Wallis Simpson was 'exiled' when HRH was refused says expert
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Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey is scheduled to air this Sunday in the US and on Monday at 9pm on ITV in the UK. While they have been urged to delay the broadcast because the timing is “insensitive” and “inappropriate”, according to Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, ITV royal editor Chris Ship said it will be “out of their hands” now. Prince Philip ‒ who has just had a successful operation for a pre-existing heart condition ‒ is said to be “baffled” by his grandson’s decision to leave the Royal Family and even likened Meghan to Wallis Simpson, a very controversial figure in royal circles.
The Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Windsor have a number of similarities in that they are both American divorcees whose royal husbands stepped down from duties.
Wallis is often blamed for the abdication crisis, whereby King Edward VIII gave up his throne in order to marry her.
Meanwhile, Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior royals just two years after they got married.
Both Edward VIII and Harry experienced a rift with their brothers, while their wives often felt like they were unwelcome.
Editor-in-Chief of Majesty magazine and royal biographer Ingrid Seward commented that Prince Philip himself had made this comparison.
Ms Seward added that Wallis felt “very, very strongly” that she was not liked by the British people, and she herself did not like England or its people either
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Regular contributor to the podcast, Zoey Forsey, interviewed Ms Seward about her new book ‘Prince Philip revealed’ in which they discussed the Duke’s opinions about Meghan and Harry.
Ms Seward said: “But I think [Philip] does liken Meghan to the Duchess of Windsor, there are some huge similarities there.
“If you watch some of the old programmes about Edward VIII and Wallis, you really think, ‘My goodness, there are some similarities there’.
“And Wallis felt very, very strongly that she was just not liked by the British people and she didn’t like England, she didn’t like the people, they didn’t understand her sense of humour, so there are a lot of similarities there.”
Edward VIII and Wallis met and fell in love in the early Thirties when she was still married to someone else.
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After he ascended to the throne in 1936, he announced his intention to marry her.
However, this triggered a constitutional crisis, because he was the head of the Church of England which, at the time, did not allow for remarriage after divorce when there is a living former spouse.
Edward VIII chose Wallis over the Crown and abdicated.
The pair, henceforth styled as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, lived in effective exile after his brother became King George VI.
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Meghan and Harry’s exit was different in that it was their own choice, driven to the decision by the pressures and challenges involved with their role as working members of the Royal Family.
However, in her book ‘Prince Philip revealed’, Ms Seward claimed Philip viewed Meghan “as destructive and divisive a force as Wallis”.
She added: “For Philip, whose entire existence has been based on a devotion to duty, it appeared that his grandson had abdicated his for the sake of his marriage to an American divorcee in much the same way as Edawrd VIII gave up his Crown to marry Wallis Simpson in 1936.”
Indeed, when he first heard about Meghan and Harry’s plans to step down, he reportedly responded: “What the hell are they playing at?”
That said, Ms Seward asserted that Philip tends to “say his bit” to the Queen and then backs off.
This week has been hectic for the Sussexes in the lead up to their Oprah interview, with the Palace announcing yesterday that they would be investigating allegations that staff members were bullied by Meghan.
However, when asked about the interview itself, Palace aides said there were “more important” things they were concerned with, indicating the Duke of Edinburgh’s health.
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‘Prince Philip revealed: A Man of His Century’ was written by Ingrid Seward and published by Simon & Schuster UK in 2020. It is available here.
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