Name at birth: Bessie Wallis Warfield
Wallis Simpson was the American divorcee for whom King Edward VIII gave up the throne of Great Britain. She met the future king (then Prince of Wales) early in the 1930s and a few years later they became lovers, though she remained married to her second husband, businessman Ernest Simpson. Matters came to a head when Edward became king in 1936. Simpson filed for divorce from her husband, but the royal family and the British government would not allow Edward to marry her. In December Edward stepped down as king, saying in a radio broadcast "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love." They were married in France on 3 June 1937, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and spent the rest of their lives in exile from England, living mainly in France and the United States. In 2003 the British government released documents showing that while she was involved with Edward in the years before he became king, Simpson also was having an affair with a London car dealer named Guy Trundle.
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