MAIL ON LINE
By LUCY CROSSLEY
PUBLISHED: 09:11 EST, 8 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:05 EST, 8 December 2013
Downton Abbey will dramatise Edward VIII's first love affair with a married woman, five years before he met Wallis Simpson as part of the programme's Christmas special.
The future King's affair with socialite Freda Dudley Ward has been written into a storyline, which sees Downton character Lady Rose presented at Buckingham Palace for her coming out.
During the episode Lady Rose, played by Lily James, is seen dancing in the arms of Prince Edward, who later became Edward VIII before abdicating to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Mrs Dudley Ward had already been married for five years and had two daughters by her husband, Liberal MP William Dudley Ward, who was 16 years older than her. Her husband apparently turned a blind eye to the affair, although the relationship was well-known to aristocrats and politicians.
When the prince met Mrs Simpson, he abruptly severed all ties to his former love. In a call to the Palace in 1934, Mrs Dudley Ward was told by an operator: 'I have orders not to put you through.'
Mr and Mrs Dudley Ward divorced in 1931. Her second marriage to Spanish nobleman the Marques de Casa Maury, who she married in October 1937 also ended in divorce in 1954. She died in 1983, at 88, and never spoke of the affair.
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