Edward VIII, King of The UK
Edward VIII, King of The UK

When did he live? 他生活在什么年代?

Edward David was born on June 23rd 1894. He died on May 28th 1972 in Paris.

A Young Edward VIII
A Young Edward VIII

Why is he famous? 为什么他很有名?

Edward became King Edward VIII on January 20th 1936 after the death of his father George V.

326 days later, on December 11th, he abdicated, the only British king in modern history to do so.

The reason he abdicated was his wish to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who had been divorced once and was looking for a second divorce. At the time both British society and the church disagreed with the idea of marrying a divorcee whose ex-spouse was still alive (both Simpson’s ex-spouses would still be alive). For the king to do this was so unthinkable the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, threatened to resign.
他这样做的原因是因为他想迎娶华里丝•辛普森,一位美国社会名媛,她已经离过一次婚,目前正在打算第二次离婚。当时,英国社会和教会都反对这门亲事,因为 她的前任还在世(事实上,辛普森的两个前任当时都还在世)国王这样的行为让人无法理解,导致总理斯坦利•鲍德温以退休为名来劝阻前者的行为。

Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII
Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII

What was his mark on history? 他在历史上的主要地位是怎么样的?

Abdication is a very rare event in British royal history. Despite Edward’s famous example, it has not been repeated and the only royals to have left their positions since have been those who married into the family and then divorced back out.

Notes 备注

Edward served during World War I and World War II.

Although it is possible to romanticise about a king giving up his power for love, other areas of Edward’s life have reduced the affection for him. During World War II he was positioned in France but, with fears he sympathised with the Nazis, he was moved to the Bahamas. He returned to France after the war, becoming a ‘cafe society celebrity’ and surviving on a royal allowance and illegal currency trades.
虽然可以为“国王为爱情而放弃权利”这样的故事加上一些浪漫传奇色彩,但是爱德华人生里另外一些事情则影响到了人们对他的喜爱,在第二次世界大战期间,他 被安排驻守在法国,但是因为害怕,他怜悯了纳粹,随后转移到了巴哈马。战后他回到了法国,成为了一个“咖啡界社会名流”,并依靠着皇室补贴和非法的货币交 易生存。

A ghost-written book in 1951 helped bring Edward money. He wrote (this time by himself) another less successful book later, as well as articles for newspapers.

After Edward abdicated his younger brother Albert became king. Albert took the ‘regnal’ name George VI.

Edward VIII in his Paris Years
Edward VIII in his Paris Years