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Millions of royal fans watched as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said “I do” during their fairytale wedding at St. George’s Chapel in 2018.
There was plenty to catch the eye, including the Duchess of Sussex’s simple silk Givenchy wedding dress.
But there was also something else worthy of attention: the Rolls Royce chose to take the bride to the ceremony.
An impressive burgundy Phantom IV in its own right, transporting Meghan and her mother Doria Ragland from the Cliveden House Hotel to St George’s Chapel, it had a rather unique history.
As was the case 46 years ago, it was used To convey to another American divorcee, the Duchess of Windsor, At the funeral of her husband, the Duke, in 1972.
Was there anything important about the selection? The comparison to the Duchess of Windsor, the figure at the heart of the abdication crisis, cannot be welcomed.
The Daily Mail’s Sebastian Shakespeare asked if it was a sadly bad taste joke.
Why would courtiers or aides want to play such a “joke”?
The answer may lie in the widely reported tensions before the wedding itself, with Harry and Meghan described as “acting like teenagers” in Valentine Law’s book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Throne.
Only 18 Phantom IVs were built by Rolls-Royce from 1950 to 1956. Other examples are in museums and other public collections.
It was built and delivered to the Queen in 1950 when she was still Princess Elizabeth.
The Duchess of Windsor remained a controversial figure until her death in 1986.
Edward VIII’s short reign ended with his abdication in 1936 after Stanley Baldwin’s government informed him in no uncertain terms that he would not be allowed to marry a divorced woman and remain king.
He went on air saying he couldn’t do the king’s job “without the help and support of the woman I love” – twice-divorced Wallis Simpson.
The couple married on June 3, 1937, at the Chateau de Candy in the Loire Valley, but no senior royals attended.
They became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
His departure forced his younger brother, the Duke of York, to ascend to become King George VI, creating a family wound that never healed.
The Queen Mother will blame both the Duke and Duchess of Windsor for tearing the family apart and driving George VI to an early death.
Once freed from the burden of responsibility, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor lived the life of the idle rich.
“Communicator. Music aficionado. Certified bacon trailblazer. Travel advocate. Subtly charming social media fanatic.”