Belfast Telegraph

Wedding day photos of King Edward and Wallis Simpson make £11,400

By Laura Elston

Previously unseen photographs of the wedding of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson have sold for more than £11,400.

As the 80th anniversary of the Duke's abdication as King Edward VIII approaches, the rare black and white images were the subject of furious bidding at auction. The 17 photographs taken at the remote Chateau de Cande, near Tours, France, on June 3, 1937 included pictures of the bride and groom, their wedding guests, the wedding breakfast table, the ceremony room with chairs placed ready, the floral arrangements by Constance Spry and a seven-tier wedding cake.

They were expected to fetch between £4,000 and £6,000, but went for £11,408, including buyer's premium, to an unnamed absentee bidder, who left their highest price with the auctioneer.

Few guests were invited to the private nuptials of the former king and the woman for whom he gave up the throne - and no members of the royal family attended.

Edward VIII abdicated in December 1936 to be with American divorcee Mrs Simpson, leaving his brother, the Duke of York - the Queen's father - to take over as George VI.

It sparked a constitutional crisis and rocked the British monarchy to the core.

The unofficial photographer behind the images was Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, wife of the Duke's best man 'Fruity' Metcalfe.

She took the images on a "rogue camera" and later presented special sets to those who attended the ceremony.

Denise Kelly, of Bellmans Auctioneers in Sussex, said: "The photographs under the hammer at Bellmans are of the greatest rarity."

Belfast Telegraph

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