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Edward VIII

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Edward VIII
Edward Prince of Wales during his visit to Canada in 1919

Full Name Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David
Titles Prince of Wales, Crown Prince of the British Dominions and India
Born 23 June 1894
Status Alive
Status Alive
Allegiance Canada
Political Party None (House of Windsor)

Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (born Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David on June 23, 1894) is a member of the British Royal Family, the first son of King George V and heir to the throne, and is currently living in exile in the Dominion of Canada.

Early Life

Edward was born on June 23, 1894 at White Lodge in Richmond, England. He was the eldest son of the Duke of York (later King George V) and the Duchess of York (formerly Princess Victoria Mary of Teck). His father was the second son of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and the Princess of Wales (formerly Princess Alexandra of Denmark). His mother was the eldest daughter of the Duke of Teck and the Duchess of Teck (formerly Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge). As a great-grandson of Queen Victoria in the male line, Edward was styled His Highness Prince Edward of York at his birth.

He was baptized in the Green Drawing Room of White Lodge on July 16, 1894, by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury. Edward was named after his late uncle, who was known to his family as "Eddy" or Edward, and his great-grandfather King Christian IX of Denmark. The name Albert was included at the behest of Queen Victoria. His last four names – George, Andrew, Patrick and David – came from the Patron Saints of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The Prince was nevertheless, for the rest of his life, known to his family and close friends by his last given name, David.

Edward's parents, the Duke and Duchess of York, were often removed from their children's upbringing, like other upper-class English parents of the day. Edward and his younger brother Albert were abused by one of the royal nannies. The nanny would pinch Edward before he was due to be presented to his parents. His subsequent crying and wailing would lead the Duke and Duchess to send Edward and the nanny away. His father, though a harsh disciplinarian, was demonstrably affectionate and his mother displayed a frolicsome side when dealing with her children that belies her austere public image. She encouraged the children to confide matters in her which it would have provoked their father to know.

Education

Edward was tutored at home from childhood by Helen Bricka. Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, his parents traveled the British Empire for almost nine months. Young Edward and his siblings stayed in Britain with their grandparents, Queen Alexandra and Edward VII, who showered their grandchildren with affection. On the return of his parents, Edward was placed under the care of two men, Frederick Finch and Henry Hansell, who virtually brought up Edward and his siblings (such as Prince Albert and Mary)for their remaining nursery years.

Edward was kept under the strict tutorship of Hansell until nearly the age of 13; Hansell had wanted Edward to enter school earlier, but his father disagreed. Edward took the examination to enter Osborne Naval College, and began there in 1907 but did not enjoy his time there. Following two years at Osborne College, Edward moved on to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. A course of two years followed by entry into the Royal Navy was planned. However, following the death of Edward VII in 1910, Edward became Prince of Wales, and the preparations began in earnest for his future duties as King. He was withdrawn from his naval course before his formal graduation. He served as midshipman for three months aboard the battleship Hindustan, then immediately entered Magdalen College, Oxford, for which in the opinion of John Parker, he was woefully under-prepared. He left Oxford after eight terms without any academic credentials.

Prince of Wales

Edward automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay when his father, George V, ascended the throne on May 6 1910. The new King crowned him Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on June 23 1910 and officially invested him as such in a special ceremony at Caernarfon Castle on July 13 1911. For the first time since 1616, the investiture took place in Wales at the instigation of the Welsh politician David Lloyd George, Constable of the Castle, who at that time held the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Liberal government. Lloyd George invented a rather fanciful ceremony which took the form of a Welsh pageant and coached Edward to utter some sentences in Welsh.

Military Career

When the Weltkrieg broke out, Edward had reached the minimum age for active service and was keen to participate. He joined the army, serving with the Grenadier Guards, in June 1914 and, although he was willing to serve on the front lines, the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, refused to allow it, citing the immense harm that would occur if the heir to the throne were captured. Despite this, Edward witnessed trench warfare firsthand and attempted to visit the front line as often as he could, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, led to his great popularity among veterans of the conflict. As of 1911, he was also a Midshipman in the Royal Navy, making Lieutenant in 1913. Edward undertook his first military flight in 1918 and later gained his pilot's license.

Exile

At the beginning of the 1920s, Edward, as Prince of Wales, represented his father, King George V, at home and abroad on many occasions. He took a particular interest in visiting the poverty stricken areas of the country and undertook six tours to various parts of the Empire between 1921 and 1925.

When the 1925 British Revolution broke out the Royal Family had to flee to Canada. Edward's rank, travels, good looks, and unmarried status gained him much attention, making him the darling of Canada’s media. He spends most of his time putting in valuable face-time for the Monarchy in Canada, especially in Quebec where he is doing his best to woo the French Canadians with his charm. However, his relationship with the current Prime Minister, the Liberal Mackenzie King, is strained, because Edward never hid his disdain for him. Unlike Sir Mackenzie King and Edward's younger brother Albert, Edward advocates a strong control of the Monarchy on the Dominions. This, together with his attitudes towards many of the Empire's subjects and various foreign peoples have soured his reputation, especially in Delhi and Australasia.

Along with the King's declining health, in the recent years George V's relationship with his heir Edward deteriorated because of Edward's many affairs with older and married women. Lately the King seems reluctant to see Edward inherit the crown and would probably prefer his eldest son, Prince Albert, taking the throne. Despite that, Edward is still the designated heir and the worsening of the King's condition is making his enthronement closer and closer.

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