British Press Reports Routine Divorce Case

Tuesday 27th October 1936

Divorce was still enough of a rarity for routine, undefended cases to be reported, albeit briefly and unsensationally, in national newspapers. There was nothing out of the ordinary in the way that the British newspapers covered the divorce hearing of Mrs. Ernest Simpson at Ipswich Crown Court, which alleged adultery between her husband and a woman not named in Court at the Hotel de Paris in Bray. The fact that she was represented by Norman Birkett KC, one of the country’s most prominent and expensive barristers might have suggested that there was something unusual about the case; it was a considerable expense to undertake for so simple a proceeding.

The British newspapers maintained a discreet but firm silence about Mrs. Simpson’s relationship with the King, the huge international press pack that had descended on Ipswich for the case and the Judge’s decision to hear the case before a closed Court.