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The late Queen allegedly 'broke' her uncle Edward's heart days before his death

Her Majesty denied the Duke of Windsor's dying wish

The late Queen Elizabeth II
Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
11 April 2023
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The late Queen allegedly denied her uncle Edward VIII's dying wish days before his death, according to the Duke of Windsor's former nurse.

In a new documentary titled The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor, the late Duke's nurse, Julie Alexander, explained how Queen Elizabeth II rejected Edward's request to grant his wife Wallis Simpson an HRH title.

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Shedding a light on Edward's heartbreak, Julie explained: "It was, you know, breaking his heart, I think."

She went on to say: "That's all he wanted... that title for her [Wallis]. Not having that title for his wife was a slap in his face." 

Princess Elizabeth with her uncle Edward during a visit to Balmoral© Getty
Princess Elizabeth with her uncle Edward

Reflecting on the Queen's 1972 visit, not long before Edward's death, Julie revealed: "He was terribly sick. He couldn't have weighed - maybe 80 lbs, if that... wasn't eating at all."

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She continued: "The Duke was very, very concerned about his appearance but he insisted that he'd be sitting up in the chair, not in bed, and wearing clothes to hide any tubes." 

The Duke of Windsor sitting a desk strew with papers© Getty
The Duke of Windsor abdicated the throne in 1936

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. At the time, their marriage sparked a strong reaction within the royal family.

Edward's reign in 1936 only lasted ten months, following his decision to abdicate so he could marry Wallis, who became known as the Duchess of Windsor. No members of the royal family attended the nuptials in France.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor after their wedding in France© Getty
The couple tied the knot in 1937

Despite marrying for love, both Edward and Wallis were effectively exiled by the Firm. The once future King only returned to England a handful of times, most notably to attend two royal funerals: that of his brother in 1952, and later for his mother Queen Mary in 1953.

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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.

The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor is set to land on ITVX on 20 April.  

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