1936: The Abdication

1936: The Abdication

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Born in 1894 as the oldest son of George, Duke of York, Edward became heir to the throne when his father was crowned King George V in May 1910 and was formally invested as Prince of Wales the following summer. As feared by royal aides, Edward showed little interest in any sort of day-to-day governorship. He was mainly preoccupied with marrying Wallis Simpson, and from her husband, at least, there was no pushback, as the businessman agreed to let the King have his way. After ruling for less than one year, Edward VIII became the first British monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne. He made this choice after the British government and the Church of England condemned his decision to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. On the evening of December 11th, 1936, Edward gave a radio address to the public, in which he explained his reasoning for leaving behind the throne. The broadcast was expected but still shocking.
Starring HM King George VI HM King George VI, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, Neville Chamberlin
Director Danielle Winter