I don't often come across photos of the Duchess of Windsor that I haven't seen before, so I was particularly excited when I stumbled upon a set of rare photos of young Wallis Simpson at Bryanston Court, her London home, before the abdication. These images, which were originally published by Weekly Illustrated in 1936, give a rare glimpse at Wallis' life and style before she became a royal Duchess.
Syrie Maugham was a friend and a huge source of inspiration for Wallis in decorating Bryanston Court. Syrie's influence was especially felt in the dining room, with the metallic drapes and large mirrored table.
Floral arrangements by Constance Spry were in every room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for Wallis to host her renowned cocktail gatherings and lavish Southern dinners, two of the American traditions that Prince Edward delighted in. Other notable guests at Bryanston Court have included Cecil Beaton, Lady Emerald Cunard, Henry "Chips" Channon and Diana Guinness.