WIN a Copy of Before Wallis: Edward VIII’s Other Women

Before Wallis: Edward VIII's Other Women
Before Wallis: Edward VIII's Other Women


The intense romance between King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, which led to his abdication, is well known. But Wallis was not his first or only love. Three other women – Rosemary, Freda and Thelma – each could have changed the course of history. They challenge the legend that Wallis was the greatest love of Edward’s life and the only woman he wanted to marry.

Before Wallis reveals for the first time the lives of these captivating women and their impact on the heir to the throne during his formative years. Rosemary Leveson Gower would have made the perfect match for a future king – but the queen consort disapproved of her mother’s ‘racy’ side and the relationship fizzled out.

By 1918 Edward had fallen as deeply in love with Freda Dudley Ward as any man could fall, writing to her: “If you knew how deeply and truly I loved you to the exclusion of all else in the world – you could not be unhappy.”

Freda, a married mother of two with another lover on the side, exerted a pull almost equal to Wallis over Edward for sixteen years, but abided by the rules of the game and knew she would never marry him.

Then there was Thelma Furness, his twice-married American mistress, who enjoyed a domestic life with him but also knew it could not last forever and fatefully introduced him to Wallis.

Through hundreds of love letters, contemporary accounts, and the Duke of Windsor’s will (opened by the High Court for the first time for this book), historian Rachel Trethewey offers fascinating insights into Edward’s behaviour.

In Before Wallis she explores one of the great ‘might have beens’ of British history and questions if Edward really wanted to be King at all.

Before Wallis: Edward VIII’s Other Women is published by The History Press and we have five copies to give away to lucky Royal Life readers. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning one is to answer this very simple question:

After his abdication, Edward was created Duke of Windsor. He married Wallis on 3 June 1937, but in what country?

A: England
B: Italy
C: France

Please fill out the form below to enter the competition:

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Remember to include your name, address, email and contact number. The competition deadline is 30th June 2020. The winner will be selected at random and revealed in issue 49, and on the Royal Life Facebook page.