December 10 - 1936 - King Edward VIII Signs the Instruments of Abdication

King Edward VIII of Great Britian ascended to his throne in January of 1936, but decided to abdicate and hand his crown to his younger brother Albert, who would become King George VI. The reason Edward made this decision was that he wanted to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee in the process of ending her second marriage. Edward started seeing Simpson in 1934 as Prince of Wales, while having an affair with the American born wife of a British peer, Lady Furness. Edward, one of the most famous men in Europe, was seen with Simpson, creating tension with his family. Edward also made enemies of most politicians, particularly Labour Party members, and showed a strange fondness for the Nazis. When the Prime Minister refused to stay on if Edward married Simpson and stayed King, Edward chose to get married, avoiding a constitutional crisis.

William Floyd