Instrument of Abdication

Description: Edward VIII's signed instrument of abdication, giving up all claim to the throne for himself and his descendants. The document is signed by Edward and by three of his brothers, including Prince Albert who was to succeed him as George VI.


Date: 10th December 1936


Our Document Reference: PC 11/1


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  • Spookydel 6y

    Edward abdicated from the throne on 11 December 1936 and in his speach to the nation famously said "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

    Although he was legally entitled to marry Wallis Simpson, Edward knew that if he did, the current Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, would resign and throw the country into a general election, thus removing the political impartiality of the monarchy.

    He is the only monarch of either Britain or the Commonwealth who has chosen to Abdicate, and at 325 days, his reign is one of the shortest in any of his countries.

    Edward was also never crowned king.
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