Wallis Simpson has usually had a somewhat negative press. She is most often regarded as the man- hunter who caused the abdication, the twice divorced social climber eager to snare her Prince and her place in the British monarchy.
After much research using old letters and eyewitness accounts Anna Pasternak has come to a very different conclusion.
To a packed audience at Edinburgh Book Festival Pasternak talked in interview with Janet Ellis about the story she has discovered and written in her new book â€œUntitledâ€.
The first fact she found was that long before Wallis appeared on the scene some members of the British establishment, including Stanley Baldwin and Viscount Lascelles, did not relish the idea of Edward as King – too socialist, too populist, and far too fond of fun.
That Edward relentlessly pursued Wallis is also sometimes forgotten. Wallis was a strong, amusing woman, a witty companion and good conversationalist. Edward was totally enraptured by her. Still married to Ernest Simpson she might never have sought a divorce but for Edwardâ€˜s insistence. He was adamant she would be the Queen by his side, with full HRH title. Baldwin was equally adamant that would never happen.
The story of the constitutional crisis, the abdication and the total exile of the Windsors is well known but, like all good scandals, worth hearing afresh. That the Windsors had to face the mean girls wrath of Mary and Elizabeth meant no mercy was ever shown in royal circles.
This is a fascinating and informative book, which aims to bring Wallis into a more favourable light. Does it succeed? You decide.
Untitled – The Real Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor.
Available at Amazon in Hardback and Kindle