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King Edward VIII

The Duke of Windsor

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Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, 1894-1972.  King Edward VIII, 1936; Duke of Windsor, 1936-1972.  Cacheted cover commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, boldly signed Edward / Duke of Windsor

This is an excellent association philatelic cover commemorating the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953.  It is signed by her uncle, the former King Edward VIII, who reigned for some 11 months in 1936.

Edward, the son of King George V, was wildly popular across the British empire as Prince of Wales.  He acceded to the throne on January 20, 1936.  Soon he made clear his intention to marry Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, an American divorcee who was then seeking a divorce from her second husband.  Wallis, however, was unacceptable to the British government and in particular to Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, whose government rejected the King's proposal for a morganatic marriage. Faced with choosing between Wallis and the throne, Edward abdicated on December 11, 1936.  “I have found it impossible,” he said in his farewell broadcast to the British people, “to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King, as I wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love." 

Edward was succeeded by his brother, Albert, who became King George VI.  The new king granted Edward the title The Duke of Windsor.  Edward and Wallis were married at Chateau de Candé in France on June 3, 1937.

Elizabeth II, the older daughter of George VI and Queen Elizabeth, became Queen upon her father's death in 1952.  She was crowned June 2, 1953, at Westminster Abbey in London.

The cachet on this cover bears Yousuf Karsh's 1951 portrait of Elizabeth II.  Three of the four postage revenue stamps display her youthful image, wearing the George IV state diadem, by Dorothy Wilding, the first woman to receive a Royal Warrant to be an official royal photographer.

Edward has signed the cover in jet black fountain pen.  There is a bit of brushing to the "e" in “Duke" and the “Win" in “Windsor,” but it is not particularly noticeable. 

The cover, which measures 6½" x 3¾", is postmarked June 3, 1953, in Uckfield, Sussex.  It has a small light spot at the bottom margin but is in fine condition overall.




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