Two script Es face each other; a graceful W stands between them, and a discreet crown floats above. This is the personal monogram of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and his American Duchess, Wallis. It is decorative, of course, but also symbolic shorthand -- conveying all the privilege and poignancy of one of the great love affairs of this century.
Prospective brides take note: Even for couples without a royal title, monograms can tell a story. They suggest who we are or want to be; put forth our views on marriage, tradition, and individual identity; and do wonderful things for linens, writing paper, and silver flatware.
Some say monogramming is classic and ever-present; others say it is not as common as it once was. What is certain is that those who choose monograms tend to appreciate tradition and have an eye on the future. "They have great pride in family," says Donadio, "and want to pass things down."