King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson

King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
He gave up the throne to marry the woman he loved

King Edward VIII and Wallis SimpsonEdward, then Prince of Wales, was introduced to Wallis Simpson in 1931, when she was married to her second husband; they soon began a relationship that would rock Britain's most prominent institutions--Parliament, the monarchy and the Church of England--to their cores. Edward called Simpson, whom others criticized as a financially unstable social climber, "the perfect woman." Just months after being crowned king in January 1936, after the death of his father, George V, Edward proposed to Simpson, precipitating a huge scandal and prompting Britain's prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, to say he would resign if the marriage went ahead. Not wanting to push his country into an electoral crisis, but unwilling to give Simpson up, Edward made the decision to abdicate the throne. In a public radio address, he told the world of his love for Simpson, saying that "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 and support of the woman I love." His younger brother succeeded him as King George VI and granted Edward the title Duke of Windsor.

The Duke of Windsor married Wallis on June 3, 1937, but she was never accepted by the royal family. For the rest of their lives the couple lived abroad, mostly in France. In 1940, during the Second World War, the Duke became governor of the Bahamas. In 1945, he and his wife returned to France. The Duke wrote an autobiography, A King's Story, which was published in 1951. The Duchess of Windsor's autobiography, The Heart Has Reasons, was published in 1956.

They were devoted to their pet pugs.

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