Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s relationship has drawn many comparisons to another relationship in British royal family history: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.
Like Markle, Simpson was an American divorcé who fell in love with a member of the British royal family in the 1930s.
Although the newly named Duchess of Sussex was granted permission by the Queen to marry the sixth in line for the British throne, Edward and Simpson didn’t have the same luxury in 1936.
Just 11 months after Edward was crowned the King of the United Kingdom and Dominions of the British Empire, he abdicated his throne in order to marry the twice-divorced American. Edward and Simpson lived as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in exile of the royal family in France.
Prince Harry’s great-grandfather, George VI ascended the throne. Flash forward to 2018, Markle and her Prince were married in Windsor Castle in a fairytale ceremony broadcast to over two billion people.
Although times have changed, Markle may still feel a connection to Simpson. New reports say that there was not only one, but two, subtle nods to Wallis Simpson during the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Markle’s Givenchy wedding gown caused a stir for royal fanatics who recalled Simpson wearing the French designer 46 years earlier St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, after Edward had died.
The Independent reports, “The last time that Givenchy was seen on the back of a major protagonist at a royal event was in 1972, also at St. George’s Chapel, at the funeral of the Duke of Windsor.”
The Daily Mail reports another similarity — Markle and Wallace rode in the same Rolls Royce car to St. George’s Chapel. While Markle rode with her mother Doria Ragland to her wedding, Simpson rode the car to the funeral of her disgraced husband.
Coincidence or strategy?
Markle has shown she’s a professional when it comes to the press. Her wedding to Prince Harry was carefully orchestrated to defy traditional royal wedding expectations and usher in a new, more modern monarchy. Could the similarities to Simpson have been an intentional acknowledgement to how times have changed, or is this another case of the press looking for meaning where there is none?
Only time and a follow-up biography by Andrew Morton will tell!