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The surprising fact you may not have known about Wallis Simpson's wedding dress

The American divorcee married Edward VIII in 1937

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, married American divorcee Wallis Simpson on 3 June 1937 at the Château de Candé in Monts, France. The bride's wedding dress became one of the most iconic gowns of all time and you might be surprised to learn that it wasn't actually white, as per tradition.

Wallis wore a nipped-at-the-waist dress, created by Mainbocher, a fashion label founded by the American couturier Main Rousseau Bocher, based in Paris. The designer created the frock in her signature colour of "Wallis blue," which reportedly matched her eyes. The bride accessorised with a co-ordinating blue halo-shaped straw hat by Parisian milliner Caroline Reboux, while her bridal gloves were specifically designed to accommodate her emerald and diamond engagement ring. Wallis added the finishing touches to her bridal look with a sapphire and diamond brooch pinned at the neckline of the gown.

READ: Inside the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson's £6.8million Bahamas estate

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Wallis' gown was actually a custom shade of blue

The wedding dress inspired many royal brides at the time and still to this day. Wallis donated the gown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1950, but since then, a defect in the stability of the dye has caused the dress to lose its "Wallis" blue.

Edward's reign in 1936 only lasted ten months, following his decision to abdicate so he could marry American divorcee Wallis, who became known as the Duchess of Windsor. No members of the royal family attended the nuptials in France. Edward's abdication caused a constitutional crisis in Britain and he was succeeded to the throne by his younger brother, King George VI – the current Queen's father.

MORE: 21 of the most iconic – and expensive – royal wedding dresses in history

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Wallis and Edward lived in France for most of their married life

Edward and Wallis spent the remainder of their lives in France after the Second World War. The Duke died at his home in Paris before his 78th birthday and he was buried in the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore in Windsor. The Duchess died in 1986 and was buried alongside her husband.

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