Edward VIII 1894 – 1972
January 29, 2009
Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, The Duke of Windsor) 1894 – 1972 was King of the United Kingdom and the British dominions, and Emperor of India from 20 January 1936, following the death of his father, George V, until his abdication on 11 December 1936.
Edward VIII was also a patient of Thomas Jeeves Horder.
Before his accession to the throne, Edward VIII held the titles of Prince Edward of York, Prince Edward of Cornwall and York, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, and Prince of Wales. As a young man, he served in World War I, undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, and was associated with a succession of older, married women.
Only months into his reign, Edward caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American divorcée Wallis Simpson.
Although legally Edward could have married Mrs. Simpson and remained king, the prime ministers of his various realms opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept her as queen.
Edward knew that the ministry of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin would resign if the marriage went ahead; this could have dragged the King into a general election, thus ruining irreparably his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch.
Rather than give up Mrs. Simpson, Edward chose to abdicate, making him the only monarch of Britain, and indeed any Commonwealth realm, to have voluntarily relinquished the throne.
With a reign of 325 days, he is one of the shortest reigning monarchs in the history of any of his countries, and was never crowned.
After his abdication, he reverted to the style of a son of the Sovereign, The Prince Edward, and was created Duke of Windsor on 8 March 1937.
During World War II, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he held pro Nazi sympathies, was moved to the Bahamas as Governor and Commander in Chief.
After the war, he was never given another official appointment, and spent the remainder of his life in retirement.