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December 11, 1936


London, England (JFK+50) Great Britain’s King Edward VIII* signed the instruments of abdication today at Fort Belvedere before making a radio address informing the nation of his decision to abdicate the throne.

*King Edward VIII (1894-1972) was born at White Lodge, Richmond Park near London during the reign of his grandmother, Queen Victoria. He was educated at the Royal Naval College & served as a midshipman for 3 months.

Edward was invested as the Prince of Wales in 1911. Edward took the throne upon the death of King George V on Jan 20, 1936.


Edward, Prince of Wales, June 1932, German Federal Archive, Bundesarchiv, Bild, 102-13538/CC-BY-SA


In the speech, the King said:

“I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burdens of responsibility & to discharge my duties as King…without the help & support of the woman I love.”

After giving the speech, King Edward left for Austria.

On the 16th of November, the King informed Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin of his decision to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.**

**Wallis Simpson (1896-1986) was born in Pennsylvania.  She divorced her 1st husband, Earl Spencer, Jr. in 1927 & married Ernest Simpson, a British-American businessman.  


Edward and Wallis Simpson, Kitzbuhel, Austria, February 1935

When King Edward learned that this would be unacceptable because remarriage after divorce is opposed by the Church of England, he let it be known that he would abdicate.


On December 11, 2010, JFK+50 posted a very brief story on the abdication of King Edward VIII. 

With today’s post representing the 715th of JFK+50, the original one on King Edward VIII of 12/11/2010 remains the most popular of our blogs.

Click on the 1st link under POPULAR POSTS at the bottom of this page to access the posting for Dec. 11, 2010.


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