Edward VIII, King of England
Edward VIII, King of Great Britain and Ireland, reigned for one year in 1936.
|With a birth name of "Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David", Edward was born Jun 23, 1894 at White Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey County, England; the eldest son of George of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and his wife Mary von Teck. George and Mary would later become King and Queen of Great Britian and Ireland in 1910 when George's father Edward VII died, and young Edward would then be heir to the throne, and given the title Edward, Prince of Wales. He was one of the longest reigning Princes-of-Wales, holding the title for 26 years.
Edward was known or rumoured to be a terrible flirt and led a profligate life up until he met Bessie Wallis Warfield probably about 1934. Kitty Kelley in her book The Royals wrote about him that "his shining gold hair and sad blue eyes" made him gallant and charming. Also that he was "one of the most adored heirs ever to grace the British empire." Probably in 1934 or 1935, he and Wallis became lovers, which became widely enough known for his father George to despair of the thought that Wallis, once-divorced and currently married, would be Queen of England. George ordered his wife Mary to never acknowledge Wallis and she never did according to Kitty Kelley.When George died Jan 20, 1936, Edward became King. Now the situation was critical. Wallis divorced from her second husband on Oct 27, 1936. Edward insisted that he would marry Wallis and the government and an aleged public-opinion poll insisted just as strongly that he must not. The situation came to a head, and Churchill wrote his abdication speech which he gave by radio on Dec 11, 1936 stating that, "The throne means nothing to me without Wallis beside me." (The Royals, page 15) They were married on Jun 3, 1937 in Chateau de Cande, Maine-et-Loire, France, and lived thereafter in semi-exile from Britain, mostly in France with occasional trips to the United States.
After the abdication, Edward was made Duke of Windsor by his brother, the now-King, who took the name George VI. Wallis was styled Duchess of Windsor but by a new statute created just for her, she was not called "Her Royal Highness". This is much discussed in Kitty Kelly's book The Royals, where she states that George's wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon better known as the Queen Mother, was jealous of Bessie because she had wanted to marry Edward herself.
Edward and Wallis were thought, during WWII to be sympathetic to the Nazis. They adopted a jet-setting life-style of socialites until Edward died in 1972, after which Wallis was rarely seen in public. A picture of Edward and Wallis in their later years appears in the 1985 edition of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.Edward died on May 28, 1972 in Paris; afterward Wallis was rarely seen in public. She died Apr 24, 1986 also in Paris. They are both buried at Frogmore, Windsor, Berkshire, England.