Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936
1.No Kids Allowed
Why didn’t Edward have children? It’s believed that a spell of mumps while he was at Royal Naval College rendered him royally infertile.
2. Together Forever
After World War Two, Edward and Wallis returned to France and lived out the rest of their lives as peaceful socialites before Edward was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1971.
3. Bad at Bereavement
Edward’s reaction to the death of his youngest brother, Prince John, put a rank taste in people’s mouths. John, who was 11 years younger than Edward, passed away in January 1919 from a severe seizure when he was only 13 years old.
Edward referred to John’s death as “little more than a regrettable nuisance.” He wrote how John’s epilepsy had limited his mobility such that people rarely saw him, calling his late brother “more of an animal than anything else.”
4. Not Worthy of Trust?
In the wake of Operation Willi, Winston Churchill ordered Edward and Wallis back to Britain under the threat of court-martial. The swirl of German plots around Edward and Wallis had raised enough distrust from Allied forces that US President Franklin D.
5. Man Who Would Be King Again
n 1940, there was Nazi plot—called Operation Willi—to persuade Edward to come to Spain, using kidnapping if necessary, and make him work for Adolf Hitler. Obviously, it didn’t work—but the fact that persuasion was the first option in the plan reflects on how Edward’s sympathies were perceived in World War II.
6. A Bromance From Hell
Hitler liked Edward VIII. He especially liked the ex-king’s sympathy towards Anglo-German relations and thought that had he not abdicated, things could have been much different between their two countries. To quote Hitler directly: “I am certain through him permanent friendly relations could have been achieved.
7. Unwise Allies
rguably more controversial than his decision to abdicate: Edward and his wife’s apparent friendly relationship with Nazi Germany. Going against government wishes, the couple made a visit to Adolf Hitler in October 1937, where they were very graciously received and participated in full Nazi salutes.
8. You Can Never Go Back
Edward had plans to return home after a year or two in self-imposed exile. Backed by their mother and his own wife, George VI threatened to cut the couple off financially if they ever returned to Britain without an invite.
9.Can You Spare 1 Billion Dimes?
For years, George VI paid Edward and Wallis’s post-abdication allowance out of his own pocket. The government refused to include either Edward or his wife on the Civil List. Exile in Europe with nothing but your loyal wife, royal title, and royal allowance? How did he manage?
10. Not Without My Wife
At least by their posh standards, Edward and Wallis didn’t live happily ever after. As per the deal in Edward’s new title, Wallis could not style herself as “Her Highness the Duchess of Windsor” even though her third husband was now the Duke. facquo.com
Edward would harass his brother with daily phone calls, asking for more money but also for George to reconsider Wallis’s style of address. George VI eventually ordered his people not to forward the ex-king’s calls through.
11. Not Exactly a Royal Wedding
On June 3, 1937, Edward and Wallis finally married each other in a private ceremony in France. The Church of England refused to sanction the marriage, so a County Durham clergyman performed the vows.
12. High Frequency Resignation
On 11 December 1936, Edward announced on worldwide radio that he had surrendered his title and reverted back to being a mere prince. He said, “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love,” and then left for Austria the next day.
13. Minority Report
In response to the formal political opposition to his marriage, Edward was a bit blasé. In his words, their opinion didn’t matter because there were “not that many people in Australia.” It’s not like it was his job to know the demographics of his so-called Empire, right?
14. Nothing Says Love Like
While it’s more romantic to think otherwise, Edward didn’t throw his crown away immediately when faced with the choice between his throne or Wallis Simpson. At first, he tried to negotiate with his ministers. In November 1936, he sat down with Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and put forth his desire to marry Wallis. Negotiation. facquo.com
15. This is a Case for James Bond
In July 1938, Edward perhaps had a brush with a would-be assassin. Or was he a protector? A swindler named Jerome Brannigan drew a gun as the king rode past on his horse at Buckingham Palace. Brannigan was promptly apprehended. facquo.com
16. Holy Hypocrisy
It was more than a matter of manners—Edward’s affair with two-time (soon) divorcée Wallis Simpson was a matter of (English) God. The ruler of England is also the head of the English Church, which poo-pooed marriage to a divorced person while their exes were still alive.
17. She Comes First
Edward became utterly enthralled with Wallis within the first year of being together. They were frequently seen together on vacation and he bestowed tons in grants and gifts upon her. This escalated to the point where Edward missed out on those oh-so-important official duties.
18. He Has a Type
Edward and Wallis Simpson were introduced by Edward’s then-mistress, Lady Thelma Furness. Wallis had not fully divorced her second husband. For the record, Furness herself was also still married to someone else. Edward had a
19. Bare Hair Club
What did the 42-year-old Edward VIII have in common with 12-year-old Edward V and 16-year-old Jane Grey? They are the only English monarchs to never be crowned.
20. Use It Or You’ll Lose It
From this youth, Edward was set on a naval career. However, the quick ascension of his father George V meant the prince was immediately promoted to the Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, followed by appointments to Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester for his 16th birthday. facquo.com
At 326 days, Edward’s reign is the shortest for any monarch of the United Kingdom. There are shorter reigns if you’re thinking about just the English throne, but even then, Edward’s is still one of the briefest tenure’s in the crown’s history. http://facquo.com