The body of the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, was brought by royal escort to Windsor Castle yesterday, a place where she was not welcome in life. Her marriage to the duke, the man who gave up the throne for her, had made both of them outcasts from the royal family and from the former King Edward VIII's homeland.
Lord Airlie, the Lord Chamberlain and highest officer of the queen's household, and Air Marshall Sir Joseph Gilbert escorted the body of the duchess from her home in Paris, where she died Thursday at the age of 89, to Windsor. She will be buried tomorrow at Frogmore Gardens, next to her husband, who died in 1972. There will be no public viewing.
Imelda's Expensive Taste in Art
Imelda Marcos may know a lot about shoes, but she should have brought in an art expert. She apparently paid $3.5 million to an Italian art dealer for a painting she believed was by Michelangelo, but which unfortunately was the work of a lesser artist and worth at most several hundred thousand dollars.
Everett Fahy, director of the Frick Collection, told The New York Times that about 75 paintings acquired by Marcos, reportedly from the same dealer, Mario Bellini, and hanging in the Manila museum were not the works of Tintoretto, Canaletto and others of that esteem, as they were reported to be. It was not reported what was paid for those other paintings.
Actor and race car driver Gene Hackman narrowly escaped serious injury Saturday night during an endurance race when his car flipped over. He was about halfway through the six-hour event when his brakes locked at the Sears Point International Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. The 56-year-old star, who won an Academy Award for his role in "The French Connection," said it "felt funny to be driving along okay and then be hanging in the belt upside down with the fuel dripping all around. But as I said, I'm okay" . . .
Tomorrow is the 87th anniversary of the birth of Washington-born Duke Ellington, who died in 1974. There will be a special ceremony in honor of the prolific master composer and musician when the U.S. Postal Service issues an Ellington commemorative postage stamp and the Mercer Ellington Orchestra performs a set of Ellington standards. Later, a concert titled "A Celebration of the Sacred and Inspirational Music of Duke Ellington" will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City . . .
Baby book author Dr. Benjamin Spock didn't sugarcoat his words when he marched and spoke out against the Vietnam war and at 82 years old he hasn't mellowed. Speaking at Ball State University in Indiana Saturday, he described President Reagan as a "terrorist" who frightened children in the United States by ordering air strikes on Libya. He said reports of the death of Muammar Qaddafi's 15-month-old daughter made American children wonder if the president would order similar raids on their home towns . . .
The David Stockman wars continue. Speaking in Portland, Maine, over the weekend, Lyn Nofziger, who was President Reagan's former staff assistant for political affairs, described the former budget director as "instinctively dishonest." Referring to Stockman's book, "The Triumph of Politics: Why The Reagan Revolution Failed," Nofziger said it was Stockman who deceived the president when he wanted to raise taxes and Reagan resisted. "The fact that he was deliberately cooking those figures tells you there's something instinctively dishonest about him," he said . . .
Several of the theatrical celebrities who are in town for tonight's gala Helen Hayes Awards showed up last night at the Marquee Lounge of the Shoreham Hotel for "Forbidden Broadway," the musical satire of Broadway shows and stars that has been playing there since October. Helen Hayes came with Richard Coe, drama critic emeritus of The Washington Post. Also at the show were acting couple Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson and actress Eva Marie Saint and her husband, director Jeffrey Hayden . . .
The legendary jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd walked into the Four Seasons Hotel yesterday carrying his musical instrument. He went for the newly instituted New Orleans jazz brunch there and after he had eaten, decided to sit in for a while with his friends playing in the Tommy Cecil (bass) Trio with Wally Garner on clarinet and Larry Eanet on piano. Two of the numbers, "Get Happy" and "I've Got the World on a String," were written by and played in memory of the elegant, eloquent Harold Arlen, who died last week . . .