Archive Homepage

Edward VIII | The king who gave up the throne for the woman he loved

About this collection

In January 1936, King George V died and his son Edward, Prince of Wales, became King. Just 11 months later, before his Coronation had even taken place, Edward renounced the throne due to his relationship with Wallis Simpson.

In this collection, we hear broadcasts that Edward made as Prince of Wales and during his brief reign. Friends of the prince join historians to share their insights into the uncrowned King and discuss how the abdication changed the course of the British monarchy. We also hear from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor themselves as they reflect on their lives and that momentous decision.

Edward VIII Collection

The Union Flag flying from a  flagpole.

British Empire Exhibition

Wembley 1924

RECORDED 1924
10 MINUTES

Edward, Prince of Wales, and King George V open the British Empire Exhibition.

Edward, Prince of Wales.

Edward, Prince of Wales

Trade with the Argentine

RECORDED c. 1931
2 MINUTES

A speech at the British Empire Trade Exhibition.

Edward, Prince of Wales, wearing a bowler hat, 1929.

Edward, Prince of Wales

The Voluntary Service and Unemployment

RECORDED c. 1934
15 MINUTES

How 'mutual help' might provide a solution to the unemployment problem.

Poppies in a field.

Edward, Prince of Wales

The Poppy Appeal

RECORDED c. 1934
4 MINUTES

'They must never be forgotten while we are safe and free.'

Edward, Prince of Wales, 1935.

Edward, Prince of Wales

King George V's Jubilee Trust Fund

BROADCAST 1935
3 MINUTES

A rallying call for volunteers.

King Edward VIII.

Proclamation of Accession of King Edward VIII

From St James's Palace

RECORDED 1936
9 MINUTES

Announcing the new King.

King Edward VIII.

Proclamation of Accession of King Edward VIII

From the Royal Exchange

RECORDED 1936
3 MINUTES

Announcing the new King at the Royal Exchange, London.

Edward, Prince of Wales.

Edward VIII, King of Great Britain

RECORDED c. 1936
10 MINUTES

Edward VIII's first message to the Empire as King.

Edward VIII.

Abdication of King Edward VIII

Farewell Speech from Windsor Castle

BROADCAST 1936
7 MINUTES

'The decision I have made has been mine - and mine alone.'

HRH the Duke of Windsor.

Round-Up

Duke and Duchess of Windsor Visit England

BROADCAST 1967
2 MINUTES

The Windsors' first official royal engagement in Britain since the abdication.

HRH the Duke of Windsor.

Edward, HRH Duke of Windsor

BROADCAST 1970
49 MINUTES

Kenneth Harris interviews the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

HRH the Duke of Windsor.

Tuesday Documentary

The Uncrowned King

BROADCAST 1972
50 MINUTES

What kind of monarch might Edward VIII have been?

Walter Turner Monckton.

The House of Windsor

Lady Bridget Monckton

RECORDED c. 1977
14 MINUTES

Lady Monckton discusses her husband's friendship with King Edward VIII.

The Duchess of Windsor.

The House of Windsor

Lady Alexandra Metcalfe

BROADCAST 1977
8 MINUTES

Recollections of a friend of Edward, Prince of Wales.

Russell Harty.

All About Books

Diana Mosley

BROADCAST 1980
18 MINUTES

Russell Harty interviews Diana Mosley about her biography of the Duchess of Windsor.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsors' Parisian home.

Timewatch

Windsors' War

BROADCAST 1982
22 MINUTES

John Tusa opens up the Windsors debate.

A newspaper stand with headlines about Edward VIII.

A Foot in the Door

Alex Dempster

BROADCAST 1983
14 MINUTES

How King Edward VIII's affair was made public.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

What If ?

Edward VIII

BROADCAST 1993
27 MINUTES

What might have happened if King Edward VIII had remained on the throne?

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.