mariage_windsor_cbeaton.jpg mariage_windsor_cbeaton.jpg

Estate history

Rising to fame in 1937 by the marriage of the Duke of Windsor to the American Wallis Simpson, the Château de Candé has had many owners from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

At the beginning of the 16th century, François Briçonnet, Mayor of Tours and master of the King's Room of Money, had a Renaissance pavilion built at the site of the Old Fortress, located at the present Château de Candé site. He died before the completion of the work, finished by his daughter, Jeanne, in 1508. Several owners would then succeed one another, without making any major changes to the Castle.

In 1853, Santiago Drake Del Castillo, heir of a rich Anglo-Cuban planter, acquired the Castle and undertook a new metamorphosis of the residence following the plans of Jacques-Aimé Meffre, a renowned architect from Tours. He had the north wing added in the Neo-Gothic style, the residence was equipped with electricity and central heating, its surface area was extended three-fold and the Estate became self-sufficient.

In 1927, Charles Bedaux, a wealthy Franco-American industrialist, and his wife, Fern, bought the Castle from Jean Drake Del Castillo, Santiago's grandson. They would carry out major works that combine modernity, comfort and aesthetics. On June 3, 1937, in the presence of Charles and Fern Bedaux, the Candé Castle hosted the marriage (referred to at the time as the “Wedding of the Century”) of the former King of England, Edward VIII (who become the Duke of Windsor after his abdication) and Wallis Simpson. 

Since 1974, the Castle and its grounds have been owned by the Indre-et-Loire Regional Council which received them by the State, heir at the death of Charles Bedaux's widow in 1972.