Happy days: King Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson pictured at Balmoral with Kitty Rogers, left, whose villa near Cannes was used by Wallis Simpson as a refuge during the abdication crisis. It was from there that she heard Edward's speech on the radio

In splendid isolation: in the end the couple had no one to photograph but each other. Wallis Simpson, above left, manages a smile by the pool at Fort Belvedere, the King's country retreat which was the home of the Fast Set in the 1930s; a pensive Edward, above right, mindful perhaps of the impending debacle; nearby in Virginia Water, Wallis, left, with Slipper, the Cairn Terrier the King bought for her; and, right, Edward with Slipper and one of several pug dogs he possessed A chill descends: the shadow of the King falls across Wallis Simpson, left, wrapped in shawl and blanket against the autumn winds of 1936 as the abdication looms. Mrs Simpson and her Aunt Bessie, above right, who came from the United States to give moral support and, right, Aunt Bessie and the King The long lunch: as the church and the establishment became more vociferous in their criticism of the relationship between Wallis and Edward, the couple found themselves increasingly isolated at Fort Belvedere