Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Mystery of the Windsor Necktie Knot


The Windsor tie knot - unmistakable for its symmetry and
that wonderful dimple
A Love Story Like No Other, a King - a Would be Queen, and a Tie Knot Fashion Statement.

The Duke of Windsor was given credit for the stylish necktie knot that was so attractive it caused a fashion phenomenon so endearing that more than 75 years later it still has heads turning.  The most popular necktie knot "The Windsor Knot" was named after the Duke of Windsor against his wishes thanks to a romantic story that caught the world’s attention.  British folklore has it that his father King George V passed down this very stylish tie knot along with the crown jewels to the Royal Prince. However the origin of its popularity goes to handsome Duke of Windsor only because some very unique things happened when he became the King of England.


The Duke of Windsor tying the famous
knot is introduced to the world in 1936
In 1936, after just an eleven month reign as King of Britain, Edward the VIII abdicated his throne to marry Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson an American divorcee – a women he was rumored to been having an affair with.  The Church of England and the Royal opinion looked down on divorce and went against the King's decision to marry his love.  He was the head of the Church of England and no queen could be a divorcee. His will to violate the doctrines of the church he was head of created a crisis that swept the United Kingdom leaving Edward the VIII’s brother the Duke of York to take the throne becoming King George the VI.

The title of the Duke of Windsor was given to the vacating King by his brother in a show of respect.   Many in the United Kingdom were set aside by the dashing gentleman who captivated the world with his abdication of the throne for love.  Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson wary of the publicity had been in seclusion in a villa in France received hate mail as the political scandal became fact from rumor. Privately and later publicly she reveled that she had tried to appeal to Edward the VIII to give up his quest for love and to avoid the inevitable abdication.  There were numerous clandestine secret meetings and campaigns to bring the matter to a close which only fueled the media’s hunger.  The British press had abandoned its respect for the King and joined the world’s media trying to get the scoop on the paralyzing affair.  

In a public announcement that captivated the United Kingdom and the world, King Edward the VIII appealed to his subjects that his decision was unavoidable.  Finally he put to rest the hysteria with a resolution, "But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love."  With the statement carried over the radio on Dec 11, 1936 Edward the VIII became the first monarch in British history voluntarily abdicate the Royal Throne.  "I now quit altogether public affairs, and I lay down my burden," he said in his broadcast the day after the act of abdication had been signed.  On Dec. 12, at 2 A.M., he left England and six months later married Mrs. Simpson on June 3, 1937 in France.

The Duke of Windsor demonstrating how he ties the "Windsor" tie knot, 
however he is tying it a confusing way  on purpose so not all men 
could look so dashing 
The never waning fascination with the Royal Family, especially in America, and the scandal that enveloped two people in love became a modern day fairy tale that captured the attention of people the world over..  With honor and great character the Duke of Windsor followed his heart and showed the World what was most important to him.  To abandon and ignore his love just to be King would not have been possible for him.  No doubt there were few women alive that were not spellbound by their romance and the Duke of Windsor's charm, let alone his devotion to his lady.  It was just as perfect a medicine as possible that the weary world needed as the great depression continued.  None-the-less. There was however resentment in the United Kingdom for the decision that he made; to stand down from the Throne, most notably from Sir Winston Churchill which has been revealed only recently.  The rejection by the Royal family forced them to live in exile.


This tale of Duke of Windsor is a part of a controversial history and is a well-known sore in the British fashion and political world.  Many Brits do not give the Duke credit for his wonderful necktie knotting and a prejudice of sort has followed to this day.  So much so that even Ian Fleming's spy 007 James Bond considered a man that wore a Windsor Tie Knot as a Cad and not to be trusted.  It is no wonder that some of those bad guys out to conquer the World, that Bond had to eliminate - looked so handsome with their perfectly symmetrical Windsor Knotted ties.


How it all can to be. There is always a reason why some things especially fashion trends become so popular due to an obscure event or some unrelated occurrence. During the Paparazzi media frenzy to satisfy the international appeal of such a sensational fairy tale, Edward VIII sported the symmetrical necktie knot that American journalists especially adorned and inadvertently gave him credit for, in turn setting the stage for the Royal Fashion Statement.  Fashion and style sometimes have a unique origin.  If the Duke of Windsor had never fallen in love with a married American woman the sexy and very stylish tie knot, that only a few select gentlemen were accustom to, may never have become discovered.  

In the corporate world of banking, in the sales room or on the car dealership lots the real shakers and movers tie the Windsor.  In fact, at a job interview you may not get past the greeting hand shake very easily if your tie knot does not have symmetry of the Windsor. And as far as love and attraction goes women have a great value for men who dress well. Neckties have sex appeal and women just seem to become hopelessly intrigued a lot faster if that adorable dimple in the fabric below the knot is just so elegantly revealing itself.  Ties are the only thing that a man can wear to express himself artistically.  Unless of course a young man is part of the rapper generation and by some delusion he considers it an expression of style that his pants are hanging so low that his buttocks crack is visible and as well his boxers.  That is a different kind of expression though, one that will have mixed reactions - certainly with more refined people.  For sure it is safer to go with a tie and the Windsor. while desiring to make an impression.

Thanks to a very romantic and passionate love affair and a King's compelling desire for a once in a lifetime love; a fashion statement became iconic.  The mystery and allure of the Windsor Necktie knot is no more obscure then a very sensational woman and a man's uncompromising attraction,   His devotion was born from her intrigue - no doubt caused by his charismatic persona and perhaps a very captivating necktie knot.  Thus, by such an uncommon love and a sensational affair, the result of the politics and grandeur of the Royals, modern man was gifted the Windsor tie knot.



The Duke and Duchess of Windsor
Cover of Life Magazine June 1941
Edward VII, the Duke of Windsor remained devoted 
to the woman he  sacrificed the throne for and later 
on exclaimed that he had no regrets.

  


Jeffrey Hunter

  .. Google +     Jeffrey Hunter – Neckties by Nice Tie Store

Jeffrey Hunter has been involved with retailing and designing neckties since 1996. He started selling ties to Los Angeles and Orange County car salesmen out of the trunk of 1966 Lincoln Continental. Several kiosks in Orange County at Newport Fashion Island and the Irvine Spectrum called Too Sexie Ties proved successfully but too much work. From the summer 2001 he has built web sites that offer collector ties like Spiderman, Disney and really wild ties on line.  He is now designing ties that rival Rush Limbaugh's designs from over ten years ago.

Prior to selling ties he was a freelance professional photographer traveling to Iceland, India, the US South West, and other adventures.  His fondness of fancy novelty ties and the difficulty of finding them was one of the attractions of starting the neck wear business in 1996.