While perusing my usual internet haunts, I stumbled upon an article about some old school “photoshopping” on CNN. The article was about a 1930s painting that had been changed to show George VI as the new King of Britain as opposed to Edward VIII. Edward VIII abdicated the throne (left empty by his deceased father) in order to marry an American divorcee named Wallis Simpson. He basically had to choose between being the King or being a husband to the woman he loved and he chose her. A twice-divorced American woman was a bit too messy for the all the formal rigamarole that is British monarchy. His brother became King instead and the brother made Edward VIII the Duke of Windsor. (By the way, that brother was King George VI and the movie about his life, The King’s Speech, is an Oscar winning film.)
Doesn’t that sound so romantic? A man chooses a woman over untold acclaim and riches. * swoon * Sure he wasn’t exactly in the poor house (they globe-trotted for years), but still, that’s something to give up such a prestigious title for love. The Duke showered his bride with whatever she wanted. Jewels, clothes and mansions were all hers for the asking. They stayed married from 1937 until the Duke’s death in 1972. The Duchess (she acquired that title when he became Duke) died in 1986.
That’s the fairytale version. The gritty details that make the story not so cute include the rumors that the Duchess had several lovers and said to still be in love with her ex-husband. Oh and that the fact that the pair seemed to be Nazi sympathizers. Awesome. Great folks.
Just goes to show that even in the seemingly most romantic fairytales, real life stuff pokes through. Still, it is nice to know that sometimes love trumps all of the glitzy stuff (even Nazi-loving type love).
Would you give up an empire and a throne for love?