King Edward VIII Facts and Biography

King Edward VIII

King Edward VIII Biography Summary: King Edward VIII (1894 - 1972) was famous for abdicating the throne in order to marry the twice divorced American, Wallis Simpson. As the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary, King Edward VIII began his training to succeed to the throne from birth. He acquired the reputation of a playboy and adopted liberal political views which met with the total disapproval of his strict father and many members of the government. His many romantic liaisons were not appropriate and the circles he moved in were not the ones that would lead him to make the acceptable choice for a wife.

King Edward VIII fell deeply in love with Wallis Simpson, a married American woman who had already been once divorced, and his decision to marry her was met with the total opposition of the Royal family and the government. King Edward VIII was crowned on 20 January 1936 but, refusing to relinquish plans to marry Wallis Simpson, King Edward VIII chose to abdicate on 11 December 1936 and adopted the title of Duke of Windsor.



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King Edward VIII Fact Sheet: Who was King Edward VIII? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of King Edward VIII.

King Edward VIII Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1894 - 1972 *** Full Name: Edward Albert Christian George Patrick David *** Date of Birth: King Edward VIII was born on June 23rd 1894 *** Place of Birth: King Edward VIII was born in White Lodge, Richmond, Surrey, England ***  Education: Edward VIII was initially tutored from home, he was taught French and German. He took the examination for Osborne Naval College followed by the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Later he attended Magdalen College in Oxford *** King Edward VIII died on May 28, 1972

King Edward VIII Fact 1: King Edward VIII was born on June 23rd 1894. His father was George V, King of England and his mother was Mary, Princess of Teck. He was always known as David to his family and close friends. He grew up with his brother Bertie and were pretty much raised by nannies as was common practice for the time.

King Edward VIII Fact 2: On his sixteenth birthday he was created Prince of Wales and had automatically become Duke of Rothesay and Duke of Cornwall when his father became King.

King Edward VIII Fact 3: In 1914 as World War I began he was the minimum age one had to be to join the armed forces and he wanted to fight. Keen to get to the front line, he joined the Grenadier Guards but Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, forbid him, explaining that it would be highly inappropriate for the next in line to the throne to be at risk of capture or death.

King Edward VIII Fact 4: Despite not being able to actively participate in the war he did however managed to visit those brave men that fought on the front line and for that he would endear himself to the soldiers.

King Edward VIII Fact 5: All through the 1920s he frequently represented his father on state visits abroad as well as those at home and the young, handsomd Prince of Wales became a highly popular figure.

King Edward VIII Fact 6: His playboy image and romantic dalliances with married women caused friction within the Royal family and turmoil in  the government during the 1920s and 1930s.

King Edward VIII Fact 7: He had a love affair with a Parisian called Marguerite Alibert. When he ended the relationship she kept letters of a rather indiscreet nature. Several years later she would find herself charged with the murder of her husband in the Savoy Hotel in London by shooting him. She would be acquitted.

King Edward VIII Fact 8: He then proceeded to various affairs with women who were invariably married. His choice of companion was often the wrong choice and caused a lot of worry and heartache for various parties not least his parents.

King Edward VIII Fact 9: His father, unhappy with his decisions and his reluctance to settle down remarked After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself in 12 months. And was also alleged to have commented I pray to God that me eldest son Edward will never marry and have children, and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne..

King Edward VIII Fact 10: It would be during his notorious relationship with Lady Thelma Furness that he would be given the fateful introduction to Wallis Simpson. She was a fascinating American woman, already once divorced and currently married to her second husband at that time, Ernest Simpson.

King Edward VIII Fact 11: When his relationship became acknowledged with Wallis Simpson, his relationship with his father further deteriorated and began to cause enormous problems for the government as well, especially when it became apparent how much influence and control she wielded over the Prince.

King Edward VIII Fact 12: His father King George V died on January 20th 1936 and David ascended the throne as King Edward VIII.

King Edward VIII Fact 13: It became increasingly clear that King Edward VIII was planning to marry Wallis Simpson, especially when she had instigated divorce proceedings.

King Edward VIII Fact 14: Despite growing concerns about his relationship with Wallis Simpson, several contingencies were being put into place with regard to the coronation of King Edward VIII, including a secular coronation ceremony in the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

King Edward VIII Fact 15: In November King Edward VIII spoke to Stanley Baldwin the Prime Minister and advised him of his intention to marry Wallis Simpson. Baldwin, in turn, explained that the English people would not tolerate Wallis Simpson as Queen, on the grounds of her divorced status and that as head of the Church of England, King Edward VIII was held to a higher standing of morality and was expected to follow the teachings of the Church of England.

King Edward VIII Fact 16: When King Edward VIII told Baldwin that if he was not allowed to marry Wallis Simpson he would give up the throne. King Edward VIII was then given three choices by Baldwin, relinquish any ideas of marriage, marry against the wishes of his ministers or abdicate.

King Edward VIII Fact 17: The suggestion of a Morganatic marriage between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson was turned down flat. (A morganatic marriage is between people of unequal social rank, that prevents the passing of the husband's titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage).

King Edward VIII Fact 18: King Edward VIII began to make the necessary preparations for abdication and on December 10, 1936 he abdicated the throne. The abdication of King Edward VIII was witnessed by his younger brother Prince Albert (Bertie), who most reluctantly, succeeded to the crown as King George VI.

King Edward VIII Fact 19: The following day he made the now famous broadcast as King Edward VIII saying "...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..." He left the shores of the United Kingdom the following day. He married Wallis Simpson on 3 June 1937, at Chateau de Cande, near Tours, France. Not one member of the Royal Family attended the wedding of the former King Edward VIII. The couple were never allowed to return to England and lived an aimless life in Paris or travelling.

King Edward VIII Fact 20: The Duke of Windsor, the former King Edward VIII, died on May 28, 1972 at his home in Paris aged seventy eight years. His body would be returned to Britain and in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth Is, his widow the Duchess of Windsor and the Royal Family his funeral was conducted at St Georges Chapel and his body laid to rest in the Royal Burial Ground behind the Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Frogmore

Influence & Legacy of King Edward VIII: His legacy could viewed as one along the lines of romanticism but in truth there were many factors governing his decision to abdicate as King Edward VIII. He was torn between his country and his religion but his choice was actually quite simple, it was the woman or his crown. King Edward VIII chose Wallis Simpson.

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