Wallis and Edward ‘weren’t truly happy’ in their ‘theatrical’ villa

Wallis Simpson was 'exiled' when HRH was refused says expert

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King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, so his wife Wallis Simpson and the disgraced former monarch moved to France where they settled at their new address: 4 route du Champ d’Entraînement. What did it look like inside?

Property expert Joan Gair from Housetastic.co.uk, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the interiors of their French villa and why they were not as “restricted” compared to “ordinary private renters”.

She explained: “Wallis and Edward were renting 4 route du Champ d’Entraînement from the city of Paris for a nominal amount between the 1950s and 1980s. This meant there were few of the restrictions that ordinary private renters are subject to. So, Wallis was able to bring in an interior designer and decorate the place to her taste.”

Ms Gair argues that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as they were later known, tried their hardest to retain aspects of royalty within their home. She added: “In terms of the interior design, Wallis and Edward’s home was very much of an aristocratic style. One that you’d expect of someone brought up with a royal lifestyle.

“Their home was filled with luxurious and beautiful furnishings, with plenty of gold highlights and extravagant-looking materials, to make it feel regal and palatial. In fact, their rich colour palette and ornate furniture wouldn’t have looked out of place in any royal palace.”

The overall theme within Wallis and Edward’s interiors at their lavish villa was extremely “theatrical and overstated” according to the expert. Ms Gair clarified: “The overall theme to Wallis and Edward’s lavish interiors was a fine mix of classic French and English, stealing from Baroque and Georgian styles. So, it looks very theatrical and overstated.

“They decked their interiors with showy pieces of furniture and ornaments including porcelain vases and gold candlesticks, to make the whole villa scream wealth and status.”

Interiors Therapy expert Suzanne Roynon also spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to explain how Wallis and Edward’s “elegant rented mansion” was impacted by Feng Shui.

She stated: “The elegant rented mansion now known as ‘Villa Windsor’ was the long-term home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the former Edward VIII and his wife, American double-divorcee Wallis Simpson from 1953 until the death of the Duchess in 1986.

“The three-storey, 14-room house at 4 route du Champ d’Entraînement in the leafy Paris suburb of the Bois de Bologne, was built between 1858 and 1960.  As a leasehold property owned by the French government, it had many tenants with no one staying more than a few years.

“This is interesting from a Feng Shui perspective as it suggests occupants struggled to put down roots,” Ms Roynon claimed.  

She added: “The villa was designed with large-scale entertaining in mind which perfectly suited the Duchess’s grandiose ideas of a royal home. Wallis spent lavishly, recruiting the finest designers of the time to give the house an opulent makeover fit for a King.

“She wanted the Duke to feel like a King in his own home, despite the abdication, and no expense was spared to create a magnificent Parisian base for the Duke and Duchess and the many A-list guests who visited during the 1950s.”

However, despite the lavish surroundings, the house “wasn’t truly happy or healthy for either the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, or the subsequent tenant, Harrod’s owner Mohamed Al-Fayed,” Ms Roynon suggested.

She explained why this was, according to Feng Shui: “Looking at the Feng Shui, it has incredibly ‘Good for Money’ energy which will have increased the Duke and Duchess’s wealth and spending power. No one who lives in this house will ever struggle for money.” 

However, Ms Roynon claims the ‘Bad for People’ Feng Shui energy, will have put immense pressure on the couple and their staff.  Despite protestations that they were “very happy” Ms Roynon believes this was a mask. 

“There will have been constant underlying tension, which had the couple not spent six months of the year away travelling, may well have destroyed their marriage,” she said.

The expert claimed: “The ‘Bad for People’ energy has a detrimental effect on health and well-being too. By the late 1960s when the couple spent more of their time at the villa, the celebrity guests dried up, and the couple attracted ‘hangers on’ who took advantage of their hospitality. At this time the health of the Duke deteriorated.  He died from throat cancer in 1972, just 10 days after a visit from Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles.

“The house has an energy which encourages misunderstandings and disagreements between siblings, and certainly after the abdication, there was no question of forgiveness for the actions of the Duke and Duchess, despite his keen wish to return to Britain and be more involved with the monarchy.  

“So whilst the Villa in the Bois de Boulogne may have seemed at face value to be a palace in all but name for the ex-King and his Duchess, the fairytale went badly wrong. With thorough Feng Shui and some intense work, the negative energy of Villa Windsor could be balanced” Ms Roynon opined. 

The expert added: “While no one is living there, it doesn’t matter as much, but when the time comes for new tenants to take up residence, they would be well advised to take action to improve the positive vibes of Villa Windsor.”

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