Edward VIII , born Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, called David, (born June 23, 1894 in the White Lodge in London , † May 28, 1972 in Paris ) was Prince of Wales from 1910 to 1936 , from January 1936 to King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India on his abdication in December of the same year and, from December 1936, Duke of Windsor . Eduard was the second monarch from the House of Windsor, which was re-established in 1917 .
Adolescent years (1894–1910)
Eduard was the eldest child of the future King George V of Great Britain and his wife Princess Maria von Teck , who later became Queen Mary. His father was the second son of the heir to the throne ( Prince of Wales ), who later became King Edward VII.
Edward was baptized in the green parlor on July 16, 1894, in his native White Lodge in London's Richmond Park, by the Archbishop of Canterbury , Edward White Benson , the then primate of the Anglican Church. His first name Edward came from his uncle Albert Victor , who died young , his father's older brother, who was only called Eddy in the family and who was his mother's former fiancé. The name Albert was added after her late husband Albert at the request of his great-grandmother, Queen Victoria . The name Christian came from his great-grandfather King Christian IX. from Denmark . The remaining first names George , Andrew , Patrick and David stand for the saints of England , Scotland , Ireland and Wales . His usual family name was his last first name, David.
Eduard and his siblings were mainly raised by service personnel. The future Queen Mary was very seldom occupied with her children; the father was strict, just as he had been brought up.
Heir to the throne (1910-1936)
With his father's accession to the throne in May 1910, he automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay . On June 23, 1910, he was named Prince of Wales - this is the title of the British Crown Prince - and Earl of Chester by his father . The investiture took place on July 13, 1911 in Caernarfon Castle . It was also the first investiture of a "Prince of Wales" since 1616, which took place in Wales. The liberal future Prime Minister David Lloyd George was responsible for the course of the ceremony, who helped Eduard to address a few sentences in Welsh to the population after the ceremony . Before the First World War, Eduard made a trip to see his father's cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II. , In the German Empire .
At that time there were considerations about marrying Eduard to Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanova , the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna . But the plans were abandoned.
First World War (1914-1918)
During World War I , at his request, Eduard was given a small command as an officer on the Western Front with the Grenadier Guards , but as Crown Prince he was supposed to stay out of direct danger to life and limb. Once he was caught in a German artillery attack and from then on was no longer allowed to go to the direct main battle line. Nevertheless, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916 .
He later became a member of the Royal Navy . In 1918 he was the first Crown Prince to undertake a military flight in an airplane. He acquired his pilot's license as the second member of the royal family after his brother Albert.
Until accession to the throne (1918–1936)
As is customary in the ruling class, he went on two big game safaris in East Africa in 1928 and 1930 with well-known hunters such as Denys Finch Hatton and Bror von Blixen-Finecke . In Kenya he met the Danish writer and coffee farmer Karen Blixen . On behalf of his father, he went on two trips around the world to represent the crown in the colonies overseas and in other countries and thus to prepare for his future role as monarch. Between 1919 and 1935 he made a total of sixteen major trips.
As Crown Prince, Eduard lived almost exclusively in Fort Belvedere , which his father had given him in 1929. He had it completely renovated, Norah Lindsay designed the gardens or, as the Duke of Windsor described it, “she helped me with my first horticultural efforts”. Eduard housed a circle of friends there. Within this circle, in a free atmosphere without court ceremonies, which Eduard did not appreciate personally, a free exchange of ideas was cultivated. During this time there were various affairs with mostly married and often younger women, including the half-British and half-American textile industrialist Freda Dudley Ward , the American film actress Mildred Harris or Thelma Furness, Viscountess Furness , whom many already saw as Edward's future wife.
These love affairs greatly disturbed his otherwise very good relationship with his parents, especially his father. George V feared that Eduard could ruin himself and the crown in just twelve months if he were to be king and hoped that he would never marry and have children
Even as a king, he usually lived in Fort Belvedere.
After the death of his father George V in January 1936, he served as Edward VIII as King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for ten months . On the first day of his rule he broke royal protocol by watching the public proclamation of his assumption of rule from a window in St James's Palace accompanied by his girlfriend.
His interest in the social issue became public when, as King, he visited coal mines in South Wales and said of the conditions there: Something must be done . The conservative government in particular feared that the king would not perform his office neutrally as a constitutional monarch. With his views he had become a threat to the conservative British establishment .
On July 16, 1936, an Irish terrorist named Jerome Brannigan attempted an assassination attempt on him, but the police were able to prevent this in time. The circumstances and background of this act have never been fully clarified. The MI5 but to early knew about the assassination plans and they still do not, the police and the court are immediately reported to the government. Brannigan was then sentenced to one year in prison.
In the summer of 1936 King Edward was on his summer vacation with Wallis Warfield on the Croatian Adriatic coast. Warfield, better known by the name Wallis Simpson , a twice-divorced bourgeois American, he had met through his former lover, Thelma Furness.
In November 1936, King Edward opened parliament for the first and only time in his short reign. He wore the uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet , but without a crown, as he was not crowned until his abdication.
His relationship with Wallis Simpson was known to the press, but almost all of the British newspapers were silent about the romance. The international press, on the other hand, reported openly about it, especially the US magazines of the press magnate William Randolph Hearst , who saw no connection with Edward's person as head of state and were in part anti-monarchist.
Under pressure from the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin , the Dominions and the Anglican Church through Archbishop Cosmo Gordon Lang , Eduard finally abdicated on December 11, 1936 in order to be able to marry Wallis Warfield on June 3, 1937. It was not officially possible that the British sovereign, as head of the Anglican Church, could marry a divorced woman. Attempts by Eduards to initiate a morganatic marriage and keep the throne were rejected.
His deed of abdication was signed by himself and his three brothers as witnesses. In his further life he only carried the title Duke of Windsor, which was bestowed on him by his brother immediately after the abdication . Wallis Simpson was denied the title of Royal Highness for life , which led to the Duke's considerable resentment towards his family. His mother also refused to ever see him and his wife in person.
The couple lived mostly in self-chosen exile in the USA and France , but also in Switzerland and Austria . It had been agreed that the couple would only be at the express invitation of their brother King George VI. reside in the UK. One occasion, for example, was the funeral of his mother Mary in 1953, for which he needed a special permit from his niece, Queen Elizabeth II . However, he did not appear on time at his mother's deathbed.
At the invitation of the Queen, Eduard and his wife were in Great Britain for two further funerals. His sister-in-law Marina , the wife of his brother George Edward , had died in 1968, his sister Mary Victoria , who had been very close to him from an early age, in 1965.
After Edward V (1470–1483), Edward VIII was the only English king since the Norman conquest in 1066 who was not crowned, and next to Edward II (1284–1327) and Richard II (1367–1400) the only one who was forced to abdicate, ignoring the Wars of the Roses of the 15th and the English Civil War of the 17th century.
Duke of Windsor (1937-1972)
In 1937 Eduard was awarded the title Duke of Windsor . In the same year the wedding took place in exile in France; the marriage of the two remained childless. The royal family never fully accepted his wife. Queen Mary in particular remained angry with Edward and outraged about his marriage to Wallis, only to "give up all of this for it" in her words. She has since refused to officially see her son. After his abdication, Eduard visited several countries, including Germany , where he and his wife were received by Adolf Hitler at the Berghof . This led to resentment in Great Britain, as did his visit to Italy with Benito Mussolini .
Edward's financial circumstances are unclear. The fact is that he received the equivalent of the private property Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House inherited from his father , plus the value of Fort Belvedere .
Second World War (1939-1945)
In September 1939, the Duke and Duchess were brought to Great Britain on the British destroyer HMS Kelly under the command of Lord Louis Mountbatten , and Eduard was sent to France with the rank of major general in British military service. During this time he inspected the French and Belgian forts on the Maginot Line , which the British allies had not previously been given by the French and Belgians. According to statements by the German ambassador in The Hague, Julius Graf von Zech-Burkersroda , Eduard had betrayed the Allied plans to defend Belgium to the Germans in February 1940.
During the German occupation of France from 1940 to 1944, Edward's residences in Paris and southern France were guarded by the Wehrmacht at the Duke's request . After the occupation, Eduard himself fled to Biarritz , then to Spain, and finally found accommodation in Portugal with a banker with German contacts in Lisbon .
He is said to have the following quotes: After the war is over and Hitler will crush the Americans… We'll take over… They (the British) don't want me as their King, but I'll be back as their leader. ("When the war is over and Hitler has crushed the Americans ... we take over ... They [the British] don't want me as their king, but I'll be back soon as their leader.") He allegedly said to a journalist: It would be a tragic thing for the world if Hitler was overthrown. ("It would be a tragedy for the world if Hitler were overthrown.")
On the orders of Winston Churchill , the Duke and the Duchess of Windsor from Portugal were brought into British custody in the Bahamas and Edward was appointed governor of the British crown colony . However, he was not particularly fond of the islands and disparagingly referred to them as a "third-rate British colony". Edward's views were racist at the time, despite all the social engagement in the Bahamas . He had prejudices against the black population of the Bahamas and attributed the prevailing unrest to communist agitation and Jews .
Various documents, including the so-called Windsor Acts document Edward's close ties with the Third Reich , his sympathies for Hitler and his state, but they do not prove any attempts to re-ascend the throne with the help of the Nazis.
After the Second World War
In 1945 he was replaced as Governor of the Bahamas. He and his wife were the jet set couple of the first post-war decades, which attracted attention due to their extremely expensive lifestyle and frequent travel. In the course of their marriage, the Duke showered his wife, the Duchess of Windsor, with precious jewelry, which was auctioned for around 160 million dollars after her death. He and his wife were with the American President Dwight D. Eisenhower and in 1970 with Richard Nixon as personal guests in the White House and gave an interview on American television in 1956 on Edward R. Murrow's television show Person to Person .
He was still on friendly terms with his sister Mary. He traveled with her and her husband to Enzesfeld Palace in Enzesfeld-Lindabrunn south of Vienna. In November 1947, Mary allegedly turned down the invitation to her niece Princess Elisabeth's wedding to Philip Mountbatten because Eduard had not also been invited. Officially, she did not take part for health reasons. Eduard was later officially invited to the weddings of his nieces Princess Margaret and Princess Alexandra , but stayed away from them out of bitterness over the first affront.
He was in London for the funeral of his brother, King George VI., In 1952. From the same year he lived with his wife in a villa in the Bois de Boulogne on the outskirts of Paris, right on the border with the posh suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine . In 1952 they bought the Moulin de la Tuilerie country house in Gif-sur-Yvette near Paris.
In the 1960s, his health deteriorated. Michael E. DeBakey operated on him in Houston in December 1964 for an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta . He also returned to London because of his health. Sir Stewart Duke-Elder treated him in February 1965 in a London clinic for a detached retina . There he received two visits from his niece, Queen Elizabeth II. He also received visits from his sister-in-law Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent and his sister Mary, who died a little later and for whose funeral he was still in London.
Two years later, in 1967, on the 100th birthday of his mother, who had died in 1953, he met his royal family again and inaugurated a memorial in honor of his mother at Marlborough House .
The last royal ceremony Edward attended was Princess Marina's funeral in 1968. The following year he declined an invitation from Elizabeth II to recognize Prince Charles as Prince of Wales , saying that Prince Charles was his "aged great-uncle." "wouldn't want there.
In 1970 he and his wife appeared in a fifty-minute report on the BBC .
Eduard had been a heavy smoker since his youth. At the end of 1971 he was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and given cobalt cannon therapy. In 1972 he was able to see his niece Queen Elizabeth II one last time, who was privately visiting her uncle on the occasion of a five-day state visit to France beginning on May 15th. He died on May 28, 1972 in Paris as a result of the cancer. His body was transferred to Windsor Castle . On June 5th, the memorial service was held in St. George's Chapel in the presence of the Queen, the Royal Family, the Duchess of Windsor and a large crowd . The public's interest in his death and funeral was great. Edward VIII was buried in the Royal Burial Ground at Frogmore House near Windsor Castle.
|Pedigree of King Edward VIII|
- 1894–1898 : HH Prince Edward of York
- 1898–1901 : HRH Prince Edward of York
- 1901 : HRH Prince Edward of Cornwall and York
- 1901–1910 : HRH Prince Edward of Wales
1910 : HRH The Duke of Cornwall
- for Scotland: HRH The Duke of Rothesay
- 1910–1936 : HRH The Prince of Wales
- 1936 : SM King Edward VIII of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith , Emperor of India
- 1937–1972 : HRH The Duke of Windsor
- 1910–1936 : His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
- 1936 : His Majesty, Edward the Eighth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India
- 1937–1972 : His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, Duke of Windsor
- Mid , 1911–1913 : Ensign at Sea, Royal Navy
- Lt , 1913–1919 : Lieutenant at sea, Royal Navy
- Lt , 1914–1916 : Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards , British Army. (First World War, Flanders and Italy)
- Capt , March 10, 1916 : Captain, British Army
- Capt , 1919 : Sea Captain, Royal Navy
- Major-Gen , 1939 : Major General, British Army
Military honor ranks
- January 20th – November 11th December 1936 : Admiral of the Fleet , Royal Navy
- January 20th – November 11th December 1936 : Field Marshal , British Army
- January 20th – November 11th December 1936 : Marshal of the Royal Air Force
|Abbreviation||medal||Year of award||Fig.|
|KG||Knight of the Garter||1910|
|KT||Knight of the Thistle||1922|
|KP||Knight of St Patrick||1927|
|GCB||Knight Grand Cross of the Bath||1936|
|GCSI||Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India||1921|
|GCIE||Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire||1921|
|GCVO||Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order||1920|
|KStJ||Knight of Justice of St John||1917|
|RVC||Royal Victorian Chain||1921|
|FRS||Royal Fellow of the Royal Society|
Eduard lost all his awards when he acceded to the throne in 1936, as he was the personal head of most orders as sovereign, but after his abdication he was restored to the status before his accession to the throne by his brother Georg.
- Grand Cross with the Crown of the Order of the Wendish Crown 1911
- Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor 1912
- Knight of the Golden Fleece 1912
- Grand Cross of the Norwegian Order of St Olav 1914
- Knight of the Elephant Order 1914
- Knight of the Order of Annunciations 1915
- Grand Cross of the Order of St. Mauritius and Lazarus 1915
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy 1915
- Knight 4th class of the Russian Order of Saint George in 1916
- Military Order Michael the Brave 1st Class 1918
- Italian War Merit Cross 1919
- Grand Cross of the Order of Muhammad Ali 1922
- Knight of the Royal Order of Seraphines, 1923
- Collane of the Order of Carol I.
Naming geographic objects
The following geographical objects in the East Antarctic Kempland are named after Edward VIII :
- Peter Allen: The Crown and the Swastika: Hitler, Hess, and the Duke of Windsor. Robert Hale, London 1983.
- Martin Allen: Hidden agenda. How the Duke of Windsor betrayed the Allies , Macmillan, London 2000, ISBN 0-333-90181-9 .
- Michael Bloch: The Duke of Windsor's War. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1982. ISBN 0-297-77947-8 .
- Michael Bloch (Ed.): Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937. Summit Books, 1986. ISBN 0-671-61209-3 .
- Michael Bloch: The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor. Bantam Books, London 1988. ISBN 0-593-01667-X .
- Michael Bloch (ed.): The Windsors - Letters of a great love - The private correspondence from the estate of the Duchess of Windsor. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1992. ISBN 3-426-02447-0
- Frances Donaldson: Edward VIII. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1974. ISBN 0-297-76787-9 .
- Rupert Godfrey (Ed.): Letters From a Prince: Edward to Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward 1918–1921. Little, Brown & Co., 1998. ISBN 0-7515-2590-1 .
- Ernst Haiger: Fiction, Facts, and Forgeries: The "Revelations" of Peter and Martin Allen about the History of the Second World War. In: The Journal of Intelligence History. Vol. 6, No. 1 (Summer 2006 [published 2007]) pp. 105–117. .
- Suzy Menkes: The Windsor Style. Grafton Books, London 1987. ISBN 0-246-13212-4 .
- Ted Powell: King Edward VIII. An American Life , Oxford University Press, Oxford 2018, ISBN 978-0-19-879532-2 .
- Andrew Roberts: The House of Windsor. Edited by Antonia Fraser. Cassell and Co., London 2000. ISBN 0-304-35406-6 .
- Susan Williams: The Historical Significance of the Abdication Files. Public Records Office - New Document Releases - Abdication Papers. Public Records Office of the United Kingdom, London 2003.
- Susan Williams: The people's king. The true story of the abdication , Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2004, ISBN 1-4039-6363-0 .
- HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951.
- The Duchess of Windsor: The Heart has its Reasons: The Memoirs of the Duchess of Windsor. Houghton Mifflin, New York 1956.
- Philip Ziegler: King Edward VIII: The official biography. Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1991. ISBN 0-394-57730-2 .
- Rose side
- Literature about Edward VIII in the catalog of the German National Library
- Newspaper article about Edward VIII in the press kit of the 20th century of the ZBW - Leibniz Information Center for Economics .
- HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951, p. 1
- HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951, p. 7
- Philip Ziegler: King Edward VIII: The official biography. Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1991, pp. 30-31
- Alison Weir: Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy Revised edition. Pimlico 1996
- HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951, p. 78
- Ziegler (1991), pp. 48-50
- The Prince of Wales takes to the skies in his first flight in 1918 Royal Insight Magazine
- HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951, p. 215
- H. CG Matthew: "Edward VIII [later Prince Edward, duke of Windsor] (1894–1972)." In: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press 2004
- Allyson Hayward: Norah Lindsay, the life and art of a garden designer. London, Frances Lincoln 2007, pp. 175-1795
- HRH The Duke of Windsor, My Garden, Life Magazine July 16, 1956, 62-74, quoted from Allyson Hayward: Norah Lindsay, the life and art of a Garden designer. London, Frances Lincoln 2007, p. 179
- HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951, p. 235
- Ziegler (1991), p. 233
- Keith Middlemas, John Barnes: Baldwin: A Biography. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1969, p. 976.
- HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951, p. 265
- Philip Ziegler: King Edward VIII: The official biography. Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1991, pp. 273-274
- Andrew Cook: The plot thickens. In: The Guardian. January 3, 2003 .
- He was previously said to have had an affair with the pianist and dancer Edythe Baker . See the biography of Edythe Baker
- Lord Beaverbrook: The Abdication of King Edward VIII. Hamish Hamilton, London 1966, p. 57; HRH The Duke of Windsor: A King's Story. Cassell and Co., London 1951, p. 387
- Ziegler (1991), p. 384
- Philip Ziegler: King Edward VIII: The official biography. Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1991, pp. 554-556.
- Sarah Bradford: King George VI. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1989, ISBN 0-297-79667-4 , pp. 198 .
- Frances Donaldson: Edward VIII. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1974, pp. 331-332
- Wolfgang Gans Edler Herr zu Putlitz: On the way to Germany - Memoirs of a diplomat . Verlag der Nation Berlin, 2nd edition, 1956.
- Ziegler (1991), pp. 376-378
- No. 621 : Zech zu Staatssekretär Weizsäcker , February 19, 1940, in Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918–1945 (1954), Series D, Volume VIII, p. 785, quoted in Bradford, p. 434
- Andrew Roberts: The House of Windsor. Edited by Antonia Fraser. Cassell and Co. London 2000, p. 52
- Michael Bloch: The Duke of Windsor's War. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1982, p. 91
- Andrew Walker: Profile: Edward VIII. BBC online, January 29, 2003
- Michael Bloch: The Duke of Windsor's War. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London 1982, p. 364
- Ziegler (1991), pp. 471-2
- Michael Bloch: The Duke of Windsor's War . Ed .: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. London, ISBN 0-297-77947-8 , pp. 93-94, 98-103, 119 .
- Royalty and the Atlantic World 4: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor's Arrival in the Bahamas in 1940 | Carolyn Harris. Retrieved March 12, 2021 (American English).
- Time : Peep Show . October 8, 1956. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
- Alice Furlaud: WINDSOR'S PARIS HOME TO BECOME MUSEUM . In: The New York Times . December 25, 1986, ISSN 0362-4331 ( nytimes.com [accessed September 11, 2017]).
- Susanne Mayer: Hotel in France: When the curtain falls . In: The time . October 20, 2011, ISSN 0044-2070 ( zeit.de [accessed September 11, 2017]).
- 1972: Duke too ill for tea with the Queen . May 18, 1972 ( bbc.co.uk [accessed March 12, 2021]).
- Philip Ziegler: King Edward VIII: The official biography . Ed .: Alfred A. Knopf. New York, ISBN 0-394-57730-2 , pp. 554-556 .
- Hugo Vickers: How accurate is The Crown? We sort fact from fiction in the royal drama . ISSN 0140-0460 ( thetimes.co.uk [accessed March 12, 2021]).
Prince of Wales
Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Rothesay
|Charles of Edinburgh|
King of the United Kingdom
Emperor of India
|New title created||
Duke of Windsor
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Edward VIII Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David (full name)|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India|
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 23, 1894|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||White Lodge , England|
|DATE OF DEATH||May 28, 1972|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Paris , France|