A king, two divorces and a wedding: Who was Wallis Simpson?

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 11:28 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 10:48 AM

What Happened The Last Time A Member Of The Royal Family Married An American Divorcee?

Kensington Palace announced Tuesday that Meghan Markle will be baptized into the Church of England prior to her May wedding to Prince Harry.

The wedding will take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the Palace announced, answering a question some had as to whether Markle and the prince could be married in a church service considering she is divorced.

It’s not the first time that question has been asked concerning a British royal and his American financee.

The same question was asked 81 years ago when King Edward III’s  desire to marry a divorced American led him to give up the throne.

Here’s the what happened when Edward and the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson met, fell in love and married.

Who was Wallis Simpson?

Wallis Simpson was an American living in England in the 1930s with her second husband, Ernest Aldrich Simpson. She and her husband, a shipping executive, began moving in the same circles as Edward, who was then the Prince of Wales.

Simpson was introduced to the prince at Burrough Court on Jan. 10, 1931 by Thelma, Lady Furness, who was having an affair with Edward. By 1934, Simpson allegedly had replaced Lady Furness as the prince's mistress. Simpson was still married at the time.

The course of the relationship

By the end of 1934, Edward and Simpson were in love with each other. Edwards parents were upset at his dalliances with Simpson. Edward holidayed with Simpson, despite the fact she was still married.

In 1936, George V, Edward’s father, died and Edward ascended to the throne of England. It became clear that Edward wanted to marry Simpson, and factions of the British government began to align against him.

The problem with marriage

At the time, the Church of England refused to remarry divorced people if their ex-spouse was still living. The monarch is the head of the Church or England, so Edward was in a tight spot. Remember, Simpson had been divorced once and was on the way to her second divorce in order to marry Edward. 

Simpson filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery, the only reason the Church of England recognized as a legitimate reason for divorce. The decree nisi -- a court order that does not have any force unless a particular condition is met – was granted on Oct. 27, 1936. The couple officially divorced in May 1937.

Looking for a solution

Edward wanted to be king but wanted to be able to marry Simpson as well, so he sought the advice of Stanley Baldwin, the British prime minister. He went to Baldwin with a deal – allow him to remain king and marry, and Simpson would not be made queen. Baldwin did not go along with the deal.

The decision to abdicate

Realizing he did not enjoy support from either side of the British government, and that the scandal over the affair with a married woman was damaging the monarchy, Edward made the decision to give up the throne. 

Meanwhile, Simpson, under constant criticism and pressure, had left England, and in early December released a statement saying she would give up Edward to save the integrity of the monarchy. Edward rejected Simpson’s offer, and three days later, on Dec. 10, 1936, Edward signed the Instrument of Abdication giving up the throne to his brother. 

The next day he addressed the nation saying, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love." 

The couple married six months later.

What does all that have to do with Harry and Meghan?

The two cases are different for sure. Harry is fifth in line for the British throne, and Edward was a sitting king. 

Kensington Palace has confirmed that Harry and Markle will marry in May 2018. The couple will be married in a church wedding at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. 

That would not have been the case before 2002. That was because until that time, the Church of England did not allow divorced people to remarry if their ex-spouse was still alive. According to an announcement from Kensington Palace, Markle, 36, will become a British citizen and will be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England before the wedding.

Sources: Biography.com; Wikipedia; The Associated Press

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Chinese food delivery man fights off robbers, police say

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 6:47 PM

File photo.  (Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo Illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Chinese food delivery man fought off a gun-wielding attacker who tried to rob him on Monday in an apartment building’s stairway landing, according to police. 

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Police are still searching for the suspects who placed a fake $31.85 order from Peking Kitchen to lure the deliverer to the building, according to the New York Daily News

“I was about to go downstairs and he pointed the gun at me, and he said, ‘Give us the money. I’m going to shoot you,’” deliveryman Saikou Tambajang, 56, told the Daily News. “He pointed the gun at my head. I threw a forearm into him so he wouldn’t shoot me.”

Tambajang, who makes deliveries to send money home to his family in Gambia, fought off the attackers, who fled without food or money. 

“I didn’t know what to do,” Tambajang told the Daily News. “It was the only way I could defend myself. Sometimes if you give them the money they shoot you anyway.”

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Local students, families take part in D.C. march against gun violence

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 3:34 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 3:34 PM

Students from Centerville High School and a family from Yellow Springs attended the March for our Lives rally in D.C.

Stephanie Cooper, 18, of Yellow Springs still remembers the first school shooting she ever heard about.

It was at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Twenty–six people died. Twenty of them were first–graders.

It was 2012. She was in middle school.

“To me it seems like it started happening more frequently after that,” Cooper said.

Lili Eiswas, a senior from Centerville, was at the D.C. march against gun violence on Saturday.

On Saturday, she and hundreds of thousands of fellow students descended on Washington, D.C. in hopes of reversing that trend, as a march organized by the students of Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, packed D.C. streets with protesters of all ages — but dominated by the young.

“If you listen real close you can hear the people in power shaking,” said David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla., who took video as he and his fellow students hid from the gunman who opened fire on the school last month, killing 17. “Inaction is no longer safe.”

“Fight for your lives,” said fellow student Emma Gonzalez, who stood silent for much of her time on the stage to depict the just over six minutes the shooter killed 17 in her high school. “Before it’s someone else’s job.”

The march was organized by Hogg and other students from Marjory Stoneman High School. But speakers — all young — represented students from Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. The oldest speaker was 19; the youngest, 11. Only the entertainment — which included Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and Lin–Manuel Miranda — were older.

Preliminary estimates put the crowd at about 500,000 people, making it the largest gathering to descend on Washington, D.C., since the January 2017 women’s march, which drew roughly the same number.

Megan Rose, a senior at Centerville High School, went to the march in D.C. Saturday. Says a flat tire on the bus couldn't keep her away.

While that march was billed as the women’s march, however, speakers at that march also talked about gay rights, Muslim rights and featured an amalgamation of causes. Saturday’s protest, however, was clearly and acutely focused on one issue: Stopping the mass shootings that have occurred around the nation, and ousting lawmakers who were unwilling to help stop those shootings by passing gun control legislation. But the protesters themselves didn’t look like a well-heeled special interest group; instead, it appeared as if a massive high school tour bus had suddenly dropped off thousands of passengers on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

“I am here to represent the African–American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news,” said Naomi Wadler, 11, of Alexandria, Va., who organized a walk–out and die–in on February 14 at her elementary school. “I represent African-American women who are victims of gun violence who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls who are full of potential.”

Wall–to–wall people crushed against one another inside police barricades, while outside, the streets were thick with young students, the elderly and parents pushing strollers. Similar rallies occurred in Columbus, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Parkland, Florida, as well as in other cities. Crowds also gathered in London, England; Frankfurt, Germany; and Sydney, Australia.

Among those in the crowd were Zach Dudzik, 19, an Ohio State freshman from Lakewood, Ohio, who decided to go after hearing the Parkland students characterized as “crisis actors.” He said he was outraged that people would not believe that students impacted by the issue could organize. “We deserve to have a voice and an impact on issues,” he said.

He said it feels like the shootings occur every week. “It’s really easy to be desensitized to it,” he said. “The fact that it happens so much shouldn’t make it less. It makes it worse.”

He traveled with Abi Norman, 19, an OSU sophomore also from Lakewood. She is studying to be a music teacher.

“I don’t want a gun,” she said. “I don’t want my coworkers to have guns.”

She said she has always felt safe at school, but the burden of the spate of mass shootings has taken a toll all the same.

“Every time I got to a movie theater, I’m checking every face. I’m always trying to be aware,” she said. “I don’t think that’s the way it should be.”

Megan Rose, 18, a senior at Centerville High School, said she participated in a walkout a couple of weeks ago.

“I was like, well what else can I do as a student?” she said. “And I thought why not come to Washington, D.C.”

Counter-protesters were present but rare. Two men standing in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue held signs. “When seconds count, police are minutes away,” one said. “I carry on campus,” the other sign read. “Teachers should too.”

“I respect you, but I think you’re wrong,” said a man as he walked by.

Among those navigating the crowd was Kris Knight of Gahanna, who brought his son Owen.

“It felt like it was the right time to get involved,” Knight said.

He brought his nine–year–old son so “he could see what young people were capable of doing when they really believed in something.”

“It was something he wanted to do,” he said. “It was something he felt strongly about.”

Elaine Zamonski of Kettering brought her daughters Mira, 8, Katherine, 11, Veronica, 14 and Veronica’s friend Alice, 14.

“I brought them because I wanted them to see that people’s voices have power,” she said. “In a conservative district like Kettering, they sometimes feel lonely in their views and rallies are inspiring.”

Before coming to the March for our Lives in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Barbara Carr of Buffalo, N.Y., sat down with a pink apron and painstakingly wrote out the names of every person who had died in a school shooting since the Columbine shootings in 1999.

Stephanie Cooper, 18, her mother Christina, father Robert and brother Peter, 15, at the march for our lives in Washington. They are from yellow springs(Washington Bureau)

A Sharpie pressed to the fabric, she wrote down more than 300 names. She wore those names on her back. She had to do her research, she said, in order to feel that she deserved to be there.

“It was hard,” she said, her eyes welling up as throngs of people crushed around her on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. “It was hard.”

Cooper, meanwhile, said she and her mother have had conversations. If there’s a mass shooting, her mother warns her, play dead if she can’t run.

“She gets really worried every time one happens,” she said, of the school shootings that have become a routine occurrence in her childhood.

On Saturday, she hoped those worries would translate to action.

“I just hope they realize that we’re the ones who are going to be voting them in the next couple of years,” she said of lawmakers. “So if they want to stay in power, they have to do what we ask them to do.”

(Jack Torry, Washington bureau chief, contributed to this report.)

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Naomi Wadler, age 11, delivers powerful message at March for Our Lives rally

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 2:33 PM

VIDEO: Scenes from March for Our Lives Rallies

An 11-year-old girl delivered a powerful message about gun violence at the March for Our Lives rally Saturday in the nation's capital.

Naomi Wadler, a fifth-grader at George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, focused her speech on the gun violence that African-American women face, and how often their stories go untold.

>> Read more trending news 

"I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don't make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don't lead the evening news," Wadler told the crowd.

"For far too long these names, these black girls and women have been just numbers. I'm here to say 'never again' for those girls, too," Wadler said.

Wadler rejected the notion that she was too young to understand the issue. "People have said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own. People have said that I am a tool of some nameless adult. It's not true," Wadler said.

"We know life isn't equal for everyone and we know what is right and wrong," Wadler said.

Her speech quickly began trending on Twitter.

Wadler also helped organize a walkout at her school to protest gun violence on March 14, the Fairfax County Times reported.

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Matthew McConaughey gives Austin’s ‘March for Our Lives’ rally the ole ‘all right, all right, all right’

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 5:40 PM

Matthew McConaughey speaks during the March for Our Lives rally in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Photo: Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman)
Matthew McConaughey speaks during the March for Our Lives rally in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Photo: Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman)

What’s an Austin event without Matthew McConaughey? The Austin edition of the “March for Our Lives” rally against gun violence brought out the city’s iconic Hollywood celebrity and his trademark “all right, all right, all right.” 

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“This is an American issue. It’s a Texan issue. It’s a legal and law-abiding gun owner issue. It’s a mother issue. It’s a father issue. And, quite literally, this is our children’s issue,” McConaughey said in concluding his remarks at the Texas Capitol. “My hope here is that we can find a common ground on what I see as very much a common-sense issue. This is an issue anchored in purpose for all of us. It’s not anchored in politics. God bless and just keep living.”

Austin is a part-time home for McConaughey, who often shows up at at University of Texas football games, charity fundraisers and other local events. On Saturday, he turned his attention to gun control.

“Let’s admit we have an epidemic in our country right now that we need to fix,” he told marchers, calling on assault gun owners to “take one for the team here and set it down.”

More specifically, he called for banning assault weapons for civilians, banning high-capacity magazines and closing loopholes in the current background check system. “Those are the three main stipulations, and for those three, I can say -- and you can say it with me -- all right, all right, all right.”

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