• Jane Dexter

King for just 12 months – 11th December 1936


On 11th December 1936 Edward VIII announces in a radio broadcast that he is abdicating the British throne to marry Wallis Simpson.

Extremely controversial at the time, I wonder how he would feel about his great great nephew (Harry) marrying an American Divorcee?

The government of Stanley Baldwin, the dominion governments, the Church of England and much of the public disapproved of the marriage as politically, socially and morally unacceptable. Faced with a choice of destroying his role as a constitutional monarch and going against the teachings of the Church - of which he was the head - Edward abdicated in December, thus becoming the only British monarch to do so voluntarily. He was succeeded by his brother Albert who was crowned George VI.

Edward married for love rather than conforming to tradition and acceptance. Harry has also set a milestone with his engagement to Meghan Markle. They will have an easier wedding journey that Edward and Wallis. Oh, how times have changed.

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