Abdicated for love

A Christmas cartoon about Edward VIII abdication

Thanks to M for this document, written by Edward VIII, who is surrendering the British throne.

Edward abdicated  (meaning to disown or renounce) so that he could marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

The document was signed by his three brothers.

Albert became King and took the name George VI. He was the father of Queen Elizabeth.

So here’s a little history lesson for you on Family Day. (Hope you have a great day).

And today’s question is, what would you give up for love?

A throne? An inheritance? Ties to your family? Or nothing at all?

It is said that Edward came to regret his decision but he and Simpson stayed married until death.


25 thoughts on “Abdicated for love

    This middle-aged Romeo and his still-undivorced fiancee
    apparently thought they could get away with it .He seems
    to have specialized in other men’s wives…
    Your children, if not your viewers, may be interesting in how
    events folded in our family of nations that December of ’36.
    LPL card provides access to ‘Globe and Mail’ online Archives –
    the new title just a few days earlier. Search “Abdication, watch
    for Front Pages and Editorial comment. And Watch for names
    of other players, this British governance issue not being only
    world news.
    Here are useful quotes (Robert Hardman’s ‘The Queen’). Film
    script by Anthony Jay BBC, narrator Michael Flanders (as in
    And Swann):
    -“The Queen represents not the arguments which divide governments
    but the sentiments that unite peoples.” (re Commonwealth meeting)
    -“While the Queen occupies the highest office of state, no one else
    can. While she is head of the law, no politician can take over the
    courts. While she is head of the state, no generals can take over
    the government. While she is head of the Services, no would-be
    dictator can trn the Army against the people. The strength of the
    monarchy does not lie in the power it gives the Sovereign – but in
    the power it denies to anyone else.”

    Remember the province’s statutory holiday, ‘Family Day’, has
    overshadowed the traditional federal ‘Heritage Day’ 3rd Mon. Feb.
    which used to remind local people this is Ontario Heritage Week.
    Lots of ways to utilize this, even if your blood kin are not on hand.

  2. Good for you for keeping the topic current. Museum wouldn’t
    have had to do much but just ask the public themselves, as
    was done in the Miss Donnelly days when LPL and Museum
    co-habited on Queens Ave. Info t is not in books because no
    one has collected it.
    Any way you can post that 1920s clipping with names, maiden
    and married of the original GIRLS OF 1884 ? There must still
    people around who claim them on their family trees…
    – Better set up a new entry point, so topic is not lost here in the
    Royals of yesteryear.

  3. Back for a moment to Hardman’s book, the somewhat
    out-of- touch late Marquess of Aberdeen…asked the
    Queen: ” What are you up to these days?”
    She replied “Still Queen..”
    This would be kin to a much loved wife-of Governor
    General, Ishbel Marjibanks etc. historically plaqued for
    helping found VON and CoW.
    Delightful photo of William and Granny on official
    military duties…real people behind all that stuff.

  4. Sent you an image of part of it, names, names, names !
    A new Blog daily topic would get these VIctorian young
    ladies out the unsavoury events above.

  5. @M…
    Re: “The Queen represents…”
    Surely you’re not endorsing the idea that a modern democracy with constitutional provisions: checks and balances and separation of powers, can only be ensured and sustained through the threat and/or promise of a paternalistically inspired deux ex machina intervension by a mythologically-based, arbitrary hierarchy of hereditary priviledge and power.

  6. .’Anyone’ Look around – the most stable nations have retained a Monarchy.
    Check the rules for ours, and our GG, currently one-time Londoner, a
    lawyer by trade. (nice after 2 pretty lady multiculturals with Fourth Estate
    background) plus and Lt. Govs – here originally John Graves Simcoe,
    now Onley.)
    We suspect respect for this thousand year old institution is stronger in families
    where someone has served, even died in the military.. These positions are
    the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
    Intervention hasn’t been one of their powers for some time.
    Britain’s ‘constitution’ is unwritten, it’s source of the traditional Common Law,
    a living tree not a code, based on precedent. “Checks and Balances” is
    the basis of the much-amended revolution- inspired USA Constitution.
    …Got lost in “paternalistically inspired deux ex machina inter vension by a
    mythologically-based, arbitrary hierarchy of hereditary priviledge and power”.
    The hierarchy is far from abritrary. At one time Might ruled, now it’s bloodlines.
    No need to get all this from me – read a book.

  7. @M…
    What you call the “thousand year old institution” is a fiction that emerges from the mists of history to justify placing certain people above others strictly by virtue of some claim to a fortuitous bloodline.

    As for Kings and Queens ensuring some sort of political stability (if this is a virtue, to be valued at any cost in your estimation) I dare say, You too, should “look around” and “read a book” because you might find history has plenty of arguments to disabuse you of your sentimental attachment to the idea of Royalty, glossing-0ver the brutal fact that there have been infinite assaults on humanity, and civilization and innumerable examples of suffering though the ages and across continents at the hand of people’s servitude to cravenly ambitious, deranged, sadistic leaders who have claimed and assumed such mantles of ultimate power.

  8. Sorry I do not live up to your standards in Royal Watching.
    You really need to get to a safe non-monarchical country before it is too late.
    However the Kings/Queen who have been Heads of State in my time have
    done nothing of those things. Just led the then-Empire through 2 World Wars,
    on the winning side which is always nice, and no internal shooting wars.
    And Victoria Regina was not noted for “assaults on humanity, and civilization
    and innumerable examples of suffering though the ages and across continents
    at the hand of people’s servitude to cravenly ambitious, deranged, sadistic leaders
    who have claimed and assumed such mantles of ultimate power”. She too got
    the job by default.
    ‘Thousand years’ is the usual phrase, certainly not the mists of history being
    a thousand years after BC became AD.

  9. And of course you don’t need me to remind you that the wars you cite and othere of the recent century were wars among Royals…Kings, Kaisers, Emperors, Tsars, Sultans, Shahs…and the break-up of empires were never cordial events.

  10. Really haven’t time for this at the moment, we must have gone to different
    universities, but the Great War involved the countries headed by George V
    and his German cousin. But Mr. Hitler came of humbler stock. We had many
    kin in uniform, particularly the army which needs no ‘”Royal’ as the loyalty is
    directly to the Monarch as one’s Commission. One is no known grave in
    France, another washed up on a German beach so lies in a very foreign
    field. Our relationship is personal, not formed on google. You are free to
    pop a note to ERII sharing your sentiments and likely will get a nice note
    back. Or write to Johnston – he’s said to coming to London in the fall and
    you could even look him up then if you go to church. rgds. -30-

  11. Thanks for the personal angle, but, Who/What is the “Johnston” reference and how is this deemed to be relevant to the discussion?

    Seems though it may be a pugilistic barb trying to be delivered as wit.

    But belligerent and combative retorts can’t disguise what is clearly evident to all readers: someone here has a remarkably simplistic grasp of history. (and a thin skin).

  12. Knowledge should always travel in the company of Courtesy and Grace. And Knowledge should also invite Curiosity, Conviviality, and Anyone’s Additional Facts and Learning to all play together and become friends.

  13. It occurs to me only now….It seems M that your entire focus and interest in the above discussion pertains only to the issue of the British monarchy. I’m sorry I missed that emphasis.

    The points I’ve been trying to make on the other hand, as I tried to move the discussion beyond the UK, were that in my opinion, and with no special knowlwdge or expertise, I was simply attempting to expand on your statements on the institutions of ‘Royalty’ in general.

    In my opinion, and obviously contrary to yours, such institutions, again, in general, particularly in the past one-hundred years between Wold Wars, have contributed to untold misery and have misled people to needless sacrifice all for forgotten ends.

    I’m sure you’ll readily recognize how at the turn of the 20th-century the world was riddled with a patchwork of blind allegiances to a patchwork of powerful Empires, Kingdoms, Grand Duchies, Duchies, Principalities, Emirates, Sultanates, Khanates…not to mention African Tribes with Kings/ Queens e.t.c

    My grade school history lesson that I wanted to share with you to help illustrate the futility and waste of ‘Royal’ perogative (ego and misadventure) starts with the events of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary…to eventually include in the ensuing maelstrom of a century of related and unrelated war and destruction, a vortex of Royals flushing everything down the drain with their people in tow…guest appearances over the years from these characters and their pathetic bloodlines that followed (where valid):
    Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany
    King George V, UK
    Emperor Franz Josef, Austria-Hungary
    King Victor Emmanuel III, Italy
    King George I, Greece
    King Alfonso XIII, Spain
    Tsar Nicholas, Russia
    Sultan Vahidettin, Ottoman Turkey
    Sultan Hussein Kamel, Egypt
    Emperor Pu Yi, China
    Haskon VII, Norway
    Christian X, Denmark
    Emperor Halle Selasie, Ethiopia
    Also worth mentioning kings of Albania, Balkans, North Africa (Morrocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria)
    Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran) and Far East all worth criticizing.

  14. Kathy – do tell this viewer that the monarchy only came
    up when you goofed and referred ‘Queen of England’.
    I am not responsible for the state of the world at the
    turn of the 19th century, the end of the Victorian era,
    the birth date of future Queen as wife-of George VI,
    Nor am I interested in a teacher whose opinions seem
    to have overshadowed his/her presentation of facts.
    The point in correcting your remark in connection with
    horseflesh, was that the Queen et al aren’t UKspecific.
    Back to my chores and happy memories of bygone
    Queen’s Plate and my harness-racing neighbour, now gone.

  15. KR, well maybe
    …the previous fragment is from a memory of a long ago conversation with a former professor who described the responsibilities of those in the “knowledge” business (academics, writers, experts, producers of creative output, public intellectuals and others of certain distiction)

    He himself was a brilliant, highly-acknowledged, original thinker, researcher and part of a very successful high-profile elite in his field.

    The discussion was about how to handle the expectations and attendant pressures to produce and to play in a public arena without sacrificing or dilluting personal talents, vision and independent thinking and above all, without seeming superior, arrogant and petty.

    It was his theory of how one follows one’s muse, one’s insights, personal creativity and yet maintains one’s “knowledge” output while staying grounded, relevant and continuing to be a very nice person.

  16. @M…Re: your earlier admonition for me to ‘look around’ and ‘read a book’…well I have, and am happy to inform you and others that stability and monarchy are not necessarily conjoined.

    On the Monarchy world stage, the world’s longest reigning monarch, King Bhumisol of Thailand, who ascended the throne in 1946, has since that time, found any of your so-called stability attributed to monarchy, amazingly ellusive.

    Thailand has been anything but stable as recent history shows. And aside from frequent economic turmoil and collapse, there have been at least 15 successful or attempted coups and at least 28 changes of government during the period of this King’s reign.
    Not to mention explosive seemingly annual street protests…most recently in 2010 with more than 100 recorded deaths.

    Of course specifically during the reign of QEII (as I again refute your faulty premise) you conveniently overlooked similar domestic upheavals and the violence of “the troubles.” (we won’t even need to look at the violence elsewhere across the Commonwealth (FLQ-War Measures period in ’70 Canada) and other upheaval/violence in South Africa, Jamaica…Falklands, e.t.c.

  17. It seems M, while the rest of the world moves away from the mythology of aristocracy to the more equalitarian human spirited ethos of democratization you can still take comfort living in the faded past glories of Empire, Kings and Queens and the fading pages of “Burke’s Peerage.”

  18. If anyone is still following all this and didn’t get the new image,
    it’s a joke Christmas card from someone in the United States
    to someone in England 75 years ago, that someone posted
    online from their ephemera collection.
    We thought our host(ess) would be amused…

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