Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David
later The Duke of Windsor;
23 June 1894 â€“ 28 May 1972
was King of the United Kingdom and the British dominions, and Emperor of India from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December 1936.
Before his accession to the throne, Edward held successively the titles of Prince Edward of York, Prince Edward of Cornwall and York, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, and Prince of Wales. As a young man, he served in the First World War, undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, George V, and was associated with a succession of older, married women.
Only months into his reign, Edward caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American divorcÃ©e Wallis Simpson. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept her as queen. Edward knew that the government led by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have dragged the King into a general election and ruined irreparably his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. Rather than give up Mrs. Simpson, Edward chose to abdicate. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 325 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British and Commonwealth history, and was never crowned. He was the last British monarch to serve his entire reign as the Emperor of India.
After his abdication, he reverted to the style of a son of the Sovereign, The Prince Edward, and was created Duke of Windsor on 8 March 1937. During the Second World War, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he held pro-Nazi sympathies, was moved to The Bahamas as Governor and Commander-in-Chief. After the war, he was never given another official appointment, and spent the remainder of his life in retirement.