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In season five of The Crown, viewers see the death of Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor. She dies at her home in Paris, which is subsequently purchased by Mohamed Al Fayed and renamed "Villa Windsor." (It was put up for sale again in 2019.)
"She died this morning," Sidney (Jude Akuwudike) tells Mohamed (Salim Daw) in the third episode. "Three months before her 90th birthday. Heart failure. She'd been confined in her house for eight years, crippled by arthritis, suffering from mental derangement, mostly being fed through a tube. She's at peace now, and will be buried at Frogmore, next to His Royal Highness."
So, is The Crown true? Did Wallis Simpson really spend the last eight years confined at home? Yes, sadly. The Duchess of Windsor died on April 24, 1986 at age 89—three months before her 90th birthday. According to the Washington Post, she died of bronchial pneumonia. And, after she died, Simpson was buried next to her husband, the Duke of Windsor at the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore House.
In an obituary in The Guardian, the paper wrote, "Her end followed a long twilight of strokes, mental derangement and grief at the loss of her husband 14 years ago. Her fingers had reportedly become too arthritic to support her wedding ring."
"It wasn’t really a life at all," the Duchess's close friend, Lady Diana Mosley, said at the time of her death. "I’m delighted to hear she has died. I wish she’d died many years ago."
Towards the end of her life, her lawyer, Maitre Suzanne Blum, had complete control over her, which is documented in The Last of the Duchess: The Strange and Sinister Story of the Final Years of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, which alleged Blum essentially kidnapped Wallis. The book was not published until after Blum's death.
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