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History Rewind: The Duchess of Windsor laid to rest

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor

On 29 April 1986 The Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson was buried alongside her husband, The Duke of Windsor at Frogmore in Windsor. The Duchess was buried in an English oak coffin that contained a silver inscribed plate stating, “Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, 1896-1986”.

St George’s Chapel held the rather simple funeral mass. Flags were flown at half-staff but there was none of the traditional and ceremony which is par for the course for a royal funeral.

The Royal contingent was led by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Joining them were the Prince of Wales, Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and other members of the Royal Family. Additionally, 100 guests were in attendance including then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and Mr. Thatcher.

In agreement with the Duchess’s wishes, there was no funeral address. The service made no mention of her name, her marriage or anything related to her life. It was rather general in nature. There were a scant amount of flowers. The most noticeable was the wreath of yellow, orange and white lilies from Her Majesty that were placed on the coffin.

Only The Queen, Prince Philip, Charles and Diana were present for the lowering of the coffin which was under a spreading plane tree where the Duke of Windsor, former King Edward VIII was buried in 1972. The Royal family was joined by friends of the Duchess from her time living in Paris.

The Queen Mother did not appear at the burial per the choice of Her Majesty. She was understood to have had a problematic association with the Duchess. Thrust into being sovereign after Edward VIII’s abdication, she felt her husband King George VI died too young due to the stress of being king.

photo credit: auntie rain via photopin cc

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