The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor

(1896-1986), Wife of Duke of Windsor

Sitter in 199 portraits
Born Bessie Wallis Warfield in Pennsylvania, she married Earl Winfield Spencer, Jr in 1916. Divorced in 1927, she married Ernest Simpson in 1928. They met Edward, Prince of Wales in London in 1931. When the Prince became king, his insistence on marrying the twice-divorced American precipitated a constitutional crisis that led to his abdication in 1936. He was created Duke of Windsor and the couple married soon after, settling in Paris after the war.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

Tell us More

3 Likes voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, by Bertram Park - NPG P332

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor

by Bertram Park
chlorobromide cream-toned print, 1931
NPG P332

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, by Dorothy Wilding - NPG P870(15)

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor

by Dorothy Wilding
chlorobromide print on tissue and card mount, 1935
NPG P870(15)

Wallis at the Window, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P263

Wallis at the Window

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 2 June 1937
NPG P263

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, by Irving Penn - NPG P604

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor

by Irving Penn
bromide print, 1948
NPG P604

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.


03 February 2017, 01:11

Her name is not Elizabeth Wallis Warfield, it is Bessie Wallis Warfield. Named after her aunt Bessie, and not short for Elizabeth.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.

Visit From Your Armchair

Self-portrait as My Father from the series Encounter  by Silvia Rosi © Silvia Rosi

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

An online exhibition celebrating the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

Visit now

Hold Still

Hold Still

Explore our community photography project, which presents a personal record of the UK during lockdown.

Explore the exhibition

Margaret Thatcher by Spitting Images Productions Ltd painted plastic, 1985

Sculptures in 360°

See sculptures and fascinating objects from our Collection from all angles.

View the 360s

David Hockney: Drawing from Life

Watch highlights from our special exhibition, which had to close early in March 2020 due to lockdown.

See the video