The Abdication of King Edward VIII

Why did King Edward VIII Abdicate?

On 20 January 1936, Edward (born 23 June 1894), the son of King George V, ascended the throne as King Edward VIII.

King Edward VIII abdicated on 11th December 1936, due to the fact that he wanted to marry an American commoner who was also a divorcee, Wallis Simpson (nee Bessie Wallis Warfield) who was born on 19 June 1896 in Pennsylvania, United States.

However, other facts were not mentioned at the time, and these may have had an even larger impact on Edward remaining as the King.

Simpson was suspected of passing information to her former lover, Joachim von Ribbentrop, who at one stage convinced Hitler that he had Edward’s support.

Simpson was involved with Joachim von Ribbentrop, a close confidant of Hitler, in 1936 whilst he was the German Ambassador to Britain. Ribbentrop became the Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany from 1938 until 1945, and was executed in 1946 for his role in the Holocaust, and World War II in Europe.  It is said that Wallis Simpson was in a relationship with both Edward (future King of the UK) and Ribbentrop (future Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany) at the same time, and while still being married to Ernest Simpson.

In October 1937, Edward and Wallis, now the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, made a high-profile visit to Germany and met Adolf Hitler at his Berchtesgaden retreat.
On November 5, 1937, Adolf Hitler held a secret conference in the Reich Chancellery where he revealed his plans for the acquisition of other European lands for the German people.

Husbands of Wallis Simpson:

  • Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. (Born in Kansas, US), married 8 November 1916. Divorced finalised on 10 December 1927.
  • Ernest Aldrich Simpson (Born in New York, US), married 21 July 1928. Divorced finalised in May 1937
  • Edward VIII (King of UK), began the relationship in 1934 and married on 3 June 1937, in France.

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