The scandal that was the King and Mrs Simpson
The endearing love between a British monarch and an American divorcée
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In 1936, only months into his reign, King Edward VIII caused a constitutional crisis by indicating his intention to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson.
The British monarch, already notorious for his impatience with court protocol and apparent disregard for the established conventions of the day, found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge his duties as king without the help and support of the woman he loved. He therefore decided to abdicate.
Edward married Mrs Simpson. Their union became a sensational scandal, as the former king's subjects declared the marriage morally unacceptable and vilified the woman who in their eyes had forced the royal hand. Exiled to Europe, the couple's subsequent relationship with the British royal family would remain strained for decades. Yet their love for one another endured and they remained together until Edward's death in 1972.
Click through the gallery for a reminder of one of the most scandalous love stories of the 20th century—and one of the most endearing.
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