King Edward VIII (born June 23, 1894) abdicated the British throne after reigning for less than a year, from January 20, 1936 to December 11, 1936. He had caused an uproar both in the government and among the public when he proposed marriage to the American divorcée (she had already been married twice) Wallis Simpson. Edward decided to give up his throne so he could marry the woman he wanted. His younger brother, George VI, would be crowned as the new monarch. Edward had only served 325 days in that role. He was given the title of Duke of Windsor by his brother on March 8, 1937. Edward and Wallis were married on June 3, 1937. Wallis would be known as the Duchess of Windsor, but could not be referred to as Her Royal Highness.
The Duke of Windsor was stationed in France during World War II. He and his wife were rumored to have Nazi sympathies. Edward was eventually sent to the Bahamas as the Governor there. It was his last official government post. He went into retirement after that, spending dividing his time between Europe and the United States. The Duke and Duchess were fixtures of the high society scene for many decades. He died at the age of 77 on May 28, 1972.
This post has more to do with the style of the Duke rather than his personal life, but I did want to give some background information on him for those that don't really know anything about him. Whatever his personal weaknesses and failings might have been, the Duke of Windsor was the epitome of great classic style. He was a fashion icon for men of his era. Edward used the same tailor for decades. His wardrobe itself spanned decades became he never lost the trim figure of his youth. I think it shows that style is timeless. It's not trendy. It's ageless and can be worn throughout the years. The Duke of Windsor remains an inspiration for men today who are seeking role models in men's style.
There is a wonderful article at the New York Times from 1998 about the Duke of Windsor' style. I hope you'll check it out. Here's an excerpt from it:
The Duke practically invented comfortable clothes. As Kerry Taylor, the Sotheby's specialist who has spent seven years preparing for this sale, explained, ''He was reacting to his buttoned-up and old-fashioned childhood.''
Ms. Taylor said the Duke so disliked suspenders that he invented pants with elastic in the waist. He didn't like buttons on pants, so insisted on zippers, which were large and primitive in the 1930's. He preferred buttons on the sleeves of his jackets -- four, to be precise. He always wore cuffs on his trousers, which infuriated his father. After World War II broke out, he had his pants made in the United States because textiles were rationed in England and cuffs required extra fabric.
The Duke was also very practical. He invented safari pants that could be turned into shorts simply by rolling them up and buttoning the cuffs to button holes on the hips.
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