A Day That Shook The World: Edward VIII abdicates
Friday 10 December 2010
On 11 December 1936 King Edward VIII chose the love of a woman over his country and confirmed his decision to abdicate.
The King and Emperor, who had acceded to the throne less than a year before his abdication, caused a constitutional crisis by proposing to American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
The British government and other influential figures in the Empire opposed the marriage, arguing that the Monarch and head of the Church of England could not have a divorced wife.
Rather than relinquish his relationship with Mrs Simpson, Edward relinquished the throne – the first British Monarch to have done so since 1399.
Find out more from news footage from the time in this British Pathe video:
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