Wednesday, June 7, 2017

After 30 years, Wallis joins royal family

June 7, 1967

Thirty years of "formal social ostracism" of the Duchess of Windsor by the British royal family ended today "under the trees along the Mall," reports the New York Times.

The Duchess, who stood next to her husband, the former King Edward VIII, joined Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family at the "unveiling of a memorial plaque" to Queen Mary, the Duke's mother, who died in 1953.

The "brief ceremony" took place outside Marlborough House,  long the residence of Queen Mary, only a few hundred yards from Buckingham Palace.

It was the first time that the 72-year-old Duke and the 70-year-old Duchess had attended "a royal family occasion together" since Edward's abdication in December 1936,  stating he was abdicating to "marry the woman I love."

The plaque commemorated the 100th anniversary of Queen Mary's birth.  The irony of today's ceremony highlighted the fact that the Queen was "firmly opposed" to her son's marriage to a twice-divorced American.

Queen Mary died in 1953 at the age of 85.  She never received the Duchess of Windsor.

As the years passed, the Duchess of Windsor began to "appear as more of an anachronism."     The first step toward ending the Duchess' alienation came in March 1965, when the Queen met the Duchess twice, by arrangement, at the Duke's bedside, when he was in a London hospital for a series of eye operations.

The "five-minute unveiling ceremony ended" with the royal family chatting, "wreathed in smiles."   The Duke and Duchess of Windsor then went off to "an informal private lunch" at Kensington Palace as the guests of Princess Marina, the widow of the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Windsor's younger brother.


Marion Banks-Wilkinson said...

Of course she never did join,even in death just Her Grace.

John said...

Marlene, do you know if any of David's siblings or their spouses (excluding The King and Queen) had a private relationship out of the spotlight with him and The Duchess? Like, visits to France or phone calls or whatnot?

John said...

oh illustrious Marlene, please deign to answer my question from your lowly and faithful blog viewer. Marlene, of the stellar web reputation, veritable celebrity of the 90s USENET, of the cats....

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Geesh, john. I was largely off line yesterday ... it was my birthday. I was out. Yes, certainly. The Princess Royal maintained contact and visited them. The Duke of Kent certainly did until his death -- and his children may have been in touch when they became adults. Not sure about Henry. Would have to check