Updated: Friday, 13 December 2013 06:25 | By Agence France-Presse

Jewels documenting royal romance sell at auction

Jewels belonging to the Duke of Windsor and his American wife Wallis Simpson -- the couple whose relationship scandalised 1930s Britain -- sold for a million dollars at a London auction on Thursday.

Jewels documenting royal romance sell at auction

Edward, Duke of Windsor (R), with his wife the Duchess Wallis of Windsor, waves his hat to the welcoming crowd as they arrive at Victoria Station in London, from Paris, November 13, 1956.

The top-selling lot at the Sotheby's sale was a sapphire bracelet by Cartier, designed as a series of oval links set with gems, which sold for £230,500 ($377,000).

The duchess wore the piece when Queen Elizabeth II visited Paris in 1972, the last time she saw the duke -- her uncle -- before his death.

The Duke of Windsor had been king, taking the throne in 1936, but abdicated months later in order to marry Simpson, a divorced American socialite.

Other jewels by Cartier included a coral, emerald and diamond choker, an amethyst, turquoise and diamond bracelet and an emerald, ruby and diamond brooch.

Jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels -- including a pair of enamel, coral and diamond clips -- also went under the hammer at the auction, which brought a total of £620,125 (739,000 euros, $1,017 million).

"Today's results show the longstanding fascination for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, their lives, their lifestyle and their exceptional taste," said Bryony Meredith, Head of Sotheby's London Jewellery Department. 

"The offering included not only masterful examples of 20th century jewellery but also pieces whose intimate inscriptions trace the life of four generations of British monarchs and tell what is perhaps one the greatest love stories of our times, the romance that led Edward VIII to abdicate the throne of Great Britain," she added.

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