Saturday, December 10, 2011

This Day in History December 11, 1936

Before I posted this, I made certain that my sites were correct since Martin is from England and I knew he would correct me if I were wrong.  It was on this date in 1936 that Edward VIII became the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne.

The story is unbelievable.  Edward was born in 1896, the eldest son of King George the V. By 1934, he had fallen in love with Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American socialite who was married at the time.  She became his mistress in spite of the disapproval of the royal family.  In 1936, Edward was proclaimed king upon his father's death, and the coronation was scheduled for 1937.    Simpson obtained a divorce, and the Edward planned on marrying her.   It was not approved, and so Edward chose to abdicate the throne, and he said as much in a radio address on the evening of December 11, 1936.

This story catches my interest for two reasons.  First of all, I was always amazed that someone would give up the throne for the love of a woman.  And secondly, since seeing The King's Speech (a "bloody marvelous film"), I feel like a know a little of the background of the story.  It was Edward's abdication that pushed his brother into the spotlight.

There is a lot more information which you can check out here:


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