|Wallis with her Prince Charming on their wedding day|
There are two secrets Bessie Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson Windsor carried to her grave. The first is why she looked so unhappy in many of the photos taken of her with her husband Edward, Duke of Windsor and formerly King of England. And there were many taken of them together. In the happy candid snaps, romping with the dogs and/or each other, they look relaxed and adorable (dogs included). It's in the many formal, posed portraits that Wallis adopts a far away gaze and less than happy countenance. In the wedding pictures especially the poor woman looks as if she feels the noose tightening as the yoke slips in place. Why would she not be ecstatic that at last she will be with the man of her dreams who gave up the throne to be with her (not to mention the baubles that kept on coming)?
|Not much happier years later|
If the letters and Anne Sebba's conclusions are correct, Wallis spent almost fifty years in a role she had not willingly chosen and did not relish. Wallis played her part well. She could not have done it without being confident she had the resolve and resources to pull it off.
What I don't know, of course, is exactly where Wallis got her confidence— from her widowed mother who encouraged her daughter to pursue society life with neither pedigree, funds or looks? Did she take from Edward's utter devotion the confidence to maintain hers? What I do know is any woman who exudes confidence inspires others to be confident in them. If you act brave, you will be brave. If you act gracious, you will be gracious. And if you act beautiful, you will be beautiful.
Okay, class, got the lesson?
Expect to see a lot more about Wallis as Madonna's movie, "WE", comes to the screen. Supposedly it has a modern twist and is not completely about the Love Story of the Century. It will certainly start the discussion rolling about what was Wallis' power. Now you know.