If Edward VIII hadn't abdicated, who would be monarch today?


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kalnel

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Theoretical: Rights of Edward VIII's children

When Edward VIII abdictated, he declared his "irrevocable determination to renounce the throne" for himself and his descendents.

But, what would have happened if, instead of marrying Wallis after leaving the throne, he had married, say, Ingrid of Sweden, or some other woman who had her own rights to the throne? Would the children of that marriage have been dynasts through their mother, or would they have been excluded because of Edward's declaration?

(I know it's highly unlikely, especially given all the permissions from various royal houses it would have required, but just assume for a second...)

Any thoughts?

kal
 
The only thrones he renounced were the ones on which he sat as King at the time. The Abdication Acts passed by the various Commonwealth Parliaments had no legal bearing outside of their jurisdiction. If Swedish law recognized his hypothetical children as dynasts, then dynasts they would have been.
 
One thing that I've often wondered is what would have happened if he and Wallis had had children and at some time in the future one of his descendants had married back into the royal family. Would that mean that his/her children would be barred from the succession even if the other parent was heir to the throne or something?
 
The way the Act of Parliament reads, it seems quite possible that any future heirs were barred completely.

His Majesty, His issue, if any, and the descendants of that issue, shall not after His Majesty's abdication have any right, title or interest in or to the succession to the Throne, and section one of the Act of Settlement shall be construed accordingly.
 
One thing that I've often wondered is what would have happened if he and Wallis had had children and at some time in the future one of his descendants had married back into the royal family. Would that mean that his/her children would be barred from the succession even if the other parent was heir to the throne or something?

Yes. The Act irrevocably removed his descendants rights to the throne forever. Of course, Parliament could have addressed the hypothetical issue you describe with legislation restoring their rights.
 
Yes, but I'm not talking about some case where a descendant of Edward VIII turned out to be the only person left with royal blood, I'm talking about someone who has the right of descent through his or her other parent. Why would being a distant descendant of Edward VIII taint the legitimate descent through the other side of the family?
 
The only reason I can think of is because the Act of Parliament says so. I think it would have been corrected had that eventually happened, though. But as it stood, his descendants had no "title, right, or interest in or to the succession to the Throne" with no other provision. Had I wrote it, I would have added "by virtue of their relation to His Majesty."
 
The only thrones he renounced were the ones on which he sat as King at the time. The Abdication Acts passed by the various Commonwealth Parliaments had no legal bearing outside of their jurisdiction. If Swedish law recognized his hypothetical children as dynasts, then dynasts they would have been.

I mean would they have been British dynasts through their mother, if she had rights to the British throne? I used Ingrid as an example because, if I'm remembering right, she would have been a British dynast through Margaret of Connaught, but my example could be any woman who is a British dynast in her own right.
 
Yes, but I'm not talking about some case where a descendant of Edward VIII turned out to be the only person left with royal blood, I'm talking about someone who has the right of descent through his or her other parent. Why would being a distant descendant of Edward VIII taint the legitimate descent through the other side of the family?

That's exactly the kind of scenario I was thinking of.

The other thing I've always wondered is if, after his abdication, he'd decided to marry a royal rather than Wallis, would it have been considered an equal marriage, or would he have been too "low ranking."

(Aside from the cruel irony that such a scenario would involve, imagine the poor princess would finds out that the former King of England is no longer "royal enough" to meet her family's standards.)
 
I mean would they have been British dynasts through their mother, if she had rights to the British throne?

I don't think so, but I think that was an oversight in the writing of the Act more than anything.
 
The other thing I've always wondered is if, after his abdication, he'd decided to marry a royal rather than Wallis, would it have been considered an equal marriage, or would he have been too "low ranking."

(Aside from the cruel irony that such a scenario would involve, imagine the poor princess would finds out that the former King of England is no longer "royal enough" to meet her family's standards.)

He was still royal, in that he had his HRH. It might have been interesting to see what would have happened if he'd abdicated and then married a royal spouse. I think things might have been different because the decision to restrict the HRH to him and not extend it to Wallis seemed to have to do with the King's opinion (or, more likely, the Queen's opinion) of Wallis's suitability.
 
He was still royal, in that he had his HRH. It might have been interesting to see what would have happened if he'd abdicated and then married a royal spouse. I think things might have been different because the decision to restrict the HRH to him and not extend it to Wallis seemed to have to do with the King's opinion (or, more likely, the Queen's opinion) of Wallis's suitability.

Wasn't there some question about whether the children of his marriage would have inherited the Duke of Windsor title? (Over the years, I've read so much about them -- both fact and fiction -- I can't remember which is which!)

I think it's fortunate that Edward never had children. Whether they were Wallis's or someone else's, there would have been ENDLESS stories comparing them to Elizabeth and company.

But, it is fascinating to consider what things would look like today if some "Edward great-grandson" were about to marry Beatrice or Eugenie (or even Victoria or Madeline).
 
The only way I could see him marrying someone else after the abdication is if Wallis got struck by lightening, or her crashed into a tunnel in Paris or something. Or, I suppose if she dumped him and married someone else, which I don't see her doing. Even then, it would've probably just been a rebound marriage and it would've ended badly (like Margaret and Lord Snowdon years later).

I did always wonder if he and Wallis had kids would they have had title at all? I mean would they have been Lord/Lady X Windsor? Could they have inherited their dad's title? I don't thing they could've been Prince/Princess, though legally they would've been entitled to it.
 
The King signed letters patent that removed the rights to be an HRH and Prince(ss) of the United Kingdom from all future wives and descendants of Edward in May 1937, so any children would have been Lord/Lady X Windsor. I can't find the letters patent that created Edward Duke of Windsor, though, so I don't know how that would have went.
 
If Edward VIII didn't marry a non-Anglican in 1936 and stayed on his throne till 1972 (when he died), who would be the UK monarch today assuming nothing else change other than the fact that he didn't abdicate?
 
The same.....Elizabeth II. She just would have become Queen twenty years later than she did.
 
I agree. Since Wallis was too old to have children the line of succession would be the same as is now.
 
Depends...

If he had married a suitable* Woman and Had children with her... Then one Of his Descendants.

If He was stay Single...Elizabeth II

* Not Married or Catholic.
 
Wallis was in her early forties when she married the Duke of Windsor, so it was still possible (though very unlikely) to have a child, age-wise. However, she didn't have any children with any of her other husbands so it was unlikely that she would with the Duke. Speculation has it that she wasn't able to conceive because of a botched abortion in the 1920s. Similar speculation surrounds why Empress Josephine wasn't able to conceive with Napoleon.
 
I was thinking that some of the Diana mania might not have happened if Elizabeth had succeeded in the 1970s. There would have been interest in Elizabeth still in 1981 and Diana might have seemed less intriguing to the public. Too bad, Diana might have found it an easier road.
 
Wallis was in her early forties when she married the Duke of Windsor, so it was still possible (though very unlikely) to have a child, age-wise. However, she didn't have any children with any of her other husbands so it was unlikely that she would with the Duke. Speculation has it that she wasn't able to conceive because of a botched abortion in the 1920s. Similar speculation surrounds why Empress Josephine wasn't able to conceive with Napoleon.

I had read I believe in "The woman he loved" that she was unable to have children.
 
I was thinking that some of the Diana mania might not have happened if Elizabeth had succeeded in the 1970s. There would have been interest in Elizabeth still in 1981 and Diana might have seemed less intriguing to the public. Too bad, Diana might have found it an easier road.

Plus it might have been a more private life for all of the children of QEII. They probably wouldn't have been so much in the spotlight from early on.
 
Or she could devote more time to them since she would not have the heavy duty of the Queen to tend to.
 
Yes, I agree with you, Odette. Or perhaps the Queen might have completed her family earlier in the 1950s, rather than waiting so long to have Andrew and Edward. And the Duke of E. could have continued his naval career as he had hoped. I imagine that would have contributed to greater stability in that marriage. (And we wouldn't have had the DoE's comment about being a "bloody amoeba.")
 
I think that 'stability' is the one thing the marriage of EIIR and the DoE is not lacking. Hello.. 60th anniversary last year?
 
Well, there were rumours of rifts in the marriage back in the 1950s and early 1960s, I assume at least partly because the Queen had such a high profile. But she would have been heir presumptive from the time of her father's death (assuming he died before his elder brother, which might not have been the case had he not had to endure the pressures of being head of state during World War II), so she would always have been of interest to the media.
 
Philip is a real "man's man." Likes to be in control, dominant which was not really possible once Elizabeth became sovereign and him consort. He's kind of the opposite of Charles who is much more comfortable around female friends. Elizabeth let Philip make all decisions regarding children's education to "compensate" for his inability to have a career/official role as consort.
Then again, if Edward VIII had continued to rule, Elizabeth might not have had a throne to inherit. Given Edward's pro-German tendencies and Wallis's pro-Nazi sympathies, I cannot imagine what Britain might look like if Edward VIII had been king and fully cooperated with Hitler.
 
Then again, if Edward VIII had continued to rule, Elizabeth might not have had a throne to inherit. Given Edward's pro-German tendencies and Wallis's pro-Nazi sympathies, I cannot imagine what Britain might look like if Edward VIII had been king and fully cooperated with Hitler.

Excellent point to be raised. Worth to think about it.

Though I do not think Hitler would have made it even in case of a British cooperation. His goal was from the very beginning the Lebensraum in the East, namely Russia. And similar to Napoleon, I believe he would have failed. It helped Stalin of course that the Japanese were not attacking Siberia. Consequently he could transfer some of the forces stationed there to the European part of Russia. Big advantage for the Russian leader.
 
If Edward VIII didn't marry a non-Anglican in 1936 and stayed on his throne till 1972 (when he died), who would be the UK monarch today assuming nothing else change other than the fact that he didn't abdicate?
I dont believe being non anglican was the sticking point about Wallis, rather the divorced issue. However, this is a moot point as far as this premise. Whether non anglican or non divorced, I assume that your point is if he had not married Wallis. It's quite possible he would have married another lady and had children, rendering the current BRF HRH duke and duchess of X. ALthough I have read that Edward as POW had had mumps, which could have rendered him sterile. But, unless I am having a senior moment, I believe that the then Duke of York contracted the mumps at the same time, and he managed to sire 2 daughters.
 
Looks like a few things need to be corrected...

assuming he died before his elder brother, which might not have been the case had he not had to endure the pressures of being head of state during World War II

He died of lung cancer due to smoking. While it is potentially (though baselessly) arguable that he may have smoked more during WWII, he still would have predeceased Edward.

Then again, if Edward VIII had continued to rule, Elizabeth might not have had a throne to inherit. Given Edward's pro-German tendencies and Wallis's pro-Nazi sympathies, I cannot imagine what Britain might look like if Edward VIII had been king and fully cooperated with Hitler.

"The monarch reigns but does not rule." To put it another way, the monarch lends their power to the government of the day to use as it rules the country. Churchill would never have even appeased Hitler, much less cooperated. Hitler's goal was to rule as much of the world as he could get his hands on--this included the UK.

I dont believe being non anglican was the sticking point about Wallis, rather the divorced issue.

Bingo. Not just divorced, but not exactly, how shall I put this? Not quite a lady. Also American.

I assume that your point is if he had not married Wallis. It's quite possible he would have married another lady and had children, rendering the current BRF HRH duke and duchess of X

Highly unlikely. The man gave up a throne to be with her. For the sake of argument, though, if he had had children with another woman, EIIR would still currently be Duchess of Edinburgh, Charles would be Earl Merioneth, etc.

But, unless I am having a senior moment, I believe that the then Duke of York contracted the mumps at the same time, and he managed to sire 2 daughters.

It's the age at which you contract mumps that is the issue. If memory serves, it's when it's right at the beginning of puberty that sterility can result.
 
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