Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

20/12/2003

PRO – New Document Release

Edward VIII succeeded to the throne in January 1936 and quickly consolidated the popularity he had built up as Prince of Wales, largely as a result of his war record and his concern for the poor and long-term unemployed.

The documents cover the constitutional crisis towards the end of 1936, relating to the King’s wish to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, an American. The government took the view that she could not be Queen, as she was divorced with two husbands living. The King was informed by the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, that popular opinion would be opposed to such a marriage and he was also warned that the resignation of the government was a possibility. On 16 November 1936, Edward announced that he would renounce the throne.

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