Person    | Male  Born 23/6/1894  Died 28/5/1972

King Edward VIII

Categories: Royalty, Seriously Famous

Born as Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, at White Lodge in Richmond Park. Known to friends and family as David. 

Reigned 20 January - 10 December 1936 when he abdicated in favour of marriage to the twice divorced Mrs Simpson, to the sound of Londoners singing "Hark the herald angels sing, Mrs Simpson's pinched our king". Also successfully introduced plus-fours to America. After the abdication he was given the title of Duke of Windsor, and his younger brother, Bertie, became King George VI.  Thereafter the Windsors lived abroad and he died in Paris. The Guardian published a much more unusual picture of Edward, as the Prince of Wales in 1920, surfing in Hawaii. 

More seriously, he was aged 42 when he succeeded as King and had already, as Prince of Wales since 1911, spent many years representing his father, King George V, on gruelling tours of the Empire, and unveiling what he described as a never-ending stream of foundation stones. The choice he had was: more of that, or the woman he loved?

2021: The Guardian ('Saturday', 9 October) published a review of 'The Secret Royals' - Aldrich and Cormac, by David Pegg in which he writes: "... nobody emerges from the book in a more unflattering light than Edward VIII. He is grasping, lazy, greedy, dishonest, unreliable, anti-Semitic, self-pitying, treasonous ...".

2023: Reading Patrick Hamilton’s 1935 ‘Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky’, we were interested to see, on page 254, a discussion that takes place in a pub about “His Majesty’s illness”. Bob hopes that he will be “more successful as an Edwardian than as a Georgian” and “The Governor had got it into his head that the Prince of Wales would Never Come to the Throne but that the Duke of York would be Elected instead.” No basis is given for this view but it was remarkably prescient.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
King Edward VIII

Commemorated ati

Duchy of Cornwall almshouses

This building was erected in 1914 by HRH Edward Prince of Wales to provide ac...

Read More

Foundation stone for Royal Commonwealth Society

Edward Prince of Wales laid this stone in the 26th year of the reign of King ...

Read More

Meard Street

2022: We were contacted by David Bieda who wrote: "Meard Street plaque. I’d l...

Read More

Monarchs - board in Wine Office Court

When they add Charles III we wonder if they will remember to also increment t...

Read More

Monarchs - board on Fleet Street

This board reads as if the pub has been rebuilt in each of the monarchs' reig...

Read More

Show all 6

This section lists the memorials created by the subject on this page:
King Edward VIII

Creations i

Cavalry Memorial

Unveiled in its original location, at Stanhope Gate by the Dorchester Hotel, ...

Read More

E G Anderson Hospital and the Prince of Wales

This hospital was formally opened by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, Patron of Un...

Read More

HMS Crystal Palace

This trophy was originally placed on the old quarter-deck (presumably constru...

Read More

Islington war memorial arch - foundation stone at the right

In 1923 the Prince of Wales was Edward, who later became, briefly, King Edwar...

Read More

Other Subjects

Sophia Duleep Singh

Sophia Duleep Singh

Princess Sophia Alexandrovna Duleep Singh was a prominent suffragette in the UK. Her father was Maharaja Sir Duleep Singh, who had been taken from his kingdom of Punjab to the British Raj, and was ...

Person, Gender Issues, Royalty, India

1 memorial
Queen Mary I

Queen Mary I

Born at Greenwich Palace. Daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. When her sickly brother, the Protestant King Edward VI died in 1553, Mary was, by normal accession rules, next in line...

Person, Royalty

1 memorial
Sophia, Duchess of Brabant

Sophia, Duchess of Brabant

Duchess. Born in Wartburg Castle, near Eisenach in Thuringia, Germany. She married Henry II, Duke of Brabant and Lothier and was the heiress of Hesse which she passed on to her son, Henry upon her ...

Person, Royalty, Germany

1 memorial
King George V

King George V

Reigned: 1910 - 1936.  Born third in line to the throne, after his father (who became King Edward VII) and his elder brother Prince Albert Victor, who died early.  Crowned on 22 June 1911. Married ...

Person, Royalty, Seriously Famous

47 memorials
Helena, Duchess of Albany

Helena, Duchess of Albany

Born in Arolsen as Helena Frederica Augusta of Waldeck & Pyrmont. Married, in 1882, Leopold, Duke of Albany, youngest son of Queen Victoria.  Died in the Tyrol. The photograph was taken at the ...

Person, Royalty, Austria, Germany

4 memorials