‘Wallis in Love’ Challenges a Royal Love Story Andrew Morton’s biography of Wallis Simpson upends the accepted wisdom about her marriage; ‘a story of bitterness, disappointment and ultimately failure’By Ellen Gamerman


Wallis Simpson is buried on the grounds of Windsor Castle in England, next to Edward VIII, the king who abdicated the throne to be with her.

But their seemingly towering romance—he threw it all away for her!—crumbles in the hands of biographer Andrew Morton. “She lies next to a man she came to despise,” he writes, “buried in a land owned by a family she hated and in a country she loathed.”

‘Wallis in Love’ is scheduled for release on Tuesday.

Mr. Morton’s book out on Tuesday, “Wallis in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy,” upends accepted wisdom about this couple, describing a relationship based on mutual exploitation. Mrs. Simpson pursues Edward in hopes of becoming queen, not realizing the havoc her two divorces will wreak on her quest. Edward dreads becoming king and finds a solution in his adoration of this American woman, whose past disqualifies him from the royal job.

Two days before their wedding in 1937, Mr. Morton writes, Mrs. Simpson met with the man she really loved, Herman Livingston Rogers. Mr. Morton describes her seemingly offer to have Rogers’s baby and pass it off as Edward’s. His evidence for this claim is based on brief notes about the matter by Mrs. Simpson’s onetime ghostwriter, Cleveland Amory.

“It was a story of bitterness, disappointment and ultimately failure,” Mr. Morton said during an interview from Pasadena, Calif., where he lives when he isn’t in London.

Mr. Morton argues that the king’s 1936 abdication was, in the end, a one-sided decision. Edward’s marriage to Mrs. Simpson was forbidden due to her two divorces and living ex-husbands, but his abandonment of the throne to be with her was far from a given.


“The man who ostensibly loved her was making decisions about her future without any kind of sensible conversation,” Mr. Morton said in the interview. Not long after the abdication, Edward is described singing in a bathtub. Mrs. Simpson, however, is portrayed getting snubbed by British and American elites and exiled to a semi-royal life.

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