Things Netflix ‘The Crown’ Viewers Need To Know About Wallis Simpson In The Story Of Queen Elizabeth


While the Netflix series The Crown focuses on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, there are several side stories that if you know, will only enhance your understanding of the time period and the series. This includes the backstory of the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated the throne of England to marry Wallis Warfied Simpson, of Baltimore, Maryland, who was not of noble birth, and had been divorced more than once.

The Crown on Netflix starts with King George VI, the then Princess Elizabeth’s father, on the throne. King George VI (known to family as Bertie) is only the king of England because his brother Prince Edward (known to family as David), refused the throne to marry Wallis Simpson (King George VI was the subject of The King’s Speech). In the second episode of The Crown, when the king passes, Prince Edward, at that point known as the Duke of Windsor, comes back into the picture, but with an icy relationship with the rest of the royal family, says the Inquisitr. The Duke of Windsor calls Queen Elizabeth Shirley Temple and her mother Cookie, because the rumor was that her mother was actually the family’s French cook.

Photographs from the wedding of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson are set to go under the hammer @BellmansAuc

– Sussex Life magazine (@SussexLifeMag) November 9, 2016

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The Vulture mentioned the benefit to knowing the history (and family history) behind many of the icy English stares And many of them were either toward or about Wallis Simpson, or the Duchess of Windsor, referred to by many in the royal family as “that woman.” Episode three of The Crown is called simply “Windsor,” examines Elizabeth and family taking the name Windsor, rather than Mountbatten, the adopted last name of her husband Prince Philip, also called the Duke of Edinburgh.


Much of the confusion for some of the American audience, is the lack of familiarity with British royal history, and the fact that each character in The Crown has several names. So here it is, the main players, and all of their names. As an aside, the family name was Hanover, but was changed to Windsor because Hanover sounded too German.

Queen Elizabeth II, also known by her family nickname, Lilibet, born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, and Elizabeth Windsor.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

King Edward VIII (though he never went through with his coronation) was born Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, known as David to his family, became the Duke of Windsor and after his abdication, was also named Governor of the Bahamas.

Wallis Warfield Simpson, born Bessie Wallis Warfield, then became Wallis Spencer, and then Wallis Simpson. After marrying King Edward, she became Wallis Windsor, or the Duchess of Windsor.

This is the “Prince Edward” our school is named after. Prince Edward VIII who abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson #HappyPacerBday

– Ms. Walker (@7WPacers) November 2, 2016

The mother of King George VI and the Duke of Windsor (David) is Queen Mary, who is portrayed as one frosty lady. Though the Duke and Duchess of Windsor are treated sympathetically, there is an undertone, and certain things are just hinted about, like the idea that many believed the couple were Nazi sympathizers. We get to know Wallis Simpson mostly from the missives sent from David to Wallis, saying that England is “cold and sunless” and filled with family members with “ice in their veins.”

After the Duke abdicated he and Wallis were exiled in a sense, and spent most of their time in the Caribbean and the United States. While the Duke of Windsor says he chose love (the twice divorced Wallis) over his country, he is perceived as having chosen himself, and it is a deep family shame. The Crown also lets audiences know that a big part of the Duke of Windsor lingering in England after King George VI’s death is to secure a nice allowance for himself and Wallis, despite the Queen Mum’s attempts to send him packing.

Battle royal over Wallis Simpson’s French knickers | Royal | News | Daily Express

– British Royal News (@UKRoyalNews) October 29, 2016

As a side note, there is a current legal battle going on involving Wallis Warfield Simpson, and her French silk knickers. It seems that there is a question of who owns the Duchess’s knickers, said to be valued at $6500.

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[Featured Image by BIPPA/AP Images]

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