King of Great Britain and IrelandI 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. On December 11, 1936, Edward VIII, king of Great Britain and Ireland for 325 days, became the first English monarch to abdicate the throne voluntarily. The eldest son of King George V, Edward ascended to the throne on January 21, 1936, the day after his father's death. He enjoyed immense popularity with his subjects until he announced his intention to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American who was suing her second husband for her divorce. The British government, the Church of England, and a majority of the public opposed the marriage, but the king refused to call off his engagement with Mrs. Simpson. With no compromise possible, and the crisis escalating, Edward announced his abdication on December 11. That evening, Parliament passed a bill of abdication, and the next day, Edward's younger brother was proclaimed as King George VI. The former king was granted the title of duke of Windsor, and on June 3, 1937, he married Wallis Warfield in France.