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Profile of the Day: Edward VIII

Profile of the Day: Edward VIII

Edward VIII

On this day in 1936, history was made when Edward VIII became the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne.

He ascended to the throne after the death of his father, George V. However, his reign had caused unease in government circles. Only months into his reign, the King announced his engagement to Wallis Simpson, an American socialite and divorcée. Their relationship was controversial from the start and news of their engagement would lead to a constitutional crisis. The government, the public and the Church of England condemned the King’s decision to marry the twice divorced socialite.

Faced with the either giving up on the idea of marriage or abdicating the throne, Edward chose to abdicate. In a worldwide radio broadcast, Edward proclaimed, “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 his abdication, his brother Prince Albert, Duke of York, succeeded to the throne as George VI.

Explore Edward VIII’s family tree and discover how you’re connected to the British royal family!

View Edward VIII’s Geni Profile


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Image: Library of Congress


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