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No coronation for Edward VIII

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


1 - Edward VIII's reign lasted just 326 days - less than 11 months. He was never crowned.

2 - The king had asked to make a radio broadcast appealing for public support in the hope he could marry Wallis Simpson and retain the throne. But prime minister Stanley Baldwin blocked the idea, saying it was a breach of constitutional principles.

3 - The King's telephone calls were secretly bugged during the final days on the order of the home secretary.

4 - Wallis Simpson's first name was actually Bessie and Wallis her middle name. She dropped Bessie because "so many cows are called Bessie".

5 - Married Simpson had a secret lover while she was being courted by Edward VIII, then the Prince of Wales, in 1935. She was having an affair with motor engineer and car salesman Guy Trundle.

6 - The prince was known for his selfish pursuits and his love of women and wine. His assistant private secretary Sir Alan "Tommy" Lascelles once admitted to prime minister Baldwin in 1927: "I can't help thinking that the best thing that could happen to him, and to the country, would be for him to break his neck." Baldwin retorted: "God forgive me. I have often thought the same."

7 - Edward VIII had seven Christian names: Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David. But he was always known to his family as David. For his abdication speech, he was introduced as "His Royal Highness Prince Edward" and shortly after he was made the Duke of Windsor.

8 - He finally married Simpson while in exile in France in 1937, but none of the royal family attended. He tried to pick a date that would suit his brother, the new king George VI, but was told in a letter by his cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten that neither the royals nor any courtiers would be there.

9 - George VI, backed by his wife Queen Elizabeth, who became the Queen Mother, and his mother Queen Mary, issued a Letters Patent preventing Simpson from ever using the HRH style when she became the Duchess of Windsor.

10 - But the Duke always insisted that his staff call his wife "Your Royal Highness".

11 - The Duke and Duchess were not invited to Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. But they were pictured watching it on TV at the Paris home of an American millionairess.

12 - The Duke once told a biographer: "Twenty years I worked for my country and they kicked me out on my ass."

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