|Person Name||Windsor [formerly Saxe-Coburg and Gotha]; Edward (1894-1972); King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, Emperor of India, Prince of Wales, Duke of Windsor, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Great Steward of Scotland, Duke of Saxony, and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Grand Master of the Order of St. Michael and St. George; President of the Imperial War Graves Commission|
|Surname||Windsor [formerly Saxe-Coburg and Gotha]|
|Title||King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, Emperor of India, Prince of Wales, Duke of Windsor, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Great Steward of Scotland, Duke of Saxony, and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Grand Master of the Order of St. Michael and St. George|
|Epithet||President of the Imperial War Graves Commission|
|Source||IWGC Royal Charter [dated 21st May 1917]; CWGC Archive, "List of 1914-18 Memorial Unveilings"; Philip Longworth, The Unending Vigil, Barnsley: Pen & Sword Ltd., 2003); "Dod's Peerage, 1918", (London: Butler and Tanner, 1918); |
|Biographical Note||Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David) KG was the King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India. He reigned from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December 1936. When he was Prince of Wales, HRH Edward was the first President of the Imperial War Graves Commission.|
Born on 23 June 1894, Prince Edward joined the Royal Navy in 1907, becoming a Midshipman in 1911 and a Lieutenant in 1912. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1914, Prince Edward was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards, before promotion to the rank of Captain in 1916. He was A.D.C. to Sir John French, Commander of the British Forces in France from 1914-1916, then Staff-Captain on Staff of General Sir A.J. Murray KCB, the commander of the British forces in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Commission's first meeting was held on 25 September 1916 when it referred to as the Prince Of Wales' National Committee For The Care Of Soldiers' Graves. Edward, Prince of Wales, was appointed as the President of the Imperial War Graves Commission by Royal Charter on 21 May 1917. The Charter outlined his responsibilities and powers in this capacity:
“2. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Commission and of any Committee constituted in pursuance of the provisions of this Our charter at which he may be present.
3. The President shall have power to summon meetings of the Commission at any time he may think fit so to do, in order to submit to the members thereof such matters of importance relating to the affairs of the Commission as he may deem requisite. Such meetings shall be summoned in such manner and by giving such notices as the President may think best calculated to advise the members of the Commission of the time and place of such meetings.”
On 26 April 1924, Edward, Prince of Wales, unveiled the Commission's Memorial to the Missing at Chatham. In August 1932, Edward spoke at the unveiling of the Thiepval Memorial. Prince Edward retired from his position as President when he acceded the throne as Edward VIII in January 1936. Edward VIII unveiled the Vimy Memorial on 26 July 1936. He abdicated on 11 December 1936.
He died on 28 May 1972, aged 77.