Expert on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor Fascinates Audience at The Redwood Library

René Silvin speaks with guests


With the current speculation about the romance between a Royal and a divorced commoner, the twentieth century drama of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor suddenly becomes more contemporary, more relevant, more alive.

Virginia Smith & friend

The world is watching the course of the relationship of Prince Harry and actress Megan Markle. We cannot help but harken back to the turbulent romance, and the abdication of The Duke to marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.  Theirs was a story of Shakespearean proportions, and its turbulent history  came to vivid life at The Redwood Library, when author and book publisher Richard René Silvin brought a priceless collection of slides to tell the Wagnerian tale in detail ( think Tristan and Isolde).
 

Dr. Robert Versteeg, Rene Silvin & Ford Ballard


To a completely overflowing house, Mr. Silvin (who had actually met the Duchess), recounted the early life of the Duke, his military service, and his meeting with Mrs. Simpson.  When he became King Edward VIII, marriage to a divorcée was against the Church of England's rules, and he chose abdication to marry the woman he loved.  The Royal Family would not recognize or meet her for an overlong time, although King George VI created the title Duchess of Windsor.

Ellen Barnes, Mary Shepard & Anna Templeton-Cohill

Moving to the continent, France, then to the Bahamas (Where the Duke became Governor), and then to Palm Beach and New York, these Royals created a fascinating presence and wake. Sought after in Palm Beach society, and the Duchess subsequently becoming a member of New York society, she was finally accepted by the royal family and met Queen Elizabeth II in l967.  The titles were retired upon the death of the principals, and there will never be another Duke or Duchess of Windsor.

David & Carol Brodsky check in


Her Paris couturier, Hubert de Givenchy, called the Duchess “four pins”, as "everything was perfect, nothing was out of place”,t hat was all it took to fit her clothing. And she was the darling of vendors and jewelers.

Through charming anecdotes and period slides, the whole story lived again.

 


After the lecture, Mr. Silvin spoke with guests, and graciously signed copies of one of his books, "Noblesse Oblige", talking about the Duke and Duchess’ visit to Newport as guests of Bob and Anita Young at their mansion, Fairholme.

 

Seen were Ford Ballard, Mary and Doug Riggs (who introduced the speaker, Amaro Temptleton Cohill, David and Carolyn Brodsky, and Dale Clark


                                                                       —Linda Phillips

Slide Images courtesy of Silvin Books & Productions.  For further information, go to www.rrsilvin.com

The Harrison Room pre-lecture

 

Friend & Mary Riggs

 

Waiting for the speaker

 

Mr. Silvin being introduced by Doug Riggs before his presentation

 

The Duke's young life

 

Prince of Wales leaving on the Renown during a world tour

 

Early images of Wallis Simpson

 

The audience overflowed into the Library

 

Wallis & Edward become a couple

 

The yacht Nahlin the Windsors used to the cruise the Mediterranean

 

The tabloids followed the romance

 

Time Magazine’s first Woman of the year.

 

At the Rothschild's outside Vienna, Austria

 

Chateau de Cande where they were married, with 7 in attendance

 

Their small hideaway in Cap d'Antibes, France

 

War comes to Europe

 

The Duke serves as Governor of The Bahamas

 

Hubert de Givenchy comments on fitting the Duchess

 

King George VI

 

An interview with Edward R. Murrow in New York

 

Happily settled in Palm Beach

 

Meeting the Queen at Marboro House

 

With the Queen at Marlboro House

 

Posing with President & Pat Nixon at The White House

 

An Impromptu interview at Le Bois

 

With Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth & Prince Charles

 

The Duchess' last trip to New York

 

The Duchess' last known outing

 

Interred next to her husband,

 

John Primiano & Dick Brickley

 

Mr. Silvin discusses his book with a guest

 

Mr. Silvin with a photo of The Duke & Duchess in Newport at Fairholme

 

Railroad tycoon Robert Young and wife Anita (siser of painter Georgia O'Keeefe) entertain the Windors in Newport, late 1950's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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