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

Abdication of King Edward VIII | Farewell Speech from Windsor Castle

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

CHANNEL | National Programme

FIRST BROADCAST | 11 December 1936

DURATION | 7 minutes 01 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1936

Synopsis

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.

Did you know?

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.

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A Radio Times article about Edward VIII, dated January 1936.

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The pressing need to inform the Empire about the crisis.

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