- NAME: Edward VIII
- OCCUPATION: Duke, King
- BIRTH DATE: June 23, 1894
- DEATH DATE: May 28, 1972
- EDUCATION: University of Oxford, Magdalen College, Osborne Naval College, Royal Naval College at Dartmouth
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Richmond, London, England, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: Paris, France
- AKA: Edward VIII
- Full Name: Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David
- AKA: Duke of Windsor
- AKA: Prince Edward
- AKA: King Edward VIII
- AKA: Edward, Duke of Windsor
- AKA: Prince of Wales
- AKA: Edward, Prince of Wales
Best Known For
Edward VIII became king of the United Kingdom following the death of his father, George V, but ruled for less than a year. He abdicated the throne in order to marry his lover, Wallis Simpson, thereafter taking the title Duke of Windsor.
Edward VIII - Wallis Simpson (1:02)
Edward VIII - Becoming King (1:32)
Edward VIII's affair with Wallis Simpson was the cause of much scandal in England and would later be known as the Abdication Crisis when the Prince renounced the throne to marry Wallis.
When Edward VIII became King, many people in England were excited due to his Populist nature. But Edward did not have the drive and dedication to be King the way his father King George V did.
As the health of King George V declined, Prince Edward, then Prince of Wales, was next in line for the throne. This worried the King due to Edward's rebellious nature and lack of interest in marriage.
To many, Prince Edward VIII was under the thumb of Wallis Simpson and gave orders to many people in Prince Edward's life.
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Born on June 23, 1894, Edward VIII was a popular member of the 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. After George V's death, the prince became King Edward VIII. However, because his marriage to Simpson, an American divorcée, was forbidden, Edward abdicated the throne after ruling for less than a year. Thereafter,
"I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."
"What difference does it make if I am killed? The king has three other sons!"
[On fighting in WWI.]
he took the title Duke of Windsor and embarked on a jet-setting life with his new wife. He died in France in 1972.
Edward VIII, who ruled the United Kingdom from January to December 1936, was born on June 23, 1894, in Richmond, London, England. The eldest son of George V, Edward studied at Osborne Naval College, the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth and the University of Oxford's Magdalen College.
In 1911, after his father's ascension, Edward became the Prince of Wales. He joined the Royal Navy and then, following the start of World War I, enlisted in the army. His assignments to safe positions on the Italian front troubled him, causing him to announce, "What difference does it make if I am killed? The king has three other sons!"
Upon his return to England, the young Prince Edward took up his official duties, and traveled throughout Britain and other parts of the world. Dashing and charming, he became known in the American press as the "arbiter of men's fashions, a fearless horseman, tireless dancer, idol of bachelors, dream of spinsters."
Prince Edward met the woman who would completely change his life in June of 1931. At a party hosted by Lady Furness, the prince was introduced to Wallis Simpson, a sophisticated, charming and charismatic American woman who had recently moved to London with her husband. She immediately captured the king's interest, and later captured his heart. By 1934, the two had undoubtedly become lovers. The monarchy was not pleased with the pairing, however, and refused to allow a marriage between the future king and an American divorcee.
In 1936, the prince succeeded his father, George V, becoming King Edward VIII. He was a popular king, although those who worked around him found him irresponsible in regard to his official papers. On December 11, 1936, he abdicated the throne in the face of opposition to his proposed marriage to Simpson, proclaiming to the public, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love." Edward was then given the title of Duke of Windsor, and in 1937, he married Simpson in a small private ceremony in France.
The couple lived in Paris, and spent most of their time shopping and partying with the international jet set. The duke made a couple of attempts to relinquish his political career, including a trip to Nazi Germany in October 1937, which only served to worsen his reputation as a supporter of Adolf Hitler. While taking refuge from Nazi forces in Lisbon in 1940, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor received word that the King had appointed the duke to be Governor and Commander of Chief of the Bahama Islands.
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They rule the Royal House of Windsor, and they can trace their bloodlines back through thousands of years of monarchy and leadership. The British Royal Family, with Queen Elizabeth II at the head of the throne, lead Britain's constitutional monarchy. As the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and is honored for 60 years on the throne, the Royal Family has never been more popular. They go by the terms "His and Her Royal Highness," yet they are admired for their style, down-to-earth personalities, media savvy, and their devotion to humanitarian causes. All eyes are on Princes William and Harry as they carry on their family legacy into the 21st century.
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In 1936, King Edward VIII unexpectedly abdicated the throne to marry the love of his life, American divorcée Wallis Simpson, proclaiming, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love." Edward's behavior prior to his decision to abdicate—including courting Wallis while she was still married to her second husband—garnered outrage from the British Royal Family, most notably from Queen Mary of Teck and King George V, and led to the "abdication crisis" in Britain. In 1937, the happy couple married and embarked on a jet-setting life in Paris, meanwhile referring to themselves as "W.E."—their initials, but also a dig at the royal "we," or the majestic plural. Subversive and playful, their nickname continues to serve as a testament to their lasting adoration for one another.
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson 2 people in this group
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