​So, January lumbers on and another great week – not!  I have hardly had the phone from my ear nor my gaze from the computer perusing emails and documents from the lawyer.  Truly mind-boggling.  I think I, now, have the qualifications to write a PhD on human nature and the depths to which it can sink!  Seriously.  Almost six years on since the expose of a cheating husband, I am still embroiled in a full-time legal battle costing thousand of pounds – and my inheritance – in a bid to secure my home; nothing more.  He has no shame and definitely no honour.  I have learnt so much, and so much that could be of help to the many who have or are to walk in my shoes in the future.  I will commit it all to paper when this is finally over and, perhaps, make my fortune.  Oh, what joyous irony!
My father – Pop – asked me, the other day, how I decide what I am going to write about each week and I told him my complicated methodology: sit down at the computer and type!  Well, pretty much.  I think I have mentioned before that I do have post-it notes all over the place with scribbled quotations and reminders of topics which have irritated me in the news or enlightened me; perhaps I have watched a programme of interest …  One which very much falls into said category is that of Wallis:The Queen That Never Was.  Shown on Channel 5 at the end of November last year, only Becca had seen it and remarked on how sad it was.  Watching it, myself, this week, I share that sentiment.  Relevant, obviously, in view of Meghan Markle’s recent engagement to Prince Harry, it shone a whole new light – nay, a wealth of light – on a liaison which changed history and the path of the monarchy.  Wallis Simpson has been vilified for over 60 years; the social climbing American divorcee whose relationship with Edward VIII resulted in his abdication from the throne in 1936.  Could it be that the true story is somewhat different?   I hate that throwaway saying, ‘There are two sides to every story’ applying equal blame regardless.  Used only when convenient, of course, all blame was placed firmly on Wallis’ shoulders.  This programme suggests a great injustice.  There may be two sides to every story but, more importantly, I believe there is right and there is wrong.  Take time to gather the facts and never be swayed by the common vote.
Becca was right.  Wallis’ story, researched and now supported by her own letters to Ernest, is sad.  Born in Pennsylvania in 1896, her father died when she was a baby and her mother became dependent on the charity of her wealthy brother in law.  It was he who paid for Wallis’ education at the most expensive girls’ school in Maryland, Oldfields, which was to be her springboard into society.  She was a social climber, determined to move in the right circles and marry well, but her first husband proved a disaster and the marriage ended in divorce.
In 1928, she married Ernest Simpson, a British-American shipping executive, enabling her move to London.  Determined that they, as a couple, should aspire to the higher echelons of society, she met Edward, Prince of Wales, in 1931 and the rest is history – or, perhaps, merely a version of.  Personal letters written by Wallis to Ernest in 1936 and 1937 – and disclosed to Anne Sebba, Wallis’ biographer – tell a very different story of a woman who played with fire and got terribly burnt.  Edward, needy and child-like, became besotted with her and, in the end, there was no escape.  She did not want to divorce Ernest, neither did she wish to marry Edward.  All too aware of her vilification – present and future – she begged Edward not to abdicate but her pleas to end the relationship were met with threats of suicide with the Prince displaying behaviour equivalent to that of a modern-day stalker!  She was powerless realizing, too late, the terrible mistake she had made in sacrificing her happiness with Ernest.  It is a tale almost worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy.
‘He was the Open Sesame to a new and glittering world that excited me as nothing in my life had ever done before.  I sought no place in history but would now be assured of one; an appalling one carved out by blind prejudice.’
Wallis: The Queen That Never Was.
I just really wish that they had replaced That with Who
There are other theories surrounding the Abdication in 1936 and those who played a part.  Suffice to say, the Royal Family – and the Queen Mother, in particular – were happy for Wallis to shoulder the blame forever more.  I have read enough about the Queen Mother to know that one would never wish to fall out of favour, shall we say; to know that I didn’t like her!  Ironic, then, that we happened to be in London the weekend following her death in March, 2002, when her coffin was lying in state in Westminster Hall.  People had queued for hours to pay their respects and, whilst we were having dinner nearby, they announced that the Hall was to stay open throughout the night.  Historic timing, like her or not.
I shall never forget walking into the magnificent hall and down the stairs to see, ahead, the coffin raised up on a platform, each corner guarded by units from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard.  Later that night, the four would be Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Viscount Linley.  Around 10pm, word had not yet spread that Westminster Hall was to stay open and it was as though we had been granted a private viewing.  Eerily silent, each of us walked slowly round the coffin aware of the historic significance.  With friends, we were then taken to sign the Books of Condolence.  I laugh when I try to remember what I wrote.  I do recall turning to Becca and explaining my dislike for the deceased.  Regardless, I am convinced my words were suitably respectful.
As I told Pop, I just sit down and type.  Herewith the evidence!  I had no intention of writing more than a few words about Wallis but nothing new there.  I do think it is of interest if nothing else as an example of how easy it is to manipulate by a simple selection of the facts; how easy it is to fall in with the majority rather than stand alone.  Wallis Simpson may have been many things but, in light of these letters, she, unwittingly, engineered her own fate and became the victim; a scapegoat for all time.
‘For a gallant spirit, there can never be defeat.’     Wallis Simpson
I may have gone off on a tangent but, strangely, I have come full circle.
This is Trish, signing off.