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Events that led to Edward VIII abdication

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 By Laura Elston, Press Association Court Reporter


1931: Edward - then the Prince of Wales - meets American Wallis Simpson, who is still married to her second husband, at a house party hosted by his mistress Lady Thelma Furness.

1934: The affair begins.

November 1934: Simpson attends a party at Buckingham Palace. Edward introduces her to his mother, but his father, King George V, refuses to meet her.

January 20, 1936: George V dies and Edward becomes king.

August 1936: Simpson goes on a cruise with Edward VIII along the Yugoslav, Greek and Turkish coasts. Speculation about their relationship appears in the American press.

October 1936: Edward rents Simpson a house in Regent's Park. Prime minister Stanley Baldwin confronts the king and tells him to be more discreet and put off Simpson's divorce proceedings.

October 27, 1936: Simpson is granted a decree nisi.

November 16, 1936: Edward tells Baldwin of his plan to marry Simpson. Baldwin says the British public would never support it and Edward says he is prepared to abdicate.

November 25, 1936: The king proposes a morganatic marriage as a compromise. Baldwin later says the government will not accept this.

December 1, 1936: The Bishop of Bradford gives a speech publicly criticising the king, which is quoted in newspapers across the country.

December 3, 1936: Simpson goes to Cannes as the scandal intensifies.

December 4, 1936: Edward's request to broadcast to the nation in a plea over being able to marry Simpson and still retain the throne is refused.

December 9, 1936: He informs the government he will abdicate.

December 10, 1936: Edward VIII signs the Instrument of Abdication. Baldwin addresses the Commons.

December 11, 1936: Parliament passes the Act of Abdication. Edward gives his historic farewell radio broadcast to the nation before leaving England for Austria.

December 12, 1936: George VI is proclaimed king.

April 27, 1937: Simpson is free to marry Edward, now the Duke of Windsor, after her decree absolute comes through.

June 3, 1937 - The pair wed in France. No royals attend. George VI prevents the new Duchess of Windsor from becoming an HRH.

May 28, 1972 - Duke of Windsor dies in Paris and is buried at Windsor.

April 24, 1986 - Duchess of Windsor dies in Paris and is buried in Windsor alongside the Duke.

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