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King Edward VIII: ‘ Abdication Speech’

At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold
anything, but until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak.
A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as king and emperor, and now that I have been
succeeded by my brother, the duke of York, my first words must be to declare my
allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart.
You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the throne. But I want you
to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the empire,
which, as prince of Wales and lately as king, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve.
But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy
burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without
the help and support of the woman I love.
And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone.
This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself. The other person most nearly
concerned has tried up to the last minute to persuade me to take a different course.
I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of
what would, in the end, be best for all.
This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother,
with his long training in the public affairs of this country and with his fine qualities, will
be able to take my place forthwith without interruption or injury to the life and progress
of the empire. And he has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you, and not
bestowed on me-a happy home with his wife and children.
During these hard days I have been comforted by Her Majesty my mother and by my
family. The ministers of the crown and, in particular, Mr. Baldwin, the prime minister, have
always treated me with full consideration.
There has never been any constitutional difference between me and them, and between
me and Parliament. Bred in the constitutional tradition by my father, I should never have
allowed any such issue to arise.
Ever since I was prince of Wales, and later on when I occupied the throne, I have been
treated with the greatest kindness by all classes of the people wherever I have lived or
journeyed throughout the empire. For that I am very grateful.
I now quit altogether public affairs, and I lay down my burden. It may be some time
before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of the British race
and empire with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of
service to His Majesty in a private station, I will not fail.
And now, we all have a new king. I wish him and you, his people, happiness and
prosperity with all my heart. God bless you all! God save the king!