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Edward VIII's Biography

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Edward VIII was born at White Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey on 23 June 1894, the eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of York, who became King George V and Queen Mary.

Edward VIII was invested as Prince of Wales in 1911. In World War I he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force's commander in France. He also visited troops in the Middle East.

Edward VIII spent much of the time between the end of World War I and his accession to the throne in 1936 travelling to various destinations around the world.

When George V died and Edward took over as King on 20 January 1936, he had already made the acquaintance of Wallis Simpson.

However, the powers to be did not approve of the intended divorce of Mrs Simpson and her possible marriage to Edward VIII, thereby becoming Queen, and so Edward abdicated on 1 December 1936.

He was given the title of Duke of Windsor and he married Wallis Simpson in the following year in France. No member of the royal family was in attendance.

In October 1937 the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as they then were, paid a controversial visit to Nazi Germany.

In World War II, Edward became a liaison officer in the French army, but when France fell he and Wallis escaped to become Governor of the Bahamas.

At the end of the second world war, they returned to Europe, where they remained largely ostracised in royal circles until Edward VIII's death on 28 May 1972 in France.

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