Harry and Meghan, both currently in Vancouver Island, reached a settlement with the Queen this week whereby she allowed the two of them to step down as senior royals in spring, so they can start a new life with no public funding. The Palace decided in exchange the couple would spend the majority of their time in North America, will no longer be able to use their HRH styles or formally represent the Queen. With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moving abroad after voluntarily choosing to step down, many comparisons have been drawn with Edward VIII.
He was on the throne for just ten months after the death of his father George V and abdicated in December 1936, so he could marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.
He and Mrs Simpson were forced to live in exile in France thereafter so as not to threaten the reign of his brother King George VI.
Although the abdication was a scandalous event, George V had always hoped the crown would fall to his second son, George VI, also known as Albert or Bertie.
Royal biographer Philip Ziegler’s 1990 book ‘King Edward VIII’ revealed how the monarch had one particular wish for his sons before his death.
Prince Harry and King George V (Image: Getty)
King Edward VIII abdicated in December 1936 (Image: Getty)
He reportedly told a courtier: “I pray to God that my eldest son will never marry and have children, and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne.”
George V favoured his second heir, Albert (known as Bertie), and Lilibet, the nickname of his daughter and the current Queen, Elizabeth II. Edward in comparison was considered a loose cannon, known for many affairs and great flippancy towards protocol.
This shocking announcement came from the King after he and his wife Queen Mary refused to receive Mrs Simpson at Buckingham Palace in 1935.
Their rejection of Edward’s lover made the heir to the throne realise he would have to choose between the crown and Mrs Simpson.
READ MORE: Why Prince Charles was 'relieved to escape tragic Edward VIII'
Harry and Meghan first made their declaration of independence in the early days of January (Image: Getty)