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Edward VIII Abdicates the British Throne

Edward VIII had been king of Great Britain and Ireland for less than a year when he abdicated the throne on December 11, 1936, to marry 'the woman I love,'–the twice-divorced American Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson. The eldest child of King George V and Queen Mary, Edward met the Baltimore-born Mrs. Simpson in 1931 while she was still married to her second husband. Their relationship caused much consternation among British traditionalists since the Church of England forbade divorced persons to remarry and would not recognize a marriage between Edward and Mrs. Simpson. After his ascension to the throne on January 20, 1936, Edward VIII expressed his desire to marry Mrs. Simpson and, if he could not do so and remain king, he said he was 'prepared to go.' After his abdication, Edward was awarded the title Duke of Windsor by his brother, King George VI. Edward and Mrs. Simpson were married in June 1937.


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