Edward VIII


Born: 23 June 1894
Died: 28 May 1972
Birthplace: Surrey, England
Best known as:

King of England who abdicated to marry a divorced American

Edward VIII shocked the world in 1936 when he gave up his throne to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The eldest son of George V, Edward (known to his family as David) served in World War I and was the first member of British royalty to become a pilot. His brief reign -- only 326 days -- was overshadowed by his decision to abdicate; as a divorcee, Simpson was considered inappropriate to become queen. In a famous radio address after renouncing the throne, Edward said "I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love." His brother Albert became King George VI and Edward became Duke of Windsor. He served as Governor of the Bahamas from 1940 to 1945, and spent the rest of his life living abroad, mainly in France. After their deaths he and Simpson were buried on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Extra credit:

Simpson and Edward were married in France on 3 June 1937... It was Edward's first marriage, and they had no children... Edward apparently was unaware of Simpson's affair with car salesman Guy Trundle, which was revealed in secret government documents released in 2003.

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