Edward VIII of the United Kingdom
Overview
 
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 and the Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

s of the British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, and Emperor of India
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.

Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

 and Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

. As a young man, he served in the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 during the First World War and undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, George V
George V
George V was king of the United Kingdom and its dominions from 1910 to 1936.George V or similar terms may also refer to:-People:* George V of Georgia * George V of Imereti * George V of Hanover...

. He was associated with a succession of older, married women but remained unmarried until his accession as king.

Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis
Constitutional crisis
A constitutional crisis is a situation that the legal system's constitution or other basic principles of operation appear unable to resolve; it often results in a breakdown in the orderly operation of government...

 by proposing marriage to the American socialite Wallis Simpson, who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second.
Quotations

"[The Indian princes’] ceremonies are so irritating and ridiculous" (Ziegler, King Edward VIII, 116)

On seeing the great archaeological finds at Taxila, in Punjab, "This place ought never to have been dug up." (Ziegler, King Edward VIII, 140)

Of Étienne Dupach, the editor of the Nassau Daily Tribune: "It must remembered that Dupach is more than half Negro, and due to the peculiar mentality of this Race, they seem unable to rise to prominence without losing their equilibrium." (Ziegler, King Edward VIII, 448)

To John Kenneth Galbraith, who had been appointed American ambassador to India, "I hear you are going to In-jea. A most interesting country. I had a very good time there in my early youth. You must do the pig-sticking in Rajasthan. And you will find the people most agreeable in their own way. They have been most uncommonly decent to my niece." (Galbraith, Ambassador’s Journal, 36)

To Gore Vidal (who described the Duke as having "always had something of...riveting stupidity to say on any subject"), "British Empire. First trip to India. Glorious. Never would have believed it would all be gone in my lifetime. Not possible, I’d’ve thought. I am the last king-emperor, you know. My brother was, for a time, but had to give it up. I didn’t" (Vidal, Palimpsest, 206)

In conversation with Mona Bismarck and Gore Vidal, "Mona said, 'Did you see Gore's new play The Best Man when you were in New York?' 'Of course not.'...'Don't like plays, only shows.' He meant musical comedies." (Vidal, Palimpsest, 206)

Discussing coronation ceremonies with Vidal, "I quickly moved on to...the moment when two masons appear and ask the newly crowned king for instructions as to his tomb. 'Masons? Masons! Yes. You one? I'm one. But I've forgotten all the odds and ends. Dull, really." (Vidal, Palimpsest, 206) all quotations from Godfrey, Letters

Italy: "...they are indeed a repulsive nation these dagoes, both the men and the women & I'm just longing to quit them for good & all !!!" (18 September 1918)

Cologne, Germany: "Claud & I had a stroll in the centre of town afterwards & had great fun making the Hun men civilians get off the pavement for us .... It does one worlds of good to know how humiliating it must be for the Huns" (9 January 1919)

Quebec City, Canada: "A rotten priest-ridden community who are the completest passengers & who won't do their bit in anything & of course not during the war !!" (23 Aug 1919)

Encyclopedia
Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

 and the Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

s of the British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, and Emperor of India
Emperor of India
Emperor/Empress of India was used as a title by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, and revived by the colonial British monarchs during the British Raj in India....

, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.

Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

 and Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

. As a young man, he served in the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 during the First World War and undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, George V
George V
George V was king of the United Kingdom and its dominions from 1910 to 1936.George V or similar terms may also refer to:-People:* George V of Georgia * George V of Imereti * George V of Hanover...

. He was associated with a succession of older, married women but remained unmarried until his accession as king.

Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis
Constitutional crisis
A constitutional crisis is a situation that the legal system's constitution or other basic principles of operation appear unable to resolve; it often results in a breakdown in the orderly operation of government...

 by proposing marriage to the American socialite Wallis Simpson, who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands as queen. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as head of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, which opposed the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouses were still alive. Edward knew that the government led by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

 would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have dragged the King into a general election and ruined irreparably his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

. Rather than end his relationship with Mrs. Simpson, Edward abdicated
Edward VIII abdication crisis
In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire was caused by King-Emperor Edward VIII's proposal to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite....

. He was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who chose the regnal name
Regnal name
A regnal name, or reign name, is a formal name used by some monarchs and popes during their reigns. Since medieval times, monarchs have frequently chosen to use a name different from their own personal name when they inherit a throne....

 George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward was one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British and Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 history. He was never crowned
Coronation of the British monarch
The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia...

.

After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor
Duke of Windsor
The title Duke of Windsor was created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1937 for Prince Edward, the former King Edward VIII, following his abdication in December 1936. The dukedom takes its name from the town where Windsor Castle, a residence of English monarchs since the Norman Conquest, is...

. He married Wallis Simpson in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later that year, the couple toured Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. During the Second World War, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France but, after private accusations that he held Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 sympathies, moved to the Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

 after his appointment as Governor. After the war, he was never given another official appointment and spent the remainder of his life in retirement in France.

Early life

Edward VIII was born on 23 June 1894 at White Lodge, Richmond Park, on the outskirts of London during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria. He was the eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of York
Duke of York
The Duke of York is a title of nobility in the British peerage. Since the 15th century, it has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of the British monarch. The title has been created a remarkable eleven times, eight as "Duke of York" and three as the double-barreled "Duke of York and...

 (later King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 and Queen Mary
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

). His father was the son of the Prince and Princess of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 (later King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 and Queen Alexandra
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

). His mother was the eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck
Duke of Teck
Duke of Teck was, in medieval times, a title borne by the head of a principality named Teck in the Holy Roman Empire, centered around Teck castle in Germany. That territory was held by a branch line of the Zähringen dynasty from 1187 to 1439, known historically as the first House of Teck...

 (Francis and Mary Adelaide
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of George III, and great-grandmother of Elizabeth II. She held the title of Duchess of Teck through marriage.Mary Adelaide is remembered as the mother of Queen Mary, the consort of...

). As a great-grandson of the monarch in the male line, Edward was styled His Highness Prince Edward of York at birth.

He was baptised Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David in the Green Drawing Room of White Lodge on 16 July 1894, by Edward White Benson
Edward White Benson
Edward White Benson was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 until his death.-Life:Edward White Benson was born in Highgate, Birmingham, the son of a Birmingham chemical manufacturer. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1852...

, Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

.His twelve godparents were:
Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 (his paternal great-grandmother); the King
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906.Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was originally not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish...

 and Queen of Denmark
Louise of Hesse-Kassel
Louise of Hesse was a German Princess and the queen consort to King Christian IX of Denmark.-Early Life and Ancestry:...

 (his paternal great-grandparents, for whom his maternal uncle Prince Adolphus of Teck
Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge, GCB, GCVO, CMG , born Prince Adolphus of Teck and later The Duke of Teck , was a member of the British Royal Family and a younger brother of Queen Mary, the consort of King George V...

 and his maternal aunt the Duchess of Fife stood proxy); the King of Württemberg
William II of Württemberg
William II was the fourth King of Württemberg, from 6 October 1891 until the abolition of the kingdom on 30 November 1918...

 (his cousin, for whom his granduncle the Duke of Connaught
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was a member of the shared British and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal family who served as the Governor General of Canada, the 10th since Canadian Confederation.Born the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and...

 stood proxy); the Queen of Greece
Olga Konstantinovna of Russia
Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia , later Queen Olga of the Hellenes , was the queen consort of King George I of Greece and briefly in 1920, Queen Regent of Greece...

 (his grandaunt, for whom his paternal aunt Princess Victoria of Wales stood proxy); the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the third Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and reigned from 1893 to 1900. He was also a member of the British Royal Family, the second son and fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha...

 (his granduncle, for whom Prince Edward's cousin Prince Louis of Battenberg stood proxy); the Prince
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 and Princess of Wales
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

 (his paternal grandparents); the Tsarevich
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 (his cousin); the Duke of Cambridge
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge
Prince George, Duke of Cambridge was a member of the British Royal Family, a male-line grandson of King George III. The Duke was an army officer and served as commander-in-chief of the British Army from 1856 to 1895...

 (his maternal granduncle and the Queen's cousin); and the Duke and Duchess of Teck
Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth of Cambridge was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of George III, and great-grandmother of Elizabeth II. She held the title of Duchess of Teck through marriage.Mary Adelaide is remembered as the mother of Queen Mary, the consort of...

 (his maternal grandparents).
The names were chosen in honour of Edward's late uncle, who was known to his family as "Eddy" or Edward, and his great-grandfather King Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX of Denmark
Christian IX was King of Denmark from 16 November 1863 to 29 January 1906.Growing up as a prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the House of Oldenburg which had ruled Denmark since 1448, Christian was originally not in the immediate line of succession to the Danish...

. The name Albert was included at the behest of Queen Victoria, and his last four names – George
Saint George
Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

, Andrew
Saint Andrew
Saint Andrew , called in the Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos, or the First-called, is a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter. The name "Andrew" , like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews from the 3rd or 2nd century BC. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him...

, Patrick
Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick was a Romano-Briton and Christian missionary, who is the most generally recognized patron saint of Ireland or the Apostle of Ireland, although Brigid of Kildare and Colmcille are also formally patron saints....

 and David
Saint David
Saint David was a Welsh Bishop during the 6th century; he was later regarded as a saint and as the patron saint of Wales. David was a native of Wales, and a relatively large amount of information is known about his life. However, his birth date is still uncertain, as suggestions range from 462 to...

 – came from the Patron Saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

s of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. He was always known to his family and close friends by his last given name, David.

Edward's parents were often removed from their children's upbringing, like other upper-class English parents of the day. Edward and his younger siblings were brought up by nannies. One of his early nannies abused Edward by pinching him before he was due to be presented to his parents. His subsequent crying and wailing would lead the Duke and Duchess to send Edward and the nanny away. The nanny was subsequently discharged.
Edward's father, though a harsh disciplinarian, was demonstrably affectionate, and his mother displayed a frolicsome side with her children that belied her austere public image. She was amused by the children making tadpoles on toast for their French master, and encouraged them to confide in her.

Education

At first, Edward was tutored at home by Helen Bricka. When his parents travelled the British Empire for almost nine months following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, young Edward and his siblings stayed in Britain with their grandparents, Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII, who showered their grandchildren with affection. Upon his parents' return, Edward was placed under the care of two men, Frederick Finch and Henry Hansell, who virtually brought up Edward and his siblings for their remaining nursery years.

Edward was kept under the strict tutorship of Hansell until nearly 13; Hansell had wanted Edward to enter school earlier, but his father disagreed. Edward took the examination to enter Osborne Naval College, and began there in 1907. Following two years at Osborne College, which he did not enjoy, Edward moved on to the Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College
Britannia Royal Naval College is the initial officer training establishment of the Royal Navy, located on a hill overlooking Dartmouth, Devon, England. While Royal Naval officer training has taken place in the town since 1863, the buildings which are seen today were only finished in 1905, and...

 at Dartmouth
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth is a town and civil parish in the English county of Devon. It is a tourist destination set on the banks of the estuary of the River Dart, which is a long narrow tidal ria that runs inland as far as Totnes...

. A course of two years followed by entry into the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 was planned. However, Edward automatically became Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

 and Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

 when his father, George V, ascended the throne on 6 May 1910 following the death of Edward VII. Edward was created Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 a month later on his 16th birthday, on 23 June 1910, and the preparations began in earnest for his future duties as King. He was withdrawn from his naval course before his formal graduation, served as midshipman
Midshipman
A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

 for three months aboard the battleship Hindustan
HMS Hindustan
Five ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Hindustan or Hindostan, after the old name for the Indian subcontinent:*HMS Hindostan was a former East Indiaman by the same name. The Admiralty purchased her in 1795 and classed as a 54-gun fifth rate...

, then immediately entered Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

, for which, in the opinion of his biographers, he was underprepared intellectually. He left Oxford after eight terms without any academic credentials.

Prince of Wales

Edward was officially invested as Prince of Wales
Investiture of the Prince of Wales
The Investiture of the Prince of Wales is the ceremony marking the formal creation of the title of Prince of Wales, similar to a coronation. An Investiture is not required for the Princes of Wales, as the title is created via Letters patent, and consequently the ceremony is for formal purposes...

 in a special ceremony at Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval building in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. There was a motte-and-bailey castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure...

 on 13 July 1911. The investiture took place in Wales, at the instigation of the Welsh politician David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

, Constable of the Castle and Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 in the Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 government. Lloyd George invented a rather fanciful ceremony in the style of a Welsh pageant, and coached Edward to speak a few words in Welsh.

When the First World War (1914–18) broke out, Edward had reached the minimum age for active service and was keen to participate. He had joined the Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

 in June 1914, and although Edward was willing to serve on the front lines, Secretary of State for War
Secretary of State for War
The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British cabinet-level position, first held by Henry Dundas . In 1801 the post became that of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The position was re-instated in 1854...

 Lord Kitchener
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, ADC, PC , was an Irish-born British Field Marshal and proconsul who won fame for his imperial campaigns and later played a central role in the early part of the First World War, although he died halfway...

 refused to allow it, citing the immense harm that would occur if the heir to the throne were captured by the enemy.

Despite this, Edward witnessed trench warfare firsthand and attempted to visit the front line as often as he could, for which he was awarded the Military Cross
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

 in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, made him popular among veterans of the conflict. Edward undertook his first military flight in 1918 and later gained his pilot's licence.

Throughout the 1920s Edward, as Prince of Wales, represented his father, King George V, at home and abroad on many occasions. He took a particular interest in visiting the poverty stricken areas of the country, and undertook 16 tours to various parts of the Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 between 1919 and 1935; during a tour of Canada in 1919, he acquired the Bedingfield ranch, near Pekisko, Alberta
Pekisko, Alberta
Pekisko is an unincorporated community in southern Alberta, Canada. It is located in the municipal district of Foothills, west of the junction of Cowboy Trail and Highway 540, south of High River and south of Longview....

. In 1924, he donated the Prince of Wales Trophy
Prince of Wales Trophy
The Prince of Wales Trophy, also known as the Wales Trophy, is an award presented by the National Hockey League to the Eastern Conference playoff champions, prior to the final series of games for the Stanley Cup...

 to the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

.

His attitudes towards many of the Empire's subjects and various foreign peoples, both during his time as Prince of Wales and later as Duke of Windsor, were little commented upon in their time but have soured his reputation subsequently. He said of Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

: "they are the most revolting form of living creatures I've ever seen!! They are the lowest known form of human beings & are the nearest thing to monkeys."

His rank, travels, good looks, and unmarried status gained him much attention; he soon became the 1920s version of a latter-day movie star. At the height of his popularity, he became the most photographed celebrity of his time.

Romances

Edward's compulsive womanising and other instances of reckless behaviour during the 1920s and 1930s worried Prime Minister Baldwin, King George V, and those close to the prince. Alan Lascelles
Alan Lascelles
Sir Alan Frederick "Tommy" Lascelles, GCB, GCVO, CMG, MC was a British courtier and civil servant who held several positions in the first half of the twentieth century, culminating in his position as Private Secretary to both King George VI and to Queen Elizabeth II...

, Edward's private secretary for eight years during this period, believed that "for some hereditary or physiological reason his normal mental development stopped dead when he reached adolescence". George V was disappointed by Edward's failure to settle down in life and disgusted by his many affairs with married women. The King was reluctant to see Edward inherit the Crown, and was quoted as saying of Edward: "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself in 12 months."

In 1929, Time magazine reported that Edward teased his new sister-in-law, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

, the wife of his younger brother Albert
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, by calling her "Queen Elizabeth". The magazine asked if "she did not sometimes wonder how much truth there is in the story that he once said he would renounce his rights upon the death of George V – which would make her nickname come true". Edward grew older and remained unmarried, but his brother and sister-in-law had two children, including Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

. King George V said of his son Albert ("Bertie"), and granddaughter Elizabeth ("Lilibet"): "I pray to God that my eldest son [Edward] will never marry and have children, and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne."

In 1930, the King gave Edward a home, Fort Belvedere, in Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park
Windsor Great Park is a large deer park of , to the south of the town of Windsor on the border of Berkshire and Surrey in England. The park was, for many centuries, the private hunting ground of Windsor Castle and dates primarily from the mid-13th century...

. There, Edward had relationships with a series of married women including half-British, half-American textile heiress Freda Dudley Ward
Freda Dudley Ward
Winifred May, Marquesa de Casa Maury , universally known by her first married name as Freda Dudley Ward, was an English socialite best known for being a mistress of the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII.-Life:Born Winifred May Birkin, she was the second child and eldest of three...

, and Lady Furness
Thelma Furness, Viscountess Furness
Thelma, Viscountess Furness , born Thelma Morgan, was the woman who preceded Wallis Simpson in the affections of Edward VIII of the United Kingdom...

, an American of part-Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

an ancestry, who introduced the Prince to fellow American Wallis Simpson. Mrs. Simpson had divorced her first husband in 1927 and subsequently married Ernest Simpson, a half-British, half-American businessman. Mrs. Simpson and the Prince of Wales, it is generally accepted, became lovers while Lady Furness travelled abroad, though Edward adamantly insisted to his father, the King, that he was not intimate with her and that it was not appropriate to describe her as his mistress. Edward's relationship with Mrs. Simpson further weakened his poor relationship with his father. Although the King and Queen met Mrs. Simpson at Buckingham Palace in 1935, they later refused to receive her.

Edward's affair with the American divorcee led to such grave concern that the couple were followed by members of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch
Special Branch
Special Branch is a label customarily used to identify units responsible for matters of national security in British and Commonwealth police forces, as well as in the Royal Thai Police...

, who examined in secret the nature of their relationship. An undated report detailed a visit by the couple to an antique shop, where the proprietor later noted: "that the lady seemed to have POW [Prince of Wales] completely under her thumb." The prospect of having an American divorcee with a questionable past having such sway over the heir apparent
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

 led to anxiety amongst government and establishment figures.

Reign

King George V died on 20 January 1936, and Edward ascended the throne as King Edward VIII. The next day, he broke royal protocol by watching the proclamation of his own accession to the throne from a window in the company of the then still-married Mrs. Simpson. Edward VIII became the first monarch of the Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

s to fly in an aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

 when he flew from Sandringham
Sandringham, Norfolk
Sandringham is a village and civil parish in the north of the English county of Norfolk. The village is situated some south of the village of Dersingham, north of the town of King's Lynn and north-west of the city of Norwich....

 to London for his Accession Council
Accession Council
In the United Kingdom, the Accession Council is a ceremonial body which assembles in St. James's Palace upon the death of a monarch , to make a formal proclamation of the accession of his or her successor to the throne, and to receive a religious oath from the new monarch...

.

Edward caused unease in government circles with actions that were interpreted as interference in political matters. His comment upon visiting the depressed coal mining villages in South Wales
South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...

 that "something must be done" for the unemployed coal miners was seen as directly critical of the Government, though it has never been clear whether Edward had anything in particular in mind. Government ministers were reluctant to send confidential documents and state papers to Fort Belvedere because it was clear that Edward was paying little attention to them and because of the perceived danger that Mrs. Simpson and other house guests might see them.

Edward's unorthodox approach to his role also extended to the currency which bore his image. He broke with the tradition that on coinage each successive monarch faced in the opposite direction to his or her predecessor. Edward insisted that he face left (as his father had done), to show the parting in his hair. Only a handful of test coins were struck before the abdication, and when George VI succeeded to the throne he also faced left, to maintain the tradition by suggesting that had any coins been minted featuring Edward's portrait, they would have shown him facing right.

On 16 July 1936, an Irish fraudster called Jerome Bannigan, alias George Andrew McMahon, produced a loaded revolver as the King rode on horseback at Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill, London
Constitution Hill is a road in the City of Westminster in London. It connects the western end of The Mall with Hyde Park Corner, and is bordered by Buckingham Palace Gardens and Green Park. The term "Hill" is something of a misnomer; there is barely detectable slope but most observers would...

, near Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

. Police spotted the gun and pounced on him; he was quickly arrested. At Bannigan's trial, he alleged that "a foreign power" had approached him to kill Edward, that he had informed MI5
MI5
The Security Service, commonly known as MI5 , is the United Kingdom's internal counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its core intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence...

 of the plan, and that he was merely seeing the plan through to help MI5 catch the real culprits. The court rejected the claims and sent him to jail for a year for "intent to alarm". It is now thought that Bannigan had indeed been in contact with MI5 but the veracity of the remainder of his claims remains open.

In August and September, Edward and Mrs. Simpson cruised the Eastern Mediterranean on the steam yacht Nahlin. By October it was becoming clear that the new King planned to marry Mrs. Simpson, especially when divorce proceedings between Mr. and Mrs. Simpson were brought at Ipswich
Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

 Crown Court. Preparations for all contingencies were made, including the prospect of the coronation of King Edward and Queen Wallis. Because of the religious implications of any marriage, plans were made to hold a secular coronation ceremony not in the traditional religious location, Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, but in the Banqueting House
Banqueting House
In Tudor and Early Stuart English architecture a banqueting house is a separate building reached through pleasure gardens from the main residence, whose use is purely for entertaining. It may be raised for additional air or a vista, and it may be richly decorated, but it contains no bedrooms or...

 in Whitehall.

Abdication

On 16 November 1936, Edward invited Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC was a British Conservative politician, who dominated the government in his country between the two world wars...

 to Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 and expressed his desire to marry Wallis Simpson when she became free to re-marry. Baldwin informed the King that his subjects would deem the marriage morally unacceptable, largely because remarriage after divorce was opposed by the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and the people would not tolerate Wallis as Queen. As King, Edward held the role of Supreme Governor of the Church of England
Supreme Governor of the Church of England
The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarchs which signifies their titular leadership over the Church of England. Although the monarch's authority over the Church of England is not strong, the position is still very relevant to the church and is mostly...

, and the clergy expected him to support the Church's teachings.

Edward proposed an alternative solution of a morganatic marriage
Morganatic marriage
In the context of European royalty, a morganatic marriage is a marriage between people of unequal social rank, which prevents the passage of the husband's titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage...

, in which he would remain King but Wallis would not become Queen. She would enjoy some lesser title instead, and any children they might have would not inherit the throne. This too was rejected by the British Cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

 as well as other Dominion governments, whose views were sought pursuant to the Statute of Westminster 1931
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

, which provided in part that "any alteration in the law touching the Succession to the Throne or the Royal Style and Titles shall hereafter require the assent as well of the Parliaments of all the Dominions as of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

." The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

 made clear their opposition to the King marrying a divorcee; the Irish
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

 prime minister expressed indifference and detachment, while the Prime Minister of New Zealand, having never even heard of Mrs. Simpson before, vacillated in disbelief. Faced with this opposition, Edward at first responded that there were "not many people in Australia" and their opinion did not matter.

The King informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Mrs. Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with three choices: give up the idea of marriage; marry against his ministers' wishes; or abdicate. It was clear that Edward was not prepared to give up Mrs. Simpson, and he knew that if he married against the advice of his ministers, he would cause the government to resign, prompting a constitutional crisis. He chose to abdicate.

Edward duly signed the instrumentsThere were fifteen separate copies – one for each Dominion, the Irish Free State, India, the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Prime Minister, amongst others. of abdication at Fort Belvedere on 10 December 1936 in the presence of his three surviving brothers, The Duke of York
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, The Duke of Gloucester
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester was a soldier and member of the British Royal Family, the third son of George V of the United Kingdom and Queen Mary....

 and The Duke of Kent
Prince George, Duke of Kent
Prince George, Duke of Kent was a member of the British Royal Family, the fourth son of George V and Mary of Teck, and younger brother of Edward VIII and George VI...

 (the youngest brother, Prince John
Prince John of the United Kingdom
The Prince John was a member of the British Royal Family, the youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary. The Prince had epilepsy and consequently was largely hidden from the public eye.-Early life:...

, had died in 1919). The next day, the last act of his reign was the royal assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 to His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936
His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936
His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 was the Act of the British Parliament that allowed King Edward VIII to abdicate the throne, and passed succession to his brother Prince Albert, Duke of York . The Act also excluded any possible future descendants of Edward from the line of succession...

. As required by the Statute of Westminster, all the Dominions consented to the King's abdication, though the Irish Free State did not pass the External Relations Act, which included the abdication in its schedule, until 12 December.

On the night of 11 December 1936, Edward, now reverted to the style
Style (manner of address)
A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...

 of prince, made a broadcast to the nation and the Empire, explaining his decision to abdicate. He famously said, "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."

After the broadcast, Edward departed the United Kingdom for Austria, though he was unable to join Mrs. Simpson until her divorce became absolute, several months later. His brother, Prince Albert, Duke of York
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, succeeded to the throne as George VI. George's elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

, became first in the line of succession, as heiress presumptive
Heir Presumptive
An heir presumptive or heiress presumptive is the person provisionally scheduled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir or heiress apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question...

.

Duke of Windsor

On 12 December 1936, at the Accession meeting of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

, George VI announced he was to make his brother "His Royal Highness The Duke of Windsor". He wanted this to be the first act of his reign, although the formal documents were not signed until 8 March of the following year. During the interim, Edward was universally known as the Duke of Windsor. The King's decision to create Edward a royal duke
Dukes in the United Kingdom
Duke, in the United Kingdom, is the highest-ranking hereditary title in all four peerages of the British Isles. A duke thus outranks all other holders of titles of nobility ....

 ensured that he could neither stand for election to the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 nor speak on political subjects in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

.

However, letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 dated 27 May 1937, which re-conferred upon the Duke of Windsor the "title, style, or attribute of Royal Highness", specifically stated that "his wife and descendants, if any, shall not hold said title or attribute". Some British ministers advised that Edward had no need of it being conferred because he had not lost it, and further that Mrs. Simpson would automatically obtain the rank of wife of a prince with the style Her Royal Highness; others maintained that he had lost all royal rank and should no longer carry any royal title or style as an abdicated King, and be referred to simply as "Mr. Edward Windsor". On 14 April 1937, Attorney General
Attorney General for England and Wales
Her Majesty's Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known simply as the Attorney General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown. Along with the subordinate Solicitor General for England and Wales, the Attorney General serves as the chief legal adviser of the Crown and its government in...

 Sir Donald Somervell submitted to Home Secretary
Home Secretary
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...

 Sir John Simon
John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon
John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount Simon GCSI GCVO OBE PC was a British politician who held senior Cabinet posts from the beginning of the First World War to the end of the Second. He is one of only three people to have served as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer,...

 a memorandum summarising the views of Lord Advocate
Lord Advocate
Her Majesty's Advocate , known as the Lord Advocate , is the chief legal officer of the Scottish Government and the Crown in Scotland for both civil and criminal matters that fall within the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament...

 T. M. Cooper
Thomas Cooper, 1st Baron Cooper of Culross
Thomas Mackay Cooper, 1st Baron Cooper of Culross PC, KC was a Scottish politician, judge and historian.-Background and education:...

, Parliamentary Counsel Sir Granville Ram, and himself:
  1. We incline to the view that on his abdication the Duke of Windsor could not have claimed the right to be described as a Royal Highness. In other words, no reasonable objection could have been taken if the King had decided that his exclusion from the lineal succession excluded him from the right to this title as conferred by the existing Letters Patent.
  2. The question however has to be considered on the basis of the fact that, for reasons which are readily understandable, he with the express approval of His Majesty enjoys this title and has been referred to as a Royal Highness on a formal occasion and in formal documents. In the light of precedent it seems clear that the wife of a Royal Highness enjoys the same title unless some appropriate express step can be and is taken to deprive her of it.
  3. We came to the conclusion that the wife could not claim this right on any legal basis. The right to use this style or title, in our view, is within the prerogative of His Majesty and he has the power to regulate it by Letters Patent generally or in particular circumstances.


The Duke of Windsor married Mrs. Simpson, who had changed her name by deed poll
Deed poll
A deed poll is a legal document binding only to a single person or several persons acting jointly to express an active intention...

 to Wallis Warfield, in a private ceremony on 3 June 1937, at Château de Candé
Château de Candé
The Château de Candé is a castle located in the commune of Monts, Indre-et-Loire, 10 km to the south of Tours on the border of the département of Indre in France....

, near Tours
Tours
Tours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...

, France. When the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 refused to sanction the union, a County Durham
County Durham
County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in north east England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington...

 clergyman, the Reverend Robert Anderson Jardine (Vicar of St Paul's, Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

), offered to perform the ceremony, and the Duke accepted. The new king, George VI, forbade members of the Royal Family to attend – Edward had particularly wanted his brothers the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent and his second cousin Louis Mountbatten
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 to be there – and this continued for many years to rankle with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The denial of the style Her Royal Highness to the Duchess of Windsor caused conflict, as did the financial settlement – the Government declined to include the Duke or the Duchess on the Civil List
Civil list
-United Kingdom:In the United Kingdom, the Civil List is the name given to the annual grant that covers some expenses associated with the Sovereign performing their official duties, including those for staff salaries, State Visits, public engagements, ceremonial functions and the upkeep of the...

, and the Duke's allowance was paid personally by the King. But the Duke had compromised his position with the King by concealing the extent of his financial worth when they informally agreed on the amount the King would pay. Edward's wealth had accumulated from the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall
Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall is one of two royal duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Lancaster. The eldest son of the reigning British monarch inherits the duchy and title of Duke of Cornwall at the time of his birth, or of his parent's succession to the throne. If the monarch has no son, the...

 paid to him as Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and ordinarily at the disposal of an incoming king. The new King and Queen also paid Edward for Sandringham House
Sandringham House
Sandringham House is a country house on of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by the British Royal Family and is located on the royal Sandringham Estate, which lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-History and current...

 and Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is located near the village of Crathie, west of Ballater and east of Braemar. Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British Royal Family since 1852, when it was purchased by Queen Victoria and her...

. These properties were Edward's personal property, inherited from his father, King George V, and thus did not automatically pass to George VI on his accession. Relations between the Duke of Windsor and the rest of the Royal Family were strained for decades. Edward became embittered against his mother, writing to her in 1939: "[your last letter]She had asked Alec Hardinge
Alexander Hardinge, 2nd Baron Hardinge of Penshurst
Alexander Henry Louis Hardinge, 2nd Baron Hardinge of Penshurst GCB GCVO MC PC was Private Secretary to the Sovereign during the Abdication Crisis of Edward VIII and during most of the Second World War....

 to write to the Duke explaining that he could not be invited to his father's memorial.
destroy[ed] the last vestige of feeling I had left for you … [and has] made further normal correspondence between us impossible." In the early days of George VI's reign the Duke telephoned daily, importuning for money and urging that the Duchess be granted the style of Royal Highness, until the harassed King ordered that the calls not be put through.

The Duke had assumed that he would settle in Britain after a year or two of exile in France. However, King George VI (with the support of their mother Queen Mary and his wife Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

) threatened to cut off Edward's allowance if he returned to Britain without an invitation.

World War II

In October 1937, the Duke and Duchess visited Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, against the advice of the British government, and met Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 at his Obersalzberg
Obersalzberg
Obersalzberg is a mountainside retreat situated above the market town of Berchtesgaden in Bavaria, Germany, located about southeast of Munich, close to the border with Austria...

 retreat. The visit was much publicised by the German media. During the visit the Duke gave full Nazi salute
Nazi salute
The Nazi salute, or Hitler salute , was a gesture of greeting in Nazi Germany usually accompanied by saying, Heil Hitler! ["Hail Hitler!"], Heil, mein Führer ["Hail, my leader!"], or Sieg Heil! ["Hail victory!"]...

s. The former Austrian ambassador, Count Albert von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein
Count Albert von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein
Albert Count von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein , was an Austro-Hungarian diplomat serving as Ambassador to London at the outbreak of the World War I.- Life :...

, who was also a second cousin once removed and friend of George V, believed that Edward favoured German fascism as a bulwark against communism, and even that he initially favoured an alliance with Germany. Edward's experience of "the unending scenes of horror" during World War I led him to support appeasement
Appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

. Hitler considered Edward to be friendly towards Nazi Germany and thought that Anglo-German relations could have been improved through Edward if it were not for the abdication. Fellow Nazi Albert Speer
Albert Speer
Albert Speer, born Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, was a German architect who was, for a part of World War II, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich. Speer was Adolf Hitler's chief architect before assuming ministerial office...

 quoted Hitler directly: "I am certain through him permanent friendly relations could have been achieved. If he had stayed, everything would have been different. His abdication was a severe loss for us."

The Duke and Duchess settled in France. On the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, they were brought back to Britain by Lord Mountbatten
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 on board HMS Kelly, and the Duke, although an honorary field marshal, was made a major-general
Major-General (United Kingdom)
Major general is a senior rank in the British Army. Since 1996 the highest position within the Royal Marines is the Commandant General Royal Marines who holds the rank of major general...

 attached to the British Military Mission in France. In February 1940, the German Minister in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

, Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda
Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda
Julius von Zech-Burkersroda was the German ambassador to the Hague at the start of World War II.Zech-Burkersroda studied law at universities in Germany, and was commissioned as an officer in the cavalry. After twenty years' service in the diplomatic corps, he was appointed minister to the Hague in...

, claimed that the Duke had leaked the Allied war plans for the defence of Belgium. When Germany invaded
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 the north of France in May 1940, the Windsors fled south, first to Biarritz
Biarritz
Biarritz is a city which lies on the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast, in south-western France. It is a luxurious seaside town and is popular with tourists and surfers....

, then in June to Spain. In July the pair moved to Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal, where they lived at first in the home of Ricardo de Espírito Santo
Banco Espírito Santo
Banco Espírito Santo is a private Portuguese bank, based in Lisbon.The Banco Espírito Santo’s origins began with the lottery, currency exchange and securities business carried out by José Maria do Espírito Santo e Silva between 1869 and 1884...

, a Portuguese banker with both British and German contacts. The Germans unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the Duke, via agents in Spain and Portugal, to support the German effort while residing in a neutral or German-pacified territory.

During the occupation of France, the Duke asked the German forces to place guards at his Paris and Riviera homes: they did so. A "defeatist" interview with the Duke that was widely distributed may have served as the last straw for the British government: Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 threatened the Duke with a court-martial if he did not return to British soil. In August, a British warship dispatched the pair to the Bahamas
The Bahamas
The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

, where, in the view of Churchill, the Duke could do the least damage to the British war effort.

The Duke of Windsor was installed as Governor of the Bahamas. He did not enjoy the position, and referred to the islands as "a third-class British colony". The British Foreign Office strenuously objected when the pair planned to tour aboard a yacht belonging to a Swedish magnate, Axel Wenner-Gren
Axel Wenner-Gren
Axel Lennart Wenner-Gren was a Swedish entrepreneur and one of the wealthiest men in the world during the 1930s....

, whom American intelligence wrongly believed to be a close friend of Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 commander Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

. However, the Duke was praised for his efforts to combat poverty on the islands, although he was as contemptuous of the Bahamians as he was of most non-white peoples of the Empire. He said of Étienne Dupuch
Étienne Dupuch
Sir Étienne Dupuch, OBE was the editor of the Nassau Tribune from 1919 and served in the Bahamian House of Assembly for 24 years....

, the editor of the Nassau Daily Tribune: "It must be remembered that Dupuch is more than half Negro, and due to the peculiar mentality of this Race, they seem unable to rise to prominence without losing their equilibrium." He was praised, even by Dupuch, for his resolution of civil unrest over low wages in Nassau
Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 , 70 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas...

 in 1942, even though he blamed the trouble on "mischief makers – communists" and "men of Central European Jewish descent". He resigned the post on 16 March 1945.

Many historians have suggested that Hitler was prepared to reinstate Edward as King in the hope of establishing a fascist Britain. It is widely believed that the Duke and Duchess sympathised with fascism before and during World War II, and were moved to the Bahamas to minimise their opportunities to act on those feelings. In 1940 he said: "In the past 10 years Germany has totally reorganised the order of its society ... Countries which were unwilling to accept such a reorganisation of society and its concomitant sacrifices should direct their policies accordingly." Lord Caldecote
Thomas Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote
Thomas Walker Hobart Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote CBE, PC, KC was a British politician who served in many legal posts, culminating in serving as Lord Chancellor from 1939 until 1940...

 wrote to Winston Churchill just before the couple were sent to the Bahamas, "[the Duke] is well-known to be pro-Nazi and he may become a centre of intrigue." The latter, but not the former, part of this assessment is corroborated by German operations designed to use the Duke
Operation Willi
Operation Willi was the German code name for the unsuccessful attempt by the SS to kidnap Edward, Duke of Windsor in July 1940 and induce him to work with German dictator Adolf Hitler for either a peace settlement with Britain, or a restoration to the throne after the German conquest of Great...

. The Allies became sufficiently disturbed by the German plots that U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 ordered covert surveillance of the Duke and Duchess when they visited Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Florida
The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth...

, Florida, in April 1941. Duke Carl Alexander of Württemberg
Duke Carl Alexander of Württemberg
Carl Alexander Herzog von Württemberg was a member of the House of Württemberg who became a Benedictine monk...

 (then a monk in an American monastery) had convinced the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 that the Duchess had been sleeping with the German ambassador in London, Joachim von Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

, had remained in constant contact with him, and had continued to leak secrets.

Some authors have claimed that Anthony Blunt
Anthony Blunt
Anthony Frederick Blunt , was a British art historian who was exposed as a Soviet spy late in his life.Blunt was Professor of the History of Art at the University of London, director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, Surveyor of the King's Pictures and London...

, an MI5
MI5
The Security Service, commonly known as MI5 , is the United Kingdom's internal counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its core intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence...

 agent, acting on orders from the British Royal Family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

, made a successful secret trip to Schloss Friedrichshof
Schlosshotel Kronberg
Schlosshotel Kronberg in Kronberg im Taunus was built between 1889 and 1894 for the dowager German Empress Victoria, Princess Royal and named in honour of her husband, Frederick III, German Emperor....

 in Germany towards the end of the war in order to retrieve sensitive letters between the Duke of Windsor and Adolf Hitler and other leading Nazis. What is certain is that George VI sent the Royal Librarian, Owen Morshead, accompanied by Blunt, then working part-time in the Royal Library as well as for British intelligence, to Friedrichshof in March 1945 to secure papers relating to the German Empress Victoria
Victoria, Princess Royal
The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert. She was created Princess Royal of the United Kingdom in 1841. She became German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III...

, the eldest child of Queen Victoria. Looters had stolen part of the castle's archive, including surviving letters between daughter and mother, as well as other valuables, some of which were only later recovered in Chicago after the war. The papers rescued by Morshead and Blunt, and those returned by the American authorities from Chicago, were deposited in the Royal Archives
Royal Archives
The Royal Archives, also known as the Queen's Archives, are a division of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. It is operationally under the control of the Keeper of the Royal Archives, who is customarily the Private Secretary to the Sovereign.Although Sovereigns have kept...

.

After the war, the Duke admitted in his memoirs that he admired the Germans, but he denied being pro-Nazi. Of Hitler he wrote: "[the] Führer struck me as a somewhat ridiculous figure, with his theatrical posturings and his bombastic pretensions." However, during the 1960s he said privately to a friend, Patrick Balfour, 3rd Baron Kinross, "I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap." In the 1950s, journalist Frank Giles
Frank Giles
Frank T.R. Giles was editor of the British Sunday Times newspaper from 1981–83, having served as deputy editor under his predecessor Harold Evans.-Bibliography:* Frank Giles: Sundry Times. London, Murray, 1986. ISBN 0719542898...

 heard the Duke blame British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden
Anthony Eden
Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC was a British Conservative politician, who was Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957...

 for helping to "precipitate the war through his treatment of Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 ... that's what he did, he helped to bring on the war ... and of course Roosevelt and the Jews".

Later life

The couple returned to France and spent the remainder of their lives essentially in retirement as the Duke never occupied another official role after his wartime governorship of the Bahamas. The Duke's allowance was supplemented by government favours and illegal currency trading. The City of Paris provided the Duke with a house at 4 rue du Champ d'Entraînement, on the Neuilly-sur-Seine
Neuilly-sur-Seine
Neuilly-sur-Seine is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.Although Neuilly is technically a suburb of Paris, it is immediately adjacent to the city and directly extends it. The area is composed of mostly wealthy, select residential...

 side of the Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne is a park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and Neuilly-sur-Seine...

, for a nominal rent. The French government exempted him from paying income tax, and the couple were able to buy goods duty-free through the British embassy and the military commissary. In 1951, the Duke produced a ghost-written memoir, A King's Story, in which he expresses disagreement with liberal politics. The royalties from the book added to their income. Nine years later, he penned a relatively unknown book, A Family Album, chiefly about the fashion and habits of the Royal Family throughout his life, from the time of Queen Victoria through his grandfather and father, and his own tastes.

The Duke and Duchess effectively took on the role of minor celebrities and were regarded as part of café society
Café Society
Café society was the collective description for the so-called "Beautiful People" and "Bright Young Things" who gathered in fashionable cafes and restaurants in New York, Paris, and London beginning in the late 19th century...

 in the 1950s and 1960s. They hosted parties and shuttled between Paris and New York; Gore Vidal, who met the Windsors socially, reported on the vacuity of the Duke's conversation. The couple doted on the pug
Pug
The pug is a "toy" breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and curled tail. The breed has a fine, glossy coat that comes in a variety of colors, and a compact square body with well-developed muscle. They have been described as multum in parvo , referring to the pug's personality and...

 dogs they kept.

In June 1953, instead of attending the coronation
Coronation of the British monarch
The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia...

 of Queen Elizabeth II in London, the Duke and Duchess watched the ceremony on television in Paris. The Duke said that it was contrary to precedent for a Sovereign or former Sovereign to attend any coronation of another. The Duke was paid to write articles on the ceremony for the Sunday Express and Women's Home Companion, as well as a short book, The Crown and the People, 1902–1953.

In 1955, they visited President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. The couple appeared on Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
Edward Roscoe Murrow, KBE was an American broadcast journalist. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada.Fellow journalists Eric Sevareid, Ed Bliss, and Alexander Kendrick...

's television interview show Person to Person in 1956, and a 50-minute BBC television interview in 1970. That year, they were invited as guests of honour to a dinner at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 by President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

.

The Royal Family never fully accepted the Duchess. Queen Mary refused to receive her formally. However, the Duke sometimes met his mother and brother, King George VI, and attended George's funeral. Queen Mary maintained her anger with Edward and her indignation over his marriage to Wallis: "To give up all this for that", she said. In 1965, the Duke and Duchess returned to London. They were visited by the Queen, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, née Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark was a member of the British Royal Family; the wife of Prince George, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck....

, and Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood
The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood was a member of the British Royal Family; she was the third child and only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. She was the sixth holder of the title of Princess Royal...

. A week later, the Princess Royal died, and they attended her memorial service. In 1967, they joined the Royal Family for the centenary of Queen Mary's birth. The last royal ceremony the Duke attended was the funeral of Princess Marina in 1968. He declined an invitation from the Queen to attend the Investiture of the Prince of Wales
Investiture of the Prince of Wales
The Investiture of the Prince of Wales is the ceremony marking the formal creation of the title of Prince of Wales, similar to a coronation. An Investiture is not required for the Princes of Wales, as the title is created via Letters patent, and consequently the ceremony is for formal purposes...

 in 1969, replying that Prince Charles
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

 would not want his "aged great-uncle" there.

In the 1960s, the Duke's health deteriorated. In December 1964, he was operated on by Michael DeBakey in Houston for an aneurysm
Aneurysm
An aneurysm or aneurism is a localized, blood-filled balloon-like bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. Aneurysms can commonly occur in arteries at the base of the brain and an aortic aneurysm occurs in the main artery carrying blood from the left ventricle of the heart...

 of the abdominal aorta
Abdominal aorta
The abdominal aorta is the largest artery in the abdominal cavity. As part of the aorta, it is a direct continuation of the descending aorta .-Path:...

, and in February 1965 a detached retina
Retinal detachment
Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Initial detachment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness. It is a medical emergency.The retina is a...

 in his left eye was treated by Sir Stewart Duke-Elder
Stewart Duke-Elder
Sir William Stewart Duke-Elder, GCVO, DSc, LLD, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRCS, FRS , a Scottish ophthalmologist born in Tealing near Dundee, was a dominant force in his field for more than a quarter of a century...

. In late 1971, the Duke, who was a smoker from an early age, was diagnosed with throat cancer
Head and neck cancer
Head and neck cancer refers to a group of biologically similar cancers that start in the upper aerodigestive tract, including the lip, oral cavity , nasal cavity , paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. 90% of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas , originating from the mucosal lining...

 and underwent cobalt therapy
Cobalt therapy
Cobalt therapy or cobalt-60 therapy is the medical use of gamma rays from cobalt-60 radioisotopes to treat conditions such as cancer.Because the cobalt machines were expensive and required specialist support they were often housed in cobalt units.In 1961 cobalt therapy was expected to replace X-ray...

. Queen Elizabeth II visited the Windsors in 1972 while on a state visit to France; however, only the Duchess appeared with the royal party for a photocall.

On 28 May 1972, the Duke died at his home in Paris, less than a month before his 78th birthday. His body was returned to Britain, lying in state at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The funeral service was held in the chapel on 5 June in the presence of the Queen, the Royal Family, and the Duchess of Windsor, and the coffin was buried in the Royal Burial Ground
Royal Burial Ground
The Royal Burial Ground is a cemetery used by the British Royal Family. It surrounds the Royal Mausoleum on the Frogmore Estate in the Home Park at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It was consecrated on 23 October 1928....

 behind the Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Frogmore
Frogmore
The Frogmore Estate or Gardens comprise of private gardens within the grounds of the Home Park, adjoining Windsor Castle, in the English county of Berkshire. The name derives from the preponderance of frogs which have always lived in this low-lying and marshy area.It is the location of Frogmore...

. The Duchess stayed at Buckingham Palace during her visit. Until a 1965 agreement with Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke and Duchess had previously planned for a burial in a purchased cemetery plot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, where the father of the Duchess was interred.

Frail, and suffering increasingly from senile dementia
Dementia
Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging...

, the Duchess died 14 years later, and was buried alongside her husband simply as "Wallis, Duchess of Windsor".

Titles and styles

  • 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1898: His Highness Prince Edward of York
  • 28 May 1898 – 22 January 1901: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of York
  • 22 January 1901 – 9 November 1901: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Cornwall and York
  • 9 November 1901 – 6 May 1910: His Royal Highness Prince Edward of Wales
  • 6 May 1910 – 23 June 1910: His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall
  • 23 June 1910 – 20 January 1936: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
    • in Scotland: 1910–1936: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Duke of Rothesay
  • 20 January 1936 – 11 December 1936: His Majesty The King
    • and, occasionally, outside the United Kingdom, and with regard to India: His Imperial Majesty The King-Emperor
  • 11 December 1936 – 8 March 1937: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward
  • 8 March 1937 – 28 May 1972: His Royal Highness The Duke of Windsor
    • Edward began use of the title immediately upon abdication, in accordance with George VI's declaration to his Accession Council that his first act as King would be to grant to his brother the said title. However, several months passed before the concession was formalised by Letters Patent.


His full style as king was "His Majesty, Edward the Eighth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India".

Honours

British honours
  • KG: Knight of the Garter
    Order of the Garter
    The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

    , 1910
  • KT: Knight of the Thistle
    Order of the Thistle
    The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle is an order of chivalry associated with Scotland. The current version of the Order was founded in 1687 by King James VII of Scotland who asserted that he was reviving an earlier Order...

    , 1922
  • KP: Knight of St Patrick, 1927
  • GCB: Knight Grand Cross of the Bath
    Order of the Bath
    The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

    , 1936
  • GCSI: Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India
    Order of the Star of India
    The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1861. The Order includes members of three classes:# Knight Grand Commander # Knight Commander # Companion...

    , 1921
  • GCMG: Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George
    Order of St Michael and St George
    The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

    , 1917
  • GCIE: Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire
    Order of the Indian Empire
    The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1878. The Order includes members of three classes:#Knight Grand Commander #Knight Commander #Companion...

    , 1921
  • GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
    Royal Victorian Order
    The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

    , 1920
  • GBE: Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

    , 1917
  • KStJ: Knight of Justice of St John, 1917
  • ISO: Companion of the Imperial Service Order
    Imperial Service Order
    The Imperial Service Order was established by King Edward VII in August 1902. It was awarded on retirement to the administration and clerical staff of the Civil Service throughout the British Empire for long and meritorious service. Normally a person must have served for 25 years to become...

    , 1910
  • RVC: Royal Victorian Chain
    Royal Victorian Chain
    The Royal Victorian Chain is an award, instituted in 1902 by King Edward VII as a personal award of the Monarch...

    , 1921
  • MC: Military Cross
    Military Cross
    The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

    , 1916
  • FRS: Royal Fellow of the Royal Society
    Royal Fellow of the Royal Society
    A Royal Fellow of the Royal Society is elected to the Fellowship and Foreign Membership of the Royal Society. The council of the Royal Society recommends members of the British Royal Family to be elected and then the existing Fellows vote by a secret ballot whether to accept them.There are...

  • PC: Privy Counsellor, (United Kingdom) 1920
  • PC: Privy Counsellor
    Queen's Privy Council for Canada
    The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

     (Canada), 1927


Edward lost almost all of his British honours upon accession, because he became sovereign of most of them. When he was no longer sovereign, his brother reinstated his pre-accession honours.

Foreign honours Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, 1912 Knight of the Golden Fleece
Order of the Golden Fleece
The Order of the Golden Fleece is an order of chivalry founded in Bruges by Philip III, Duke of Burgundy in 1430, to celebrate his marriage to the Portuguese princess Infanta Isabella of Portugal, daughter of King John I of Portugal. It evolved as one of the most prestigious orders in Europe...

, 1912 Order of the Elephant
Order of the Elephant
The Order of the Elephant is the highest order of Denmark. It has origins in the 15th century, but has officially existed since 1693, and since the establishment of constitutional monarchy in 1849, is now almost exclusively bestowed on royalty and heads of state.- History :A Danish religious...

, 1914 Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav, 1914 Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
The Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation is an order of chivalry, or knighthood, originating in mediæval Italy. It eventually was the pinnacle of the honours system in the Kingdom of Italy, which ceased to be a national order when the kingdom became a republic in 1946...

, 1915 Croix de Guerre
Croix de guerre
The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

, 1915 Order of St George, 1916 Order of Michael the Brave
Order of Michael the Brave
The Order of Michael the Brave is Romania's highest military decoration, instituted by King Ferdinand I during the early stages of the Romanian Campaign of World War I, and was again awarded in World War II...

, 1918 War Merit Cross, 1919 Grand Cordon of Mohamed Ali, 1922 Order of the Seraphim
Order of the Seraphim
The Royal Order of the Seraphim is a Swedish Royal order of chivalry created by King Frederick I of Sweden on 23 February 1748, together with the Order of the Sword and the Order of the Polar Star...

, 1923 Collar of the Order of Carol of Romania, 1924 Order of the Merit of Chile
Order of the Merit of Chile
The Order of the Merit of Chile is a Chilean military decoration and was created in 1929. Succeeding the Medal of the Merit, it was created during the term of the President Germán Riesco through the Minister of War decree No. 1350 on September 4, 1906...

, First Class, 1925 Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes
Order of the Condor of the Andes
The Order of the Condor of the Andes is a medal of the Bolivian government.Instituted on April 12, 1925, the Order is awarded for exceptional merit, either civil or military, shown by Bolivians or foreign nationals...

, 1931 Order of the Sun, 1931 United Orders of Christ
Order of Christ (Portugal)
The Military Order of Christ previously the Royal Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ was the heritage of the Knights Templar in Portugal, after the suppression of the Templars in 1312...

 and Aviz
Order of Aviz
The Military Order of Aviz , previously to 1910 Royal Military Order of Aviz , previously to 1789 Order of Saint Benedict of Aviz , previously Knights of St. Benedict of Aviz or Friars of Santa Maria of Évora, is a Portuguese Order of Chivalry...

, 1931 Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross
Order of the Southern Cross
The National Order of the Southern Cross is a Brazilian order of chivalry founded by Emperor Pedro I on 1 December 1822. This order was intended to commemorate the independence of Brazil and the coronation of Pedro I...

, 1933 Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Agatha, 1935

Military

  • Mid., 22 June 1911: Midshipman
    Midshipman
    A midshipman is an officer cadet, or a commissioned officer of the lowest rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya...

    , Royal Navy
  • Lt, 17 March 1913: Lieutenant, Royal Navy
  • Lt, 18 November 1914: Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, British Army. (First World War, Flanders and Italy)
  • Capt., 10 March 1916: Captain
    Captain (British Army and Royal Marines)
    Captain is a junior officer rank of the British Army and Royal Marines. It ranks above Lieutenant and below Major and has a NATO ranking code of OF-2. The rank is equivalent to a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and to a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force...

    , British Army
  • Mjr, 1918: Temporary Major, British Army
  • Col., 15 April 1919: Colonel, British Army
  • Capt., 8 July 1919: Captain
    Captain (Royal Navy)
    Captain is a senior officer rank of the Royal Navy. It ranks above Commander and below Commodore and has a NATO ranking code of OF-5. The rank is equivalent to a Colonel in the British Army or Royal Marines and to a Group Captain in the Royal Air Force. The rank of Group Captain is based on the...

    , Royal Navy
  • Gp Capt., 5 December 1922: Group Captain
    Group Captain
    Group captain is a senior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks above wing commander and immediately below air commodore...

    , Royal Air Force
  • Air Mshl, 1 September 1930: Air Marshal
    Air Marshal
    Air marshal is a three-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

    , Royal Air Force
  • 1 January 1935: Admiral, Royal Navy; General
    General (United Kingdom)
    General is currently the highest peace-time rank in the British Army and Royal Marines. It is subordinate to the Army rank of Field Marshal, has a NATO-code of OF-9, and is a four-star rank....

    , British Army; Air Chief Marshal
    Air Chief Marshal
    Air chief marshal is a senior 4-star air-officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force...

    , Royal Air Force
  • 1936: Admiral of the Fleet
    Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy)
    Admiral of the fleet is the highest rank of the British Royal Navy and other navies, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-10. The rank still exists in the Royal Navy but routine appointments ceased in 1996....

    , Royal Navy; Field Marshal, British Army; Marshal of the Royal Air Force
    Marshal of the Royal Air Force
    Marshal of the Royal Air Force is the highest rank in the Royal Air Force. In peacetime it was granted to RAF officers in the appointment of Chief of the Defence Staff, and to retired Chiefs of the Air Staff, who were promoted to it on their last day of service. Promotions to the rank have ceased...

  • Major-Gen., 3 September 1939: Major-General
    Major-General (United Kingdom)
    Major general is a senior rank in the British Army. Since 1996 the highest position within the Royal Marines is the Commandant General Royal Marines who holds the rank of major general...

    , British Army

Honorary degrees

  • Hon LLD: Edinburgh, Toronto, Alberta and Queen's University Kingston (Ontario) 1919, Melbourne 1920, Cambridge and Calcutta 1921, St Andrews and Hong Kong 1922, Witwatersrand 1925
  • Hon DCL: Oxford 1921
  • DSc and Hon MCom: London 1921
  • DLitt: Benares 1921

Arms

As Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

, Edward's arms were the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom, and are officially known as her Arms of Dominion...

, differenced with a label
Label (heraldry)
In heraldry, a label is a charge resembling the strap crossing the horse’s chest from which pendants are hung. It is usually a mark of difference, but has sometimes been borne simply as a charge in its own right....

 of three points argent
Argent
In heraldry, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it...

, with an inescutcheon representing Wales surmounted by a coronet (identical to those of Charles, the current Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

). As Sovereign, he bore the royal arms undifferenced. After his abdication, he used the arms again differenced by a label of three points argent, but this time with the centre point bearing an imperial crown.



Ancestry



See also


External links

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