Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson: Unique wedding photographs up for auction

PUBLISHED: 09:25 25 November 2016


This November, the Bellmans Auctioneers Sussex Saleroom are offering for sale a collection of candid photographs from the wedding of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, which will go under the hammer on Wednesday 30 November.

Lot 1339 comprises a group of seventeen original photographs, catalogued as showing ‘the marriage of Edward, Duke of Windsor to Mrs Wallis Simpson, 3 June 1937, at the Chateau de Cande, Near Tours’. The black and white images include the library and music room (for the civil and religious ceremonies), several of the couple with their guests assembled on the Chateau’s upper terrace, two of the wedding breakfast table (one with seated guests), and some showing the floral arrangements (by Constance Spry - her wedding gift to Wallis). The lot has been attracting local, national and international interest, and is estimated to realise £4,000-6,000.

Apart from a total boycott by the British Monarchy, very few of the other invited guests attended. Five reporters were assigned to cover the event, almost outnumbering the guests.

All those present at the wedding were later gifted with the same set of photographs taken by Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, wife of the Duke’s friend ‘Fruity’ Metcalfe and, with this is mind, Denise Kelly of Bellmans’ Antiquarian Books and Ephemera department, who received and catalogued the lot, comments: “The photographs under the hammer at Bellmans are of the greatest rarity - not least because of the use of a ‘rogue’ camera at such an event; until quite recently, guests at most social events would have been happy with the pictures provided by an ‘official’ photographer.”

The entire auction is on view from Friday 25 November, and will be fully illustrated online from Tuesday 22 November. Online bidding is available via the-saleroom.com. For more information and to register your interest, contact Bellmans Auctioneers Sussex Saleroom directly on 01403 700858, or email enquiries@bellmans.co.uk.

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