This Happened— December 11: A Royal Abdicates
After the death of his father, George V, on January 20, 1936, Edward VIII became the King of England at 42 years old, but shockingly announced his decision less than a year later to abdicate the throne on this day in history.
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Why did Edward VIII abdicate the throne?
Edward wanted to marry an American woman named Wallis Warfield Simpson, whom he loved and had known since 1931. He sought the approval to marry Simpson from his family, the Church of England, and the political establishment, but met with strong opposition as she had been married twice before and her second divorce was still pending.
Did Edward VIII regret his decision to abdicate the throne?
Faced with the idea of not being able to marry Simpson, Edward publicly announced his decision to abdicate the throne via radio to a worldwide audience, saying, “I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.” The two remained happily married, living in Paris, until his death in 1972.