-Parma is (although, being still alive, she should probably be at Queen Anne of Romania, shouldn't she?) She was the consort of an abdicated monarch, where somebody else had become monarch, and who was himself no longer known as "King Edward VIII." I see no reason not to put her at Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. She is best known as the Duchess of Windsor, it may be added, and wives of peers normally go under their peerage title. john k 02:02, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree with the article being at Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. Astrotrain 19:10, August 16, 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. --StanZegel 23:15, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Excuse me, no. "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor", is not a title by which she was commonly known. If we are going down that road, we may as well call her by her full name of "Bessiewallis" in the title of the article. She is, and always has been, most commonly known as "Wallis Simpson". It seems to me that she cannot be held subject to naming conventions in the normal way because her position was quite unprecedented. Deb 21:38, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
If we substitute "Fergie" for "Wallis Simpson", and "Sarah, Duchess of York" for "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor" would you accept the same rule? After all, she is "most commonly known" as Fergie, isn't she? I suspect, looking at the positions taken so far and the locations of those editors, that different POV enters into here based upon which side of the Atlantic Ocean one is on. In Britain, "she stole our king" and folks begrudged her the title that King George VI allowed. In the USA, she was "local girl makes good" and folks were proud of her rise in status and did use her title, and that is how most folks refer to her here nowadays. --StanZegel 00:13, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
It is perfectly simple. As a divorced royal consort, she is referred to as Sarah, Duchess of York. When she dies as in normal royal naming she would be referred to as Sarah Ferguson. Fergie is just a nickname and can no more be used than W can for George W. Bush. FearÉIREANNCoat of arms of Ireland.svg\(caint) 00:18, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
Since you just implicitly consented to it, I think we should go and move Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester to Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott. Or should we, Jtdirl? 217.140.193.123 08:26, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
Even you must be aware that this is a completely false comparison, Mr Arrigo. Deb 15:10, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
  • Deb is 100% right. According to google, Wallis Simpon produces 32,800 links [1]. Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, when Wikipedia is excluded, produces a whopping total of 540 links. [2] This article here is at a ludicrous and frankly ridiculous name. FearÉIREANNCoat of arms of Ireland.svg\(caint) 23:14, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Using the same sort of test (the formal colloquial name vs Wikipedia standard name), "Franz Joseph" (excluding Haydn, etc) produces 96,000 links, and "Franz Joseph I of Austria" produces a whopping total of 494 links. We need to be sure to do to the Franz Joseph article the same as is done to this one, if the Googlecount Standard is to replace the Wikipedia Policies. --StanZegel 00:26, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
This is not what I'm saying. Aside from the fact that "Wallis Simpson" is not a "colloquial name" but a real name, we need to think before we start moving things around - otherwise we end up with a repeat of the Alix of Hesse problem. Deb 15:13, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

WP at the end of November/start of December 2005 changed its naming policy on consorts slightly. Previously it used as disambigulation <first name>, <disambigulation title of peerage>. However this was controversial as it that matched the real life version used by divorced wives of peers, and so created the impression that the person was an ex-wife, not current wife. A proposal was made by a user to vary the disambigulation slightly, to <first name>, <actual peerage title>. There was practically full unanimity to make this move. Pages were all changed. It seems this slipped through the net and inadvertently remained at the old format which was open to the interpretation that Wallis was the ex-wife of the Duke of Windsor (if they had divorced, her title would have been Wallis, Duchess of Windsor). I've moved the page to confirm with all the others other users moved in early December. Under the new format, <first name>, <actual peerage title> produces Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor. (I'm not sure I agree with the capital in The but that seems to be what the consensus wanted, and was used elsewhere, so I guess this page has to fit the pattern too.)

Re opening paragraph, again a structural agreement was reached to use accuracy rather than made-up disambigulation. So instead of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall that article begins The Duchess of Cornwall (names . . . ). I'm following that same format too, as Wallis was not formally Wallis, Duchess of Windsor but simply The Duchess of Windsor. It makes sense that all consort biographies follow the same format rather than each make up their own. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 21:44, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Surely she should be WALLIS SIMPSON as a deceased royal consort (like Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Mary of Teck etc)

I don't think this should be "Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor" like Camilla is titled "Camilla The Duchess of Cornwall". Wallis is dead - "The" implies she's living (except "the" with a small "t" since thats a common noun not a proper noun). See Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire - she's not "Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire" since THE Duchess of Devonshire is Amanda Cavendish who is living. She should be Wallis, Duchess of Windsor as she is dead. Compare also "Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester" - she's not "Princess Alice, THE Duchess of Gloucester".

They are known like that to disambigulate former duchesses from the current one. There is no current Duchess of Windsor so such disambigulation is unnecessary here. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 20:34, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes but saying Wallis, Duchess of Windsor invariably implies she IS divorced (which she was not). This is the same in the case of Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana was not The Princess of Wales when she died and as such the definite article must be used in the circumstances of titles for deceased persons. Princess Alice, the Duchess of Gloucester is correct just as Diana, Princess of Wales is correct (as it reflects what they were at the time). Suggesting something like that would be like making an article denying the title The Princess Alice to Princess Alice because it implies she is alive.

I'm running into difficulties, at FAC because the page is named anomalously. I'm going to move it to: "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor" per User:John Kenney, User:Astrotrain, User:StanZegel, User:Jdforrester, User:217.140.193.123 and User:Giano. DrKiernan 08:14, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

I suppose I would start an even bigger to-do if I removed the "Bessiewallis" bit, because that is an urban legend....? I will do more solid research & come back if I find I have impeccable sources.FlaviaR 06:33, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I had never heard of Wallis Warfield until today! It's Wallis Simpson to the rest of the world! Ludicrous! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.125.55.181 (talk) 12:51, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Lame fame[edit]

I hereby suggest that the war over moving this article be propositioned to inclusion into the Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars ever. The basic criterion there is "if the war is of silly cause" and further signals are "edits are trivial", "warring shows pettiness"... The candidature will be immensely strengthened if other issues (such as other articles) are absorbed into the same war, if an involved admin either protects, or otherwise uses admin features in the war. A block administered by an involved sysop against some opponent also helps to get the place in the hall of fame. Should we all work towards having this included there? 217.140.193.123 10:25, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

The best idea you've had so far is that you should spend the majority of your time playing around with the Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars ever article, while the rest of us get on with some real work. Deb 15:15, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Chronology of Names[edit]

OK, somebody please set me straight here. When married to Ernest Simpson, she was Mrs Ernest Simpson. When they divorced, she was Mrs Wallis Simpson. OK so far. But when did she ever become known as "Mrs Wallis Warfield", either between her second divorce and her marriage to Edward, or at any other time? I thought Edward married "Mrs Simpson", not anybody Warfield. Warfield was her maiden name, so adding Mrs to it doesn't sound right at all. Her father's wife would have been Mrs Warfield, but not Bessiewallis. JackofOz 07:11, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

  • "Ms" wasn't in common use back then. Married women who did keep their maiden name used either Miss or Mrs (often shifting to Mrs as they got older or had children). She re-adopted her maiden name only a few weeks before the wedding to avoid having her ex-husband's name on the marriage certificate. Even today I know married women who kept their maiden names and use Mrs.
She not only readopted her maiden name, it was restored to her via deed poll, ie legally, therefore wiping away the Simpson surname. And she used, as per usual society honorific at the time, Mrs. Mowens35 17:44, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Title when in the Bahamas[edit]

The article says that when Edward governed the Bahamas 1940-45, she was known as "Her Excellency Wallis Windsor". Is this right? Surely she would have been Her Excellency the Duchess of Windsor, just as Edward was His Excellency the Duke of Windsor, not His Excellency Edward Windsor. Cheers JackofOz 05:55, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

I've amended the text to say that, while she was technically entitled to "Her Excellency" as the wife of a governor, this was subsumed by "Her Grace". I've removed all reference to "Wallis Windsor", unless somebody can come up with evidence that she was actually known by that name while in the Bahamas. I strongly doubt it. JackofOz 05:46, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
A royal governor is always styled by his royal style as a member of the Royal Family. Thus the Duke of Windsor would never have been styled His Excellency in the Bahamas. It is harder to say what Wallis was styled as she was denied by letters patent, the HRH style and was only entitled to Her Grace. However Edward always styled her Royal highness anyway, offically she was still Her Grace. Astrotrain 17:38, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Quoting from Valentine Heywood and Gerald Wollaston, Garter Principal King of Arms 1930-44 (British Titles published by Adam and Charles Black, London, 1951) p.156: 'A Governor is styled "His Excellency"...Wives of Governors are not normally accorded the style...if the holders of any of the above offices are Princes or Dukes they take the style of their rank. Thus the Duke of Windsor was "His Royal Highness the Governor" and the Duke of Abercorn (Governor of Northern Ireland) "His Grace the Governor".' DrKiernan 10:35, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Also, Sarah Bradford in her biography George VI (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989; p.441) says that the Secretary of State for the Colonies George Lloyd, 1st Baron Lloyd sent instructions to Government House, Nassau that 'the Duke should be addressed as "Your Royal Highness" and the Duchess as "Your Grace".' DrKiernan 14:45, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Her Grace or Royal Highness?[edit]

Wallis was never styled "Her Royal Higness", except in an unofficial capacity within her own household (ie servants would address he as HRH). From her marriage until her death she was "Her Grace the Duchess of Windsor" not HRH the Duchess of Windsor. (Alphaboi867 23:55, 3 June 2006 (UTC))

Although denied the HRH explicitly by letters patent, surely Wallis was still a Princess of The United Kingdom by virtue of being married to a Prince? Her husband was H.R.H. The Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor - so was she not Her Grace The Princess Edward, Duchess of Windsor?

  • Yes and no. Strictly speaking, you are correct that she was a Princess of the UK in right of her husband and because Edward's wife was not expressly deprived of that rank by Royal Prerogative. The Letters Patent depriving Edward's (future) wife of the right to be styled Royal Highness were drawn with surgical precision: the exact terms were used that would suffice to prevent her from being addressed as if royal -- and no more. Because there is no legal provision or tradition in the UK for referring to the wife of a royal duke as "Princess Husbandsfirstname", Wallis had no right to assume it. Even though her rank as a royal princess remained, the only way the style that goes with that rank has ever been publicly manifested -- and therefore the only way in which court tradition honors it -- is in the form "HRH the Duchess of X". Attempting to use it in any other fashion would have encroached upon the Royal Prerogative. Wallis could not adopt such a style without appearing to directly defy her husband's sovereign, on whose authority any rank at court (as distinct from in Parliament) rested. Had she done so, her defiance would have invited the King to issue a clarifying royal warrant, something to the effect of "The lawful wives of royal dukes shall be known by the feminine form of their husbands' style of Royal Highness and ducal title, except as otherwise stipulated" which would have explicitly, humiliatingly declared the use of "Princess Husbandsfirstname" out-of-bounds by Britain's legal fons honorum. None of that happened, of course, because Edward knew the Rules and, resentment aside, abided by them. Had the use of her residual title of princess been considered a possibility, no doubt the LP restricting the HRH to Edward would also have restricted the "Prince" to Edward: royal titles and styles, unlike peerages and constitutional titles (e.g. Queen consort), are within the monarch's gift. Note that in his 4 May 1937 request to his Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, George VI insists not merely upon ensuring that Wallis does not enjoy the HRH, but that she not be considered royal at all. He didn't need to strip her of her "princesshood" to do that, he had merely to prevent her from using it: "Is she a fit and proper person to become a Royal Highness after what she has done in this country; and would the country understand it if she became one automatically on marriage?...I and my family and Queen Mary all feel that it would be a great mistake to acknowledge Mrs Simpson as a suitable person to become Royal. The Monarchy has been degraded quite enough already." Of course, it is widely believed (accurately or not) that within his own house and circle, Wallis was accorded all the deference and styling due a royal duchess anyway -- but never, officially, at his brother's court or in his realms. Lethiere 04:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I am all confused. By the time Wallis married Edward, he had already abdicated. So he was no longer a Prince or a King. He was created a Duke. If he was no longer a Prince, how would Wallis have any rights to being a Princess? Could anyone please explain to this befuddled American? 66.108.4.183 08:59, 17 September 2006 (UTC) Allen Roth
Edward VIII abdicated the position and title of "King". He did not renounce (and was not explicitly deprived of) the title of "Prince" or the style of "Royal Highness" which, according to Letters Patent of 1917, continued to belong to him as son of a (late) British sovereign. (However, it has recently been revealed that, at the time, some legal and other experts of the Government of the day did express the opinion that such styles implicitly belong only to {some of} those who are in the line of succession to the British throne and that since, following abdication, Edward was no longer in that order, he had automatically forfeited his royal styles. But because, by decision of George VI, he was referred to publicly as "HRH The Prince Edward" from the moment of abdication, it would have been embarrassing and mean-spirited to retroactively deny him that title in order to deny it to his future wife. So some other way was sought, and was found: See 1937 Letters Patent). By custom (and some would say, in common law), if Edward reverted to being a prince after abdicating, anyone he married would become a princess and HRH. A few months after the abdication, Edward was created Duke of Windsor. That title did not cancel or replace his princely styles, but was added to them, although that fact was not apparent because, by tradition, once a prince is granted a peerage, he no longer uses his princely title. Thus, he went from being referred to as "HRH Prince Edward of the United Kingdom..." to "HRH the Duke of Windsor". Shortly before Edward married Mrs. Simpson, LPs were issued restricting use of the style HRH to Edward alone, explicitly denying it to any future wife and children.Lethiere 11:27, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
That helps somewhat; thank you. However, I'm still confused about this: Why, during his life after abdication, was he then called the Duke of Windsor, and not "Prince Edward?" And also, if he retained the title of prince, what would it have been: Prince Edward what? One would think that "Prince" is a higher rank than "Duke." I guess I thought that he lost the title "Prince" upon abdication; it went with "King." 66.108.4.183 14:59, 17 September 2006 (UTC) Allen Roth
As stated earlier, it is customary for a royal duke to drop his princely designation, which is implicit through the use of HRH but not explicit in use. It it rather like a hidden title, true in actuality but never used in reality when paired with a royal dukedom. I hope I got that right.Mowens35 17:42, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I think I will quit right about here. This is worse than trying to make sense of the 'von/zu' distinction among the minor Prussian nobility. It's alot easier in my country: You either have money, or you don't.:) 66.108.4.183 16:17, 19 September 2006 (UTC) Allen Roth

When Wallis married Prince Edward, the King Goerge VI using letters patent,prevented Wallis from using the style of Her Royal Highness, thats why she was styled only as WALLIS, DUCHESS OF WINDSOR. With no style. She cant get the style YOUR GRACE, beacuse The Duke of Windsor was a ROYAL PRINCE.

I believe you are incorrect. During her lifetime she was officially styled "Her Grace the Duchess of Windsor", as all Duchesses of England, Scotland, Ireland and the UK are entitled to the style of "Your Grace" unless they divorce, or are superceded by a superior title such as "Your Royal Highness". DrKiernan 09:21, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Until we can resolve this issue with an appropriate reference I have suggested a compromise of "The Duchess of Windsor" with no style. DrKiernan 09:57, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I just thought that I should point out among all of these other arguments that there is a very simple stlye that is incorrectly being used again and again - Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. The correct form for a duchess (normally living) is The Duchess of X. A christian name preceeded by this, i.e., Sarah, Duchess of Malborough is only used to denote dowagers (widows) and the former spouses of a peer. Sarah, Duchess of York is correct as she is the divorced wife of a peer as is Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire as the widow of the previous duke (she may also choose to be known simply as The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.) However, these styles are only used to distinguish between a previous and incumbant holder of such a title. As there has been no other - nor will there be in the forseeable future - Duchesses of Windsor, Wallis Simpson should simply be known as THE DUCHESS OF WINDSOR. For support of this and further reading I would direct all of you to either Burke's or Debrette's Perrage. Bearing this in mind i think that all instances of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor should be cleared up. JYBenton 05:52, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

We've already been through all this. You are correct that the style used officially in her lifetime was "The Duchess of Windsor". But the name engraved on her tombstone (by order of the Queen, who should know these things) is "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor". Besides this, the name of this article and the style used in the text of the article does not reflect official styles or royal preference, it reflects wikipedia policy. DrKiernan 08:17, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

I quote Valentine Heywood's 1951 book "British Titles: The Use and Misuse of the Titles of Peers and Commoners, with Some Historical Notes", endorsed and with a forward by Sir Gerald Wollaston, Garter Principal King of Arms 1930-44:

'The view I then expressed was that as all the peerage titles he had formerly held had been extinguished by his succession to the throne, the King reverted to the state in which he had been born, i.e. His Royal Highness and a Prince of Great Britain...Sir John Reith introduced him to the world as "His Royal Highness Prince Edward". I think it can be taken for granted that the then Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation was not speaking without having sought advice and received authority...though only an Act of Parliament can take a peerage away from a person1, it is for the Sovereign to decide who shall or shall not have the princely style and title...A Duchess should be addressed formally as "Your Grace" or "Madam", and informally as "Dear Duchess of Blank" or "Dear Duchess".'

DrKiernan 12:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

1Note that he was writing in 1951, before the Peerage Act 1963.

The Crown in Parliament can do anything, unless an act or treaty is entrenched with words such a s "forever", as parts of the act of union were. Furthermore, the Crown can issue and revoke letters patent as desired. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.44.122.209 (talkcontribs) 02:45, 11 January 2007

Not true, there are many acts that include exactly that language but have been repealed. The Irish/British Act of Union reads Article 1: that the said Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland shall, upon the 1st day of January... forever after, be united into one Kingdom As to LPs it depends on what the LP does. LP creating a peerage can't be revoked without an AoP. Alci12 14:23, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Parents marriage -- a contradiction[edit]

My kinsman, Peregrine "Perry" Snowden Warfield, Esq., asst. City of New Orleans attorney (under my ancestor, Adj. Lt. John Nixon, senior city attorney) of Georgetown, D.C., was kin to Bessie Warfield. My understanding is both her parents were of Warfield blood, and both age 15 when she was base born. If sitting English Kings could not then wed those illegitimate born; then that may be thee primary reason, or at least one reason King Edward VIII could not wed Bessie, and remain a sitting King? ∞ focusoninfinity 05:44, 2 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Focusoninfinity (talkcontribs)

No. Her father was a Warfield aged about 35 and her mother was from a different family and aged about 26. There is no restriction on kings marrying the illegitimate, and at least one king was illegitimate himself. The restrictions at the time were on marrying Catholics or marrying the divorced. Currently, the restriction is only on Catholics. DrKiernan (talk) 09:14, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Quoth the article: She was born seven months after their wedding, though some sources state that she was born before her parents' marriage ... Her father died of tuberculosis a few weeks before her birth.

Contradictions here. If her father died before she was born, obviously she couldn't have been born before her parents' marriage! Does the writer mean to imply that her parents were never actually married? Or should this "some sources" line be excised altogether? --Jfruh 05:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't see a problem here. The chronology seems to be: (a) she was conceived, (b) her parents were married, (c) her father died, (d) she was born. The only connection between when a child is conceived/born and when (or even if) the parents marry is a culturally imposed one, which obviously was ignored in this case. JackofOz 06:45, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not talking about social conventions, I'm talking about physical impossiblity. The problem is with the phrase "...some sources state that she was born before her parents' marriage." This implies that, according to "some sources," (a) she was conceived, (b) she was born, (c) her parents were married -- but since the article states as fact that her father died before (b), there's a chronological problem, as he couldn't very well marry her mother when he was dead. So, either the statement that her father died before she was born is wrong, or the possibility offered that her parents got married after her birth is not in fact possible.
I suppose it's possible that what the "some sources" bit is trying to imply is that her parents were never married to one another. If so, it's awkwardly worded because it implies that they did marry eventually. --Jfruh 16:20, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Here's an even greater contradiction for you: her parents were married (according to Charles Higham) on 19th November 1896. Her father died (according to a user-submitted file on ancestry.com) on 15th November 1896. I think this will only be resolved by referring to the original records rather than books written decades after the events. DrKiernan 10:58, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, Wiki does not allow that kind of research. We have to use previously published material, not municipal archives. The Higham book seems clearest, since its footnotes cite the material accessed to make the claims of illegitimacy, ie Wallis Warfield's birth certificate and her parents' marriage license.Mowens35 17:58, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

(Slight change of topic & writer)
I found the following misleading, although accurate:

In 1908, Alice Warfield married her second husband, John Freeman Rasin.

I would rather see something like this:

In 1908, Alice Warfield (her mother) married her second husband, John Freeman Rasin.

Reasoning: Her Mother is introduced as "Alice Montague" in §1, and it wasn't clear to me at first that Alice Warfield would be her mother. This might be a symptom of my own thickness today, so I didn't edit this change into the production page, but am leaving it up to the good people here to make a decision.
//rhi

Possible new info: I have found a file on Ancestry.com that is a picture of the newspaper announcement for her parents marriage. The member who posted the file dates the marriage as 19th November 1895 and the marriage notice published 20 November 1895, but the notice itself does not give a date, nor does the name of the newspaper appear as the notice was cropped.

I have messaged the member to ask which newspaper is the source of this notice, but in the meantime the church named in the notice is St Michael and All Angels' Protestant Episcopal Church in Baltimore. If anyone can access the church records, this question could be cleared up for good. I'll try myself, but if anyone can help, please do. 69.42.36.149 (talk) 02:18, 15 August 2013 (UTC)History Lunatic

Government leaders against the marriage and lack of sources[edit]

From the article: "Further the British government and the governments of the dominions (except the Irish Free State) were against the idea of marriage between the King and an American divorcee."

While this is the general thought, according to a BBC documentary ("Abdication: A Very British Coup"), more recently unclassified documents actually show this wasn't the case. Several commonwealth leaders aside from Ireland actually approved of a marriage...New Zealand I know for sure, off the top of my head.

Also...isn't anyone else bothered by the lack of sources in this article?

88.108.194.247 01:35, 14 December 2006 (UTC)Michaela

Yes, I'm also bothered by the lack of sources. I am currently reading through the available material to identify suitable citations and perform a clean-up. Might take me a while though. DrKiernan 09:17, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm... I seem to remember reading I think in Higham's book, that the Prime Minister of New Zealand had never even HEARD of her until the British government contacted him on the question... I do need to check that.

RogerInPDX (talk) 08:41, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

This old discussion has long been resolved. DrKiernan (talk) 09:35, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Public opinion[edit]

"Public opinion in the UK seemed to be going against Wallis, who was, in the opinion of her detractors, "not fitted to be Queen".[1]"

  1. ^ The Times (London), Tuesday, 8 December 1936 p. 17 col. B

I deleted this sentence: The Times is by no means reflective of popular opinion and the editor was known to be personally vehemently opposed to the marriage. Cripipper 20:34, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Can you provide more information justifying your edit? The Times was regarded at the time as one of -- if not the -- most reputable newspapers in the world. To exclude a citation from it while inserting a "Cite" message demanding a different citation in its place, calls for substantiation of your interpretation that the article's statement, "Public opinion in the UK seemed to be going against Wallis..." mischaracterizes or is inadequately supported by the cited Times article. It is actually irrelevant whether The Times was accurate or inaccurate, biased or unbiased in its assessment, since WP's standard is verifiability, not truth. As yet, I can't see the grounds for your edit. However, if you can quote a reputable news source with an alternative assessment on this point, it would be appropriate to cite it in the article along with The Times quote. Lethiere 07:37, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Quite simply, The Times was not an accurate guide to public opinion, in its most broadly conceived sense, but rather of London high society. Firstly The Times and its editor were from the outset opposed to the King marrying Wallis Simpson, and retained that position throughout the abdication crisis. Thus a negative quote from The Times is no evidence of the run of public opinion. The editorial stance of the broadsheets (whose readership at this time was about 1% of that of the tabloids), and of which The Times was of course the most prominent, was at odds with that of the popular press. A quote from the 'popular press' would be admissible as a guide to public opinion, but not The Times. Though, in one sense, this all boils down to whether 'public opinion' means the opinion of the masses or those whose opinion actually matters; at the time it would have been broadly conceived as the latter, though I think to a modern readership the sense of the former is the more prevalent.
We could opt either to point out that The Times was consistently opposed to the marriage but out of step with the popular press and include the quote reflecting this; include a more accurate reflection of public opinion; or both. Cripipper 17:45, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
There is a bit in Beaverbrook (p.68): "The Times, Morning Post, Daily Telegraph and Daily Herald were against him [the King] and so was the Kemsley Press, but that was only to be expected. On the other hand, the Express [i.e. Beaverbrook's own paper] and Mail groups were strongly for him"
This is corroborated by Broad, p.188 who says the same thing: "The Times and the Telegraph leading against the King and the Beaverbrook and Rothermere press his chief supporters." DrKiernan 18:10, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
-Lord Beaverbrook edited by A. J. P. Taylor, The Abdication of King Edward VIII (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1966)
-Lewis Broad, The Abdication (Frederick Muller Ltd., London, 1961) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DrKiernan (talkcontribs) 18:46, 19 January 2007 (UTC).
  • This we know, but in terms of circulation, I think I am correct in saying that at the time the Daily Mirror alone had a circulation of around 10 times that of the Times, Telegraph and Post. Cripipper 18:53, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The circulations are given in Ziegler's biography of Edward VIII (p.308), "The Mail and Express spoke up for the King but did not commit themselves on exactly what course they were advocating, the more sober and non-conformist News Chronicle was surprisingly the only major daily newspaper overtly to support a morganatic marriage. [Note then that none supported her as Queen] The King did his sums, and calculated that the papers supporting him had a readership of 12.5 million, while those ranged against him could boast only 8.5 million." This calculation is indeed to be found in the Duke's memoirs in a footnote on page 373. DrKiernan 19:05, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
The footnote also says, "Now I grant that these figures were not necessarily a true reflection of the state of public opinion", which might be read as an admission that public opinion was not on his/their side. DrKiernan 19:09, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
But once again, we come down to what was 'public opinion'. But to get back to my original point, I just didn't think that a quote from The Times was appropriate for a citation on the state of public opinion. The way the original sentence was written gave the impression that it was reflective of it. Cripipper 19:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Opening line[edit]

Any takers for the below?:

Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor previously Wallis Simpson (born Bessie Wallis Warfield; June 19 1895 or 1896April 24, 1986) was the wife of Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor. She remains a controversial figure in British history.

DrKiernan 15:54, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

"Presumably appalled"[edit]

Re this:

Free to marry, Wallis and Edward married on 3 June 1937 at Château de Candé, Monts, France, lent to them by Charles Bedaux, who later worked actively for Germany in World War II.[50] No member of the British Royal Family attended the wedding, presumably appalled at the marriage coinciding with George V's birthday.[51]

It's an interesting fact that they married on Edward's father's birthday. But whether that's the reason the Royal Family did not attend the wedding is pure POV speculation. (I doubt it, but that's irrelevant.) We can't introduce such speculation, not even if it's speculation found in a published source. I've edited it out. JackofOz 01:14, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

"Domineering manner and abrasive irreverence toward his position appealing"[edit]

"By 1934, Edward was irretrievably besotted with Wallis, finding her domineering manner and abrasive irreverence toward his position appealing, and he would remain slavishly dependent on her until he died."

Is this in accordance with Wikipedia's principle of neutrality("slavish")? And should it not require citations of some sort to make such claims?

It seems to have been directly quote from a statement by George V, who said his son was "besotted" with her, and his behavior certainly seems to fit with the word "slavish."FlaviaR 06:39, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

By all accounts she seems to have been an absolute bitch.

"Nazi Sympathizers?"[edit]

Quote from the article: "Before, during and after World War II, both the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were suspected of being Nazi sympathisers." What is the source of this? The British Foreign Office issued a formal statement declaring that the Duke never wavered in his loyalty to Great Britain during the war. A statement recorded in the New York Times of August 1st, 1957. No official source that I know of ever suspected or continued to suspect after the war, that the Duke of Windsor nor his wife harbored Nazi sympathies.
Rumors continue to this day from a clique which has never been able to forgive the Duke for his abdication and "abandonment" of his throne and duties.
It is true that in Spain and Portugual of 1940, operatives of Nazi Germany made an attempt to influence and perhaps kidnap the Duke of Windsor and his wife while travelling from occupied France to Lisbon, Portugual. An abbreviated account of this strange affair can be read in "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William Shirer, pp 783-792. If no one comes forward with a valid reference to an *official* Nazi connection between the Duke of Windsor or his wife and the Third Reich in one month from the date of this posting, I will return and delete the above line myself. Yanqui9 01:23, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Gee Yanqui9 there's a picture of Her and Him with Hitler...smiling..shaking his hand. Are you obtuse or just stupid? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.233.247.5 (talk) 02:52, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

The Duke of Windsor met with Adolph Hitler in 1937, after his abdication, at Hitlers home in Berchtesgarten. Hitler was impressed at this meeting, and by the fact that in parting, the Duke had said "Heil Hitler", and planned to install Edward as King if he was successful in the war against Britain. On the invasion of France, the Windsors, without passports, fled to Spain. There the Duke demanded that Wallis be recognised as royal before accepting a job. It was to forestall a German kidnap plot, that, after Churchill threatened to court-martial him as a serving naval officer, that he accepted the job as Governor of the Bahamas. Hitler himself stated in October 1941 that the Duke of Windsor "is no enemy of Germany ... when the propper moment comes he will be the only person capable of directing the destiny of England". See Nigel Blundell and Susan Blackhall's "The Fall of the House of Windsor" for details. 203.166.225.25 04:32, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I think that many people, including Madonna in directing her latest movie W.E., miss an issue here. It is not necessarily whether the Duke of Windsor and Wallace Simpson were Nazi sympathizers, but rather that their public behavior in cavorting with Hitler was such a Third Reich propaganda boom that it essentially served the German cause. If not sympathetic to the Nazis, the Duke and Wallace Simpson were certainly tone-deaf to the politics of the day, and I say that as a Brit. And remember, the October 1937 meeting between Hitler and the Duke of Windsor and Wallace Simpson was just over two years after the Nazis had passed the vile Nuremberg Race Laws, under which racial "interbreeding" was outlawed and punished criminally. The Nuremberg Laws carried jail sentences for so-called "race-defilement," i.e. intercourse between Aryans and Jews. Later extensions of the law banned Jews from professions like law and medicine. Those laws, more than any other pre-war act by the Third Reich, ostracized Hitler and his regime from most other nations. Also, by the fall of 1937, some in Britain - like Winston Churchill - were warning that a conflict with Hitler was inevitable. For the Duke of Windsor and Wallace Simpson to have cavorted with Hitler in October 1937, it is something which in my opinion is to be condemned totally separate from the question of whether the Duke and Simpson were admirers or sympathizers of the Third Reich. They were, at the very least, insensitive to the racial hatred that had by the time of their visit become an institutionalized part of the Third Reich. And as the former heir to the British throne, the Duke's actions bordered on a lack of patriotism that would have had anyone but a Royal kicked out of Britain, especially with his "Heil Hitler" full salute to the Fuhrer. That there was extensive anti-Semitism ingrained into the British aristocracy, and that the British Royals are heavily mixed with German lineage, may have contributed to the Duke and Duchess's thought that such a visit was a good idea. --Trishawiki (talk) 20:07, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

A. J. P. Taylor, in "The Origins of the Second World War" reports how in 1936 immediately after Hitler occupied the Rhineland, confidential foreign office documents were being received by the German Foreign Ministry, before they even arrived at the British Embassy in Berlin. The spy was called "Her Doktor" by the British and it was confirmed that the leak was Wallis Simpson, when red herrings were passed to the King and the papers subsequently arrived at the desk of Von Ribbentrop. After that the king was screened from state secrets. John D. Croft 04:56, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
In the American magazine Liberty, just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbour, whilst in America, the Duke declared America will help Britain more by not engaging in actual fighting, but remaining a keystone for the new world order which will be created when the war is over. There will be a new world order in Europe, whether imposed by Germany or Britain".

It is a sad fact that support for Hitler, and Hitlerian policies, was VERY widespread in the ruling classes in Great Britain (and many other countries) in the thirties. Strong American pro-Hitlerism contributed greatly to keeping America out of the war until Pearl Harbour, for instance. This had little or nothing to do with "loyalty" - in fact quite the reverse - the central plank of Hitlerism is fanatical nationalism. As more became known about what Hitlerism actually meant, and as "Hitler's war" progressed, most former supporters of Hitler (even those who remained "far-right" in general sense) either abandoned their support for "the man" altogether or at least admitted that in some things he went a little too far. Edward and Wallis never forgave the British Government for accepting Edward's abdication (which was almost certainly just a ploy), and looked to Hitler to restore Edward to the throne. He remained a staunch Hitlerite all his days - confiding quite late in life that "there was nothing whatever wrong with Hitler". This is very strong POV, and I would never dream of putting it into the article, but it has been pretty well documented, as mentioned above. "Official" histories may gloss the whole thing - but then what would you expect them to do???? Soundofmusicals 01:09, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I still havent seen any concrete evidence that the Windsors were suspected nazi sympathisers. Perhaps it should be changed to "Simpson was a suspected nazi sympathiser..."? --Camaeron (talk) 17:52, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Read the articles. The suspicions are detailed there, e.g. "Lord Caldecote wrote to Winston Churchill just before the couple were sent to the Bahamas, "[the Duke] is well-known to be pro-Nazi and he may become a centre of intrigue."" and "According to the son of William Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside, the Duchess continued to entertain friends associated with the fascist movement, and leaked details of the French and Belgian defences gleaned from the Duke." DrKiernan (talk) 08:25, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Windsors is still rather too broader term for my liking. They are still jsut 2 people in one family. Imagine your sister and bro-in law were nazi's: I couldn't state that "insert family name here" were suspected nazi sympathisers. It would be preferable to say "sister and bro-in law" were suspected of being nazi sympathisers, or do you disagree? --Camaeron (talk) 15:51, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I see now why you objected to the term "Windsors". I meant "Windsors" as in the Duke and Duchess not in terms of the wider family. DrKiernan (talk) 15:56, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you some much for changing it I really appreciate your flexibility! Keep up the good work on this page! --Camaeron (talk) 16:42, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Reversion[edit]

Citation identifiers/footnote numbers go after punctuation not before: See Wikipedia:Footnotes. Legacy section goes before Titles, etc.: See Wikipedia:WikiProject British Royalty/Style guide. DrKiernan 13:36, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Legacy[edit]

What do people think about the "great tragedy" bit? Should we stick with it and the long footnote, or promote the footnote to be the actual text, like so?:

Hearsay, conjecture and politically-motivated propaganda have clouded assessment of the Duchess of Windsor's life, unhelped by her own manipulation of the truth, but there is no document which proves the accusations made against her. In the opinion of her biographers, "she experienced the ultimate fairy tale, becoming the adored favourite of the most glamorous bachelor of his time. The idyll went wrong when, ignoring her pleas, he threw up his position to spend the rest of his life with her."[1] Academics agree that she ascended a precipice that "left her with fewer alternatives than she had anticipated. Somehow she thought that the Establishment could be overcome once [Edward] was king, and she confessed frankly to Aunt Bessie about her "insatiable ambitions"…Trapped by his flight from responsibility into exactly the role she had sought, suddenly she warned him, in a letter, "You and I can only create disaster together"…she predicted to society hostess Sybil Colefax, "two people will suffer" because of "the workings of a system"…Denied dignity, and without anything useful to do, the new Duke of Windsor and his Duchess would be international society's most notorious parasites for a generation, while they thoroughly bored each other…She had thought of him as emotionally a Peter Pan, and of herself an Alice in Wonderland. The book they had written together, however, was a Paradise Lost."[2] The Duchess herself is reported to have summed up her life in a sentence: "You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance."[3]

DrKiernan 05:17, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Ciano[edit]

In "First marriage" this says she had an affair with Ciano, and became pregnant, but in "Legacy", it says "Although there have been rumours of pregnancy and abortion, most notably involving Count Ciano in China, there is no hard evidence that the Duchess became pregnant by any of her lovers or her three husbands". Which?--Grahamec 02:17, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

  • It doesn't say she had an affair with Ciano, it says Mrs Miles said that she had an affair with Ciano. There is no documentary proof, just Mrs Miles's gossip. DrKiernan 07:03, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Fine with me, considering the source (ie someone who actually knew the Duchess in her youth), the careful notation that it was Mrs Miles's opinion/story, and its published reference.Kitchawan 19:14, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Ciano wasn't officially posted to China until 1930, long after the Spencers had gone home. Might be worth checking whether the two of them were ever in the same place at the same time. 86.139.89.185 (talk) 23:30, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

He was in China before then. For example, he was secretary of legation in Beijing from May 1927 to August 1929. No-one disputes that they knew each other, but I've added Edda Mussolini's denial of the rumour to the article. DrKiernan (talk) 10:23, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Alleged????[edit]

In several places in this article the word "alleged" is used in a totally inane and meaningless fashion. To say that someone is "allegedly" someone else's lover is to imply that this is quite possibly not the case, but that public rumour would have it so. There are a good many instances in this article where "allegedly" is used in the journalistic sense - i.e. "this is a fact I am formally disowning to avoid legal action, but you know and I know..." - may I suggest that this has no place in an encyclopedia article? Either state the fact or (if there really is any doubt) omit it. Soundofmusicals 01:20, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree; I came to the talk page after reading the beginning of the article on the Main page, since "allegedly" is one of Wikipedia's "words to avoid". What is it doing there? Amit 09:36, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
They both denied that she was ever his mistress. DrKiernan 09:45, 4 August 2007
The whole article is playing it very coy. This is strange for an article about a deceased person; I wouldn't have thought there were many pro-Wallis Simpson partisans in the world, but perhaps they have all converged in the writing of this article. Not only is she merely "alleged" to have been the Duke of Windsor's mistress (is there any serious room for doubt?), but the evidence for her Nazi sympathies is played down. To take one example, the article says "FBI files compiled in the 1930s also portray her as a possible Nazi sympathiser." But this is very weasily-worded; I looked up some press reports on the files from when they were released in 2003, and the press reports say that the files flatly assert that Simpson was "strongly pro-German." Indeed I understand pretty much all the official sources we have flatly state she was pro-German.
I'm disappointed; I was hoping for better information than this. I would like to balance the slate a little, perhaps starting with this account of the couple's visit to Germany in 1937, which makes eye-opening reading. I'm not sure where to put it; perhaps in the references section?

Valency (talk) 13:15, 4 April 2008 (UTC) (UTC)

Playing it coy? Illegitimate birth? Alcoholic husband? Affair with Don Felipe? Affair with Ciano? Abortion? Mistress? Affair with Trundle? Gold-digger? Nazi? German agent? Affair with Ribbentrop? Leaking secrets? Racist attitudes? "Niggers"? Motivated by revenge? Theft? Insurance fraud? Senile? Uncharitable? Affair with Donahue? Sexual adventures? Criminal exploits? She was really a man? This is supposed to be an encyclopedia article not a collection of crap. I will almost certainly disagree with any attempt to further turn the article into tabloid trash. DrKiernan (talk) 13:59, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Genealogy[edit]

A detailed analysis of her ancestry is here. Wjhonson 16:23, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

What's up with her nose[edit]

In Image:Wallis and Edward.jpg? Kamryn · Talk 04:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that too - she looks like the Dong With the Luminous Nose.PiCo 06:36, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
yeah, terribly botched nose surgery? or just corrupted foto? or she had a nazi spy cam implanted? yeah, i like that option best. lol --Echosmoke 14:42, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Look at any photograph from her teen years onward. That was her nose and remained unchanged.Kitchawan 15:17, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The photo is poor. Look here for a much better photo showing that her nose, was normal. "Wallis" on countyhistorian.com Wjhonson 04:33, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Someone should really change this photo. At first I thought she was a man wearing a mask-or at least a mustache. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob bobato (talkcontribs) 02:47, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

The current photo does not show Wallis at the height of her fame. I think someone should choose a photo from the 1930's when Wallis was a fashion trend setter. 67.180.4.65 (talk) 06:38, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

WW2 & Atitude in Bahamas[edit]

Should the phrase "lazy, thriving niggers" be "lazy, thieving niggers"

As an American she should have know that the N-word was offensive ( There is evidence that it was not so regarded in the UK see nigger ). That being so it would suggest the latter word is more likely. It's unlikely a compliment like "thriving" would be sandwiched between two grossly insulting words.

If anyone has access to "Bloch, The Duchess of Windsor, p.165" could this be checked? Cerddaf 09:03, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

I have checked. The quote is correct as given. DrKiernan 09:41, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Allowance from Queen[edit]

Did she really get an "allowance" from the Queen- any more info on this? Astrotrain 14:11, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

From memory, I think it was half the amount that George VI agreed to pay Edward VIII for his lifetime. DrKiernan 14:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)


Titles mistake?[edit]

How come in the titles section she remains The Duchess of Windsor untill her death? Surely after HRH The Duke of Windsor's death she would have been reduced to the dowager Duchess of Windsor? Surely the fact that nobody inherited the title doesnt affect this? --Camaeron 13:58, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Not a mistake. There was no other Duchess of Windsor to distinguish her from, since there was no other living Duke of Windsor who might have a wife. There was no need for "dowager". - Nunh-huh 14:06, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much. Does this rule apply to all titles of the nobility? --Camaeron 13:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Pretty much. I think our article on dowager spells it out. - Nunh-huh 14:12, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Title?[edit]

'she was still addressed as "Her Royal Highness" by those who were close to the couple' To me, this sounds like a friend might call out 'Her Royal Highness, where are you?' or something like that. Should this passage perhaps be reworded, either 'she was still referred to as "Her Royal Highness"' or 'she was still addressed as "Your Royal Highness"'? Or am I missing something? Nyttend (talk) 00:48, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

No, missing nothing there; you're perfectly right. 82.18.218.52 (talk) 14:22, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Ancestors[edit]

I have removed the citation to the amateur genealogy page which was also completely without sources of any kind. There is no reason to use a cite like that, when there are cites with sources.Wjhonson (talk) 08:43, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

More importantly, is the fact that she was a very-distant cousin to an actor and a couple of presidents of anything but ephemeral interest? Do any biographers of the Duchess think this noteworthy, or is it just genealogical thumb-twiddling (let's face it, anyone with old-American ancestry is likely to be related to some president, to some actor). While a slow news day or an obsessive genealogist (as if there was any other kind) might see such information in print, that doesn't mean its inclusion in an article such as this doesn't give undue weigh to such remote kinships, unknown to the individuals in question. Agricolae (talk) 22:17, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
No, none of them mention it. As the citations are actually focused on Obama rather than Wallis, if the material is removed it should be pasted into Family of Barack Obama#Distant relations. DrKiernan (talk) 07:16, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Or at least it could be pasted there. I am not sure it should, but I don't think it belongs here. Agricolae (talk) 14:00, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Higham[edit]

I can't believe that an article on Wikipedia achieved Featured Status when it uses a "biography" by Charles Higham as one of the primary sources. What's next? Using Boze Hadleigh as a primary source? Jimknut (talk) 14:43, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Yeah Doc Kiernan reverts attempts to remove Higham references apparently. Not worth fighting over tbh. AaronY (talk) 02:05, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Lead image[edit]

Portrait of Mrs. Wallis Simpson in 1936
Portrait of HG The Duchess of Windsor in 1970

I am not convinced that the article's current lead image is the best choice. The quality of the image is poor and it certainly doesn't depict the Duchess at the moment when she was in the spotlight. The image from 1936, when her romance with Edward caused Edward VIII abdication crisis and made her notable, would be better. It is also the most popular image of Wallis. Surtsicna (talk) 17:17, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Guy Trundle[edit]

"In 1935, Special Branch detectives reported that Wallis was also having an affair with Guy Marcus Trundle, an engineer who was "said to be employed by the Ford Motor Company". Such claims were doubted, however, by Captain Val Bailey, who knew Trundle well and whose mother had an affair with Trundle for nearly two decades.[42]"

Contrary to the above quote from current version of this Wikipedia article, Guy Marcus Trundle was a car salesman, not an engineer with the Ford Motor Company, and Special Branch had quite a bit of evidence that the affair was going on.

That some friend who "knew Trundle well" doubted the affair when asked about it publicly can't really counter contemporaneous notes based on multiple eye-witness observations by impartial police observers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2706889.stm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article861396.ece —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.216.91.24 (talk) 00:26, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

The Times report you've given as a source (which by the way contains a Trojan) says he was a car mechanic.
The information you deleted came from a named contemporaneous source who knew Trundle well, whereas the Special Branch informer is unnamed and did not know Trundle (that is clearly spelled out in the BBC article). It is inappropriate to remove the counter-balancing argument. DrKiernan (talk) 07:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm a computer expert my links do not contain trojans. If you are saying the BBC or Time of London websites contain torjans, which trojan did your antivirus software identify, and I will relay the information. As it is, I can detect no trojans here.

On to the grist of your argument, a person might not know something about another person. For example, if asked your office mates, they won't know if you have 10 toes (assuming you don't wear sandals. That doesn't mean you do or don't.

So putting in that some friend didn't know about the affair is misleading. It is not evidence either way. It is hearsay.

The Times of London and BBC quote contemporaneous accounts in the public records office. If you want to know the Scotland Yard's officer's name, and you are in the UK (I'm in Canada) could you find out.

Also, the report does quote Trudel himself as admitting the affair. So the Special Branch officer did know Trudel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.216.91.24 (talk) 07:53, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

It says specifically (and I quote exactly word-for-word): "The file does not give sources for this information". DrKiernan (talk) 08:12, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Image listed for deletion[edit]

An image used in this article, File:Wallis Time.jpg, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why this is, if you are interested in it not being deleted. Cheers, postdlf (talk) 23:40, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Wording[edit]

"The visit tended to corroborate the strong suspicions of many in government and society that the Duchess was a German agent, a claim that she acknowledged (but denied) in her letters to the Duke."

Is there possibly a better way to word this? I understand what the sentence is trying to say, but "acknowledge" and "deny" are contradictory terms. Apologies for being nitpicky. CillaИ ♦ XC 14:04, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Naming and redirect[edit]

Why is there no redirect on Wallace Simpson leading here? That's the most likely thing a British person will type into the search bar looking for this article, and they'll currently just get a list of pages with those two words in, rather than being sent to this article. 86.164.78.91 (talk) 16:38, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Nevermind, I was having a spelling mishap! D'oh, Wallis Simpson. 86.164.78.91 (talk) 16:43, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
It's a plausible mis-spelling though, and valid as a redirect. Mjroots (talk) 15:24, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Royal Opposition to Divorced Persons[edit]

While it is true that the Royal Family refused to receive Mrs. Simpson because she was divorced, there is an inconsistency which should be explained. After she married Ernest Simpson, she was presented at court. She was divorced at that time (having previously been married to Mr. Spencer). If Royalty was so opposed to divorced persons, why was she received at court on that occasion? John Paul Parks (talk) 15:29, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Williams explains (p 33) this by saying an exception was made for her because she was the innocent party in her divorce. I'm personally not convinced by this, since her first divorce (the American one) was on the grounds of incompatibility not on the grounds of her spouse's guilt. I am more convinced by Beaverbrook's explanation (p 112) that there had been a blanket rule denying any divorcee access to the court but "a few exceptions began to made, first for innocent divorced persons and later for guilty persons. There was no clear reason why some should be accepted and others not, except some were richer and more influential than others." My guess is that if you a friend of the Prince of Wales you could slip through the bars. DrKiernan (talk) 17:03, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

died in "Bois de Boulogne" ?[edit]

It is practically impossible that she died in the "Bois de Boulogne". I live very near the "Bois de Boulogne", and I bicycle there just about every weekend during the warmer months. I know the "Bois" very, very well.

There are *no* private homes there. And it's just plainly impossible, and it makes Wikipedia look foolish to be saying she died there.

On the other hand, the possibility that she died in the town right next to the "Bois de Boulogne", Boulogne-Billancourt, that is quite possible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.124.136.8 (talk) 12:36, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

It's No. 4 rue du Champ d'Entraînement. DrKiernan (talk) 13:51, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Right, died in house at 4 rue du Champ d'Entraînement, which is adjacent to Bois de Boulogne, which is in Pais. House, however, is in Neuilly. So that's where she died?141.156.109.44 (talk) 20:15, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I was the person that started this topic, and I must confess, I was wrong. Quite probably. There are *almost* no private homes in the Bois de Boulogne ... except for that one. And now it probably even isn't a home, nowadays. It's within 100 meters of Neuilly, but it is in an area that is part of the bois. At least in practical terms. So yes, I'd say just leave everything as it is. Apparently she did die in the Bois de Boulogne. Amazing as it is to believe. My apologies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.124.139.51 (talk) 22:00, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Dubious[edit]

The citation given explicitly uses "gay" and "homosexual" to describe Donahue, see for example [3]. DrKiernan (talk) 09:56, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Suzanne Blum[edit]

Perhaps there should be a separate article for the mysterious lawyer who presided over Wallis in her widowhood. Not only because there's a controversial new book about her, but she was an accomplished novelist in her own right, under the name L.S. Karen. 86.145.156.23 (talk) 13:19, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Arms?[edit]

Were arms ever granted to her as a duchess? Kiltpin (talk) 22:43, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Pugs[edit]

I cannot believe theres nothing in the article about their many pug dogs they were like her children. Nirame (talk) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=asny0Ay0bjQs&refer=muse Backed up in images shown here http://dustyburrito.blogspot.com/2009/08/duke-and-duchess-of-windsors-pugs.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nirame (talkcontribs) 14:10, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Page moved. Clear consensus. -- Hadal (talk) 21:18, 11 June 2011 (UTC)



Wallis, Duchess of WindsorWallis SimpsonWP:COMMONNAME; as the events surrounding her third marriage are the most notable to history, she came to prominence under her second married name. That is the name recorded in most sources on the subject, and thus the name by which she is best known, and thus the name we should use here. Powers T 15:16, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose. There are 18 sources listed in the references and further reading. Only one is titled "Mrs Simpson". There are six using "Duchess of Windsor". DrKiernan (talk) 16:23, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
    • I count four; where do you get six? Anyway, the principle here is that we should title the article the way the average reader would most likely expect it to be titled -- particularly the way an American reader would expect it to be titled, since she was American. And I think that's pretty clearly "Wallis Simpson"; modern references are almost universally of the sort "the King abdicated the throne to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson". Powers T 18:59, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
      • Bloch, Culme, King, Ziegler, Mosley and the autobiography, makes six. Culme and King, at least, appear to have been published in America. I doubt there is any difference between British and American usage. DrKiernan (talk) 19:48, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Regardless of what title we use for the article, the name "Wallis Simpson" should be explicitly mentioned in the lead sentence, not just inferred from the parenthetical naming history.--agr (talk) 20:32, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Duchess of Windsor" beats "Wallis Simpson", at least according to this ngram. But it's a close call and "Wallis Simpson" certainly deserves more prominent mention in the lede, per agr. (You can check British vs. American usage with the ngram and it seems that British writers are actually less likely to use the title, especially in the last ten years.) Kauffner (talk) 06:09, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure Google statistics are the best way to resolve this, since most long-enough biographical sources will mention both at some point in time. I'm just concerned about which one is more recognizable to the modern reader. Powers T 13:52, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support everything I've ever seen about this person is "Wallis Simpson" or "Mrs. Simpson". 65.95.13.213 (talk) 04:26, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Far and away the WP:COMMONNAME. Not to mention that as an American her title is completely accidental anyway and invalid in her home country, and not to mention the trumped-up title was a simply an attempt to placate after the forced abdication (for suspected treason, really, but that's besides the point). Google counts for non-Wiki-mirrors and books are overwhelmingly in favor of "Wallis Simpson", which is why no one who opposes this move has cited them. Softlavender (talk) 07:40, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Although if we are going to refer to her in the way that she is best known, the article would be titled "Mrs. Simpson". But of course, we don't really adhere to that principle unless it's what we happen to prefer anyway, evidence notwithstanding. Still, "Wallis Simpson" is closer to "Mrs. Simpson" than is "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor", so it should prevail. FactStraight (talk) 10:05, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Yes, this is exactly right. She's "Mrs. Simpson", not Wallis anything. Kauffner (talk) 04:07, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Her common name could be the Duchess of Windsor. She was at the time often known as Mrs. Simpson, which is not quite the same as Wallis Simpson. Sometimes systematic naming conventions can trump the common name guideline, partuclarly when it's not obvious what the common name was, and there is a naming convention that someone is known by the most senior title they held in their lifetime. This move request could be seen as suggesting that she wasn't really a proper duchess. PatGallacher (talk) 21:30, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I detect some American systemic bias here (see WP:BIAS). This may be how she is known to many Americans, since it was how she was known when she particularly hit the headlines, and when she was an American citizen. However her and the duke were a significant if somewhat idosyncratic and off-stage presence in British public life for many years after this, just across the water in Paris, there were rumours of Nazi sympathies during the war, and she was governor's lady in the Bahamas for 5 years, under this name. She was known as the Duchess of Windsor for the majority of her life, 49 out of 89 years, she was only Mrs. Simpson for 9 years, and she reverted to her maiden name of Wallis Warfield between her second divorce ahd her marriage to the duke. PatGallacher (talk) 17:55, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Finally, this was the article's title when it was given FA status back in 2007, so moving it is not to be done lightly. PatGallacher (talk) 19:43, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I'd say that either Duchess of Windsor or Wallis Simpson would be an improvement over the present title. People will be familiar with her under either of those two names, but much less so under the somewhat contrived mixture of the two that we currently use.--Kotniski (talk) 20:31, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
  • It isn't really that contrived as it is the way her name appears on her gravestone. DrKiernan (talk) 14:55, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
That's true, but would continue to be true whatever we called the article... What's your reason for opposing?--Kotniski (talk) 05:45, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Because there is no benefit to the reader. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:26, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
And is there some detriment to the reader?--Kotniski (talk) 07:34, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
No, there's a detriment to wikipedia editors, as changing something just to be changing it is wasted energy to no benefit. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:47, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Opposing something because you believe editors are wasting their time is beneficial to no-one (yourself most of all). You are an experienced editor who knows that comments like this are counter-productive. If you are going to participate in requested moves, please be more constructive. Thanks, Jenks24 (talk) 14:57, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I take my cue on this position from my most-trusted admin, an even-more-experienced editor than I, who has told me more than once that way too much time is wasted in wikipedia debating "the names of things". This is one of those cases, and it is productive and constructive to remind editors of that point. Thanks, ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:05, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I oppose all those suggestions, if only because, once a woman married, traditionally speaking she'd lose her maiden surname. Wallis Simpson ceased to be Mrs Simpson the moment she married Edward. Whatever name she then went by, you can be 100% certain it did not include the word "Simpson". Sure, much of her fame came because of the circumstances that occurred before they married, and, indeed, because of his desire to marry her - when she was still Mrs Simpson. But once they married, she wasn't Mrs Simpson any more, and it's just wrong to have some mish-mash of pre- and post-marriage names like Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Sarah Ferguson is in a different category: she has divorced her husband, kept her title, but has for many purposes reverted to her maiden surname Ferguson. Wallis Simpson was never like that. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 23:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree we shouldn't be combining Simpson and Windsor in the title - it would be like saying Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali, combining two names that the person held at different times in their lives, which is something we don't do (or if we wanted to start doing it, we would have to find some better way of linking the names than just a comma).--Kotniski (talk) 09:21, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, then, why do we have Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough or William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham? As I understand it, people usually keep their surnames when assuming a title, they're just less likely to use one (in the case of F.E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead, it might have been better if he had, since he did significant things under both names. Ditto Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Earl of Swinton) —— Shakescene (talk) 13:35, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes but Wallis would not (surely?) have kept the surname Simpson - a married name from one of her previous marriages - when she was the wife or widow of the Duke of Windsor.--Kotniski (talk) 15:05, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
She was Wallis Warfield when she married the Duke of Windsor; she reverted to her maiden name between her second divorce and third marriage. DrKiernan (talk) 09:39, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, is a married name. She was Sarah Jennings before marriage. What you're suggesting is something like "Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough", which conflates the name before marriage with the title after marriage. DrKiernan (talk) 09:41, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Good points. Even though "Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor" might still be the only way I'd instantly and unthinkingly recognize the subject (at least before getting into this discussion), I agree that it's too self-contradictory to be a good Wikipedia article title. [While Common Name does allow for imprecise, technically-inaccurate, anachronistic and even widely-used but flatly-incorrect titles on grounds of familiarity, recognizability and convenience, combining the two titles wouldn't really fall into that category.] —— Shakescene (talk) 23:39, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Regarding the whole DOB controversy[edit]

I noted with interest the endnote remark, "According to 1900 census returns quoted by author Charles Higham, she was born in June 1895, before her parents' marriage (Higham, p. 4)." You can definitely find plenty of reliable material showing that relying on the census for these details is fraught with special problems. For one, until the last couple of decades, the U.S. census was conducted primarily through door-to-door visits that involved interviewing a single family member about the other family members; as a result, birth information in any given decennial census often contradicts the same person's birth information in a subsequent census. In my own genealogy, I've seen people go from, say, 25 years old in one census to 42 in the survey taken 10 years later. It would behoove us to add some material relating to this issue; personally, though, I've too many WP projects in progress to undertake the search myself. Lawikitejana (talk) 13:05, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

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Great article[edit]

Good job! Just proves that bitching and treason always pay!

Titles and mother[edit]

There was a recent History Channel broadcast where people who'd known the former Wallis Simpson seemed the think that as an American she wasn't overly bothered by a lack of any royal title.

My Grandmother who lived through the whole abdication crisis seemed the think that Edward was initially attracted to Mrs Simpson because her personal appearance was very similar to that of his "distant" Mother, Queen Mary.AT Kunene (talk) 14:57, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Both Ziegler and Bradford say she was upset by it. Evidence for this includes quotes from her own letters, such as:
"I suppose we will have difficulty about a name for poor me as York [George VI] I don't suppose will make me HRH."
"It is plain that York guided by her [Queen Mary] would not give us the extra chic of creating me HRH—the only thing to bring me back in the eyes of the world."
"One realizes now the impossibility of getting the marriage announced in the Court Circular and of the HRH. It is all a great pity because I loathe being undignified and also of joining the countless titles that roam around Europe meaning nothing." DrKiernan (talk) 14:24, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Legacy[edit]

My tidying-up of the second half of the 'Legacy' section has been reverted by DrKiernan on the grounds that the existing version represents a direct quote. It clearly relates to more than one quote, and both these have been acknowledged in my redraft. Meanwhile there is some scrambled punctuation that needs amending. And the following statement is crying out to be corrected: 'Trapped by his flight from responsibility into exactly the role she had sought'. This was the very situation she had sought to avoid, and this has always been noted as the supreme irony of the Abdication. I would respectfully suggest that my edit should be reinstated. Valetude (talk) 18:10, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

It is a single quote from Weintraub. He states it was a role she sought. Changing it to a role she sought to avoid changes the quote to the exact opposite of what he actually said. DrKiernan (talk) 18:27, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Well it's a pretty unusual claim, and it would certainly need to be rationalized. I don't think the quote is terribly quotable anyway. Better just narrate, I would say. Valetude (talk) 20:24, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Edit warring[edit]

The article has been protected for 24 hours until the dispute, which has not even been discussed here, is resolved. If repeated changes and reversions continue afterwards then protection may return for a longer period. Timrollpickering (talk) 16:06, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

This link[4] may be relevant to the discussion. Quoted in part: "A letter from the Duke of Windsor blasting the fact his US socialite wife Wallis Simpson was not allowed an HRH title sold for £12,000 today." Dwpaul Talk 17:16, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Linkvio[edit]

peerage.org/ is a link to a copyrighted work, which is a WP:LINKVIO and should not be restored. Darkness Shines (talk) 19:38, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).