Duke and Duchess of Windsor
Prince Edward cared far less for status than for love. When he fell for American divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1933, he refused to let his the disapproval of family and courtiers affect him, instead lavishing her with gifts and neglecting duties in favour of spending time with her. In January 1936, he was crowned King Edward VIII; later that year, Wallis filed for divorce. But both knew he could not marry her and remain King. Under pressure, Wallis fled to France and promised to renounce him, but Edward would not accept her pledge. Instead, he abdicated, announcing: "I have found it impossible to carry out 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." The two wed in June 1937 and stayed together until his death in 1972. Wallis once said: "You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance."