Reported in the News Letter on December 12, 1936: Edward VIII abdicates throne and leaves England


At 1.52pm yesterday the Declaration of Abdication Bill was signed. At that moment Edward VIII ceased to be King, and the Duke of York came to the Throne as George VI.

Last night Queen Mary drove to Royal Lodge, Windsor, where a farewell dinner party was held. Those present were King George VI, the ex-King, the Duke of Gloucester, the Princess Royal, Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone.

At 9.45 the ex-King arrived at Windsor Castle from where he broadcast a farewell message which was heard in all parts of the world.

He began by declaring his allegiance to the new King.

“This,” he said, “I do with all my heart.”

And he ended with the words “God Save the King”, which he uttered with great emphasis.

“You must believe me,” he said, “when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I” (there was an emphasis on the “I”) “would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.”

After the broadcast the ex-King returned to Royal Lodge to say goodbye to his family and then returned to Fort Belvedere.

At 1.45 this morning he embarked for Austtria in the Admiralty yacht Enchantress at Portsmouth and left the country of his birth. The yacht was escorted by a destroyer.

The ex-King made his broadcast from a room in the Augusta Tower of Windsor Castle. No Government censorship was exercised over the speech, and the manuscript was not submitted for approval to any Minister. His words were his own – written probably in consultation with his personal friends.

[With the constitutional crisis settled, Edward was created Duke of Windsor and was free to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson in France on June 3, 1937.]