The Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, was buried alongside her husband on this day in 1986.
Simpson was an American socialite in her second marriage when she met her future husband at a party. She became his mistress. It became clear that he intended to marry her as soon as her second divorce was complete, sparking a massive scandal in Britain now known as the “abdication crisis.”
Church of England leaders and the British establishment maintained that the king could not marry a divorced woman who still had two living ex-husbands. The king’s government ministers concurred and found Wallis’s personal behavior unacceptable. In addition, many Britons were reluctant to accept an American as their queen.
Wallis fled to France during this time to avoid heavy press coverage. On December 11, 1936, Edward delivered a BBC broadcast saying he could not do his job without the support of “the woman I love.”
King Edward VIII abdicated his throne to be with her; the couple was married on June 3, 1937.
The king’s decision to leave his throne for Wallis Simpson changed British history. His brother, George VI, succeeded him to the throne and led Great Britain through World War II. Upon his death in 1952, he was succeeded by his oldest daughter, Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth II, now ninety-four years old, is the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
The king who abdicated his throne for the one he loved
Scripture tells of another monarch who left his throne out of love. Paul described this event: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5–8).
Wallis Simpson knew that her husband loved her because he abdicated his throne for her. Despite the pandemic and any other challenge you face today, know that Jesus did the same for you.
Scripture says that you and I are the “bride” of Christ (cf. Revelation 19:7). When you made Jesus your Lord, you “married” him forever. You will spend eternity with him in his Father’s paradise (Luke 23:43).
Famed Bible commentator Matthew Henry: “Come and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, his agonies thy repose, his conflicts thy conquests, his groans thy songs, his pains thy ease, his shame thy glory, his death thy life, his sufferings thy salvation.”
The next time you wonder if Jesus loves you, turn to the cross.