The Info List - King Edward VIII

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Edward VIII
Edward VIII
(Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom
King of the United Kingdom
and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December the same year. Edward was the eldest son of King George V
George V
and Queen Mary. He was named Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
on his sixteenth birthday, nine weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, he served in the British Army during the First World War
First World War
and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father. Edward became king on his father's death in early 1936. However, he showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to Wallis Simpson, 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. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. Edward knew the British government, led by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would ruin his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. When it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, Edward abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history. After his abdication, he 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 toured Germany. During the Second World War, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations he held Nazi
sympathies he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in retirement in France. Edward and Wallis remained married until his death in 1972.


1 Early life 2 Education 3 Prince of Wales 4 Romances 5 Reign 6 Abdication 7 Duke of Windsor 8 Second World War 9 Later life

9.1 Death and legacy

10 Titles, styles, honours and arms

10.1 Titles and styles 10.2 Military ranks 10.3 Honours

10.3.1 British Commonwealth and Empire honours 10.3.2 Foreign honours 10.3.3 Honorary degrees 10.3.4 Freedom of the Burgh

10.4 Arms

11 Ancestry 12 See also 13 Notes 14 References 15 Bibliography 16 External links

Early life[edit]

Edward (second from left) with his father and younger siblings (Albert and Mary), photograph by his grandmother Alexandra, 1899

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.[1] He was the eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V
George V
and Queen Mary). His father was the son of the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King Edward VII
Edward VII
and Queen Alexandra). His mother was the eldest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck (Francis and Mary Adelaide). At the time of his birth, he was third in the 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
White Lodge
on 16 July 1894 by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury.[N 1][2] 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. The name Albert was included at the behest of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
for her late husband Albert, Prince Consort, and the last four names – George, Andrew, Patrick and David – came from the Patron Saints of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.[3] He was always known to his family and close friends by his last given name, David.[4] 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.[5] The nanny was discharged after her mistreatment of the children was discovered. Edward's father, though a harsh disciplinarian,[6] was demonstrably affectionate,[7] 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,[8] and encouraged them to confide in her.[9] Education[edit]

Edward as a midshipman on board HMS Hindustan, 1910

Initially, Edward was tutored at home by Helen Bricka. When his parents travelled the British Empire
British Empire
for almost nine months following the death of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
in 1901, young Edward and his siblings stayed in Britain with their grandparents, Queen Alexandra
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 brothers and sister for their remaining nursery years.[10] Edward was kept under the strict tutorship of Hansell until almost thirteen years old. Private tutors taught him German and French.[11] 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.[12] Following two years at Osborne College, which he did not enjoy, Edward moved on to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. A course of two years, followed by entry into the Royal Navy, was planned. A bout of mumps may have made him infertile.[13] Edward automatically became Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
and Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
on 6 May 1910 when his father ascended the throne as George V
George V
on the death of Edward VII. He was created Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
and Earl of Chester
Earl of Chester
a month later on 23 June 1910, his 16th birthday.[14] 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 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 university club.[15] He left Oxford after eight terms, without any academic qualifications.[16] Prince of Wales[edit] Edward was officially invested as Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
in a special ceremony at Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle
on 13 July 1911.[17] 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 government.[18] Lloyd George invented a rather fanciful ceremony in the style of a Welsh pageant, and coached Edward to speak a few words in Welsh.[19]

Edward during the First World War

When the First World War
First World War
broke out in 1914, Edward had reached the minimum age for active service and was keen to participate.[20] He had joined the Grenadier Guards
Grenadier 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
Lord Kitchener refused to allow it, citing the immense harm that would occur if the heir to the throne were captured by the enemy.[21] 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
Military Cross
in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, made him popular among veterans of the conflict.[22] Edward undertook his first military flight in 1918, and later gained a pilot's licence.[23] Edward's youngest brother, Prince John, died at the age of 13 on 18 January 1919 after a severe seizure.[24] John suffered from epilepsy, and Edward, who was 11 years older than his brother and had hardly known him, saw his death as "little more than a regrettable nuisance".[25] 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, Queen Mary, which has since been lost.[26] 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."[25]

Portrait by Reginald Grenville Eves, c. 1920

Throughout the 1920s, Edward, as Prince of Wales, represented his father, King George V, at home and abroad on many occasions. His rank, travels, good looks, and unmarried status gained him much public attention, and at the height of his popularity, he was the most photographed celebrity of his time.[27] He took a particular interest in science and in 1926 was president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science when his alma mater, Oxford University, hosted the society's annual general meeting.[28] He also visited the poverty-stricken areas of Britain,[29] and undertook 16 tours to various parts of the Empire between 1919 and 1935. On a tour of Canada in 1919, he acquired the Bedingfield ranch, near Pekisko, Alberta,[30] and in 1924, he donated the Prince of Wales Trophy to the National Hockey League.[31] In 1929 Sir Alexander Leith, a leading Conservative in the north of England, persuaded him to make a three-day visit to the County Durham
County Durham
and Northumberland
coal-fields, where at the time there was much unemployment.[32] From January to April 1931, the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
and his brother Prince George travelled 18,000 miles on a tour of South America, steaming out on the ocean liner Oropesa,[33] and returning via Paris
and an Imperial Airways flight from Paris–Le Bourget Airport that landed specially in Windsor Great Park.[34][35] Though widely travelled, Edward was racially prejudiced against foreigners and many of the Empire's subjects, believing that whites were inherently superior.[36] In 1920, on a 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."[37] In 1919 the Prince agreed to be President of the organising committee for the proposed British Empire
British Empire
Exhibition at Wembley Park, north-west London. The Prince wished the Exhibition to include "a great national sports ground", and so played a part in the creation of Wembley Stadium.[38] Romances[edit]

Edward in 1932

In 1917, during the First World War, he began a love affair with Parisian courtesan Marguerite Alibert (later Fahmy), who kept a collection of his indiscreet letters after he broke off the affair in 1918 to begin one with an English married woman, Freda Dudley Ward, a textile heiress. Edward's womanising and reckless behaviour during the 1920s and 1930s worried Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, King George V, and those close to the prince. Alan Lascelles, the prince'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".[39] George V
George V
was disappointed by his son's failure to settle down in life, disgusted by his affairs with married women, and was reluctant to see him inherit the Crown. "After I am dead," George said, "the boy will ruin himself in twelve months."[40] Second-in-line to the throne was the prince's younger brother Albert ("Bertie"). Albert and his wife, Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), had two children, including Princess Elizabeth ("Lilibet"), the future Queen Elizabeth II. George V
George V
favoured Albert and his granddaughter Elizabeth and 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."[41] In 1929, Time magazine reported that the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
teased his sister-in-law, 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
George V
– which would make her nickname come true".[42] In 1930, George V
George V
gave the prince the lease of Fort Belvedere in Windsor Great Park.[43] There, he continued his relationships with a series of married women, including Freda Dudley Ward
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. Simpson had divorced her first husband, U.S. naval 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.[44] Edward's relationship with Simpson, however, further weakened his poor relationship with his father. Although King George V and Queen Mary met Simpson at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
in 1935,[45] they later refused to receive her.[46] 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, 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."[47] 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.[48] Reign[edit]

Edward VIII
Edward VIII
surrounded by heralds of the College of Arms
College of Arms
prior to his only State Opening of Parliament, 3 November 1936

King George V
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.[49] He became the first monarch of the British Empire
British Empire
to fly in an aircraft when he flew from Sandringham to London
for his Accession Council.[11] 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
South Wales
that "something must be done"[11] for the unemployed coal miners was seen as an attempt to guide government policy, though it has never been clear what sort of remedy he had 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 it was feared that Simpson and other house guests might read them, improperly or inadvertently disclosing information that could be detrimental to the national interest.[50] Edward's unorthodox approach to his role also extended to the 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),[51] to show the parting in his hair.[52] Only a handful of test coins were struck before the abdication, and all are very rare.[53] When George VI
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.[54]

Left-facing coinage portrait of Edward VIII

On 16 July 1936, an Irish fraudster called Jerome Bannigan, alias George Andrew McMahon, produced a loaded revolver as Edward rode on horseback at 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".[55] It is now thought that Bannigan had indeed been in contact with MI5, but the veracity of the remainder of his claims remains open.[56] In August and September, Edward and Simpson cruised the Eastern Mediterranean on the steam yacht Nahlin. By October it was becoming clear that the new king planned to marry Simpson, especially when divorce proceedings between the Simpsons were brought at Ipswich Assizes.[57] 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 of Westminster Abbey, but in the Banqueting House in Whitehall.[58] Although gossip about his affair was widespread in the United States, the British media kept voluntarily silent, and the public knew nothing until early December.[59] Abdication[edit] Main article: Edward VIII
Edward VIII
abdication crisis

Edward VIII
Edward VIII
and Wallis Simpson
Wallis Simpson
on their Mediterranean holiday, 1936

On 16 November 1936, Edward invited British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin to Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
and expressed his desire to marry Wallis 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, and the people would not tolerate Simpson as queen.[60] As king, Edward was the titular head of the Church of England, and the clergy expected him to support the Church's teachings. Edward proposed an alternative solution of a morganatic marriage, in which he would remain king but Simpson 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[61] as well as other Dominion
governments,[62] whose 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."[63] The Prime Ministers of Australia (Joseph Lyons), Canada (Mackenzie King) and South Africa
South Africa
(J. B. M. Hertzog) made clear their opposition to the king marrying a divorcée;[64] their 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.[65] Faced with this opposition, Edward at first responded that there were "not many people in Australia" and their opinion did not matter.[66] Edward informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with three choices: give up the idea of marriage; marry against his ministers' wishes; or abdicate.[67] 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.[68] He chose to abdicate.[69] Edward duly signed the instruments[N 2] 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.[70] 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 consented to the abdication.[71] 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 radio broadcast. 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."[72] Edward departed Britain for Austria the following day; he was unable to join Simpson until her divorce became absolute, several months later.[73] His brother, the Duke of York, succeeded to the throne as George VI. George VI's elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth, became heir presumptive. Duke of Windsor[edit] On 12 December 1936, at the accession meeting of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, George VI
George VI
announced he was to make his brother the "Duke of Windsor" with the style of Royal Highness.[74] 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 universally 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 House of Commons nor speak on political subjects in the House of Lords.[75] Letters Patent
Letters Patent
dated 27 May 1937 re-conferred the "title, style, or attribute of Royal Highness" upon the Duke of Windsor, 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 Sir Donald Somervell submitted to Home Secretary
Home Secretary
Sir John Simon a memorandum summarising the views of Lord Advocate
Lord Advocate
T. M. Cooper, Parliamentary Counsel Sir Granville Ram, and himself:

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. 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
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
Royal Highness
enjoys the same title unless some appropriate express step can be and is taken to deprive her of it. 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
Letters Patent
generally or in particular circumstances.[76]

Château de Candé, the Windsors' wedding venue

The Duke of Windsor
Duke of Windsor
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 refused to sanction the union, a County Durham
County Durham
clergyman, the Reverend Robert Anderson Jardine
Robert Anderson Jardine
(Vicar of St Paul's, Darlington), offered to perform the ceremony, and the Duke accepted. The new king, George VI, forbade members of the royal family to attend,[77] 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 Louis Mountbatten to attend the ceremony.[78] The denial of the style Royal Highness
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
Duchy of Cornwall
paid to him as Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
and ordinarily at the disposal of an incoming king. George VI
George VI
also paid Edward for Sandringham House
Sandringham House
and Balmoral Castle, which were Edward's personal property, inherited from his father, George V, and thus did not automatically pass to George VI
George VI
on his accession.[79] 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.[80] Relations between the Duke of Windsor
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.[79] Edward became embittered against his mother, Queen Mary, writing to her in 1939: "[your last letter][N 3] destroy[ed] the last vestige of feeling I had left for you ... [and has] made further normal correspondence between us impossible."[81] Second World War[edit]

The Duke and Duchess with Adolf Hitler, 1937

Edward reviewing a squad of SS with Robert Ley, 1937

In October 1937, the Duke and Duchess visited Germany, against the advice of the British government, and met Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
at his Berghof retreat in Bavaria. The visit was much publicised by the German media. During the visit the Duke gave full Nazi
salutes.[82] 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.[83] 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.[84] According to the Duke of Windsor, the experience of "the unending scenes of horror"[85] during the First World War
First World War
led him to support appeasement. 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. Albert Speer
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."[86] The Duke and Duchess settled in France. In May 1939, the Duke was commissioned by NBC
to give a radio broadcast[87] (his first since abdicating) during a visit to the battlefields of 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.[88][89] It was widely seen as supporting appeasement,[90] and the BBC
refused to broadcast it.[87] It was broadcast outside the United States on shortwave radio[91] and was reported in full by British broadsheet newspapers.[92] On the outbreak of the Second World War
Second World War
in September 1939, the Duke and Duchess were brought back to Britain by Louis Mountbatten on board HMS Kelly, and Edward, although an honorary field marshal, was made a major-general attached to the British Military Mission in France.[11] In February 1940, the German ambassador in The Hague, Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda, claimed that the Duke had leaked the Allied war plans for the defence of Belgium,[93] which the Duke later denied.[94] When Germany invaded the north of France
in May 1940, the Windsors fled south, first to Biarritz, then in June to Spain. In July the pair moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where they lived at first in the home of Ricardo Espírito Santo, a Portuguese banker with both British and German contacts.[95] 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.[96] Lord Caldecote wrote a warning to Winston Churchill: "[the Duke] is well-known to be pro- Nazi
and he may become a centre of intrigue."[97] Churchill threatened the Duke with a court-martial if he did not return to British soil.[98]

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in Cascais, on the Portuguese Riviera, 1940

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 Excalibur, which was specially diverted from its usual direct course to New York City
New York City
so that they could be dropped off at Bermuda
on the 9th.[99] They left Bermuda
for Nassau on the Canadian steamship Lady Somers on 15 August, arriving two days later.[100] The Duke did not enjoy being governor and referred to the islands as "a third-class British colony".[101] The 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.[102] 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."[103] 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 Central European Jewish descent, who had secured jobs as a pretext for obtaining a deferment of draft".[104] He resigned from the post on 16 March 1945.[11] Many historians have suggested that Hitler was prepared to reinstate Edward as king in the hope of establishing a fascist Britain.[105] 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."[106] During the occupation of France, the Duke asked the German forces to place guards at his Paris and Riviera homes; they did so.[107] In December 1940, the Duke gave Fulton Oursler
Fulton Oursler
of Liberty magazine an interview at Government House in Nassau. 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 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
to mediate a peace settlement. Oursler conveyed the content of the interview to the President in a private meeting at the White House
White House
on 23 December 1940.[108] The Duke protested that he had been misquoted and misinterpreted.[109] The 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
Duke Carl Alexander of Württemberg
(then a monk in an American monastery) had told the Federal Bureau of Investigation
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.[110] Author 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 Germany towards the end of the war to retrieve sensitive letters between the Duke of Windsor and Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
and other leading Nazis.[111] What is certain is that George VI
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, 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.[112] 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."[113] In the 1950s, journalist Frank Giles heard the Duke blame British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden
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".[114] During the 1960s the Duke said privately to a friend, Patrick Balfour, 3rd Baron Kinross, "I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap."[115] Later life[edit]

The Duke in 1945

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 occupied another official role after his wartime governorship of the Bahamas. Correspondence between the Duke and Kenneth de Courcy, dated between 1946 and 1949, emerged in a US library in 2009. The letters suggest a plot where the Duke would return to England and place himself in a position for a possible regency. The health of George VI was failing and de Courcy was concerned about the influence of the Mountbatten family
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.[116] The Duke's allowance was supplemented by government favours and illegal currency trading.[11][117][118] 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.[119] The French government exempted him from paying income tax,[117][120] and the couple were able to buy goods duty-free through the British embassy and the military commissary.[120] In 1951, the Duke produced a ghost-written memoir, A King's Story, in which he expressed disagreement with liberal politics.[18] The royalties from the book added to their income.[117] 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 to that of his grandfather and father, and his own tastes. 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.[121] The couple doted on the pug dogs they kept.[122] In June 1953, instead of attending the coronation of 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. The Duke 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
The Crown
and the People, 1902–1953.[123]

U.S. President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1970

In 1955, they visited President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
at the White House. The couple appeared on Edward R. Murrow's television interview show Person to Person in 1956,[124] 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
by President Richard Nixon.[125] The royal family never fully accepted the Duchess. Queen Mary refused to receive her formally. However, Edward sometimes met his mother and brother George VI, and 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.[126] 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.[127] He declined an invitation from Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II
to attend the investiture of the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
in 1969, replying that Prince Charles
Prince Charles
would not want his "aged great-uncle" there.[128] In the 1960s, the Duke's health deteriorated. In December 1964, he was operated on by Michael E. DeBakey
Michael E. DeBakey
in Houston
for an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta, and in February 1965 a detached retina in his left eye was treated by Sir Stewart Duke-Elder. 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
Elizabeth II
visited the Windsors 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.[129] Death and legacy[edit] 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 was held 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
Buckingham Palace
during her visit. He was buried in the Royal Burial Ground
Royal Burial Ground
behind the Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
and Prince Albert at Frogmore.[130] Until a 1965 agreement with Queen Elizabeth II, 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.[131] Frail, and suffering increasingly from dementia, the Duchess died 14 years later, and was buried alongside her husband.[132] In the view of historians, such as 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.[133] Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Royal Standard of the Duke of Windsor

Titles and styles[edit]

23 June 1894 – 28 May 1898: His Highness Prince Edward of York 28 May 1898 – 22 January 1901: His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
Prince Edward of York[134] 22 January – 9 November 1901: His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
Prince Edward of Cornwall and York 9 November 1901 – 6 May 1910: His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
Prince Edward of Wales 6 May 1910  – 20 January 1936: His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
The Duke of Cornwall

in Scotland: His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
The Duke of Rothesay

23 June 1910 – 20 January 1936: His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
The Prince of Wales 20 January – 11 December 1936: His Majesty The King 11 December 1936 – 8 March 1937: His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
The Prince Edward 8 March 1937 – 28 May 1972: His Royal Highness
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, but several months passed before the title was formalised by Letters Patent.

His full style as king was "Edward VIII, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and of the British Dominions
British Dominions
beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India". Military ranks[edit]

22 June 1911: Midshipman, Royal Navy[135] 17 March 1913: Lieutenant, Royal Navy[135] 18 November 1914: Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, British Army. (First World War, Flanders and Italy)[135] 10 March 1916: Captain, British Army[135] 1918: Temporary Major, British Army[135] 15 April 1919: Colonel, British Army[135] 8 July 1919: Captain, Royal Navy[135] 5 December 1922: Group Captain, Royal Air Force[135][136] 1 September 1930: Vice-Admiral, Royal Navy; Lieutenant-General, British Army;[137] Air Marshal, Royal Air Force[138] 1 January 1935: Admiral, Royal Navy; General, British Army; Air Chief Marshal, Royal Air Force[139] 21 January 1936: Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Navy; Field Marshal, British Army; Marshal of the Royal Air Force[135] 3 September 1939: Major-General, British Army[140]


Portrait of Edward in the robes of the Order of the Garter
Order of the Garter
by Arthur Stockdale Cope, 1912

British Commonwealth and Empire honours[edit]

KG: Knight of the Garter, 1910 ISO: Companion of the Imperial Service Order, 1910 MC: Military Cross, 1916 GCMG: Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George, 1917 GBE: Grand Master and Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire, 1917 KStJ: Knight of Justice of St John, 1917 GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, 1920 PC: Privy Counsellor, (United Kingdom) 1920 GCSI: Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India, 1921 GCIE: Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire, 1921 RVC: Royal Victorian Chain, 1921 KT: Knight of the Thistle, 1922 KP: Knight of St Patrick, 1927 PC: Privy Counsellor (Canada), 1927[141] GCB: Knight Grand Cross of the Bath, 1936 FRS: Royal Fellow of the Royal Society

Upon his accession, Edward became sovereign of the various orders of the British Commonwealth and Empire, including those he had been appointed to prior to becoming king. After his abdication, the King, Edward's brother, reinstated his pre-accession honours. Foreign honours[edit]

Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, 1912[142] Knight of the Golden Fleece, 1912[142] Knight of the Order of the Elephant, 1914[142] Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav, 1914[142] Knight of the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, 1915[142] Croix de Guerre, 1915 Order of St George, 1916[142] Order of Michael the Brave, 1918[142] War Merit Cross, 1919 Grand Cordon of Mohamed Ali, 1922[142] Knight of the Order of the Seraphim, 1923[142] Collar of the Order of Carol I, 1924[142] Order of Merit, First Class, 1925[142] Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes, 1931[142] Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun, 1931[142] Grand Cross of the United Orders of Christ and Aviz, 1931[142] Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross, 1933[142] Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Agatha, 1935[142]

Honorary degrees[edit]

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

Freedom of the Burgh[edit]

26 June 1931: Inverness[143][144] 1933: Rothesay[145]

Arms[edit] As Prince of Wales, Edward's arms were the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, differenced with a label of three points argent, with an inescutcheon representing Wales surmounted by a coronet (identical to those of 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.[146]

Coat of arms of Edward, Prince of Wales, (1911–1936)

Coat of arms of Edward VIII
Edward VIII
of the United Kingdom (1936)

Coat of arms of Edward VIII
Edward VIII
of the United Kingdom (in Scotland) (1936)

Coat of arms of Edward, Duke of Windsor
Duke of Windsor


Ancestors of Edward VIII

16. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

8. Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

17. Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

4. Edward VII
Edward VII
of the United Kingdom

18. Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
and Strathearn

9. Victoria of the United Kingdom

19. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

2. George V
George V
of the United Kingdom

20. Frederick William, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

10. Christian IX of Denmark

21. Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel

5. Princess Alexandra of Denmark

22. Prince William of Hesse-Kassel

11. Louise of Hesse-Kassel

23. Princess Louise Charlotte of Denmark

1. Edward VIII
Edward VIII
of the United Kingdom

24. Duke Louis of Württemberg

12. Duke Alexander of Württemberg

25. Princess Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg

6. Francis, Duke of Teck

26. Count László Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde

13. Countess Claudine Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde

27. Baroness Ágnes Inczédy von Nagy-Várad

3. Princess Mary of Teck

28. George III of the United Kingdom

14. Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge

29. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

7. Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge

30. Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel

15. Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel

31. Princess Caroline of Nassau-Usingen

See also[edit]

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


^ His twelve godparents were: Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria
(his paternal great-grandmother); the King and Queen of Denmark
(his paternal great-grandparents, for whom his maternal uncle Prince Adolphus of Teck and his paternal aunt the Duchess of Fife stood proxy); the King of Württemberg (his mother's distant cousin, for whom his granduncle the Duke of Connaught stood proxy); the Queen of Greece (his grandaunt, for whom his paternal aunt Princess Victoria of Wales stood proxy); the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (his granduncle, for whom Prince Louis of Battenberg
Prince Louis of Battenberg
stood proxy); the Prince and Princess of Wales (his paternal grandparents); the Tsarevich (his father's cousin); the Duke of Cambridge (his maternal granduncle and Queen Victoria's cousin); and the Duke and Duchess of Teck (his maternal grandparents). ^ There were fifteen separate copies – one for each Dominion, the Irish Free State, India, the House of Commons, the House of Lords
House of Lords
and the Prime Minister, among others. ^ She had asked Alec Hardinge
Alec Hardinge
to write to the Duke explaining that he could not be invited to his father's memorial.


^ Windsor, p. 1 ^ Demoskoff, Yvonne (27 December 2005), Yvonne's Royalty Home Page – Royal Christenings, retrieved 5 March 2013  ^ Ziegler, p. 5 ^ Ziegler, p. 6 ^ Windsor, p. 7; Ziegler, p. 9 ^ Windsor, pp. 25–28 ^ Ziegler, pp. 30–31 ^ Windsor, pp. 38–39 ^ Ziegler, p. 79 ^ Parker, pp. 12–13 ^ a b c d e f 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, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31061, retrieved 1 May 2010 (Subscription required) ^ Parker, pp. 13–14 ^ Kirsty McLeod (15 February 1999), "Historical Notes: The lamentable legacy of royal parenting", Independent, retrieved 10 September 2016  ^ "No. 28387". The London
Gazette. 23 June 1910. p. 4473.  ^ Polo Monthly (PDF), June 1914, p. 300, retrieved 25 March 2015  ^ Parker, pp. 14–16 ^ Weir, Alison (1996), Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy Revised edition, London: Pimlico, p. 327, ISBN 0-7126-7448-9  ^ a b Windsor, p. 78 ^ Ziegler, pp. 26–27 ^ Windsor, pp. 106–107 and Ziegler, pp. 48–50 ^ Roberts, p. 41 and Windsor, p. 109 ^ Ziegler, p. 111 and Windsor, p. 140 ^ Edward VIII
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(Jan–Dec 1936), Official website of the British monarchy, retrieved 18 April 2016  ^ "Death of Youngest Son of King and Queen". Daily Mirror. 20 January 1919. p. 2. ^ a b Ziegler, p. 80 ^ Tizley, Paul (director) (2008). Prince John: The Windsors' Tragic Secret (Documentary). London: Channel 4. Retrieved 26 April 2017. ^ Broad, Lewis (1961), The Abdication: Twenty-five Years After. A Re-appraisal, London: Frederick Muller Ltd, pp. 4–5  ^ "Report of British Association for the Advancement of Science", archive.org, University of Oxford
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1926–27: British Association for the Advancement of Science, retrieved 21 September 2014  ^ Windsor, p. 215 ^ Voisey, Paul (2004), High River and the Times: an Alberta community and its weekly newspaper, 1905–1966, Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta, p. 129, ISBN 0-88864-411-6  ^ Prince of Wales
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Freda Dudley Ward
1918–1921, Little, Brown & Co, ISBN 0-7515-2590-1  ^ Grant, Philip, The British Empire
British Empire
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One, 14 October 2007. Banqueting House
Banqueting House
staff discovered plans for the coronation, including a hand-drawn scheme for the decoration of the hall. ^ Broad, pp. 44–47; Windsor, pp. 314–315, 351–353; Ziegler, pp. 294–296, 307–308 ^ Windsor, pp. 330–331 ^ Windsor, p. 346 ^ Windsor, p. 354 ^ Statute of Westminster 1931
Statute of Westminster 1931
c.4, UK Statute Law Database, retrieved 1 May 2010  ^ Ziegler, pp. 305–307 ^ Bradford, p. 187 ^ Bradford, p. 188 ^ Windsor, pp. 354–355 ^ Beaverbrook, Lord (1966), Taylor, A. J. P., ed., The Abdication
of King Edward VIII, London: Hamish Hamilton, p. 57  ^ Windsor, p. 387 ^ Windsor, p. 407 ^ Heard, Andrew (1990), Canadian Independence, Simon Fraser University, Canada, retrieved 1 May 2010  ^ Edward VIII, Broadcast after his abdication, 11 December 1936 (PDF), Official website of the British monarchy, retrieved 1 May 2010  ^ Ziegler, p. 336 ^ "No. 34349". The London
Gazette. 12 December 1936. p. 8111.  ^ Clive Wigram's conversation with Sir Claud Schuster, Clerk to the Crown and Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellor
Lord Chancellor
quoted in Bradford, p. 201 ^ Attorney General to Home Secretary
Home Secretary
(14 April 1937) National Archives file HO 144/22945 quoted in Velde, François (6 February 2006) The drafting of the letters patent of 1937. Heraldica, retrieved 7 April 2009 ^ Williams, Susan (2003), "The historical significance of the Abdication
files", Public Records Office – New Document Releases – Abdication
Papers, London, Public Records Office of the United Kingdom, retrieved 1 May 2010  ^ Ziegler, pp. 354–355 ^ a b Ziegler, pp. 376–378 ^ Ziegler, p. 349 ^ Ziegler, p. 384 ^ Donaldson, pp. 331–332 ^ When the Duke of Windsor
Duke of Windsor
met Adolf Hitler, BBC
News, 10 March 2016  ^ Papers of Count Albert von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein (1861–1945) in the State Archives, Vienna, quoted in Rose, Kenneth (1983), King George V, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, p. 391, ISBN 0-297-78245-2  ^ Windsor, p. 122 ^ Speer, Albert (1970), Inside the Third Reich, New York: Macmillan, p. 118  ^ a b Bradford, p. 285; Ziegler, pp. 398–399 ^ David Reynolds, "Verdun – The Sacred Wound", episode 2. BBC
Radio 4, first broadcast 24 February 2016. ^ Terry Charman, "The Day We Went to War", 2009, p. 28. ^ Bradford, p. 285 ^ The Times, 8 May 1939, p. 13 ^ e.g. The Times, 9 May 1939, p. 13 ^ No. 621: Minister Zech to State Secretary Weizsäcker, 19 February 1940, in Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918–1945 (1954), Series D, Volume VIII, p. 785, quoted in Bradford, p. 434 ^ McCormick, Donald (1963), The Mask of Merlin: A Critical Biography of David Lloyd George, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, p. 290, LCCN 64-20102  ^ Bloch, p. 91 ^ Bloch, pp. 86, 102; Ziegler, pp. 430–432 ^ Ziegler, p. 434 ^ Bloch, p. 93 ^ Bloch, pp. 93–94, 98–103, 119 ^ Bloch, p. 119; Ziegler, pp. 441–442 ^ Bloch, p. 364 ^ Bloch, pp. 154–159, 230–233; Luciak, Ilja (2012), "The Life of Axel Wenner-Gren–An Introduction", in Luciak, Ilja; Daneholt, Bertil, Reality and Myth: A Symposium on Axel Wenner-Gren
Axel Wenner-Gren
(PDF), Stockholm: Wenner-Gren Stiftelsirna, pp. 12–30  ^ Ziegler, p. 448 ^ Ziegler, pp. 471–472 ^ Ziegler, p. 392 ^ Bloch, pp. 79–80 ^ Roberts, p. 52 ^ Morton, Andrew (2015), 17 Carnations: The Windsors, The Nazis and The Cover-Up, Michael O'Mara Books, retrieved 2015-05-25  ^ Bloch, p. 178 ^ Evans, Rob; Hencke, David (29 June 2002), "Wallis Simpson, the Nazi minister, the telltale monk and an FBI plot", The Guardian, London, retrieved 2 May 2010  ^ Higham, Charles (1988), The Duchess of Windsor: The Secret Life, New York: McGraw-Hill Publishers, pp. 388–389 ^ Bradford, p. 426 ^ Windsor, p. 277 ^ Sebba, Anne (1 November 2011), "Wallis Simpson, 'That Woman' After the Abdication", The New York Times, retrieved 7 November 2011  ^ Lord Kinross, Love conquers all in Books and Bookmen, vol. 20 (1974), p. 50: "He indeed remarked to me, some twenty-five years later, 'I never thought Hitler was such a bad chap'." ^ Wilson, Christopher (22 November 2009), "Revealed: the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's secret plot to deny the Queen the throne", The Telegraph, retrieved 6 August 2017  ^ a b c Roberts, p. 53 ^ Bradford, p. 442 ^ Ziegler, pp. 534–535 ^ a b Bradford, p. 446 ^ Vidal, Gore (1995), Palimpsest: a memoir, New York: Random House, p. 206, ISBN 0-679-44038-0  ^ Farquhar, Michael (2001), A Treasury of Royal Scandals, New York: Penguin Books, p. 48, ISBN 0-7394-2025-9  ^ Ziegler, pp. 539–540 ^ "Peep Show", Time, 8 October 1956, retrieved 2 May 2010  ^ UPI. "Duke, Duchess Have Dinner With Nixons" The Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina) 6 April 1970; p. 13 ^ Bradford, p. 198 ^ Ziegler, pp. 554–556 ^ Ziegler, p. 555 ^ Duke too ill for tea with the Queen, BBC, 18 May 1972, retrieved 24 October 2017  ^ Ziegler, pp. 556–557 ^ Rasmussen, Frederick (29 April 1986), "Windsors had a plot at Green Mount", The Baltimore
Sun, Baltimore  ^ Simple funeral rites for Duchess, BBC, 29 April 1986, retrieved 2 May 2010  ^ Williamson, Philip (2007), "The monarchy and public values 1910–1953", in Olechnowicz, Andrzej, The monarchy and the British nation, 1780 to the present, Cambridge University Press, p. 225, ISBN 978-0-521-84461-1  ^ Velde, Francois R., Royal Styles and Titles of Great Britain: Documents  ^ a b c d e f g h i Cokayne, G.E.; Doubleday, H.A.; Howard de Walden, Lord (1940), The Complete Peerage, London: St. Catherine's Press, vol. XIII, pp. 116–117 ^ "No. 32774". The London
Gazette. 5 December 1922. p. 8615.  ^ "No. 33640". The London
Gazette. 2 September 1930. p. 5424.  ^ "No. 33640". The London
Gazette. 2 September 1930. p. 5428.  ^ "No. 34119". The London
Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1934. p. 15.  ^ The Times, 19 September 1939, p. 6, col. F ^ Privy Council Office (1 February 2012), Historical Alphabetical List since 1867 of Members of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, retrieved 29 March 2012  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh, ed. (1977), Burke's Royal Families of the World, 1st edition, London: Burke's Peerage, pp. 311–312, ISBN 0-85011-023-8  ^ "The Prince of Wales
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– Forthcoming Visit to Inverness", The Glasgow Herald, p. 15, 28 April 1931  ^ The Prince In The Highlands (1931) British Pathé ^ The Duke of Rothesay
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(1933) British Pathé ^ Prothero, David (24 September 2002), Flags of the Royal Family, United Kingdom, archived from the original on 31 March 2010, retrieved 2 May 2010 


Bloch, Michael (1982). The Duke of Windsor's War. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-77947-8. Bradford, Sarah (1989). King George VI. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-79667-4. Donaldson, Frances (1974). Edward VIII. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-76787-9. Godfrey, Rupert (editor) (1998). Letters From a Prince: Edward to Mrs Freda Dudley Ward
Freda Dudley Ward
1918–1921. Little, Brown & Co. ISBN 0-7515-2590-1. Parker, John (1988). King of Fools. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-02598-X. Roberts, Andrew; edited by Antonia Fraser
Antonia Fraser
(2000). The House of Windsor. London: Cassell and Co. ISBN 0-304-35406-6. Williams, Susan (2003). The People's King: The True Story of the Abdication. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9573-2. Windsor, The Duke of (1951). A King's Story. London: Cassell and Co. Ziegler, Philip (1991). King Edward VIII: The official biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-57730-2.

External links[edit]

Find more aboutEdward VIIIat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Data from Wikidata

Edward VIII
Edward VIII
at Encyclopædia Britannica "Archival material relating to Edward VIII". UK National Archives.  Portraits of Edward, Duke of Windsor
Duke of Windsor
at the National Portrait Gallery, London
News 1972 – Duke of Windsor
Duke of Windsor
(King Edward VIII) Funeral Sound recording of King Edward VIII's Abdication
Speech Newsreel film on King Edward VIII's Abdication 1972 Clip of Funeral Signed Royal Christmas Cards sent to The Duke & Duchess of Windsor Wallis and death of Duke of Windsor Newspaper clippings about Edward VIII
Edward VIII
in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
German National Library of Economics

Edward VIII House of Windsor Cadet branch of the House of Wettin Born: 23 June 1894 Died: 28 May 1972

Regnal titles

Preceded by George V King of the United Kingdom
King of the United Kingdom
and the British Dominions; Emperor of India 20 January – 11 December 1936 Succeeded by George VI

British royalty

Preceded by Prince George later became King George V Prince of Wales Duke of Cornwall; Duke of Rothesay 1910–1936 Vacant Title next held by Prince Charles

Government offices

Preceded by Sir Charles Dundas Governor of the Bahamas 1940–1945 Succeeded by Sir William Lindsay Murphy

Honorary titles

Vacant Title last held by The Prince of Wales Grand Master of the Order of St Michael and St George 1917–1936 Succeeded by The Earl of Athlone

New title Grand Master of the Order of the British Empire 1917–1936 Succeeded by Mary of Teck

Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Auxiliary Air Force 1932–1936 Succeeded by George VI

Academic offices

New office Chancellor of the University of Cape Town 1918–1936 Succeeded by Jan Smuts

Articles and topics related to Edward VIII

v t e

Edward VIII
Edward VIII
abdication crisis

Edward VIII Wallis Simpson


Prince Albert (Edward VIII's brother, later George VI) Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
(Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) Alfred Blunt (Bishop of Bradford) John Theodore Goddard
Theodore Goddard
(Mrs Simpson's solicitor) Alec Hardinge
Alec Hardinge
(Edward VIII's private secretary) J. B. M. Hertzog
J. B. M. Hertzog
(Prime Minister of South Africa) Cosmo Gordon Lang
Cosmo Gordon Lang
(Archbishop of Canterbury) Joseph Lyons
Joseph Lyons
(Prime Minister of Australia) William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King
(Prime Minister of Canada) Queen Mary (Edward VIII's mother) Walter Monckton (advisor to Edward VIII) Michael Joseph Savage
Michael Joseph Savage
(Prime Minister of New Zealand) Ernest Simpson
Ernest Simpson
(Mrs Simpson's husband) Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
(President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State)

Legal documents

His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication
Act 1936 (United Kingdom) Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936 (Ireland) His Majesty King Edward the Eighth's Abdication
Act, 1937 (South Africa) Succession to the Throne Act 1937 (Canada)

Cultural depictions

Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978) The Woman He Loved
The Woman He Loved
(1988) Wallis & Edward (2005) The King's Speech
The King's Speech
(2010) W.E.


v t e

English, Scottish and British monarchs

Monarchs of England before 1603 Monarchs of Scotland
before 1603

Alfred the Great Edward the Elder Ælfweard Æthelstan Edmund I Eadred Eadwig Edgar the Peaceful Edward the Martyr Æthelred the Unready Sweyn Edmund II Cnut Harold I Harthacnut Edward the Confessor Harold II Edgar Ætheling William I William II Henry I Stephen Matilda Henry II Henry the Young King Richard I John Henry III Edward I Edward II Edward III Richard II Henry IV Henry V Henry VI Edward IV Edward V Richard III Henry VII Henry VIII Edward VI Jane Mary I and Philip Elizabeth I

Kenneth I MacAlpin Donald I Constantine I Áed Giric Eochaid Donald II Constantine II Malcolm I Indulf Dub Cuilén Amlaíb Kenneth II Constantine III Kenneth III Malcolm II Duncan I Macbeth Lulach Malcolm III Donald III Duncan II Donald III Edgar Alexander I David I Malcolm IV William I Alexander II Alexander III Margaret of Norway First Interregnum John Balliol Second Interregnum Robert I David II Edward Balliol Robert II Robert III James I James II James III James IV James V Mary I James VI

Monarchs of England and Scotland
after the Union of the Crowns
Union of the Crowns
in 1603

James I & VI Charles I Commonwealth Charles II James II & VII William III & II and Mary II Anne

British monarchs after the Acts of Union 1707

Anne George I George II George III George IV William IV Victoria Edward VII George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II

Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics.

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Emperors of India

Victoria Edward VII George V Edward VIII George VI

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Monarchy in Canada

The Crown

Monarchy in the Canadian provinces



Victoria Edward VII George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II


Governor General of Canada List of Governors General of Canada Lieutenant governors in Canada List of lieutenant governors in Canada


Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments


Queen-in-Council Queen-in-Parliament Queen-on-the-Bench Queen's peace The Canadian Crown and the Canadian Forces The Canadian Crown and Aboriginal peoples


Royal charter Queen's Consent Royal commissions Crown corporations Crown copyright Queen's Printer Crown Collection

Ceremonial and symbolic

Canadian royal symbols Title and style of the Canadian monarch Chapels Royal Royal tours of Canada

1786–1999 2000–present


Canadian Secretary to the Queen History of monarchy in Canada Debate on the monarchy in Canada

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British princes

The generations indicate descent from George I, who formalised the use of the titles prince and princess for members of the British royal family.

1st generation

King George II

2nd generation

Frederick, Prince of Wales Prince George William Prince William, Duke of Cumberland

3rd generation

King George III Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany Prince William Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn Prince Frederick

4th generation

King George IV Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany King William IV Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
and Strathearn King Ernest Augustus of Hanover Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Prince Octavius Prince Alfred Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh

5th generation

Albert, Prince Consort1 King George V
George V
of Hanover Prince George, Duke of Cambridge

6th generation

King Edward VII Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover

7th generation

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale King George V Prince Alexander John of Wales Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Arthur of Connaught Prince Charles
Prince Charles
Edward, Duke of Albany and of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince George William of Hanover Prince Christian of Hanover Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick

8th generation

King Edward VIII King George VI Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester Prince George, Duke of Kent Prince John Alastair, 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn Johann Leopold, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover Prince George William of Hanover

9th generation

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh2 Prince William of Gloucester Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester Prince Edward, Duke of Kent Prince Michael of Kent

10th generation

Charles, Prince of Wales Prince Andrew, Duke of York Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

11th generation

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge Prince Henry of Wales James, Viscount Severn3

12th generation

Prince George of Cambridge

1 Not a British prince
British prince
by birth, but created Prince Consort. 2 Not a British prince
British prince
by birth, but created a Prince of the United Kingdom. 3 Status debatable; see his article.

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Princes of Wales

Edward (1301–1307) Edward (1343–1376) Richard (1376–1377) Henry (1399–1413) Edward (1454–1471) Richard (1460; disputed) Edward (1471–1483) Edward (1483–1484) Arthur (1489–1502) Henry (1504–1509) Edward (1537–1547) Henry (1610–1612) Charles (1616–1625) Charles (1641–1649) James (1688) George (1714–1727) Frederick (1729–1751) George (1751–1760) George (1762–1820) Albert Edward (1841–1901) George (1901–1910) Edward (1910–1936) Charles (1958–present)

See also: Principality of Wales

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Dukes of Cornwall

Edward (1337–1376) Richard (1376–1377) Henry (1399–1413) Henry (1421–1422) Edward (1453–1471) Richard (1460; disputed) Edward (1470–1483) Edward (1483–1484) Arthur (1486–1502) Henry (1502–1509) Henry (1511) Henry (1513) Henry (1515) Edward (1537–1547) Henry Frederick (1603–1612) Charles (1612–1625) Charles (1630–1649) James (1688–1701/2) George (1714–1727) Frederick (1727–1751) George (1762–1820) Albert Edward (1841–1901) George (1901–1910) Edward (1910–1936) Charles (1952–present)

Cornwall Portal

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Dukes of Rothesay

David (1398–1402) James (1402–1406) Alexander (1430) James (1430–1437) James (1452–1460) James (1473–1488) James (1507–1508) Arthur (1509–1510) James (1512–1513) James (1540–1541) James (1566–1567) Henry Frederick (1603–1612) Charles (1612–1625) Charles James (1629) Charles (1630–1649) James (1688–1689) George (1714–1727) Frederick (1727–1751) George (1762–1820) Albert Edward (1841–1901) George (1901–1910) Edward (1910–1936) Charles (1952–present)

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Princes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha


Duke Francis I

1st generation

Ernest I^ Prince Ferdinand^ King Leopold I of the Belgians^

2nd generation

Ernest II^ Albert, Prince Consort
Albert, Prince Consort
of the United Kingdom^* Koháry: King Fernando II of Portugal^¶ Prince August^ Prince Leopold^ Belgium: Crown Prince Louis Philippe# King Leopold II# Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders#

3rd generation

United Kingdom: King Edward VII* Alfred I* Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn* Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany* Braganza: King Pedro V¶ King Luís I¶ Infante João, Duke of Beja¶ Infante Fernando¶ Infante Augusto, Duke of Coimbra¶ Koháry: Prince Philipp Prince Ludwig August Tsar Ferdinand I of the Bulgarians† Belgium: Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant# Prince Baudouin# King Albert I#

4th generation

United Kingdom: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale* King George V* Prince Alexander John of Wales* Hereditary Prince Alfred* Prince Arthur of Connaught* Charles Edward I* Braganza: King Carlos I¶ Infante Afonso, Duke of Porto¶ Koháry: Prince Leopold Clement Prince Pedro Augusto1 Prince August Leopold1 Prince Joseph Ferdinand1 Prince Ludwig Gaston1 Bulgaria: Tsar Boris III† Kiril, Prince of Preslav† Belgium: King Leopold III# Prince Charles, Count of Flanders#

5th generation

United Kingdom: King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor* King George VI* Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester* Prince George, Duke of Kent* Prince John* Prince Alastair of Connaught* Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold* Prince Hubertus* Friedrich Josias, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Braganza: Luís Filipe, Prince Royal¶ King Manuel II¶ Koháry: Prince August Clemens Prince Rainer Prince Philipp Prince Ernst Prince Antonius Bulgaria: Tsar Simeon II† Belgium: King Baudouin I# King Albert II# Prince Alexandre#

6th generation

Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Prince Adrian Koháry: Prince Johannes Heinrich Bulgaria: Kardam, Prince of Turnovo† Kyril, Prince of Preslav† Kubrat, Prince of Panagyurishte† Konstantin-Assen, Prince of Vidin† Belgium: King Philippe# Prince Laurent#

7th generation

Hereditary Prince Hubertus Prince Alexander Koháry: Prince Johannes Bulgaria: Boris, Prince of Turnovo† Prince Beltrán† Prince Tassilo† Prince Mirko† Prince Lukás† Prince Tirso† Prince Umberto† Belgium: Prince Gabriel# Prince Emmanuel# Prince Nicolas# Prince Aymeric#

8th generation

Prince Philipp

^Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld until 1826 *also a prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
#also a prince of Belgium ¶also a member of the Portuguese royal family †also a member of the Bulgarian royal family
Bulgarian royal family
1also a member of the Brazilian imperial family

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Grand Masters of the Order of St Michael and St George

Sir Thomas Maitland The Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge Prince George, Duke of Cambridge The Prince George, Prince of Wales Vacant The Prince Edward, Prince of Wales Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis Prince Edward, Duke of Kent

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Heads of State of South Africa

Monarch (1910–1961)

George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II

State President (1961–1994) (under Apartheid)

Charles Robberts Swart Eben Dönges Jozua François Naudé* Jacobus Johannes Fouché Johannes de Klerk* Nico Diederichs Marais Viljoen* B. J. Vorster Marais Viljoen P. W. Botha F. W. de Klerk

President (from 1994) (post-Apartheid)

Nelson Mandela Thabo Mbeki Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri* Kgalema Motlanthe Jacob Zuma Cyril Ramaphosa

*Acting President

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 47553571 LCCN: n50000854 ISNI: 0000 0001 1472 0461 GND: 118528963 SELIBR: 227309 SUDOC: 027379914 BNF: cb12051974r (data) ULAN: 500189840 MusicBrainz: f54142b6-2862-4721-a06e-e7a74b51aeac NLA: 35057