History In Ink  Historical Autographs


King Edward VIII – The Duke of Windsor

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor

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Bold signatures of the Duke and Duchess on an album page

Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David (1894–1972), King Edward VIII, 1936; Duke of Windsor, 1936–1972, and Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson Windsor (1896–1986), Duchess of Windsor, 1937–1986.  5” x 6½” album page boldly signed Edward / Duke of Windsor / 1956 and Wallis Windsor.

This piece has a nice date association.  The Duke and Duchess signed it in 1956, the year that the Duchess published her memoir, The Heart Has Its Reasons.  The Duke had previously published his own memoir, A King’s Story, in 1951.

The Windsor romance was the greatest love story of the 20th Century.  Edward acceded to the British throne as King Edward VIII in January 1936.  He soon made clear his intention to marry the American-born Wallis, who by then was seeking a divorce from her second husband, Ernest Simpson.  Because she was a divorcee, however, Wallis was unacceptable to the British government, and in particular Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, whose government rejected the King’s proposal for a morganatic marriage.  Faced with choosing between Wallis and the throne, Edward abdicated on December 11, 1936.  “I have found it impossible,” he said in his farewell broadcast to the British people, “to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King, as I wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.” 

Edward was the son of King George V and the great-grandson of Queen Victoria.  Wallis was born Bessie Wallis Warfield in Baltimore, Maryland.  Edward became Prince of Wales in 1911 after his father’s accession to the throne the previous year.  In 1916, Wallis married Win Spencer, a naval lieutenant whom she divorced in 1927.  She later met and married Ernest Simpson, an American businessman who lived in London.  It was there, during her marriage to Simpson, that she met Edward.  Their friendship and romance ultimately caused a British constitutional crisis.

Edward and Wallis were married at Chateau de Candé in France on June 3, 1937.  They lived in relative exile from England, the toast of café society in Paris and New York, for the remainder of their lives.  In her autobiography, The Heart Has Its Reasons, Wallis wrote:  “Any woman who has been loved as I have been loved, and who, too, has loved, has experienced life in its fullness.” 

Edward died in 1972, and Wallis died in 1986.  They are buried beside each other in the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore, in the Windsor Home Park outside of Windsor Castle, near London.

Edward and Wallis have boldly signed this album page in brown fountain pen.  Edward has added his title, Duke of Windsor, and the year, 1956.  Wallas has added a paraph under her signature.  The page is toned from prior framing, but the toning could be matted out if the piece were reframed.  The left and bottom edges of the page are a bit irregular due to removal of the page from the album and the evident removal of part of the bottom, perhaps for the prior framing.  Overall the piece is in fine condition, and it would be very nice reframed. 

Unframed.  Please click here for information on custom framing this piece.


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