Prince Philip didn't agree with Queen Elizabeth II when it came to first impressions of Meghan Markle in 2017. The late consort was said to have been skeptical of the actress from the very start, and even nicknamed her "DoW" — the initials for the Duchess of Windsor.
Wallis Simpson is credited in history as the twice-divorced American socialite who allegedly caused the King of Great Britain to renounce his throne simply to be with her. The former King Edward VIII, styled as the Duke of Windsor in 1937 after his abdication, lived with Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, in Paris, France, in "exile" after the colossal scandal of his resignation.
Philip's apprehensions about his soon-to-be granddaughter-in-law are recounted in royal expert Ingrid Seward's new book, My Mother and I. "One of the few wary of succumbing to her charm offensive, however, was Prince Philip," Seward wrote. "While the Queen continued to champion Harry’s new love, he warned his wife to be cautious. It was uncanny, he told her, how much Meghan reminded him of the Duchess of Windsor."
She continued: "He wasn’t simply referring to the fact that both were pencil-slim, dark-haired and glamorous American divorcees. There was a wealth of subtext in his barbed remark."
Seward further observed how the late Duke of Edinburgh "detected her apparent similarity to Wallis, he referred to her as DoW (short for Duchess of Windsor)."
Edward VIII's abdication, which was the only voluntary resignation of the throne in 1,200 years of monarchy, brought Elizabeth II's father and Edward's younger brother, to the throne as King George VI. The royals forever blamed Edward and Wallis for causing stress to the King, who died from lung cancer complications affecting his heart in early 1952. His eldest daughter became Queen Elizabeth II, which was bound to happen either way since the exiled couple never had children.
As the nominal head of the Church of England, which at the time didn't allow divorced people to remarry in the church if their former spouses were still alive, Edward was forbidden from marrying the Pennsylvania-born Simpson if he wished to remain on the throne he inherited in January 1936.
It didn't help that the jewel-loving Simpson had a racy past. Joseph Kennedy, the American ambassador to Great Britain at the time, described her as a "tart," and his wife, Rose, refused to dine with her. Even future Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, doubted Simpson's intentions.
Harry and Meghan's monetized attacks on the monarchy remind numerous royal historians and analysts of Edward and Wallis, which based on Meghan's Wallis-inspired choice of dress in the 2021 Oprah interview, is likely a compliment to them.
Daily Express reported on excerpts from Seward's book.