Heritage

Wallis Simpson Is Buried on the Grounds of Frogmore House, the Place Meghan Markle Will Soon Call Home

Simpson was laid to rest alongside her husband, the Duke of Windsor.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / HULTON DEUTSCH
Comments

Frogmore House, one of the royal family's many residences, came back into the news this past month when we learned of its two new high-profile residents: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Harry, a longtime occupant of Kensington Palace, will start fresh with his wife Meghan in one of the House's cottages next year.

It may surprise some royal watchers that Meghan will not, in fact, be the first Duchess from America with a connection to Frogmore House. That would be Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Wallis Simpson (right) with Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth in 1972.

Simpson is buried next to her husband, the Duke of Windsor—and onetime King Edward VIII—in the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore House. Although they share the grounds with several other members of the royal family (Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, to name just two) her and her husband's graves were purposely placed at a distance.

In 1936, the Duke of Windsor became the first British sovereign to abdicate voluntarily—and he did so for Simpson. The Church of England forbid a King from marrying a divorcée if her husband was still alive, so Edward renounced the throne in order to wed the twice-divorced Wallis.


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in their Paris home in 1964.

The abdication and resulting scandal caused the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to be ostracized from the royal family. Simpson was brutally dragged in the press, and as writer Anna Pasternak notes in The Telegraph, she's often still "seen as the wicked witch who nearly derailed the monarchy." Pasternak, who's working on a biography of the late Duchess, was granted rare access to visit Simpson's grave. She paints a somber picture of the Duchess's final resting place.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
When the Duchess of Windsor was finally allowed back into the royal fold for Edward VIII’s funeral on June 5th 1972, she was asked by the Queen, which side of her husband’s grave did she wish to be placed? Wallis chose to the left. She liked the idea, she said, of the leaves of the plane tree falling on her grave in the autumn. Acutely aware of her unpopularity and lack of any children, she commented that no one was ever likely to place flowers on her grave. The falling plane tree leaves would adorn her instead.

Pasternak, at least, is on a mission to rehabilitate Simpson's image. Should a few more writers take up the revisionist mantle, the Duchess's grave might not be such a melancholy site forever.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

Comments
Recommended Videos
About The Author
Chloe Foussianes
View Other Articles From Chloe Foussianes
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
The young restaurateur tackles a cuisine closely associated with the family business but sets himself apart by showcasing each of Italy's regional specialties.
 
Share
The painting had spent the last 126 years in the home of a private collector in Europe.
 
Share
Master these pronunciations and you'll never think twice again.
 
Share
San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang remembers his roots and gives back to his hometown.
 
Share
Photographer Douglas Kirkland remembers the shoot fondly: "It was just myself, the camera, and Marilyn."
 
Share
Nonoo is a good friend of Meghan Markle's-and there's a good chance the Duchess will make an appearance at the ceremony.
 
Share
Rachel Green would no doubt approve of these dresses, blazers, and tops.
 
Share
Not only does it inform the cast’s performances, but its stripping down of the play’s setting to its barest elements underscores the universality and timelessness of its message.
 
Share
These are the six pieces you need to cop this season.
 
Share
It turns out that most of these emblematic charmers are jewelry timepieces.
 
Share
The modern property, which is a combination of two units, was designed by famed architect Claudio Silvestrin.
 
Share
The palace staff treated Harriet the monkey to a scone, and sent it home with a new corgi friend.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US