Edward VIII | The king who gave up the throne for the woman he loved
CHANNEL | National Programme
FIRST BROADCAST | 11 December 1936
DURATION | 7 minutes 01 seconds
BBC Director General Sir John Reith introduces 'His Royal Highness, Prince Edward', who had discharged his final duties as King and Emperor a few hours before. The prince declares his allegiance to his brother, who succeeds him to the throne. He insists that, in relinquishing his position, he has not forgotten his country or the Empire, both of which he has served for 25 years as prince and, later, King. But he confesses that he has found the burden of heavy responsibility too great to bear without the support of the woman he loves.
Having relinquished the title of King, Edward reverted temporarily to the title of 'Prince', hence Sir John Reith's introduction. In a speech the following day, his brother, King George VI, announced that the title Duke of Windsor would be conferred upon the prince. The sharp bump that can be heard at the beginning of this announcement led to some speculation that, on leaving the room, Sir John Reith had slammed the door in disgust. The noise actually occurred when the former monarch banged his leg against the table as he took his position.
King Edward VIII is pictured above broadcasting to the Empire earlier in 1936.
Edward, Prince of Wales, and King George V open the British Empire Exhibition.
A speech at the British Empire Trade Exhibition.
How 'mutual help' might provide a solution to the unemployment problem.
'They must never be forgotten while we are safe and free.'
A rallying call for volunteers.
Announcing the new King.
Announcing the new King at the Royal Exchange, London.
Edward VIII's first message to the Empire as King.
'The decision I have made has been mine - and mine alone.'
The Windsors' first official royal engagement in Britain since the abdication.
Kenneth Harris interviews the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
What kind of monarch might Edward VIII have been?
Lady Monckton discusses her husband's friendship with King Edward VIII.
Recollections of a friend of Edward, Prince of Wales.
Russell Harty interviews Diana Mosley about her biography of the Duchess of Windsor.
John Tusa opens up the Windsors debate.
How King Edward VIII's affair was made public.
What might have happened if King Edward VIII had remained on the throne?
The 'Radio Times' praises the new King's broadcasting abilities.
An eyewitness account of the King's abdication.
The pressing need to inform the Empire about the crisis.
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