Why Famous: The eldest son of George V and Mary of Teck. Edward was a popular Prince of Wales and served in the British Army during World War I.
George V died in 1936 and Edward succeeded to the throne. His disregard for established conventions, apparent sympathy to fascism and impatience with protocol worried government officials. In November 1936, a constitutional crisis arose when he proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American socialite. The government of Stanley Baldwin, the dominion governments, the Church of England and much of the public disapproved of the marriage as politically, socially and morally unacceptable. Faced with a choice of destroying his role as a constitutional monarch and going against the teachings of the Church - of which he was the head - Edward abdicated in December, thus becoming the only British monarch to do so voluntarily. He was succeeded by his brother Albert who was crowned George VI.
After he abdicated he was created Duke of Windsor. He controversially met with Adolf Hitler and toured Germany in 1937. His apparent pro-Nazi views made government officials appoint him as Governor of the Bahamas.
- 1937-06-03 Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) weds Mrs Wallis Warfield Simpson in France
- 1936-01-20 Edward VIII succeeds British King George V
- 1936-12-10 Britain replaces King Edward VIII stamp series with King George VI
- 1936-12-10 Edward VIII signs Instrument of Abdication, giving up the British throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson
- 1936-12-11 Edward VIII announces in a radio broadcast that he is abdicating the British throne to marry Wallis Simpson