King Edward VIII
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Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was
King of the United Kingdom There have been 12 monarchy of the United Kingdom, British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland on Acts of Union 1707, 1 May 1707. England and Scotland had been in personal union since 24 March ...
and the
Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...

Dominion
s of the
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British Empire
, and
Emperor of India Emperor or Empress of India, was a title used by British monarchs from 1 May 1876 (with the Royal Titles Act 1876) to 22 June 1948, that was used to signify their rule over British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of ...
from 20 January 1936 until his abdication in December of the same year. Edward was born during the reign of his great-grandmother
Queen Victoria Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Known as the Victorian era, her reign of 63 years and seven months was Lis ...

Queen Victoria
as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later
King George V George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A co ...

King George V
and Queen Mary. He was created
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...

Prince of Wales
on his 16th birthday, seven weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, Edward served in the
British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time personnel and 30,020 Army Reserve (United Kingdom), reserve personnel. ...
during the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war that began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. It involved much of Europe, as well as Russia, the Unite ...
and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father. While Prince of Wales, he engaged in a series of sexual affairs that worried both his father and then-British prime minister
Stanley Baldwin Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, (3 August 186714 December 1947) was a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative statesman who dominated the government of the Interwar Britain, United Kingdom between the world wars, serving as P ...
. Upon his father's death in 1936, Edward became the second monarch of the
House of Windsor The House of Windsor is the reigning royal house of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Brita ...
. The new king showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, a constitutional crisis was caused by his proposal to marry
Wallis Simpson Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (born Bessie Wallis Warfield; June 19, 1896 – April 24, 1986), known as Wallis Simpson, was an American socialite A socialite is a person (usually from a wealthy, or aristocratic background) who plays a promin ...
, an American 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 a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands was politically and socially unacceptable as a prospective
queen consort A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king, or an empress consort in the case of an emperor. A queen consort usually shares her spouse's social Royal and noble ranks, rank and status. She holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchi ...
. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as titular head of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, monarch is the Supreme Governor of t ...
, which, at the time, disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. Edward knew the Baldwin government would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would have ruined his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. When it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, he abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is the list of monarchs in Britain by length of reign#United Kingdom, shortest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. After his abdication, Edward was created Duke of Windsor. He married Wallis in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later that year, the couple Duke and Duchess of Windsor's 1937 tour of Germany, toured Nazi Germany. During the Second World War, Edward was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he was a Nazi sympathiser, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in France. He and Wallis remained married until his death in 1972.


Early life

Edward 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 Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Known as the Victorian era, her reign of 63 years and seven months was Lis ...

Queen Victoria
. He was the eldest son of the Duke of York, Duke and Duchess of York (later
King George V George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy A co ...

King George V
and Queen Mary). His father was the son of the Prince of Wales, Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra). His mother was the eldest daughter of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge and Francis, Duke of Teck. At the time of his birth, he was third in the Succession to the British throne, line of succession to the throne, behind his grandfather and father. 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, Archbishop of Canterbury. The name "Edward" was chosen in honour of Edward's late uncle Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, who was known within the family as "Eddy" (Edward being among his given names); "Albert" was included at the behest of Queen Victoria for her late husband Albert, Prince Consort; "Christian" was in honour of his great-grandfather King Christian IX of Denmark; and the last four names – Saint George, George, Andrew the Apostle, Andrew, Saint Patrick, Patrick and Saint David, David – came from, respectively, the patron saints of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. He was always known to his family and close friends by his last given name, David. As was common practice with upper-class children of the time, Edward and his younger siblings were brought up by nannies rather than directly by their parents. One of Edward's early nannies often abused him 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 him and the nanny away. The nanny was discharged after her mistreatment of the children was discovered, and she was replaced by Charlotte Bill. Edward's father, though a harsh disciplinarian, was demonstratively affectionate, and his mother displayed a frolicsome side with her children that belied her austere public image. She was amused by the children making Tadpole, tadpoles on toast for their French schoolmaster, master as a prank, and encouraged them to confide in her.


Education

Initially, Edward was tutored at home by Helen Bricka. When his parents travelled the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

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, Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Alexandra and Edward VII, 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 brothers and sister for their remaining nursery years. Edward was kept under the strict tutorship of Hansell until almost thirteen years old. Private tutors taught him German language, German and French language, French. Edward took the examination to enter the Royal Naval College, Osborne, and began there in 1907. Hansell had wanted Edward to enter school earlier, but the prince's father had disagreed. Following two years at Osborne College, which he did not enjoy, Edward moved on to the Britannia Royal Naval College, Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, Devon, Dartmouth. A course of two years, followed by entry into the Royal Navy, was planned. Edward automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay on 6 May 1910 when his father ascended the throne as George V on the death of Edward VII. He was created
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...

Prince of Wales
and Earl of Chester a month later on 23 June 1910, his 16th birthday. Preparations for his future as king began in earnest. He was withdrawn from his naval course before his formal graduation, served as midshipman for three months aboard the battleship ''HMS Hindustan (1903), Hindustan'', then immediately entered Magdalen College, Oxford, for which, in the opinion of his biographers, he was underprepared intellectually. A keen horseman, he learned how to play polo with the Oxford University Polo Club, university club. He left Oxford after eight terms, without any academic qualifications.Parker, pp. 14–16


Prince of Wales

Edward was officially Investiture of the Prince of Wales, invested as Prince of Wales in a special ceremony at Caernarfon Castle on 13 July 1911. The investiture took place in Wales, at the instigation of the Welsh politician David Lloyd George, Constable of the Castle and Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Liberal Party (UK), Liberal government.Windsor, p. 78 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 World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war that began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. It involved much of Europe, as well as Russia, the Unite ...
broke out in 1914, Edward had reached the minimum age for active service and was keen to participate. He had joined the Grenadier Guards in June 1914, and although Edward was willing to serve on the front lines, Secretary of State for War Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, Lord Kitchener refused to allow it, citing the immense harm that would occur if the heir apparent to the throne were captured by the enemy. Despite this, Edward witnessed trench warfare first-hand and visited the front line as often as he could, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, made him popular among veterans of the conflict. He undertook his first military flight in 1918, and later gained a pilot's licence. Edward's youngest brother, Prince John of the United Kingdom, Prince John, died at the age of 13 on 18 January 1919 after a severe epileptic seizure. Edward, who was 11 years older than John and had hardly known him, saw his death as "little more than a regrettable nuisance".Ziegler, p. 80 He wrote to his mistress of the time that "[he had] told [her] all about that little brother, and how he was an epileptic. [John]'s been practically shut up for the last two years anyhow, so no one has ever seen him except the family, and then only once or twice a year. This poor boy had become more of an animal than anything else." He also wrote an insensitive letter to his mother which has since been lost. She did not reply, but he felt compelled to write her an apology, in which he stated: "I feel such a cold hearted and unsympathetic swine for writing all that I did ... No one can realize more than you how little poor Johnnie meant to me who hardly knew him ... I feel so much for you, darling Mama, who was his mother." Throughout the 1920s, Edward, as the Prince of Wales, represented his father at home and abroad on many occasions. His rank, travels, good looks, and unmarried status gained him much public attention. At the height of his popularity, he was the most photographed celebrity of his time and he set men's fashion. During his 1924 visit to the United States, ''Men's Wear'' magazine observed, "The average young man in America is more interested in the clothes of the Prince of Wales than in any other individual on earth." Edward visited Poverty in the United Kingdom, poverty-stricken areas of Britain, and undertook 16 tours to various parts of the British Empire, Empire between 1919 and 1935. On a Royal visits to Canada, tour of Canada in 1919, he acquired the Bedingfield ranch, near Pekisko, Alberta, and in 1924, he donated the Prince of Wales Trophy to the National Hockey League. He escaped unharmed when the train he was riding in during a Royal visits to Australia, tour of Australia was derailed outside Perth in 1920. In 1929 Sir Alexander Leith, 1st Baronet, Sir Alexander Leith, a leading Conservative Party (UK), Conservative in the Northern England, north of England, persuaded him to make a three-day visit to the Durham Coalfield, County Durham and Northumberland coalfields, where there was much Unemployment in the United Kingdom, unemployment. From January to April 1931, the Prince of Wales and his brother Prince George, Duke of Kent, Prince George travelled on a tour of South America, steaming out on the ocean liner , and returning via Paris and an Imperial Airways flight from Paris–Le Bourget Airport that landed specially in Windsor Great Park. Though widely travelled, Edward shared a widely held racial prejudice against foreigners and many of the Empire's subjects, White supremacy, believing that whites were inherently superior. In 1920, on his visit to Australia, he wrote of Indigenous Australians: "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." In 1919, Edward agreed to be president of the organising committee for the proposed British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Park, Middlesex. He wished the Exhibition to include "a great national sports ground", and so played a part in the creation of Wembley Stadium (1923), Wembley Stadium.


Romances

By 1917, Edward liked to spend time partying in Paris while he was on leave from his regiment on the Western Front. He was introduced to Parisian courtesan Marguerite Alibert, with whom he became infatuated. He wrote her candid letters, which she kept. After about a year, Edward broke off the affair. In 1923, Alibert was acquitted in a spectacular murder trial after she shot her husband in the Savoy Hotel. Desperate efforts were made by the Royal Household to ensure that Edward's name was not mentioned in connection with the trial or Alibert. Edward's womanising and reckless behaviour during the 1920s and 1930s worried Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, (3 August 186714 December 1947) was a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative statesman who dominated the government of the Interwar Britain, United Kingdom between the world wars, serving as P ...
, King George V, and those close to the prince. George V was disappointed by his son's failure to settle down in life, disgusted by his affairs with married women, and reluctant to see him inherit the Crown. "After I am dead," George said, "the boy will ruin himself in twelve months." George V favoured his second son Albert ("Bertie") and Albert's daughter Elizabeth ("Lilibet"), later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II respectively. He told a courtier, "I pray to God that my eldest son will never marry and have children, and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne." In 1929, ''Time (magazine), Time'' magazine reported that Edward teased Albert's wife, also named Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), 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". In 1930, George V gave Edward the lease of Fort Belvedere, Surrey, Fort Belvedere in Windsor Great Park. There, he continued his relationships with a series of married women, including Freda Dudley Ward and Lady Furness, the American wife of a British peer, who introduced the prince to her friend and fellow American
Wallis Simpson Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (born Bessie Wallis Warfield; June 19, 1896 – April 24, 1986), known as Wallis Simpson, was an American socialite A socialite is a person (usually from a wealthy, or aristocratic background) who plays a promin ...
. Simpson had divorced her first husband, United States Navy, U.S. Navy officer Win Spencer, in 1927. Her second husband, Ernest Simpson, was a British-American businessman. Wallis Simpson and the Prince of Wales, it is generally accepted, became lovers, while Lady Furness travelled abroad, although the prince adamantly insisted to his father that he was not having an affair with her and that it was not appropriate to describe her as his mistress. Edward's relationship with Simpson, however, further weakened his poor relationship with his father. Although his parents met Simpson at Buckingham Palace in 1935, they later refused to receive her. Edward's affair with an American divorcée led to such grave concern that the couple were followed by members of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch (Metropolitan Police), Special Branch, 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 divorcée with a questionable past having such sway over the heir apparent led to anxiety among 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, accompanied by Simpson, he broke with custom by watching the proclamation of his own accession from a window of St James's Palace. He became the first monarch of the British Empire to fly in an aircraft when he flew from Sandringham, Norfolk, Sandringham to London for his Accession Council.Colin Matthew, Matthew, H. C. G. (September 2004; online edition January 2008
"Edward VIII, later Prince Edward, duke of Windsor (1894–1972)"
, ''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography'', Oxford University Press, , retrieved 1 May 2010 (Subscription required)
Edward caused unease in government circles with actions that were interpreted as interference in political matters. His comment during a tour of depressed villages in South Wales that "something must be done" for the unemployed coal miners was seen as an attempt to guide government policy, though he had not proposed any remedy or change in policy. 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 it was feared that Simpson and other house guests might read them, improperly or inadvertently revealing government secrets. Edward's unorthodox approach to his role also extended to the Edward VIII coins, coinage that bore his image. He broke with the tradition that the profile portrait of each successive monarch faced in the direction opposite to that of 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 all are very rare. When George VI succeeded to the throne he also faced left to maintain the tradition by suggesting that, had any further coins been minted featuring Edward's portrait, they would have shown him facing right. On 16 July 1936, Jerome Bannigan, alias George McMahon (failed assassin), George Andrew McMahon, produced a loaded revolver as Edward rode on horseback at Constitution Hill, London, Constitution Hill, near Buckingham Palace. 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 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 Simpson cruised the Eastern Mediterranean on the steam yacht ''Nahlin (yacht), Nahlin''. By October it was becoming clear that the new king planned to marry Simpson, especially when Divorce in England and Wales, divorce proceedings between the Simpsons were brought at Ipswich Assizes. Although gossip about his affair was widespread in the United States, the Mass media in the United Kingdom, British media kept silent voluntarily, and the general public knew nothing until early December.


Abdication

On 16 November 1936, Edward invited Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, (3 August 186714 December 1947) was a British Conservative Party (UK), Conservative statesman who dominated the government of the Interwar Britain, United Kingdom between the world wars, serving as P ...
to Buckingham Palace and expressed his desire to marry Simpson when she became free to remarry. Baldwin informed him that his subjects would deem the marriage morally unacceptable, largely because remarriage after divorce was opposed by the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, monarch is the Supreme Governor of t ...
, and the people would not tolerate Simpson as queen. As king, Edward was the titular Supreme Governor of the Church of England, head of the Church, and the clergy expected him to support the Church's teachings. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Gordon Lang, was vocal in insisting that Edward must go. Edward proposed an alternative solution of a morganatic marriage, in which he would remain king but Simpson would not become
queen consort A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king, or an empress consort in the case of an emperor. A queen consort usually shares her spouse's social Royal and noble ranks, rank and status. She holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchi ...
. She would enjoy some lesser title instead, and any children they might have would not inherit the throne. This was supported by senior politician Winston Churchill in principle, and some historians suggest that he conceived the plan. In any event, it was ultimately rejected by the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, British Cabinet as well as other
Dominion The word Dominion was used from 1907 to 1948 to refer to one of several self-governing colonies of the British Empire. "Dominion status" was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, Dominion of New Zealand, New Zealand, Dominion of Newfoundland ...

Dominion
governments. Their views were sought pursuant to the Statute of Westminster 1931, 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." The Prime Minister of Australia, Prime Ministers of Australia (Joseph Lyons), Prime Minister of Canada, Canada (Mackenzie King) and Prime Minister of South Africa, South Africa (J. B. M. Hertzog) made clear their opposition to the king marrying a divorcée; their Irish Free State, Irish counterpart (Éamon de Valera) expressed indifference and detachment, while the Prime Minister of New Zealand (Michael Joseph Savage), having never heard of 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. Edward informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with three options: give up the idea of marriage; marry against his ministers' wishes; or abdicate. It was clear that Edward was not prepared to give up 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 instruments of abdication at Fort Belvedere on 10 December 1936 in the presence of his younger brothers: Prince Albert, Duke of York, next in line for the throne; Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester; and Prince George, Duke of Kent.Windsor, p. 407 The document included these words: "declare my irrevocable determination to renounce the throne for myself and for my descendants and my desire that effect should be given to this instrument of abdication immediately". The next day, the last act of his reign was the royal assent to His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936. As required by the Statute of Westminster, all the Dominions had already consented to the abdication. On the night of 11 December 1936, Edward, now reverted to the title and style of a prince, explained his decision to abdicate in a worldwide BBC radio broadcast. He 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." He added that the "decision was mine and mine alone ... The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course". Edward departed Britain for Federal State of Austria, Austria the following day; he was unable to join Simpson until her divorce became absolute, several months later. His brother, the Duke of York, succeeded to the throne as George VI. George VI's elder daughter, Elizabeth II, Princess Elizabeth, became heir presumptive.


Duke of Windsor

On 12 December 1936, at the accession meeting of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, George VI announced his intention to make his brother the "Duke of Windsor" with the style of ''Royal Highness''. He wanted this to be the first act of his reign, although the formal documents were not signed until 8 March the following year. During the interim, Edward was known as the Duke of Windsor. George VI's decision to create Edward a royal duke ensured that he could neither stand for election to the British House of Commons nor speak on political subjects in the House of Lords. Letters Patent dated 27 May 1937 re-conferred the "title, style, or attribute of Royal Highness" upon the Duke, but specifically stated that "his wife and descendants, if any, shall not hold said title or attribute". Some British ministers advised that the reconfirmation was unnecessary since Edward had retained the style automatically, and further that 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 for England and Wales, Attorney General Sir Donald Somervell submitted to Home Secretary Sir John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, John Simon a memorandum summarising the views of Lord Advocate Thomas Cooper, 1st Baron Cooper of Culross, T. M. Cooper, Parliamentary Counsel Sir Granville Ram, and himself: The Duke married Simpson, who had changed her name by deed poll to Wallis Warfield, in a private ceremony on 3 June 1937, at Château de Candé, near Tours, France. When the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, monarch is the Supreme Governor of t ...
refused to sanction the union, a County Durham clergyman, the Reverend Robert Anderson Jardine (Vicar of St Paul's, Darlington), offered to perform the ceremony, and the Duke accepted. George VI forbade members of the royal family to attend, to the lasting resentment of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Edward had particularly wanted his brothers the dukes of Gloucester and Kent and his second cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten to attend the ceremony. The denial of the style Royal Highness to the Duchess of Windsor caused further conflict, as did the financial settlement. The Government declined to include the Duke or Duchess on the Civil List, and the Duke's allowance was paid personally by George VI. The Duke compromised his position with his brother by concealing the extent of his financial worth when they informally agreed on the amount of the allowance. Edward's wealth had accumulated from the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall paid to him as
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ) is a title traditionally and ceremonially granted to the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of ...

Prince of Wales
and ordinarily at the disposal of an incoming king. George VI also paid Edward for Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle, which were Edward's personal property, inherited from his father and thus did not automatically pass to George VI on his accession.Ziegler, pp. 376–378 Edward received approximately £300,000 (equivalent to between £20.5 and £134.4 million in 2019) for both residences which was paid to him in yearly instalments. 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. Relations between the Duke of Windsor and the rest of the royal family were strained for decades. The Duke had assumed that he would settle in Britain after a year or two of exile in France. King George VI (with the support of Queen Mary and his wife Queen Elizabeth) threatened to cut off Edward's allowance if he returned to Britain without an invitation. Edward became embittered against his mother, Queen Mary, writing to her in 1939: "[your last letter] destroy[ed] the last vestige of feeling I had left for you ... [and has] made further normal correspondence between us impossible."Ziegler, p. 384 In October 1937, Duke and Duchess of Windsor's 1937 tour of Germany, the Duke and Duchess visited Nazi Germany, against the advice of the British government, and met Adolf Hitler at his Berghof (residence), Berghof retreat in Bavaria. The visit was much publicised by the German media. During the visit the Duke gave full Nazi salutes. In Germany, "they were treated like royalty ... members of the aristocracy would bow and curtsy towards her, and she was treated with all the dignity and status that the duke always wanted", according to royal biographer Andrew Morton (writer), Andrew Morton in a 2016 BBC interview. The former Austrian ambassador, Count Albert von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein, 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. According to the Duke of Windsor, the experience of "the unending scenes of horror" during the First World War led him to support appeasement. Hitler considered Edward to be friendly towards Germany and thought that Anglo-German relations could have been improved through Edward if it were not for the abdication. Albert Speer 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.


Second World War

In May 1939, the Duke was commissioned by NBC to give a radio broadcast (his first since abdicating) during a visit to the First World War battlefields of Battle of Verdun, Verdun. In it he appealed for peace, saying "I am deeply conscious of the presence of the great company of the dead, and I am convinced that could they make their voices heard they would be with me in what I am about to say. I speak simply as a soldier of the Last War whose most earnest prayer it is that such cruel and destructive madness shall never again overtake mankind. There is no land whose people want war." The broadcast was heard across the world by millions. It was widely seen as supporting appeasement, and the BBC refused to broadcast it.Bradford, p. 285; Ziegler, pp. 398–399 It was broadcast outside the United States on shortwave radio and was reported in full by British broadsheet newspapers. On the outbreak of the World War II, Second World War in September 1939, the Duke and Duchess were brought back to Britain by Louis Mountbatten on board HMS Kelly, HMS ''Kelly'', and Edward, although he held the rank of Field marshal (United Kingdom), field marshal, was made a Major-general (United Kingdom), major-general attached to the British Military Mission in France. In February 1940, the German ambassador in The Hague, Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda, claimed that the Duke had leaked the Allied Dyle Plan, war plans for the defence of Belgium, which the Duke later denied. When Germany Battle of France, invaded the north of France in May 1940, the Windsors fled south, first to Biarritz, then in June to Francoist Spain. In July the pair moved to Estado Novo (Portugal), Portugal, where they lived at first in the home of Ricardo Espírito Santo, a Portuguese banker with both British and German contacts. Under the code name Operation Willi, Nazi agents, principally Walter Schellenberg, plotted unsuccessfully to persuade the Duke to leave Portugal and return to Spain, kidnapping him if necessary. Thomas Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote, Lord Caldecote wrote a warning to Winston Churchill, who by this point was prime minister, that "[the Duke] is well-known to be pro-Nazi and he may become a centre of intrigue." Churchill threatened the Duke with a Military courts of the United Kingdom, court-martial if he did not return to British soil. In July 1940, Edward was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. The Duke and Duchess left Lisbon on 1 August aboard the American Export Lines steamship ''USS Joseph Hewes (AP-50), Excalibur'', which was specially diverted from its usual direct course to New York City so that they could be dropped off at Bermuda on the 9th. They left Bermuda for Nassau, Bahamas, Nassau on the Canadian National Steamship Company vessel ''Lady Somers'' on 15 August, arriving two days later. The Duke did not enjoy being governor and privately referred to the islands as "a third-class Crown colony, British colony". The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, British Foreign Office strenuously objected when the Duke and Duchess planned to cruise aboard a yacht belonging to a Swedish magnate, Axel Wenner-Gren, whom British and American intelligence wrongly believed to be a close friend of Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring. 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, 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 in 1942, even though he blamed the trouble on "mischief makers – communists" and "men of Eastern European Jewry, Central European Jewish descent, who had secured jobs as a pretext for obtaining a deferment of Conscription in the United Kingdom, draft". He resigned from the post on 16 March 1945. Many historians have suggested that Adolf Hitler was prepared to reinstate Edward as king in the hope of establishing a fascist Puppet state, puppet government in Britain after Operation Sea Lion. It is widely believed that the Duke and Duchess sympathised with fascism before and during the Second World War, 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." During the German military administration in occupied France during World War II, occupation of France, the Duke asked the German Wehrmacht forces to place guards at his Paris and French Riviera, Riviera homes; they did so. In December 1940, the Duke gave Fulton Oursler of ''Liberty (general interest magazine), Liberty'' magazine an interview at Government House, The Bahamas, Government House in Nassau. Oursler conveyed its content to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a private meeting at the White House on 23 December 1940. The interview was published on 22 March 1941 and in it the Duke was reported to have said that "Hitler was the right and logical leader of the German people" and that the time was coming for President Roosevelt to mediate a peace settlement. The Duke protested that he had been misquoted and misinterpreted. The Allies of World War II, Allies became sufficiently disturbed by German plots revolving around the Duke that President Roosevelt ordered covert surveillance of the Duke and Duchess when they visited Palm Beach, Florida, in April 1941. Duke Carl Alexander of Württemberg (then a monk in an American monastery) had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the Duchess had slept with the German ambassador in London, Joachim von Ribbentrop, in 1936; had remained in constant contact with him; and had continued to leak secrets. Author Charles Higham (biographer), Charles Higham claimed that Anthony Blunt, an MI5 agent and Soviet spy, acting on orders from the British royal family, made a successful secret trip to Schloss Friedrichshof in Allied-occupied Germany towards the end of the war 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, Windsor, Royal Library as well as for British intelligence, to Friedrichshof in March 1945 to secure papers relating to the Victoria, Princess Royal, German Empress Victoria, 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 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. In the late 1950s, documents recovered by U.S. troops in Marburg, Germany, in May 1945, since titled the Marburg Files, were published following more than a decade of suppression, enhancing theories of the Duke's sympathies for Nazism, Nazi ideologies. 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." In the 1950s, journalist Frank Giles heard the Duke blame British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden for helping to "precipitate the war through his treatment of Mussolini ... that's what [Eden] did, he helped to bring on the war ... and of course Roosevelt and the Jews". During the 1960s the Duke said privately to a friend, Patrick Balfour, 3rd Baron Kinross, "I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap."


Later life

At the end of the war, the couple returned to France and spent the remainder of their lives essentially in retirement as the Duke never held another official role. Correspondence between the Duke and Kenneth de Courcy, dated between 1946 and 1949, emerged in a U.S. library in 2009. The letters suggest a scheme where the Duke would return to England and place himself in a position for a possible Regent, regency. The health of George VI was failing and de Courcy was concerned about the influence of the Mountbatten family over the young Princess Elizabeth. De Courcy suggested the Duke buy a working agricultural estate within an easy drive of London in order to gain favour with the British public and make himself available should the King become incapacitated. The Duke, however, hesitated and the King recovered from his surgery. 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 route du Champ d'Entraînement, on the Neuilly-sur-Seine side of the Bois de Boulogne, for a nominal rent. The French government exempted him from paying income tax,Roberts, p. 53Bradford, p. 446 and the couple were able to buy goods Duty-free shop, duty-free through the Embassy of the United Kingdom, Paris, British embassy and the War commissary, military commissary. In 1952, they bought and renovated a weekend country retreat, ''Le Moulin de la Tuilerie'' at Gif-sur-Yvette, the only property the couple ever owned themselves. In 1951, the Duke had produced a ghost-written memoir, ''A King's Story'', in which he expressed disagreement with liberal politics. The royalties from the book added to their income. The Duke and Duchess effectively took on the role of celebrities and were regarded as part of café society 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 dogs they kept. In June 1953, instead of attending the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, his niece, 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. He was paid to write articles on the ceremony for the ''Sunday Express'' and ''Woman's Home Companion'', as well as a short book, ''The Crown and the People, 1902–1953''. In 1955, they visited President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House. The couple appeared on Edward R. Murrow's television-interview show ''Person to Person'' in 1956, and in a The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in conversation with Kenneth Harris, 50-minute BBC television interview in 1970. On 4 April of that year President Richard Nixon invited them as guests of honour to a dinner at the White House with Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Charles Lindbergh, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Arnold Palmer, George H. W. Bush, and Frank Borman. The royal family never fully accepted the Duchess. Queen Mary refused to receive her formally. However, Edward sometimes met his mother and his brother, George VI; he attended George's funeral in 1952. Queen Mary remained angry with Edward and indignant 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 Elizabeth II, his sister-in-law Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and his sister Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood. 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 Elizabeth II to attend the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969, replying that Prince Charles would not want his "aged great-uncle" there. In the 1960s, the Duke's health deteriorated. Michael E. DeBakey operated on him in Houston for an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta in December 1964, and Sir Stewart Duke-Elder treated a detached retina in his left eye in February 1965. In late 1971, the Duke, who was a smoker from an early age, was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent cobalt therapy. On 18 May 1972, Queen Elizabeth II visited the Duke and Duchess of Windsor while on a state visit to France; she spoke with the Duke for fifteen minutes, but only the Duchess appeared with the royal party for a photocall as the Duke was too ill.


Death and legacy

On 28 May 1972, ten days after the Queen's visit, 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 took place in the chapel on 5 June in the presence of the Queen, the royal family, and the Duchess of Windsor, who stayed at Buckingham Palace during her visit. He was buried in the Royal Burial Ground, Frogmore, Royal Burial Ground behind the Royal Mausoleum, Frogmore, Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Frogmore. Until a 1965 agreement with the Queen, the Duke and Duchess had planned for a burial in a cemetery plot they had purchased at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, where the Duchess's father was interred. Frail, and suffering increasingly from dementia, the Duchess died in 1986, and was buried alongside her husband. In the view of historians, such as Philip Williamson (historian), Philip Williamson writing in 2007, the popular perception in the 21st century that the abdication was driven by politics rather than religious morality is false and arises because divorce has become much more common and socially acceptable. To modern sensibilities, the religious restrictions that prevented Edward from continuing as king while planning to marry Simpson "seem, wrongly, to provide insufficient explanation" for his abdication.


Titles, styles, honours and arms


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 ** in Scotland: ''His Royal Highness'' The Duke of Rothesay * 23 June 1910 – 20 January 1936: ''His Royal Highness'' The Prince of Wales * 20 January 1936 – 11 December 1936: ''His Majesty'' The King * 11 December 1936 – 8 March 1937: ''His Royal Highness'' Prince Edward * 8 March 1937 – 28 May 1972: ''His Royal Highness'' The Duke of Windsor


Other

* 20 October 1919: Chief Dayon-hem-se-ia ("Dawn of Day") of the Iroquois Confederacy


Military ranks

* ''22 June 1911'': Midshipman, Royal NavyGeorge Cokayne, Cokayne, G.E.; Doubleday, H.A.; Thomas Scott-Ellis, 8th Baron Howard de Walden, Howard de Walden, Lord (1940), ''The Complete Peerage'', London: St. Catherine's Press, vol. XIII, pp. 116–117 * ''17 March 1913'': Lieutenant, Royal Navy * ''18 November 1914'': Lieutenant (British Army and Royal Marines), Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, British Army. (First World War, Flanders and Italy) * ''10 March 1916'': Captain (British Army and Royal Marines), Captain, British Army * ''1918'': Temporary Major (United Kingdom), Major, British Army * ''15 April 1919'': Colonel (United Kingdom), Colonel, British Army * ''8 July 1919'': Captain (Royal Navy), Captain, Royal Navy * ''5 December 1922'': Group Captain, Royal Air Force * ''1 September 1930'': vice admiral (Royal Navy), Vice-Admiral, Royal Navy; lieutenant-general (British Army), Lieutenant-General, British Army; Air Marshal, Royal Air Force * ''1 January 1935'': Admiral (Royal Navy), Admiral, Royal Navy; General (United Kingdom), General, British Army; Air Chief Marshal, Royal Air Force * ''21 January 1936'': Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy), Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Navy; Field Marshal (United Kingdom), Field Marshal, British Army; Marshal of the Royal Air Force * ''3 September 1939'': Major-General (United Kingdom), Major-General, British Army


Honours


British Commonwealth and Empire honours

* KG: Order of the Garter, Royal Knight of the Garter, ''1910''''Kelly's Handbook'', 98th ed. (1972), p. 41 * MC: Military Cross, ''1916'' * GCMG: Order of St Michael and St George, Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George, ''1917'' * GBE: Order of the British Empire, Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire, ''1917'' * ADC: Personal aide-de-camp, 3 June 1919 * GCVO: Royal Victorian Order, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, ''1920'' * PC: Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Counsellor, (United Kingdom) ''1920'' * GCSI: Order of the Star of India, Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India, ''1921'' * GCIE: Order of the Indian Empire, Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire, ''1921'' * Royal Victorian Chain, ''1921'' * KT: Order of the Thistle, Extra Knight of the Thistle, ''1922'' * GCStJ: Venerable Order of St John, Bailiff Grand Cross of St John, ''12 June 1926'' ** KStJ: Knight of Justice of St John, ''2 June 1917'' * KP: Order of St Patrick, Knight of St Patrick, ''1927'' * PC: Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Privy Councillor of Canada, ''1927'' * GCB: Order of the Bath, Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, ''1936'' * ISO: Imperial Service Order, Companion of the Imperial Service Order, ''23 June 1910'' * FRS: Royal Fellow of the Royal Society


Foreign honours

* House Order of the Golden Lion (Hesse), Knight of the Golden Lion, ''23 June 1911'' * Order of the Golden Fleece, Knight of the Golden Fleece, ''22 June 1912'' * Legion of Honour, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, ''August 1912'' * Order of the Elephant, Knight of the Elephant, ''17 March 1914'' * Order of St. Olav, Grand Cross of St. Olav, with Collar, ''6 April 1914'' * Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, Knight of the Annunciation, ''21 June 1915'' * Croix de Guerre, ''1915'' * Order of St. George, Knight of St. George, 3rd Class, ''1916'' * Order of the Royal House of Chakri, Knight of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri, ''16 August 1917'' * Order of Michael the Brave, 1st Class, ''1918'' * War Merit Cross (Italy), War Merit Cross, ''1919'' * Order of Muhammad Ali, Grand Cordon of the Order of Mohamed Ali, ''1922'' * Order of the Seraphim, Knight of the Seraphim, ''12 November 1923'' * Order of Carol I, Collar of the Order of Carol I, ''1924'' * Order of Merit (Chile), Order of Merit, 1st Class, ''1925'' * Order of the Condor of the Andes, Grand Cross of the Condor of the Andes, ''1931'' * Order of the Sun (Peru), Grand Cross of the Sun of Peru, ''1931'' * Sash of the Two Orders, Grand Cross of the Sash of the Two Orders, ''25 April 1931'' – during his visit to Lisbon * Order of the Southern Cross, Grand Cross of the Southern Cross, ''1933'' * Order of Saint Agatha, Grand Cross of St. Agatha, ''1935''


Arms

Edward's Coat of arms of the Prince of Wales, coat of arms as the Prince of Wales was the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, differenced with a Label (heraldry), label of three points argent, with an inescutcheon Royal Badge of Wales, representing Wales surmounted by a coronet (identical to those of Charles, Prince of Wales, Charles, the current Prince of Wales). 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. File:Coat of Arms of Edward, Prince of Wales (1910-1936).svg, Coat of arms as Prince of Wales (granted 1911) File:Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (1837-1952).svg, Coat of arms as King of the United Kingdom File:Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom in Scotland (1837-1952).svg, Scottish coat of arms as King of the United Kingdom File:Coat of Arms of Edward, Duke of Windsor.svg, Coat of arms as Duke of Windsor


Ancestry


See also

* Cultural depictions of Edward VIII of the United Kingdom * Abandoned coronation of Edward VIII * List of prime ministers of Edward VIII


Notes


References


Bibliography

*Michael Bloch, Bloch, Michael (1982). ''The Duke of Windsor's War''. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. . * Sarah Bradford, Bradford, Sarah (1989). ''King George VI''. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. . * Frances Donaldson, Baroness Donaldson of Kingsbridge, Donaldson, Frances (1974). ''Edward VIII''. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. . * Godfrey, Rupert (editor) (1998). ''Letters From a Prince: Edward to Mrs Freda Dudley Ward 1918–1921''. Little, Brown & Co. . * John Parker (author), Parker, John (1988). ''King of Fools''. New York: St. Martin's Press. . * Andrew Roberts (historian), Roberts, Andrew; edited by Antonia Fraser (2000). ''The House of Windsor''. London: Cassell and Co. . * John Wheeler-Bennett, Wheeler-Bennett, Sir John (1958). ''King George VI''. London: Macmillan. * Williams, Susan (2003). ''The People's King: The True Story of the Abdication''. London: Allen Lane. . * Windsor, The Duke of (1951). ''A King's Story''. London: Cassell and Co. * Philip Ziegler, Ziegler, Philip (1991). ''King Edward VIII: The official biography''. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. .


External links

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