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Wallis Simpson: The Secret Letters

Airs Monday, December 23, 2013 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Wallis Simpson

For the past 75 years, Wallis Simpson has been cast as the scarlet woman of 20th century British history – the siren who seduced Edward VIII and caused him to give up his throne.

Courtesy of American Public Television

Wallis Simpson

The king's desire to marry this American woman with two living ex-husbands nearly caused a constitutional crisis in the United Kingdom. The Church of England, with the king as its figurehead, restricted Edward from marrying a divorcee with a living ex-spouse. The matter ultimately led to his abdication in December 1936 so he could marry "the woman I love."

But a trove of secret letters in "Wallis Simpson: Secret Letters," suggest that the story of their infamous marriage may not be entirely factual. The documents, shown in this film for the first time, include 15 letters written by Wallis Simpson around the time of the abdication.

These extraordinary personal missives have the power to rewrite both history and our perception of Wallis. They reveal she was still deeply in love with her husband, and chart her fear, desperation and loneliness as she found herself becoming trapped into marrying Edward.

Video

Wallis Simpson: The Secret Letters Preview

Above: For the past 75 years, Wallis Simpson has been cast as the scarlet woman of 20th century British history – the siren who seduced Edward VIII and caused him to give up his throne. But a trove of secret letters in "Wallis Simpson: Secret Letters," suggest that the story of their infamous marriage may not be entirely factual.

Comments

Avatar for user 'frenchpm'

frenchpm | December 23, 2013 at 1:17 p.m. ― 10 months, 1 week ago

I was disappointed that this program is not scheduled as indicated for Monday 12/23/13 at 9pm. When will it be scheduled?

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Avatar for user 'southport64'

southport64 | December 25, 2013 at 2:50 p.m. ― 10 months, 1 week ago

Just heard from a friend about "Wallis Simpson The Secret Letters" that was aired on KPBS earlier this week. If only it had been listed both online and the daily newspaper I would have watched. Will it be re-aired? And if so,when? I would dearly like to view this program

( | suggest removal )