Queen Elizabeth Reportedly Denied King Edward VIII's Dying Wish

Her uncle had one very simple request and she said no.

Fans of Netflix's The Crown are undoubtedly very familiar with the story of Queen Elizabeth paying a visit to Villa Windsor back in May 1972. It was when the queen saw her uncle, King Edward VIII, right before his death. But there was much more to the story than that, and according to his nurse, Elizabeth didn't grant Edward's dying wish, which was to have his wife, Wallis Simpson, honored with the HRH (her royal highness) title. The revelation came to light when King Edward's former nurse Julie Alexander shared her story in The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor, a new documentary airing on ITVX on Apr. 20.

"He was terribly sick. He couldn't have weighed — maybe 80 pounds, if that, and wasn't eating at all," Alexander said of Edward's declining health. And even though the situation was dire, she added that he was "very, very concerned about his appearance" and "insisted that he'd be sitting up in a chair, not in bed, and wearing clothes to hide any tubes, like intravenous tubes he had."

Queen Elizabeth II

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When Elizabeth made the trip to Paris to see him, he asked for Simpson to have the HRH title, but it would never end up happening.

"The queen said no. She said no, even on that sad day," Alexander said in The Real Crown. "It was, you know, breaking his heart, I think. That's what he wanted. That's what he wanted, that title for her. Not having that title for his wife was a slap in his face."

Queen Elizabeth II

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It wasn't the only account of the incident shown in the documentary. George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, made an appearance in the show to offer more details.

"The king chose to put his marriage before the monarchy. That forced this crisis upon our nation, upon his brother. We have to understand that background, I think, to understand the queen," he said.

It all played out in real life and in a less-real way in the fifth season of The Crown. Of course, fans would be forgiven if they forgot that specific moment, as the season also included the very public separation between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. 

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