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The Darkness of Wallis Simpson

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 28 December 2010

A play imagining the last days of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, the woman for whom King Edward VIII gave up the throne of England in 1936. Wallis is now 79 years old. Edward has been dead for fourteen years.

The play pivots upon a single dramatic conceit: that Wallis, now entering the darkness of approaching death, has forgotten every single thing about Edward. Her entire part in what an American journalist once called "the greatest story since the Resurrection" has completely gone from her mind. Other moments in her life she can vividly recall, but the world-shaking events at the heart of it are lost to her - apparently forever.

She lies bedridden in her house in Paris. A lawyer friend, Maitre Suzanne Blum has taken charge of her care. But, believing that Wallis has deliberately chosen to forget her "role in history", Blum is determined to force her to remember this vital bit of the past, before she dies.

Original Music by David Chilton

Producer: Gordon House
A Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 4.


Wallis Simpson
Elizabeth McGovern
Maitre Blum
Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes
Ernest Simpson
Joseph Kloska
Wallis' Mother
Barbara Barnes
Cecil Beaton
Nigel Anthony
Gordon House


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