gigatos | November 13, 2021
Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, registered at birth as Bessie Wallis Warfield and later, by marriage, called Wallis Spencer and later Wallis Simpson (June 19, 1896 – April 24, 1986), was an American socialite who, after being divorced twice, married in third nuptials to Edward VIII.
Wallis” father died shortly after her birth, and Wallis, along with her widowed mother, was supported by wealthy relatives. Her first marriage, to a U.S. Navy officer, was marked by several periods of separation and eventually ended in divorce. In 1934, during the course of her second marriage, she allegedly became the mistress of Edward, then Prince of Wales. Two years later, after the death of George V and the accession of Edward VIII to the throne, Wallis divorced her second husband and Edward proposed to her. The king”s desire to marry a woman who had two living ex-husbands caused a constitutional crisis in the United Kingdom and its dominions, which eventually led to his abdication of the throne in December 1936 and his marriage, in his own words, to “the woman I love”. After the abdication, the former king was made Duke of Windsor by his brother, King George VI. Edward married Wallis six months later, after which she was formally known as the Duchess of Windsor, without the treatment of Her Royal Highness.
Before, during and after World War II, many in government and society suspected the Duke and Duchess of Windsor of Nazi sympathies. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the couple lived between Europe and the United States, enjoying a life of leisure as social celebrities. Upon the Duke”s death in 1972, the Duchess went into seclusion and was rarely seen in public again. Her private life was the source of much speculation and she still remains a controversial figure in British history.
Bessie Wallis Warfield was an only child and was born in Square Cottage at the Monterey Inn, a hotel located across the road from the Monterey Country Club in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. As a summer resort located near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, Blue Ridge Summit was popular with Baltimore socialites who wished to escape the seasonal heat, and the Monterey Inn, which had a central building as well as individual cottages, was the largest hotel in town. His father was Teackle Wallis Warfield, the youngest of five children of Henry Mactier Warfield, a flour merchant described as “one of the best known and personally one of the most popular citizens of Baltimore,” who ran for mayor in 1875. His mother was Alice Montague, daughter of William Montague, an insurance salesman. In honor of her father and her mother”s older sister, Wallis was given the name Bessie – Mrs. D. Buchanan Merryman – and was called Bessie Wallis, until sometime during her youth “the Bessie was lost and the girl was called simply Wallis.”
The dates of her parents” marriage and her birth remain unclear. Neither of these events appears to have been recorded, but the generally accepted dates are November 19, 1895 and June 19, 1896, respectively. Her father died of tuberculosis on November 15, 1896. In her early years, Wallis and her mother depended on the charity of her father”s wealthy brother, Solomon Warfield Davies, president and founder of the Continental Trust Company. At first they lived in the large house Solomon shared with his mother at 34 East Preston Street.
Her aunt Bessie Merryman was widowed in 1901 and the following year Alice and Wallis moved into their mansion at 9 West Chase Street in Baltimore. Alice remarried in 1908 to John Freeman Rasin, Jr, son of a prominent member of the U.S. Democratic Party. On April 17, 1910, Wallis was confirmed at Christ Episcopal Church in Baltimore, and from 1912 to 1914, Solomon Warfield paid for her attendance at Oldfields School, the most expensive girls” school in Maryland. There he befriended heiress Renée du Pont, daughter of Senator T. Coleman du Pont of the du Pont family, and Mary Kirk, whose family founded Kirk Silverware. A classmate at one of the schools he attended recalls, “She was bright, brighter than all of us. She made up her mind to go to the head of the class and she did.” Wallis was always impeccably dressed and put quite a bit of pressure on herself to get things right.
In May 1916, while visiting her cousin Corinne Mustin in Pensacola, Florida, Wallis met Earl Winfield Spencer Jr., a U.S. Navy pilot. Around that time she also witnessed two aviation accidents approximately two weeks apart, which caused her a permanent fear of flying. On November 8, 1916, the couple was married at Christ Episcopal Church in Baltimore, which had been Wallis”s parish. Her husband was an alcoholic, drank even before flying and once crashed at sea but managed to emerge mostly unscathed. After the United States entered World War I in 1917, Spencer was sent to San Diego as first officer in command of a training base at Coronado, now known as Naval Air Station North Island, where they remained until 1920. In 1920, Edward, Prince of Wales, visited San Diego, but did not meet Wallis at that time. Shortly thereafter, Spencer left his wife for a four-month period, but they were reunited in Washington, D. C. in the spring of 1921, although they were soon separated again. In 1923, when Spencer was posted to the Far East as commander of the Pampanga, Wallis remained in the United States and carried on a love affair with Argentine diplomat Felipe Aja Espil. In January 1924, she visited Paris accompanied by her cousin Corinne Mustin, who had just been widowed, before leaving for the Orient aboard a troop transport. The Spencers lived together again for a brief period until Wallis became ill from drinking contaminated water, after which she was evacuated to Hong Kong.
An Italian diplomat remembered her from her time in China: “Her talk was brilliant and she had a habit of bringing up the right topic of conversation with anyone she came in contact with and entertaining them with that topic. According to Hui lan-Koo, the second wife of Chinese diplomat and politician Wellington Koo, the only phrase Wallis learned in Mandarin during her time in Asia was: “Young man, pass me the champagne”.
Wallis made a tour of China and stayed with Katherine and Herman Rogers, who would remain her friends while in Peking. According to the wife of Milton E. Miles, one of her husband”s companions, it was there that Wallis met Count Galeazzo Ciano, later son-in-law of Benito Mussolini and Italian Foreign Minister, with whom she had an affair, as a result of which she became pregnant; as a result of a botched abortion, she lost her ability to conceive forever. This rumor later spread, but it could never be proved, and Ciano”s wife, Edda Mussolini, denied it. By September 1925, Wallis and her husband were back in the United States, although they lived separately. The couple finally divorced on December 10, 1927.
By the time her marriage to Spencer dissolved, Wallis had already tied the knot with Ernest Aldrich Simpson, an Anglo-American shipping executive and former captain in the Coldstream Guards. Simpson divorced his first wife, Dorothea -with whom he had a daughter named Audrey-, to marry Wallis Spencer on July 21, 1928, at the Chelsea Register Office, London. From Cannes, where he was staying with his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, Wallis had telegraphed him that she accepted his marriage proposal.
The Simpsons temporarily settled in a furnished house with four servants in Mayfair. In 1929, Wallis sailed back to the United States to visit his ailing mother, who at the time was married to Charles Gordon Allen. During the voyage, Wallis” investments vanished in the Wall Street crash and her mother died penniless on November 2, 1929. Wallis returned to England and as the shipping business remained buoyant, the Simpsons moved into a large apartment with a staff of servants.
Through a friend of hers, Consuelo Thaw, Wallis met Lady Thelma Furness, Consuelo”s sister and then mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales. On January 10, 1931, Lady Furness introduced her to the prince. Edward was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary and heir to the British throne. Between 1931 and 1934, she met the Simpsons at various parties and Wallis was presented at Court. Ernest was beginning to have financial difficulties due to the fact that they were living beyond their means and for that reason they had to lay off the staff.
Relationship with Edward, Prince of Wales
In December 1933, while Lady Furness was in New York, Wallis apparently became the prince”s mistress, which Edward denied to his father, although his staff saw them in bed together and found “physical evidence of a sexual act. Edward denied it to his father, although his staff went so far as to see them in bed together, as well as finding “physical evidence of a sexual act.” Wallis soon ousted Lady Furness and distanced the prince from a former mistress and confidante, Anglo-American textile heiress Freda Dudley Ward.
By 1934, the prince was hopelessly and irretrievably smitten, finding her domineering manner and abrasive irreverence towards his position attractive; in the words of his official biographer, he became “slavishly dependent” on her. According to Wallis, it was during a 1934 cruise on the private yacht of Walter Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne, named Rosaura, that she fell in love with Edward. At an evening at Buckingham Palace, the prince introduced her to his mother, which caused her father”s indignation, mainly because of their marital history, since divorcees were generally excluded from the Court. Edward covered Wallis with money and jewels; moreover, in February 1935 and later that year, they traveled together in Europe. Courtiers were increasingly alarmed because the affair began to interfere with the prince”s official activities.
In 1935, the head of the London Metropolitan Police Special Branch informed the commissioner that Wallis was also having an affair with Guy Marcus Trundle, who “was said to be employed by the Ford Motor Company.” These reports were first made public in 2003. However, the thesis of an affair is challenged by Captain Val Bailey, who knew Trundle well and whose mother had an affair with Trundle for nearly two decades, and also by historian Susan Williams.
George V died on January 20, 1936 and the Prince of Wales ascended to the throne as Edward VIII. The next day he broke royal protocol when he watched the proclamation of his accession to the throne from a window of St James”s Palace in the company of Wallis, who at the time remained married. It became increasingly clear to court and government circles that Edward intended to marry her. The king”s behavior and his relationship with Wallis made him unpopular with the Conservative Party – which at the time ran the British government – and distressed his mother and brother. Although the British media in the pre-war era remained respectful of the monarchy and no stories about the affair were published in the domestic press, foreign media reported the relationship extensively.
The monarch of the United Kingdom is also the supreme ruler of the Church of England, and at the time of the proposed marriage – and until 2002 – the Church of England did not permit remarriage by divorced persons whose former spouse was still alive. Consequently, while there was no civil law barrier to Edward marrying, the constitutional position was that a king could not marry a divorcee and remain king – to do so would conflict with his role as supreme ruler. On the other hand, the British and dominion governments were against the idea of marriage between the king and a twice-divorced American for other reasons, considering her politically, socially and morally unsuitable as a prospective consort. In the British Empire she was perceived by many as a woman of “boundless ambition,” pursuing the king for his wealth and position.
Wallis had filed for divorce from her second husband on the grounds that he had committed adultery with her childhood friend Mary Kirk and the conditional sentence was granted on October 27, 1936. Her relationship with the king became public knowledge in the United Kingdom in early December and Wallis decided to flee the country as soon as the scandal broke. She was taken to the south of France in a dramatic race to escape the press and remained besieged by the media for the next three months at Villa Lou Viei, the home of her friends Herman and Katherine Rogers located near Cannes.
Back in the UK, Edward consulted with Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin trying to find a way to marry Wallis and keep himself on the throne. He proposed a morganatic marriage, where he would remain king although his wife would not be queen, but this was rejected by Baldwin and the prime ministers of Australia and South Africa. If Edward had married against Baldwin”s advice, the government would be forced to resign, causing a constitutional crisis.
Meanwhile, Peregrine Cust, 6th Baron Brownlow and Lord in Waiting to the King, was pressuring Wallis in his hiding place in the south of France to renounce Edward. On December 7, 1936, Lord Brownlow read to the press the statement he had helped draft announcing Wallis”s resolution to renounce the king. Edward, however, was determined to marry. As the abdication issue gained momentum, John Theodore Goddard, Wallis”s solicitor, stated that: “the client was willing to do something to alleviate the situation, but the other end of the court was determined”. This apparently indicated that the king had decided that he had no choice but to abdicate if he wanted to marry.
On December 10, 1936, Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication in the presence of his three surviving brothers-the Duke of York, who ascended the throne the next day as George VI, the Duke of Gloucester, and the Duke of Kent. Special laws passed by the parliaments of the dominions finalized the abdication process the next day and in the case of Ireland, a day later. On December 11, 1936, Edward issued a public statement saying.
You all know the reasons which have induced me to renounce the throne. I would have you understand that, in taking this resolution, I have by no means forgotten the country or the Empire, to which, first as Prince of Wales and later as King, I have devoted twenty-five years of service. But you may believe me if I tell you that I have found it impossible to bear the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king, in the way I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.
Edward left Britain for Austria, where he stayed at Castle Enzesfeld, the home of Baron and Baroness Eugen and Kitty de Rothschild. He had to stay away from Wallis until there was no danger of jeopardizing the granting of a decree absolute in the divorce proceedings. When the divorce was settled in May 1937, Wallis reverted to using her maiden name Wallis Warfield. The couple met at the Château de Candé, in Monts, France, on May 4, 1937.
Third marriage: Duchess of Windsor
A month later, on June 3, 1937, Wallis and Edward were married at Candé Castle, which had been lent to them by Charles Bedaux, who later worked actively on behalf of Nazi Germany in World War II. The date coincided with what would have been King George V”s 72nd birthday; Queen Mary thought the wedding was scheduled on that date as a deliberate snub. No members of the British royal family attended.
Edward was made Duke of Windsor by his brother, George VI; however, the royal patent approved by the new king and unanimously supported by the governments of the dominions, prevented Wallis, now Duchess of Windsor, from using the treatment of Her Royal Highness. The king felt strongly that Wallis should not receive royal treatment, and this view was shared by his mother, Queen Mary, and his wife, Queen Elizabeth – later the Queen Mother. At first, the royal family did not accept the duchess or formally receive her, although Edward met several times with his mother and siblings after the abdication. Some biographers have suggested that Queen Elizabeth, Edward”s sister-in-law, resented Wallis for the role she had played in bringing George VI to the throne-which she may have seen as an influential factor in his early death-and for behaving prematurely as Edward”s consort, when she was only his mistress. These claims were denied by close friends of Queen Elizabeth; for example, the Duke of Grafton wrote that he “never said anything unkind about the Duchess of Windsor, except that he really had no idea what he was dealing with.” On the other hand, the Duchess of Windsor referred to Queen Elizabeth as “Mrs. Temple” -Lady Temple- and “Cookies,” alluding to her solid figure and taste in food, and to her daughter, Princess Elizabeth -later Queen Elizabeth II- as “Shirley,” alluding to Shirley Temple. The Duchess bitterly resented being denied the royal treatment and Edward”s relatives did not accept her as part of the family. However, within the circle of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the treatment of Her Royal Highness was used by those close to the couple.
According to Diana Mitford, wife of former British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley, who knew the future queen mother and Wallis, but was only friends with the latter, the queen”s antipathy toward her sister-in-law may have had a deeper source. Lady Mosley wrote to her sister, the Duchess of Devonshire, after the Duke of Windsor”s death, “probably the theory of her contemporaries that Cake [a Mitford nickname for the queen mother, derived from her exclamation of delight at the party at which Deborah Devonshire met her] was rather in love with him – like a child – and took the second best, may explain a great deal.”
The duke and duchess lived in France in the years before the war. In 1937, they made a high-profile visit to Germany and met with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who reportedly said of the duchess that “she would have made a good queen.” That visit supported strong suspicions held by many in government and society that the duchess was a German agent, a claim Wallis ridiculed in her letters to Edward. FBI files compiled in the 1930s also portray her as a possible Nazi sympathizer. Former Duke Charles Alexander of Württemberg told the FBI that Wallis and Nazi leader Joachim von Ribbentrop had been lovers in London. There were even more implausible reports about their circumstances in World War II, such as that Wallis kept a signed photograph of Ribbentrop on her bedside table, and that she had continued to pass information to him, even during the invasion of France.
World War II
After the outbreak of war in 1939, Edward was assigned to a military post in the British Army stationed in France. According to the son of William Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside, Wallis continued to receive friends connected with the Fascist movement and leaked details of French and Belgian defenses to them, which he obtained from the duke. When the Germans invaded northern France and bombed Britain in May 1940, the duchess told an American journalist, “I can”t say I feel sorry for them.” As German troops advanced, the dukes fled their Paris home southward, first to Biarritz and then in June to Spain. There, Wallis told U.S. Ambassador Alexander W. Weddell that France had lost because it was “internally sick.” In July the couple moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where they stayed at the home of Ricardo Espirito Santo Silva, a banker who was suspected of being a German agent. In August, a British warship ferried the couple to the Bahamas, where Edward was installed as governor.
Wallis competently performed her role as the governor”s mistress for five years. However, she hated Nassau, which she called “our St. Helena,” referring to the last place of exile of Napoleon I. She was harshly criticized for her extravagant shopping trips to the United States, which she made when Britain was enduring deprivations such as rationing and power cuts on public roads. Her racist attitudes toward the local population-whom she called “lazy, prosperous Negroes” in letters to her aunt-were a reflection of her upbringing. In 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill objected strenuously when the couple planned to visit the Caribbean aboard a yacht belonging to Swedish tycoon Axel Wenner-Gren, whom Churchill declared “pro-German.” Churchill was forced to complain again when the Duke gave an interview with a “defeatist” tone. The British establishment distrusted the Duchess; Sir Alexander Hardinge wrote that her anti-British activities were motivated by a desire for revenge against a country that had rejected her as Queen. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the couple returned to France and retired.
Later life and death
In 1946, Wallis was staying at Ednam Lodge, the Earl of Dudley”s house, when some of her jewels were stolen. There were rumors that the theft had been planned by the British royal family, in an attempt to recover the jewels Edward had taken from the Royal Collection, or by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor themselves, as part of an insurance fraud, since the following year the couple made a large deposit of loose stones at Cartier. However, in 1960, Richard Dunphie confessed to the crime. The stolen pieces were only a small part of the Windsor”s jewelry that had been purchased privately, inherited by the Duke or given to him as a gift when he was Prince of Wales.
Edward returned to England in February 1952 to attend the funeral of George VI. Wallis did not want to accompany him; during her previous stay in London the previous October, she had told her husband, “I hate this country, I will hate it to the grave. I will continue to hate it to my grave.” Later that year, the Paris municipal authorities offered them the use of a house. The couple lived at 4 rue du Champ d”Entraînement in Neuilly-sur-Seine for most of the rest of their lives, and essentially lived a comfortable life. They also bought a second residence in the country, where they soon became close friends with their neighbors Oswald and Diana Mosley. Years later, Diana Mosley claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor shared her and her husband”s view that Hitler should have been given a free hand to destroy Communism. Edward himself wrote in the New York Daily News on December 13, 1966, “It was in the interest of Britain and of Europe too, that Germany should be encouraged to attack the East and crush Communism for good . I thought the rest of us could remain neutral while the Nazis and the Reds fought.”
In 1965, when the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visited London because Edward needed eye surgery, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, visited them. Later, in 1967, the couple joined the royal family in London when Elizabeth II unveiled a plaque to commemorate the centenary of Queen Mary”s birth. Elizabeth II and Prince Charles visited the Windsors in Paris in the duke”s final years; in fact the visit occurred shortly before his death.
When Edward died of cancer in 1972, Wallis traveled to England to attend the funeral; during her visit she stayed at Buckingham Palace. Increasingly senile and frail, she lived the rest of her life as a recluse, supported by her husband”s estate and an allowance from the queen. In October 1976, she was expected to receive Queen Mother Elizabeth, but she was too ill with dementia and her staff canceled the visit at the last minute. The queen mother sent flowers with a card that read, “In friendship, Elizabeth. “After her husband”s death, the duchess gave her legal authority to French lawyer Suzanne Blum.This potentially exploitative relationship was investigated in Caroline Blackwood”s book, The Last of the Duchess, written in 1980, but not published until after Blum”s death in 1995.In 1980, Wallis lost the ability to speak.In the end she remained confined to bed and received no visitors except for her doctor and nurses.
The Duchess of Windsor died at her home in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris on April 24, 1986. The funeral was held at St. George”s Chapel in Windsor Castle and was attended by her two surviving sisters-in-law, the Queen Mother and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Princess of Wales attended the funeral ceremony and burial. She was buried next to Edward in the royal cemetery near Windsor Castle, as “Wallis, Duchess of Windsor”. Until they reached an agreement with Elizabeth II in 1965, the dukes had planned for her to be buried in a plot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, where Wallis” father was buried.
The bulk of her inheritance went to the foundation for medical research at the Pasteur Institute, as instructed by Suzanne Blum. The decision took the royal family and friends of the duchess by surprise, because during her life she had never shown any interest in charitable acts. In April 1987, Wallis” remarkable jewelry collection raised $45 million for the institute at an auction at Sotheby”s, about seven times the estimated price, and attracted bids from famous personalities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Calvin Klein and Jacqueline Onassis. In recognition of France”s assistance in providing them with a house and in lieu of death duties, the collection of Louis XVI-style furniture, some porcelain pieces and paintings passed into the ownership of the French state. The British royal family received no major bequests. Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed bought much of the non-financial estate, including the usufruct of the Paris mansion. Most of his collection was sold in 1998, a year after the death of his son in the car crash that also claimed the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. The sale raised more than £14 million for charity.
Wallis” life was plagued by rumors that she had other lovers. American playboy Jimmy Donahue, heir to the Woolworth fortune, who was also a homosexual, claimed to have had a relationship with the duchess in the 1950s, but Donahue was known for his witty banter and his affinity for circulating rumors. Almost all historians and biographers have denied the existence of the so-called “China file” – supposedly detailing Wallis” sexual and criminal exploits in that country. Although there were certain rumors about a pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage while Wallis lived in China, especially those related to Count Ciano, there is no hard evidence that she ever became pregnant by any of her lovers or her three husbands. Claims that she suffered from androgen insensitivity syndrome, also known as testicular feminization, seem unlikely, if not impossible, given her surgery for uterine fibroids in 1951.
In 1956, the Duchess published her memoirs by a ghostwriter, The Heart Has Its Reasons. Author Charles Higham said of the book, “the facts were remorselessly rearranged in what amounted to a self-fulfilling facelift reflecting in abundance its author”s politically incorrect, but charming and convenient personality.” Higham described the Duchess as “charismatic, electrifying and compulsively ambitious.” The assessment of the Duchess of Windsor”s life has been clouded by rumor, conjecture and politically motivated propaganda, unhelped by her own manipulation of the truth; but there is no document that directly proves that Wallis was anything other than a victim of her own ambition, who lived a great romance that turned into a great tragedy. In the opinion of her biographers, “she experienced the supreme fairy tale, becoming the adored favorite of the most glamorous bachelor of her time. The idyll took the wrong turn when, ignoring her entreaties, he abandoned his position to spend the rest of his life with her.” Scholars agree that Wallis ascended to the edge of a precipice that:
left her with fewer alternatives than she had anticipated. Somehow he thought the establishment could be overcome once he was king and frankly confessed to Aunt Bessie his “insatiable ambitions” . Caught in his evasion of responsibility in exactly the role she had sought, she suddenly warned him in a letter, “you and I can only create disasters together” she predicted to social hostess Sybil Colefax, “two people are going to suffer” because of “the working of a system” . Having been denied dignity and with nothing useful to do, the new Duke of Windsor and his Duchess would be for a generation, the most internationally known parasites of society, while being deeply bored with each other . She thought he was emotionally like Peter Pan and saw herself as Alice in Wonderland. However, the book they wrote together was more Paradise Lost.
Wallis is said to have summed up her life in one sentence, “You have no idea how hard it is to live a great romance.”
The Duchess of Windsor in Popular Culture
Simpson (1978 seven-part miniseries), Jane Seymour in The Woman He Loved (1988 TV movie), Amber Sealey in Bertie and Elizabeth (2002 TV movie), Joely Richardson in Wallis and Edward (2005 TV movie), Gillian Anderson in Any Human Heart (2010 miniseries), Emma Clifford in Upstairs, Downstairs (2010 miniseries), Eve Best in The King”s Speech (2010 movie) and by Andrea Riseborough in W. E. (2011 film). Jane Hartley played her in Always, a 1997 West End musical.
Award-winning Canadian writer Timothy Findley, in his 1981 novel Famous Last Words, introduced a manipulative but also tragic “Mrs. Simpson”. In 1991, Anne Edwards wrote an empathetic account of Wallis” early years that culminates when she marries Edward in her book Wallis: The Novel. Wallis also appears in a short story by Rose Tremain, called The Darkness of Wallis Simpson; in a play called The Duchess by Linda Griffith; in the 1992 uchronic thriller, Fatherland, by Robert Harris; and in a book in Charlie Higson”s Young Bond series, By Royal Command. In 2001, journalist Christopher Wilson published the book Dancing with the Devil, in which he recounts Wallis” alleged relationship with Jimmy Donahue. Kate Auspitz, in her 2010 novel, The War Memoirs of HRH Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, portrays her as a tool of the Allies, who used her to make King Edward VIII, a fascist sympathizer, abandon the throne.