Friday, December 11, 2015


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1793


London, England (JFK+50) Seventy-nine years ago today, December 11, 1936, Great Britain's King Edward VIII* made a radio address informing the British people of his decision to abdicate the throne.

On November 16, 1936, the King had informed Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin of his decision to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.**  When King Edward learned that this would be unacceptable, because remarriage after divorce is opposed by the Church of England, he let it be known that he intended to abdicate.

In the radio speech, the King said...

"A few hours ago, I discharged my last duty as King...and now that I have been succeeded by...the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him.

I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burdens of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King...without the help and support of the woman I love."

According to the official website of the British Monarchy, the King "executed an instrument of Abdication" on December 10, 1936 "which was given legal effect the following day."

By signing the document, Edward gave up the throne not only for himself but also for any of his children.  Edward's brother, Albert, became King George.

After abdication, Edward became the Duke of Windsor and married Mrs. Simpson.  The couple lived in Paris until the Nazis occupied the city in 1940. The Duke served as Governor of the Bahamas from 1940 to 1945.

*King Edward VIII (1894-1972) was born at White Lodge, Richmond Park near London during the reign of his grandmother, Queen Victoria. He was educated at the Royal Naval College & served as a midshipman for 3 months.   Edward was invested as the Prince of Wales in 1911. Edward took the throne upon the death of King George V on Jan 20, 1936.

**Wallis Simpson (1896-1986) was born in Pennsylvania.  She divorced her 1st husband, Earl Spencer, Jr. in 1927 & married Ernest Simpson, a British-American businessman.  


"Edward VIII, January-December 1936," The official site of the British Monarchy,

"Historic Royal Speeches and Writings," 11 December 1936,

Edward and Wallis Simpson
Kitzbuhel, Austria
 February 1935