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The True-Life Story Of King Edward VIII; The British King, Who Gave Up His Throne For Love-Pt 2


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The True-Life Story Of King Edward VIII; The British King, Who Gave Up His Throne For Love-Pt 2


Part ll:

“I, Edward the Eighth of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Emperor of India, do hereby declare my irrevocable determination to renounce the throne for myself and for my descendants, and my desire that effect should be given to the instrument of abdication immediately.”

These words were included in the document that Edward signed as the instruments of abdication at Fort Belvedere on 10 December 1936. The next day, the royal assent to ‘His Majesty’s Declaration of Abdication Act 1936’ was the  last act of his reign. Edward’s younger brother, Prince Albert, the Duke of York, succeeded him on the throne as King George VI.

Edward’s reign as King Edward VIII lasted for 326 days.

The next day, while expounding on his decision to abdicate, to a Worldwide BBC radio audience. Edward made these statements:

I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do, without the help of the woman I love.

He further added,

The decision is mine and mine alone, and the other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course.”

Two days after his abdication, Edward, now reverted to the styles and titles of a Prince, departed Britain for Austria.

In Austria, Edward stayed at Schloss Enzesfeld, the home of Baron Eugene and Baroness kitty de Rothschild. Edward had to remain apart from Wallis for a while, to avoid the risk of jeopardising her divorce proceedings. Wallis’s divorce from her second husband, Ernest Simpson, was finalised in May 1937. She then legally reverted to her maiden name, Wallis Warfield.

On 4 May 1937, the lovebirds were finally reunited at the Château de Candé, Monts, France.

“We are ours now.” These were the words engraved on the engagement ring that Edward presented to Wallis on their wedding day, which was held on 3 June 1937, at the Château de Candé, Monts, France. As expected, no member of the British royal family attended the wedding. However, some high-profile guests were present, notably Baron Eugene de Rothschild, Randolph Churchill and the best man, Major Fruity Metcalfe.

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Edward occasionally met with his mother and siblings after his abdication. He remained a bona fide member of the British Royal family. The new King, George VI, created Edward, Duke of Windsor. However, Wallis, now the Duchess of Windsor, was prohibited from sharing her husband’s style of ‘Royal Highness’ by Letters Patent issued by the new king.  Wallis remained resentful of Edward’s relatives for denying her the royal titles and for their refusal to fully accept her as part of the family. Though, her relationship with her In-Laws improved with time. The couple lived in France throughout the pre-war years, travelling the globe together, receiving much pomp and acceptance wherever they went.

“She’d have made a very good queen,” was Adolf Hitler’s assessment of Wallis. It was during a controversial visit; which Edward and Wallis made to Nazi Germany, where they met the German fuhrer at the Berghof, his Berchtesgaden retreat. This visit occurred in 1937, the peak of the political and military turbulences that dominated pre-war Europe. And at a crucial time when relations between Britain and Nazi Germany were at its lowest ebb. Hence, the couple’s trip to Germany did raise a lot of dust back in the UK, with most of the powers that be, echoing their suspicions that Wallis is a German spy and a Nazi sympathiser. She later made fun of these allegations in her letters to Edward.

With the imminent fall of France after the outbreak of the second World war in 1939, the couple fled France, first to Spain in June 1940, then to Portugal the following month. In August 1940, they left Europe for Nassau, The Bahamas, after Edward had been appointed governor of the Caribbean Island.

“Our St Helena”, was what Wallis called their new home; an obvious reference to the tiny Island where the British exiled Napoleon Bonarparte to, and where the great general finally met his end. Wallis surely despised Nassau. Nevertheless, she effectively served as the governor’s consort for the five years that the couple were in The Bahamas. And in that capacity, she immensely assisted the Red Cross, working tirelessly to improve the welfare of Children on the Island. Edward retired from his appointment as governor at the end of the second World war in 1945. And the couple returned to France.

Edward and Wallis lived out their last years at 4 route du Champ d’Entraînement (Villa Windsor), in the Bois de Boulogne, near Neuilly-sur-Seine, where they enjoyed a splendid retirement. However, they occasionally travelled between Europe and America, meeting with various dignitaries and acquaintances.

The aging couple travelled to London in 1965, where Edward underwent surgery for a detached retina. Members of the British royal family that visited the couple while they were in London includes: Queen Elizabeth II, the then reigning British Monarch, Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent, and Edward’s sister, Princess Mary, the Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood; who died just ten days after she visited the couple. Edward and Wallis attended her funeral service at Westminster Abbey.

By the late 1960s, Edward was increasingly becoming frail and ailing. He underwent cobalt therapy after he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1971. On 18 May 1972, Queen Elizabeth II, while on a state visit to France, visited the couple. On 28 May 1972, just ten days after the Queen’s Visit and a month shy of his 78th birthday, Edward, the Duke of Windsor, Once King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire and Emperor of India, passed away at his Paris home.

Edward’s body was flown back to London. On 5 May 1972, his funeral was held at St James Chapel, Windsor Castle, after lying in state. Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal family attended the funeral and burial. His beloved Wallis was also present. She stayed in Buckingham Palace for the duration of her visit. Edward was buried in the Royal Burial Ground, behind the Royal Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Frogmore.

After Edward’s death, the frail and dementia-plagued Wallis, now dependent on Edward’s estates and an allowance from the Queen, lived out her last years in Solitude at her Paris home.

Then, on 24 April 1986, Fourteen years after the death of Edward, Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor, died at her Bois de Boulogne home in Paris, France, aged 89. Her funeral was held on 29 May 1986 at St James Chapel, Windsor Castle. Present at the funeral and burial were Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the British royal family.

Wallis was buried alongside her beloved husband, Edward.

Wallis Warfield, the Duchess of Windsor, once said:

You have no idea how hard it is to live out a great romance“.



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