The Duke and Duchess of Windsor
This lecture begins with Prince Edward’s much celebrated youth as well as “Bessie Wallis Warfield’s” sad childhood. The audience will then learn about the beloved young Prince’s widely publicized world tours, his becoming the most popular Prince of Wales in British history and his girlfriends before meeting the previously divorced “Mrs. Simpson”. Among other rarely seen pictures, the class will see rare shots of Wallis as Mrs. Spencer and her mysterious period in China. This is followed by details of her first divorce and marriage to Win Spencer, their move to London where she meets the Prince of Wales and how she eventually becomes the royal mistress, followed by a description of her second divorce from Earnest Simpson. The lecture continues with “David” — as the Prince is known to his friends — ascending to the throne in January of 1936 and describes the Abdication crisis. The audience will see newsreels of the first paparazzi chase in history as Mrs. Simpson, fearing for her life, escapes England on the eve of the Abdication.
Next, René covers the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s wedding, honeymoon and their ill-advised trip to Nazi Germany, which will haunt them for the rest of their lives. The audience will see newsreels of them meeting Hitler, followed by rarely seen interviews of the Windsors. The story then takes the audience into their service as Governors of the Bahamas during World War Two and their post-war lives as they become the most sought after members of International High Society. Dozens of pictures of the Duchess’ clothes are shown as she rises to become number one on the Best Dressed List and brilliantly creates a “brand” which allows the Duke and Duchess to live a life of luxury beyond their means. What follows is the Duke’s last interview before his health deteriorates.
The audience will hear details of the little known “rapprochement” the famous couple had with the Duke’s niece, Queen Elizabeth, and their last years of declining health as they travel back and forth from their magnificent home in Paris to New York and Palm Beach, Florida. The audience will see numerous pictures of the luxurious places where the Windsors lived, mostly provided by the largesse of their wealthy friends who all compete to host the Royal couple. Silvin will then discuss the Duke’s illness and death, revealing little known details as Silvin was managing the hospital in Paris where both Windsors were treated. Silvin gives details of his personal relationship with the widowed Duchess when he becomes her confidant and escort during the few years following the Duke’s death and before the onset of her dementia, leading up to the long, sad decline the paralyzed Duchess endures. The lecture ends with a description of her death, her funeral at Frogmore, the British Royal Family’s personal cemetery and the disposal of her world famous jewels.
If you would like to schedule Rene Silvin for a lecture on any of these topics, please contact Robert Versteeg, Associate of Silvin Books LLC, at 954-554-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org