Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII)

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Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII)'s Geni Profile

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Edward VIII Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David Windsor, King of United Kingdom, Duke of Windsor

Also Known As: "David", "Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David"
Birthplace: White Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey, England
Death: Died in Paris, Île-de-France, France
Cause of death: throat cancer
Place of Burial: Royal Burial Grounds at Frogmore, Windsor, Berkshire, England
Immediate Family:

Son of George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck, Queen consort of the United Kingdom
Husband of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor
Brother of George VI of the United Kingdom; Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood; Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester; Prince George, Duke of Kent and Prince John of the United Kingdom

Occupation: Edward VIII, King Of England, Hertug af Windsor
Managed by: Ofir Friedman
Last Updated:

About Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII)

Royal house

House of Wettin

Titles and styles

Royal styles of King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom

Reference style: His Majesty

Spoken style: Your Majesty

Alternative style: Sir

  • 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
  • 23 June 1910 – 20 January 1936: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
  • in Scotland: 1910–1936: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Duke of Rothesay
  • 20 January 1936 – 11 December 1936: His Majesty The King

and, occasionally, outside of the United Kingdom, and with regard to India: His Imperial Majesty The King-Emperor

  • 11 December 1936 – 8 March 1937: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward
  • 8 March 1937 – 28 May 1972: His Royal Highness The Duke of Windsor

"Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; later The Duke of Windsor; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936. Edward was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was created Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday. As a young man, he served in the British Armed Forces during the First World War and undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father. Edward became king when his father died in early 1936. He showed impatience with court protocol, and politicians were concerned by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American socialite Wallis Simpson, 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 that the people would never accept a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands as queen. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which opposed the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouses were still alive. Edward knew that the government led by British 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. Choosing not to end his relationship with Simpson, Edward abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who chose the regnal name George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward was one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British and Commonwealth history. He was never crowned. After his abdication, he was given the title Duke of Windsor. He married Simpson 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 that he held Nazi sympathies, he was assigned to the Bahamas as the islands' Governor. After the war, he was never given another official appointment and spent the remainder of his life in retirement in France."


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[S3] Marlene A. Eilers, Queen Victoria's Descendants (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987), pages 171, 178. Hereinafter cited as Queen Victoria's Descendants.

[S9] Charles Kidd and David Williamson, editor, DeBretts Peerage and Baronetage (London, U.K.: DeBrett's Peerage, 1999), volume 1, page cv. Hereinafter cited as DeBretts Peerage, 1999.

[S18] Matthew H.C.G., editor, Dictionary of National Biography on CD-ROM (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1995), reference "Edward VIII, 1894-1972". Hereinafter cited as Dictionary of National Biography.

[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page cxxxix. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

13th July

The Investiture of the Prince of Wales took place at Caernarfon Castle on the 13th. July 1911. Edward went on to become King Edward VIII, later to abdicate in the furore over Mrs. Wallis Simpson.

David Lloyd George was the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the early years of his political career and as Constable of the Castle oversaw the proceedings
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Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII)'s Timeline

June 23, 1894
White Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey, England
July 16, 1894
Green Drawing Room, White Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey, England
January 20, 1936
- December 11, 1936
Age 41
London, Greater London, UK
December 10, 1936
Age 42

On 16 November 1936, Edward invited Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin to Buckingham Palace and expressed his desire to marry Wallis Simpson when she became free to re-marry. Baldwin informed the King 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 Wallis as Queen.[39]

As King, Edward held the role of Supreme Governor 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 Edward would remain King but Wallis 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[40] as well as other Dominion governments,[41] 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."[42] The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and South Africa made clear their opposition to the King marrying a divorcée;[43] the Irish premier expressed indifference and detachment, while the Prime Minister of New Zealand, having never even heard of Mrs. Simpson before, vacillated in disbelief.[44] Faced with this opposition, Edward at first responded that there were "not many people in Australia" and their opinion didn't matter.[45]

The King informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Mrs. Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with three choices: give up the idea of marriage; marry against his ministers' wishes; or abdicate.[46] It was clear that Edward was not prepared to give up Mrs. 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.[47] He chose to abdicate.[48]

Edward duly signed the instruments[49] of abdication at Fort Belvedere on 10 December 1936, in the presence of his three surviving brothers, The Duke of York, The Duke of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent (the youngest brother, Prince John, had died in 1919).[50] 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 King's abdication,[51] though the Irish Free State did not pass the External Relations Act, which included the abdication in its schedule, until 12 December. As a curiosity, legally, for one day Edward was King of the Irish Free State but not the rest of the British Empire.[52]

On the night of 11 December 1936, Edward, now reverted to the title of Prince Edward, made a broadcast to the nation and the Empire, explaining his decision to abdicate. 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."[53]

After the broadcast, Edward departed the United Kingdom for Austria, though he was unable to join Mrs. Simpson until her divorce became absolute, several months later.[54] His brother, Prince Albert, Duke of York, succeeded to the throne as George VI, whose elder daughter, The Princess Elizabeth, became first in the line of succession, as the heiress presumptive.

June 3, 1937
Age 42
Monts, France
May 28, 1972
Age 77
Paris, Île-de-France, France
June 5, 1972
Age 77
Royal Burial Grounds at Frogmore, Windsor, Berkshire, England
White Lodge, Richmond, Surrey, England