On 16 October, they visited Düsseldorf, where they went to an industrial exhibition. Wallis thought this was particularly boring, but the Duke was fascinated by it all. They were perhaps most surprised by the reception they received there. A huge crowd had gathered there, which had not been expected by the local police force. They quickly forced their way to the Duke and Duchess, who were effectively mobbed by the crowd.
The way was finally cleared for the Duke and Duchess to go through the crowd as they shouted “Heil!” at the Duke and Duchess. A similar scene happened on the way out, despite extra police forces quickly being summoned. Wallis also visited a mothers’ rest home nearby and reunited with her husband for lunch at the Bochum Verein steelworks.
This was followed by a visit to a miner’s hospital, where they toured the wards and even chatted with some of the patients. One patient with a bandaged face told them that he had been blown thirty feet in the air when an explosion occurred but that he had no idea what had happened. They were told by an official that if the Reich was to live, the miners must make sacrifices, and 900 to 1,000 miners were killed on the job every year.1