On 3 June 1937 the Duke of Windsor, who had been King Edward VIII of England a few months before, wed the now twice-divorced American Wallis Warfield (Simpson at the time of her affaire with the king) in France, where they would live out the remainder of their married lives together.
This tends to get romanticized – he had to give up a throne just because the woman he loved was divorced from her first husband and divorcing a second – but the thing is that they were both such flaming asshats that it’s hard to work up any genuine sympathy for their plight. As well as being an anti-Semitic, a racist, and a Nazi sympathizer, Edward was a hard-core conservative on everything but sleeping with married women and marrying a divorced one, with nearly zero empathy for anyone that wasn’t himself or his wife. Certainly the only “real” humans in his book were Northern European Protestants. He had a great deal more concern for his pugs than for the people being murdered in Germany in the days leading up to WWII. Pardon me if I consider him an unworthy “hero” of any romance.
Wallis wasn’t any better. Although I could give a plugged nickel for her infidelities and divorces prior to marrying a duke, she wasn’t any more of a decent human than her husband. She was every bit as racist, and admired Hitler every bit as much.
There is also hearsay (from a source likely to know) that Wallis had at least one higher-up of the Nazi party as a lover during her marriage to Ernest Simpson. She must have really liked her Aryans extra racist, then? She was also bitterly spiteful about the fact she didn’t get the official title of Her Royal Highness (if she married for “love” not status then I am a Kate Moss look alike), and called the stouter Queen Consort Elizabeth things like Cake and Cookie. She and her friends would speculate that the only reason Wallis wasn’t taken into the bosom of the family is because “Cake” had wanted Edward for herself when younger. This is almost certainly bullfeathers, since Elizabeth’s family did NOT want her to marry even Albert because he was too close to the throne and her family were liberals rather than monarchists. The only thing nice that could be said of Wallis is that she was a sparkling and witty conversationalist, and she would have been an impressive dominatrix.
Perhaps her tendency to dominate those around her, along with their shared views on Jewish people and other ‘inferior’ races, is what drew Edward to Wallis in the first place. His parents, George V and Mary of Teck, were Victorian in every sense of the word and were thus not warm and loving towards their children (regardless of their actual sentiments) for fear they would “spoil” them. Edward was also raised in the don’t-think-about-sex cult of puritanism that almost guarantees sexual deviancy. Wallis may have therefore been the mother/lover of his dreams. That’s fine; good for them. They were still horrible people and I don’t give a tiny twee toss if they were happy or not.
In fact, considering their smug elitism and racial purity malarkey, I would rather they had been unhappy. It seems the least the they deserve, no? Then again, perhaps they were unhappy; Wallis is reported to have said “You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance.” Oh, the pain they must have suffered as they sipped champagne at lunch and went to endless dinner parties and did a minuscule amount of charity work to seem less like useless parasites. I weep for them.