Monday, 28 October 2013

Monday Marvels: Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet

This beauty was one of the most expensive pieces of jewelry ever sold at auction ($12.4 million, Sotheby’s). The new owner is rumored to be Madonna.

The onyx and diamond bracelet once adorned the wrist of the infamous Wallis Simpson, who received it as a gift from the former King Edward VIII while they were living in exile in Paris. Why were they exiled?

Well…Wallis Simpson was a notable socialite who was already divorced and still married to her second husband when she met the then Prince of Wales. Things really came to a head in 1936 when Edward became King. Wallis divorced her second husband later that year, but the King was not permitted to marry her due to Church law. Until 2002, one could not remarry in the Church of England if one’s former spouse was still alive. In order to be able to marry her, Edward abdicated the throne in December of 1936; they were married in June 1937. Needless to say, the two were not particularly popular in England after that, and they spent most of the time leading up to World War II exiled in France.

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