Bibelots

London

Antique Leather & Solid Silver Mounted Desk Blotter by Garrad & Co for Prince of Wales King Edward VIII Duke of Windsor

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Very attractive soft red leather desk blotter by Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company of Regent Street London, with solid silver mounts by the London silversmith Garrad & Co for 1910, owned by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor (1894-1972). In the centre on the front in silver are the Prince of Wales Feathers whilst on the reverse is his cypher in gold with a central 'E'. The right hand side has been re-stitched at some point in its life and has some marks to the leather.

Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from 20th January 1936 until his abdication on 11th December the same year.

Edward was the eldest son of George V and Mary of Teck. He was named Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday, nine weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, he served in the British Army during the First World War and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father.

Edward became king on his father's death in early 1936. However, he showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands was politically and socially unacceptable as a prospective queen consort. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. Edward knew that the British government, led by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would ruin his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. When it became apparent that he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, Edward abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history.

After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor. He married Wallis in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final. Later that year, the couple toured Germany. During the Second World War, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France but, after private accusations that he held Nazi sympathies, he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas. After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in retirement in France.

Size: 25.5 x 19 cm approx

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