With the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation fast approaching, it got me thinking about what would be different had the Queen’s uncle, King Edward VIII, been allowed to marry Wallis Simpson and still be King. He wasn’t and so consequently he abdicated.
As we know the Duke of Windsor (as he was then known) did not die until the 28th May 1972, had he still been King, Britain would have celebrated another Silver Jubilee and King Edward VIII would have reigned for 36 years, surely a reign long enough to signify a new Edwardian era. The thing that really would have defined that new Edwardian era was the fact that Britain would have had an American Queen Consort, whether she was liked or disliked she would have been the King’s wife and the people would have had to put up with their Queen if they liked her or not.
People think that if King Edward VIII had not abdicated we would not have our Queen Elizabeth II today, that is in fact wrong. As the Duke and Duchess of Windsor did not have children together the next in line to the throne would have still been Elizabeth, what is amazing though is that if that was the case, then instead of celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee last year we would have just been celebrating her 40 years on the throne, an anniversary that, in Britain, doesn’t warrant the celebration we see with Silver, Golden and Diamond jubilees. Queen Elizabeth II wouldn’t be the second longest serving Monarch in British history and should the Duke and Duchess have had children, we would still be waiting to see another Queen Elizabeth and although Elizabeth and her family would have been part of the Royal Family they would be no way near as seen and as popular as they are today.
This is a subject that just shows how different our Britain and our Monarchy could be today had Edward VIII not abdicated. Had things been different and the Duke did have children, would we today have a King or a Queen, how many Monarchs would there have been since 1972 and what would the future of the Monarchy be, good or bad, these are questions that cannot be answered. Some people will say that it was wrong for the King to be forced to give up the throne while others will be thankful, thankful because since 1952 Britain has seen a new Elizabethan era and a modernised Monarchy, long may it continue.