Edward VIII

Edward Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was born in Richmond, Surrey, on 23rd June, 1894. Edward was the great-grandson of Queen Victoria and his father was George V, who became king of the United Kingdom in 1910. As the king's eldest son, Edward therefore became heir to the throne.

When Edward was thirteen he became a naval cadet before being sent to France to learn the language. He returned to England in 1912 and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford. Edward was a poor student and after two years of study it was decided he should be given a commission in the British Army.

The outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Edward asked Lord Kitchener, Secretary of War, if he could serve in France. When Kitchener refused, Edward commented that it did not matter if he was killed as he had four brothers. Kitchener replied that he was more concerned about the future king being captured by the German Army and then being used as a pawn in future peace negotiations.

On the insistence of George V and Lord Kitchener, Edward was restricted to serving in staff appointments. This also proved dangerous as on one occasion, a German shell hit his car and killed the driver, just after the prince had left it to inspect the troops.

Edward, 1042-1066 William I, 1066-1087 William II, 1087-1100 Henry I, 1100-1135 Stephen, 1135-1154 Henry II, 1154-1189 Richard I, 1189-1199 John, 1199-1216 Henry III, 1216-1272 Edward I, 1272-1307 Edward II, 1307-1327 Edward III, 1327-1377 Richard II, 1377-1399 Henry IV, 1399-1413 Henry V, 1413-1422 Henry VI, 1422-1461 Edward IV, 1461-1483 Edward V, 1483-1483 Richard III, 1483-1485 Henry VII, 1485-1509 Henry VIII, 1509-1547 Edward VI, 1547-1553 Mary, 1553-1558 Elizabeth I, 1558-1603 James I, 1603-1625 Charles I, 1625-1649 Charles II, 1660-1685 James II, 1685-1688 Mary II, 1688-1694 William III, 1688-1702 Anne, 1702-1714 George I, 1714-1727 George II, 1727-1760 George III, 1760-1820 George IV, 1820-1830 William IV, 1830-1837 Victoria, 1837-1901 Edward VII, 1901-1910 George V, 1910-1936 Edward VIII, 1936 George VI, 1936-1952