Prince Harry engaged: Earlier royal union had Florida angle

Updated Nov 27, 2017
Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle smile as they pose for the media in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, Monday Nov. 27, 2017. It was announced Monday that Prince Harry, fifth in line for the British throne, will marry American actress Meghan Markle in the spring, confirming months of rumors.

After announcing his engagement to actress Meghan Markle today, Prince Harry became the second United Kingdom royal to vow to wed a “commoner.”

The last time a British royal did so, he had to abdicate his throne, and naturally — as is so often the case with news stories — there was a Florida angle.

» Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline

Here’s more on that, from a story published June 22, 2016.

One of the juicier urban legends in the history of our region surrounds a small hotel in the hinterlands of western Martin County. Last month, on May 21, the Martin County Historic Preservation Board dedicated a bronze plaque at the site of the Seminole Inn in Indiantown. Here’s some more on the Seminole Inn, from a December 2010 Post Time column:

When the United Kingdom’s Prince William announced he’d marry Kate Middleton, royal watchers noted she was — sniff, sniff — a commoner.

That’s serious business. In 1936, with war looming, King Edward VIII shocked the world with his affair with Wallis Warfield Simpson. The Baltimore native was a 35-year-old divorcée, and in a second, unhappy marriage, when she met Edward. In December 1936, he abdicated “for the woman I love.”

Simpson’s uncle was S. Davies Warfield, a Baltimore banker and president of the Seaboard Coast Line railroad. In 1925, just before Martin County split off from Palm Beach County, Warfield came to tiny, isolated “Indian Town,” which he expected would become a popular stop on his rail line — and its southern hub. He created the Seminole Inn and a hunting lodge for friends, and built a large passenger station and apartments.

Warfield died suddenly in late 1927, and his dream for Indiantown died with him.

Wallis Simpson and Edward each have rooms named for them at the inn.

Assistant manager Lillian Solorzano said the story has been that Simpson came to the grand opening in 1926. Reports also are that the two honeymooned there. We went to the source: British scholar, and Edward biographer Philip Ziegler. Sorry, he said; the couple honeymooned more than 5,000 miles away, in Carinthia, Austria.

Seminole Inn: 772-597-3777.

Read More: History of Martin County, by Janet Hutchinson

Farewell: We take a moment to salute Richard “Tony” Marconi, who’s leaving the Historical Society of Palm Beach County after 16 years, serving as an intern for three years and then an archivist and curator of education. Tony and his colleagues at the society are invaluable friends of this column.