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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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A Wedding at Chateau de Cande

by Richard Vettese

Charles and Fern Bedaux eventually invited their friend, Wallis Simpson, to stay at their Chateau de Cande while the turmoil was going on. With her divorce finalized in May 1937, she and Edward reunited as guests at the Bedaux estate. Edward proposed to her, and they were married at the Chateau on June 3, 1937, with the famous English photographer Cecil Beaton documenting the event. No member of the British Royal Family attended. Edward and Wallis later received the titles, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

After their wedding, they left for a high-profile trip to Germany where they met with Hitler at his Berchtesgaden retreat. Hitler’s comment was that Wallis would have made a good Queen. This visit tended to corroborate the strong suspicions of many in government and society that the Duchess was a German agent, or at least a Nazi sympathizer. It was thought that both the Duke and Duchess continued to pass along information to high members of the German Government during the invasion of France. Perhaps, the true reason as to why Edward abdicated will not be known until the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and then more historical records can be revealed about the Constitutional Crisis in England in 1936 and the close relationships between Hitler’s Germany and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. 

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