On this day in 1936 England's Kind Edward VIII signed the so-called Instrument of Abdication, clearing the way for him to renounce his throne in order to marry the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson.
Signed at His Majesty's home, Fort Belvedere, and witnessed by his three brothers - Prince Albert, Duke of York (who succeeded him the following day as George VI), Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, and Prince George, Duke of Kent - it wouldn't take effect until the following day, after a special Act of Parliament (His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936) was given Royal Assent. Given the unique structure of the Commonwealth of Nations under the Statute of Westminster, each independent Dominion was required to give its own consent, which is what happened. Among the machinations involved in this process was a move by the Irish Free State to rid itself of all references to the Crown in exchange for the required unanimity.
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