Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; later The Duke of Windsor; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January to 11 December 1936.
Before his accession to the throne, Edward was Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay. As a young man, he served in the British Armed Forces during the First World War, undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, George V, and was associated with a succession of older, married women. Edward remained unmarried after his accession as king.
Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American socialite Wallis Simpson, who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands as queen. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as head of the Church of England, which opposed the remarriage of divorced people if their ex-spouses were still alive. Edward knew that the government led by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have dragged the King into a general election and ruined irreparably his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. Rather than give up Mrs. Simpson, Edward chose to abdicate. He was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who chose the regnal name George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward was one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British and Commonwealth history. He was never crowned.