Edward VIII Abdicates

Edward VIII Abdicates

After ruling for less than one year, Edward VIII becomes the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne. The eldest son of King George V, Edward ascended to the throne in January 1936. He enjoyed immense popularity with his subjects until he announced his intention to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American divorcee. Many in Britain opposed the marriage, but the king refused to call off his engagement. With no compromise possible, Edward announced his abdication, saying, “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.” That evening, Parliament passed a bill of abdication, and the next day Edward’s younger brother was proclaimed King George VI. The former king was granted the title of Duke of Windsor, and in 1937 he married Wallis Warfield in France.