Saturday, September 28, 2019

King George VI Blesses Milford Haven marriage

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September 28, 1949

King George VI has given his blessing to the marriage of the Marquess of Milford Haven to Mrs Romaine Simpson, a Washington, D.C., divorcee, reports United Press.

Fran Shaw, a press agent, issued a "Hollywood-style" press release announcing Lord Milford Haven's engagement.  Milford Haven wrote to the King, to "inform him of intentions and that the King had sent his 'best wishes' late today.

Lord Milford Haven's mother, the Marchioness of Milford Haven, who is in Cannes, France, issued a statement as well, saying she "approved entirely" of her son's engagement to Mrs. Simpson.  Lady Milford Haven described her future daughter in law as a "charming woman."

Lord Milford Haven, a first cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh, and his fiancee, met with the press at Claridge's Hotel.    He said he wrote to the King "as a matter of courtesy" although he is "so far removed from possible succession to the Crown: and he was not subject to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772.

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He wrote to the King "a short time ago."   Lord Milford Haven, who sells electric heaters, says "it will be a big wedding."

The ceremony is expected to take place at the Washington, D.C., home of Mrs. Simpson's mother, at the end of the November.   He added that "the best man will be British and there will be several maids of honor."

He was asked if the Duke of Edinburgh would be the best man, as Lord Milford Haven served as best man when Philip married Princess Elizabeth in November 1948.

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"I don't see how he could make it, but anyhow best men usually are bachelors.

Mrs. Simpson, 26 and the mother of an 18-month-old daughter, told the press: "I am very much in love with David.  It was probably love at first sight but I can't remember,  This husband is definitely for keeps."

She said they had met in London in May and had "four dates in a row." In July she visited Milford Haven's mother in Cannes.  The formal proposal came shortly afterward.

Neither could "remember when it was."

However, her third finger was still bare as Mrs Simpson comment: "Still looking for a ring, aren't we David?

Mrs. Simpson was also asked if she "expected" to meet the King and Queen before she returned to the United States. "No, I am a little nervous about it."
She added that she had met the Duke of Edinburgh last week.

"In a night club?" one reporter asked.

"Not all things happen in a night club," she answered.

Mrs. Simpson said she would live in Britain but would retain her American citizenship.

"Once an American, always an American."
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The Marquess interjected:  I am glad to be settling down. And I am glad I am marrying an American. I have always admired them."

Mrs.  Simpson was also asked if she would be bringing her young daughter, Gwendolyn, with her.  "Oh, let's leave her out of it.  All that's not settled."

Lord Milford Haven did not expect that members of the royal family will attend his wedding..  "My own relatives will find it very difficult with the dollar problem,"

Mrs. Simpson has not made her decision on bridesmaids.  She is Episcopalian and the Marquess is a member of the Church of England.

She was married in 1946 to William Simpson, a Chicago department store executive.  They were divorced last year in Reno.

"I'm comfortably off. I have an independent income.:  She added that she received a "very small" amount of alimony for her first husband.

They were also asked if they wanted children.  The tall divorcee responded:  Well, I like children."

The Marquess chuckled:  "That's looking a bit far ahead -- after all, we're not married yet."

The conservative Times of London has not reported on the engagement , part from Lord Milford Haven's paid engagement announcement.  This is seen as a "snub of their relationship due to the apparent "disdain, which court circles feel towards the engagement of the marquis to a Reno divorcee."

One well-informed court source said: "I have never known this to happen before. The news of a forthcoming marriage involving a member of the royal family or even a titled family has always been either inserted in the court circular or high up in the news columns."

It is unlikely that any member of the royal family will attend the wedding.

David Michael, the 3rd Marquess of  Milford Haven, 30, is the son of George, the late 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven and Countess Nada Torby, a daughter of the late Grand Duke Michael of Russia.  His paternal grandmother is Victoria,  Marchioness of Milford Haven, is a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.  She lives at Kensington Palace.

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