Royal crisis: The shocking moment King Edward VIII announced his abdication to the nation | BBC News

On 11 December 1936, unable to reconcile his desire for US divorcée Wallis Simpson with his role as King, Edward VIII made the shocking decision to abdicate the throne, bringing an end to a crisis that tested the boundaries of duty, love and the monarchy itself.

“At long last I am able to say a few words of my own,” was how the royal, who the day before was known as King Edward VIII, began a BBC radio broadcast that would not just stun the listening public but reshape the future of the monarchy.

Following his abdication, Edward would later go on to cause more controversy the following year when the couple made an unofficial royal visit to Germany where he met with Adolf Hitler and others in the Nazi leadership.

Many years later in 1970, he gave an interview at his home in Paris with the BBC’s Kenneth Harris, where said that he had no regrets over his decision to abdicate.

This video is from ‘In History,’ which uses the BBC’s archive to explore historical events. For more like this, visit:

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