The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

OCTOBER    2006

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






The Greatest Love Story of the Century

Bizarre, Fascinating, and Wacky World War I & ll Secrets.

by Cecil Owen

At precisely 10 p.m. on Friday December 11, 1936, the thirteen and one half ton bell "Big Ben" struck loudly. Big Ben is the famous Westminster clock tower in London, England, which derives its name from the gigantic bell. But this night, as the clock tolled, it was ringing out an event that would not happen again in a thousand years. The airwaves all over the world heard this startling and disturbing broadcast. "This is Sir John Reith, Director General of BBC (British Broadcasting Company) coming from the tower room of Windsor Castle. The next voice that you will hear ... will be your beloved King of the entire British Empire, his Royal Highness, King Edward the Eighth."

The King sat down in front of the microphone and spoke softly but firmly, "I, Edward the Eighth, King of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the seas, Emperor of India, do hearby declare my irrevocable determination to renounce the Throne for myself and for my descendants, and my desire that effect should be given to this instrument of abdication immediately. (Abdication in our language means to resign.)

People all over the world were very shocked and very dismayed. But all over England, pandemonium reined abundantly. People were shouting, crying, laughing and cursing. A riotous crowd of over 3,000 people gathered throughout London. Signs sprang up:- Long live our beloved King, Edward the Eighth. We don't want to give up our King. Abdication means Revolution.

Cecil Owen

Wow, what a disturbance, what would cause a King of England to give up his throne? Just what kind of a person is he anyway?

He was born on Saturday June 23 1894, at White Lodge, Richmond Park, England. To please several very important people, he was christened with this parade of names: Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David. Luckily for him his father and mother the King and Queen of England, decided to just call him David. As time went by his birth was followed by a sister and four brothers. As David grew up he was made the Prince of Wales. At this point in time, England (Great Britain) possessed at least one third of the world's land, and ruled one third of its population.

When World War 1 arrived, David wanted to join the Navy, but his parents refused to allow it. However, he did join the Grenadier Guards and lead a whole company. He fumed because he was not allowed to see any "action." When the war was over, the Prince became a Goodwill Ambassador to the vast British Empire. He traveled to forty-five countries

and colonies, covering over 150,000 miles. He had a brilliant personality that made everyone adore him on first sight.

His small, trim figure with his golden blonde hair became the world's symbol of the promise of youth. The prince was the most sought after eligible bachelor of his age. David had a trim waist, and a well toned carefully trained physique. He loved riding horses and playing steeplechase, although he had trouble staying in the saddle. David also loved driving a steam locomotive. He enjoyed dancing very much, particularly the Charleston and the Black Bottom, also the New Orleans jazz.

David and Wallis on their wedding day,
June 3, 1937.

This kind of conduct was very unbecoming for the heir to the British throne. It made his parents very agitated. He also found time to play the bagpipes and the ukulele. The prince could have any of a dozen women from all over the world. He did have several "flings" but was never serious about any of them. His parents, the King and Queen of England, picked out several wives for him, but Prince David just was not interested. He stated very plainly, "I will only marry the woman that I am deeply in love with... but I have not found that woman yet." (David was already thirty-seven years

old.) Then suddenly, without warning, The Prince of Wales was introduced to the woman that would change his life forever.

The time was Saturday, January 10, 1931 and the place was Lady Furness' country home, Burrough Court, near the town of Melton Mowbray, England. Her name: Bessie Wallis Alice Warfield Spencer Simpson. Wallis, as her parents called her, was born Wednesday June 19, 1896 at Monterey Inn, Blue Ridge Summit, Maryland. She was delivered by Dr Lewis Miles Allen. Alice, her mother, asked the doctor, "Doc, is my baby all right?" "She's perfect, he replied, in fact, she is fit for a King." So this is what her mother would groom Wallis for, to marry a King.

Wallis was an outgoing, mischievous and very bright young girl. Alice, her mother, adored and spoiled her too much. She had Wallis photographed every week, and by 1900 had over 300 pictures, which she called "My Wallis Collection." Wallis behaved royally from the beginning. She named her dolls after Mrs. Astor and Mrs. Vanderbilt, the reining queens of New York City society. She read only magazines of high society, fashion, the theater, and the World of British Kings and Queens. Instead of calling her mother "mama," she called her "MeMe" (British Royalty). When Wallis was fifteen, she had a crush on the legendary Prince of Wales, David. He was seventeen and all of the girls adored him. Wallis had dozens of his pictures and dozens more newspaper clippings. She also followed his every move constantly. "Some day I will marry that golden haired Prince David," Wallis said, "and then I will become a princess.

Wallis was "boy-crazy" and because of her charm, they flocked around her abundantly. One day she was swept off her feet by a handsome young U.S. Navy flyer, 27 year old Lieutenant JG Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. Wallis was nineteen years old and would soon regret this, as his love for the bottle would ruin their marriage. In fact, Earl was a "booze-hound," and became very abusive when drunk. They were separated numerous times and finally divorced in December of 1927.

Wallis had already met Earnest Aldrich Simpson, who became her second husband on Saturday July 21, 1928. He was a 29 year old successful businessman of culture. Simpson managed his father's large ship building company from their London, England

office. He was an impeccably dapper and wealthy country gentleman. Simpson gave to Wallis love and security. She was now 32 years old. She had many love affairs and had loved two husbands. But she said that she had never been completely satisfied with anyone.

David, the Prince of Wales had many love affairs and had been deeply in love with two women, although he had never been married. He also said that he had never been completely satisfied with anyone. (Is it possible to be deeply in love with someone and yet not be completely satisfied with that love?) However, David and Wallis fell in love very quickly.

They both decided that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. But were faced with one big problem, Wallis was still the wife of Earnest Simpson.

England has a state church, and sometimes it is hard to tell if the state runs the church, or the church run the state? But divorce was not allowed, except in cases of proven adultery. And the Royal family was against divorce for any reason. To complicate things further, on the night of January 10, 1936, David's father, The King of England, passed away. So the following week, David, the Prince of Wales, officially became Edward the Eighth, the new King of England. He promptly called Wallis ... "Becoming King does not change my plans to marry you."

David tried and tried for a whole year but without success. The Church of England, The British Parliament, and his own royal family, positively refused to accept Bessie Wallis Winfield  Simpson. If he persisted in marrying her, she would never ever be officially recognized as the Queen of England.

Meanwhile, David showered her with presents, which included one million dollars worth of precious jewels, and fifty thousand dollars worth of silver fox furs.

As soon as David gave up the Throne, his younger brother, Albert "Bertie" George, would become the new King of England. Together they sat down and came to an agreement: 1. David would be given the Title of the Duke of Windsor, 2. He would be given a pension of $70,000 dollars per year, (later the King changed it to $58,800, then decided not to pay that). 3. He must leave England for two years. 4. He could not return to England without his brother's permission. (When the two years were up, his own brother banned David from England forever.)

When Wallis Simpson's divorce became final, they wanted to be married quickly. Thursday June 3, 1937 was chosen as their wedding day. However, no minister was willing to marry them. For they had all been warned by the Church of England hierarchy, and by David's own royal family.

At last, a Rev R.A. Jardine from Darlington performed the ceremony, (although he was almost defrocked and almost run out of the country.) It was a very joyous and wonderful day for David and Wallis. After overcoming all of the obstacles thrown their way, they were finally husband and wife forever. They were both deeply in love and completely devoted to each other. But at the same time David was deeply hurt, and essentially somber under the surface. For not even one member of his own family attended his wedding.

Here is a man who gave up his throne as king, gave up his country, and gave up his own family  all for a woman, who was the one true love of his life. Surely, this must be one of the greatest love stories of all times!