©National Archives

Edward VIII's letter of abdication, 10 December 1936 Edward VIII is the only British monarch to have abdicated voluntarily. This letter, signed and dated 10 December 1936, declares his "irrevocable determination" to renounce the throne for himself and his descendants.

Edward's abdication was prompted by his wish to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. The British establishment was strongly opposed to such a plan but Edward remained steadfast, preferring to give up the throne rather than the woman he loved. Following his abdication, Edward married Mrs Simpson and moved to France.

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