Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India from 20 January 1936 until his abdication in December of the same year. Edward was born during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the ...
Aug 22, 2021 · Edward VIII, prince of Wales (1911–36) and king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and emperor of India from January 20 to December 10, 1936, when he abdicated to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson. Edward VIII was the only British sovereign to voluntarily resign the crown.
Mar 31, 2021 · Edward VIII was a popular member of the British royal family and heir to the throne. In 1931, then known as the Prince of Wales, Edward met and fell in love with American socialite Wallis Simpson ...
- His Name Was Completely Different. Edward’s name wasn’t what you think it was. Born on June 23, 1894 to the future King George V and Queen Mary, the royal family was a tight-knit brood.
- He Was Horribly Mistreated. Like all royals, a series of nannies brought up the children. Yet when it came to his own nanny, Edward was hiding a dark secret.
- He Got A Strange Birthday Present. Edward got a strange gift for his 16th birthday: He officially became the Prince of Wales. In May 1910, his father ascended to the throne as George V, and he gave his son the title a little over a month later, along with the royal designation of the “Earl of Chester.”
- He Wasn’t Ready To Be King. Plain and simply, the new Prince of Wales was woefully unprepared for his responsibilities. Before he became the heir, Edward wanted to join the Navy.
- Early Life
- Duke of Windsor and Later Life
- Titles and Styles
Edward, commonly known by those close to him as David, was born as the first son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, later King George V and Queen Mary. As a young man, he disliked his royal duties, but his charisma made him popular with the British people. Edward was officially invested as Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Caernarvon Castle on 13 July 1911 and was even tutored by the future Prime Minister David Lloyd Georgeto speak a few words of Welsh. At the outbreak of the First World Warin 1914, the twenty-year-old Edward was keen to participate. He witnessed trench warfare at first-hand and attempted to visit the front line as often as possible, but he did not experience as much hardship and misery as ordinary British soldiers. Edward undertook a military flight in 1918 and gained a pilot's licence later. Throughout the 1920s, Edward represented his father, King George V, at home and abroad on many occasions. His popularity was at its greatest peak in that decade and gained hi...
After months of ill health, King George V died on 20 January 1936. His son became King Edward VIII and watched the announcement of his new role from a window of St James's Palace with his lover, Wallis. After only a few weeks, Edward began to cause unease in government circles with actions that were seen as too political. He did not work hard as king and was not careful about important state papers. Far from working, in August and September, Edward and Wallis simply sailed around the Mediterranean on a luxury steam yacht. On 16 November 1936, Edward invited British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin to Buckingham Palace and expressed his plans to marry Wallis Simpson after her divorce. Baldwin was unhappy about that and informed him that his subjects would see it as morally unacceptable, because remarriage after divorce was opposed by the Church of England, which Edward was the formal head, and the people did not like Wallis. Edward knew that the government, led by Baldwin, would resign...
After his abdication, he was given the title Duke of Windsor. He married Simpson in France on 3 June 1937. His brother and mother did not attend the ceremony. Many people became alarmed with what they thought was Edward's pro German stance. Some even said that he favoured German fascism. Hitler considered Edward to be friendly towards Nazi Germany. Even in the 1960s, Edward privately said to a friend, Lord Kinross, "I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap". The Duke and Duchess visited Nazi Germany, against the advice of the British government, and they met Adolf Hitlerat his private retreat. During the visit, the Duke gave full Nazi salutes, causing anger in Britain. At the start of the Second World War, the Nazis plotted to persuade the Duke to support the Nazi effort and planned to kidnap him. Lord Caldecote warned Winston Churchill that "[the Duke] is well-known to be pro-Nazi and he may become a centre of intrigue". More problems arose when Edward gave a "defeatist" intervie...23 June 1894 – 28 May 1898: His HighnessPrince Edward of York28 May 1898 – 22 January 1901: His Royal HighnessPrince Edward of York22 January – 9 November 1901: His Royal HighnessPrince Edward of Cornwall and York9 November 1901 – 6 May 1910: His Royal HighnessPrince Edward of Wales
- Early years
- Later life
Edward, born in 1894, was the eldest son of King George V, who became the British sovereign in 1910. Still unmarried as he approached his 40th birthday, he socialized with the fashionable London society of the day. By 1934, he had fallen deeply in love with American socialite Wallis Warfield Simpson, who was married to Ernest Simpson, an English-American businessman who lived with Mrs. Simpson near London. Wallis, who was born in Pennsylvania, had previously married and divorced a U.S. Navy pilot. The royal family disapproved of Edwards married mistress, but by 1936 the prince was intent on marrying Mrs. Simpson. Before he could discuss this intention with his father, George V died, in January 1936, and Edward was proclaimed king.
The new king proved popular with his subjects, and his coronation was scheduled for May 1937. His affair with Mrs. Simpson was reported in American and continental European newspapers, but due to a gentlemens agreement between the British press and the government, the affair was kept out of British newspapers. On October 27, 1936, Mrs. Simpson obtained a preliminary decree of divorce, presumably with the intent of marrying the king, which precipitated a major scandal. To the Church of England and most British politicians, an American woman twice divorced was unacceptable as a prospective British queen. Winston Churchill, then a Conservative backbencher, was the only notable politician to support Edward.
Despite the seemingly united front against him, Edward could not be dissuaded. He proposed a morganatic marriage, in which Wallis would be granted no rights of rank or property, but on December 2, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin rejected the suggestion as impractical. The next day, the scandal broke on the front pages of British newspapers and was discussed openly in Parliament. With no resolution possible, the king renounced the throne on December 10. The next day, Parliament approved the abdication instrument, and Edward VIIIs reign came to an end. The new king, George VI, made his older brother the duke of Windsor. On June 3, 1937, the duke of Windsor and Wallis Warfield married at the Château de Cande in Frances Loire Valley.
In 1945, the duke resigned his post, and the couple moved back to France. They lived mainly in Paris, and Edward made a few visits to England, such as to attend the funerals of King George VI in 1952 and his mother, Queen Mary, in 1953. It was not until 1967 that the duke and duchess were invited by the royal family to attend an official public ceremony, the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Queen Mary. Edward died in Paris in 1972 but was buried at Frogmore, on the grounds of Windsor Castle. In 1986, Wallis died and was buried at his side.
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