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Anniversary of King Edward VIII abdicating the British throne

Michael McLaren

Scott Coleman, Lecturer on the Monarchy & Member of the Australian Monarchist League, joins Michael to talk about Edward VIII, who was king of the United Kingdon and the Dominions of the British Empire (and empire of India) from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 10 December of that year.

 

Edward was born during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George V and Queen Mary.

 

He was created Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday, nine weeks after his father succeeded as king, and served in the British Army during the First World War undertaking several overseas tours on behalf of his father.

 

Edward became king on his father’s death; however he showed impatience with court protocol causing concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions.

 

Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second.

 

Edward knew the Baldwin government would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would have ruined his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch.

 

 

When it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, he abdicated.

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Michael McLaren
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