Duchess of Wind­sor 1896-1986

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE ON SATURDAY -

In 1931 Wal­lis Simp­son met the Prince of Wales, the fu­ture Ed­ward VIII, and the pair struck up a friend­ship. Ed­ward was de­ter­mined to marry her but the scan­dal that would have been caused by his marriage to an Amer­i­can di­vorcee led to calls for his ab­di­ca­tion. On 10 De­cem­ber 1936 Ed­ward stepped down from the throne and the cou­ple mar­ried at the Château de Candé in France on 3rd June 1937. This por­trait was taken in France whilst Simp­son waited for her di­vorce to be fi­nalised.

Wal­lis later re­marked that she was ‘more than de­lighted with the pic­tures – cer­tainly the best that have been done’.

She is wear­ing a stained blue chal­cedony, sap­phire and di­a­mond flow­er­head clasp on her dress. It was sold in 1987 with two rows of stained chal­cedony beads, at the Sotheby’s Geneva sale for 275’000 CHF (Est. 6’000-8’000 CHF). The cen­tre of the flower is set with a clus­ter of cabo­chon sap­phires and bands of bril­liant-cut di­a­monds.

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