1936 – Abdication Crisis: King Edward VIII encumbrance creates opportunity for the Irish Free State as the Dáil passes legislation removing the King from the Irish Constitution.

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire arose when King Edward VIII proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing a divorce of her second.

Police detectives following Simpson reported back that, while involved with Edward, she was also involved with a married car mechanic and salesman named Guy Trundle. This may well have been passed on to senior figures in the establishment, including members of the royal family. Joseph Kennedy, the American ambassador, described her as a ‘tart’, and his wife, Rose, refused to dine with her.

The decision of King Edward VIII to marry the American divorcée, Wallis Simpson, caused a constitutional crisis for the British government and for the Commonwealth. He remains the only British monarch to have voluntarily renounced the throne since the Anglo-Saxon period.

The political and social convulsions which gripped the United…

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