Royal scandal is nothing new. In 1936, the royal family was rocked by events that threatened its very existence. Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, Emperor of India, gave up his throne. A constitutional crisis ensued. The reason? He intended to marry Wallis Simpson - a divorcee.
In The Duchess of Windsor, Michael Bloch tells her fascinating story. This is the definitive biography of the woman Edward prized above his crown. Drawing on first-hand access to their intimate correspondence, it paints a picture of Simpson which was often startlingly at variance with the official story as reported at the time. It brings vividly to life the qualities which captivated her royal suitor, and on publication caused outrage and surprise by uncovering the great mysteries of her life.
This is a highly sympathetic biography of Wallis Warfield (1896-1986), the American woman for whom, in 1936, Edward VIII gave up the English throne, thus becoming the Duke of Windsor. Bloch (Wallis and Edward-Letters, 1931-37), who was one of the Duchess's legal representatives before her death, quotes at length from her letters and covers information published elsewhere, including the story of Wallis's first two marriages and her love affair with Edward. He details how the hostility of the duke's brother and successor, George VI, and his wife to the Windsors resulted in their self-imposed exile from England. Bloch, however, does make the startling claim, based on little evidence, that Wallis remained a virgin until her death. He theorizes that, because of her masculine appearance, she may not have had a distinct gender at birth. Bloch glosses over the Windsors' sympathy for Hitler and maintains that they were "moderately" rather than "extremely" rich. Photos include some previously unpublished.