The Duke's influence on men's fashion throughout the Western hemisphere is undeniable and it is highly likely that there are a number of bucks in your life who loaf about town entirely ignorant that they are wearing the togs that he first introduced.
The attached is a 1950 article from an American fashion trade magazine that lists a number of fashion innovations first sported by the Duke of Windsor, illustrated by seven photos.
"The Prince of Wales, to quote a conservative peer of the realm, day by day is getting commoner and commoner. There are even those who consider him a dangerous radical. But that doesn't bother the prince. Unperturbed, he continues to fraternize with his unennobled subjects and to defend their interests - hotly and sometimes profanely."
An interesting little excerpt from a much longer article revealed that the Windsors preferred gazing at their own newsreel footage for thirty minutes each night rather than gawk at the current movie offerings of the day:
"From their 16mm films of themselves, extra prints were made and rushed to England, where the Duke and Duchess of Kent and other friends and admirers of the exiled ex-king devoured them from time to time."
If you would like to read the longer article, click here.
Perhaps, one day in that perfect world we seem to be rushing to, all cameras will automatically delete our blemishes, correct our tailoring flaws and add muscle tone as needed to each imperfect image; but until that time, we, like the Duke of Windsor and all manner of other celebrity, must rely on the charitable instincts of the "fourth estate". This article pertains to bad pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and the courtesy that was, for the most part, extended to them to make them appear just a little bit more "glam" than they otherwise appeared. The article is illustrated with one bad photograph and one "retouched" (Photoshopped) image of the couple, so that we might all know what the editors were up against:
"Immediately after their marriage Edward and Wally posed for the newsreels. When their pictures were flashed on American screens, Wally was seen to have a large mole on the left side of her face and the Duke stood revealed with a much-wrinkled and worried countenance..."
Eleven months after the abdication, mixed feelings prevailed as to which king was preferred, George VI or the exited brother, Edward VIII:
"King Edward was of my generation. I do not know how your parents feel about him, but I think I am right in saying that those of my generation feel that King Edward has let us down! Now let us stand and pray silently for two minutes for King George and Mr. Baldwin."
*Watch a Duke of Windsor Fim Clip*
Some editorial opinions concerning the bygone activities of one "Dave Windsor" authored by the assorted ink-stained wretches dwelling in both England and the United States.
"Many felt with George Bernard Shaw that Edward quit, 'simply and solely because he hates his job and has had enough of it.'
'What's the good of being Prince if I can't do as I like?' he protested as a youngster after riding his bicycle across his fathers geranium bed. Innumerable incidents supported the popular impression that as Prince of Wales he had not looked forward to kingship with pleasure. Once in a Paris club, he was asked by an American:
'How shall I behave here?'
'Like a human-being.' The answer roused his quick smile, - but just then a Britisher came up, bowed from the waist.
'How can I?' Edward sighed."
At the end of the day, history will remember him simply as one of the most henpecked husband to ever walk the earth.