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
About The Author
Chloe Foussianes
View Other Articles From Chloe Foussianes
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took the children to see the garden Kate designed at the Chelsea Flower Show.
 
Share
T&C’s experts weigh in on the women of Westeros and their not-so-subtle accessories.
 
Share
The true legacy of Nick Joaquin lies not in the volume or richness or brilliance of his works, but in the optimism in the Filipino.
 
Share
The things we hold dearest in the Truly Rich World are now taking a backseat to softer values such as mindfulness, flexibility, passion, inner peace, and rest.
 
Share
Only 15 cities account for over 30 percent of the world's billionaire population.
 
Share
During the 17th to 19th centuries, the Chinese survived a ruthless persecution by the Spaniards, and still emerged as crucial economic assets in the Philippines.
 
Share
 
Share
From preppy to streetwear, these multi-brand online shops have everything you need.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US