Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David was born on June 23, 1894, at White Lodge in Richmond Park, London. He was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary. He had four younger brothers, Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), Henry, Duke of Gloucester, George, Duke of Kent, and John.
Edward was a shy and introverted child. He was not as academically gifted as his younger brother, Albert, and he struggled with a stutter. However, he was a kind and compassionate person, and he was popular with his classmates.
In 1914, World War I broke out. Edward served in the British Army during the war, and he was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery. After the war, he became a popular figure in British society. He was known for his good looks and his charm, and he was often photographed with beautiful women.
In 1936, Edward’s father, King George V, died. Edward became king on January 20, 1936. He took the regnal name of Edward VIII.
Edward’s reign was short-lived. In October 1936, he announced his intention to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée. The British government and the Church of England opposed the marriage, and Edward was forced to choose between the throne and Mrs. Simpson. On December 11, 1936, he abdicated the throne in favor of his brother, Albert.
Edward’s abdication was a major constitutional crisis. It was the first time in British history that a king had abdicated the throne. The abdication also had a profound impact on Edward’s personal life. He was stripped of his royal titles and was forced to live in exile. He married Wallis Simpson in 1937, and the couple lived together in France for the rest of their lives.
Edward’s abdication has been the subject of much debate and speculation. Some historians believe that he was a weak and irresponsible king who was unfit to rule. Others believe that he was a victim of circumstance who was forced to make a difficult choice. Regardless of one’s opinion of Edward, there is no doubt that his abdication was a major turning point in British history.
- White Lodge
- Richmond Park
- King George V
- Queen Mary
- King Edward VIII
- Albert, Duke of York
- King George VI
- Henry, Duke of Gloucester
- George, Duke of Kent
- Wallis Simpson