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

John Reith's Diary

An eyewitness account of the King's abdication.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Back | Next

A page from John Reith's diary.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Back | Next

Document Type | Journal

December 1936

Text version

Writtencirca

1936

Synopsis

This diary extract reveals a view of King Edward VIII's abdication, as recorded at the time by BBC Director General Sir John Reith. It begins with Reith receiving a copy of the King's Instrument of Abdication in person from Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Reith goes on to describe the subsequent parliamentary procedures and his own involvement in the King's abdication broadcast from Windsor Castle on that infamous day, 11 December 1936. In addition to Baldwin, Reith makes reference to other individuals caught up in the crisis.

Contributors

Subject of document
Stanley Baldwin (1st Earl Of Bewdley)
Referenced
Referenced
Referenced
Lady Muriel Reith
Referenced
Subject of document
Sir Godfrey Thomas
Referenced
Clive Wigram (1st Baron )
Referenced

Associated subjects

More like this...

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?

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
7 Pages

An eyewitness account of the King's abdication.

An urgent BBC internal memo.

Special News Announcement

WRITTEN 1936
1 Page

The pressing need to inform the Empire about the crisis.

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.