King Edward VIII of England abdicated the throne 80 years ago
Kings and Queens
King Edward VIII of England abdicated the throne December 11th, 1936, 80 years ago, and is the first and only English ruler to do so.
His desire to wed an American divorcée was neither popular nor in line with the teachings of the Church of England (as her former spouse was still alive).
Consequently, King Edward VIII renounced his throne after a reign of 326 days.
In his radio address, he famously stated: "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."
He became His Royal Highness The Duke of Windsor, while his brother George VI, His Royal Highness The Duke of York, and father of Queen Elizabeth II, acceded to the throne a few days later.