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

Edward VIII, King of Great Britain

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

CHANNEL | National Programme

RECORDED | circa March 1936

DURATION | 10 minutes 20 seconds

RECORDED

1936

Synopsis

Edward VIII speaks to the Empire for the first time as the new King, paying tribute to his late father, King George V. This was the first occasion on which a monarch had used radio to address the Empire on their accession. The chimes of Big Ben, an introduction by Sir John Reith and the national anthem mark the start of the King's message.

Did you know?

This speech was broadcast on the BBC's main National radio channel, but also on all regional and international services.

The above photograph, taken in June 1922, shows King George V standing on the steps of Buckingham Palace with his son Prince Edward, the future King Edward VIII.

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Documents

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

The New King as Broadcaster

WRITTEN 1936
1 Page

The 'Radio Times' praises the new King's broadcasting abilities.

A page from John Reith's diary.

John Reith's Diary

WRITTEN c. 1936
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An eyewitness account of the King's abdication.

An urgent BBC internal memo.

Special News Announcement

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The pressing need to inform the Empire about the crisis.

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