Rare photos of Edward & Mrs Simpson Auctioned

Rare photos from Duke of Windsors wedding to Wallis Simpson go up for auction in Sussex today.

Previously unseen photographs of the wedding of the Duke of Windsor to Wallis Simpson are to go under the hammer today.

Seventeen black and white images taken at the remote Chateau de Cande, near Tours, France, on June 3 1937 include pictures of the bride and groom, their wedding guests, the wedding breakfast table, the ceremony room with chairs placed ready, the floral arrangements by Constance Spry and a seven-tier wedding cake.

They are expected to fetch up to #6,000.

Few guests were invited to the low key, private nuptials of the former king and the woman for whom he gave up the throne - and no members of the Royal Family attended.

Edward VIII abdicated in December 1936 - 80 years ago next month - to be with American divorcee Mrs Simpson, leaving his brother the Duke of York - the Queen's father - to take over as George VI.

It sparked a constitutional crisis and rocked the British monarchy to the core.

The unofficial photographer behind the images was Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, wife of the Duke's best man ``Fruity'' Metcalfe. She took the images on a ``rogue camera'' and later presented sets to those who attended the ceremony.

Denise Kelly, of Bellmans Auctioneers, said: ``The photographs under the hammer at Bellmans are of the greatest rarity - not least because of the use of a rogue camera at such an event; until quite recently, guests at most social events would have been happy with the pictures provided by an official photographer.

``It is unusual to receive consignments of any such private royal photographs, but having 17 of them in one lot, which represent the king who gave away his Empire for the woman he loved, is extraordinary.''

The auction will be held at Bellmans Auctioneers in Sussex.

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