Information about King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom

King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom (23 June 1894 - 28 May 1972)

Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; 23 June 1894 - 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December the same year.

Edward was the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary. He was created Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday, nine weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, he served in the British Armed Forces during World War I and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father.

Edward became king on his father's death in early 1936. He showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands as queen consort. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time opposed the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouses were still alive. Edward knew that the British government, led by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would ruin his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. Choosing not to end his relationship with Simpson, Edward abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who chose the regnal name George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward was one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history.

After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor. He married Simpson in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later that year, the couple toured Germany. During World War II, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France but, after private accusations that he held Nazi sympathies, he was appointed Governor of The Bahamas. After the war, he spent the remainder of his life in retirement in France.

King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom reigned in...
Reigned asIn CountryFromToCoins Issued
King Edward VIII Flag of Australia Australia 20 January 1936 11 December 1936 3
King Edward VIII Flag of Bahamas, British Crown Colony Bahamas, British Crown Colony 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of British Honduras British Honduras 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of British West Africa British West Africa 20 January 1936 11 December 1936 3
King Edward VIII Flag of Canada Canada 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of Ceylon, British Ceylon, British 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of Cyprus, British Cyprus, British 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII East African Currency Board 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of Fiji Fiji 20 January 1936 11 December 1936 1
King Edward VIII Flag of Gibraltar Gibraltar 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of Hong Kong, British Hong Kong, British 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
Edward VIII, Emperor of India Flag of India, Empire of (British Raj) India, Empire of (British Raj) 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of Ireland Ireland 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII, Lord of Mann Flag of Isle of Man Isle of Man 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of Kenya Colony Kenya Colony 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of Newfoundland Newfoundland 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of New Guinea, Territory of New Guinea, Territory of 20 January 1936 11 December 1936 1
King Edward VIII Flag of New Zealand New Zealand 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of South Africa South Africa 20 January 1936 11 December 1936
King Edward VIII Flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 20 January 1936 11 December 1936 6
King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom: Legends on Coins
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King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom: Effigies on Coins
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(no image yet) King Edward VIII by Thomas Humphrey Paget 1937 6
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