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1972: Duke of Windsor laid to rest

VIDEO : Footage of the Duke's funeral procession

The Duke of Windsor, who died last week, has been laid to rest at the royal burial ground near Windsor Castle.

The burial followed a funeral service at St George's Chapel attended by political leaders, statesmen and diplomats.

World leaders and ordinary people alike laid wreaths on the lawns to pay their respects to the former King, who caused a constitutional crisis in 1936 by abdicating the throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

Flags throughout Windsor were at half mast. The castle itself was closed to the public but hundreds gathered quietly outside.

Inside St George's Chapel a procession of eight soldiers from the first battalion the Welsh Guards carried the coffin, draped in the Duke's personal standard.

It was followed by the Duke of Edinburgh, King Olaf of Norway - a cousin of the Duke - the Prince of Wales and other male members of the royal family.

Apart from the Duke's only surviving brother the Duke of Gloucester, who was not well enough to attend, all other adult members of the royal family were there.

The former King was described by the Garter King of Arms as "sometime the most high, most mighty and most excellent monarch Edward VIII."

The half hour service, conducted by the dean of Windsor, ended with a blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Duke was later buried next to his brother the Duke of Kent, at the royal burial ground at Frogmore, half a mile from the castle.

In Context
Edward, Duke of Windsor, was born on 23 June 1894.

Following the death of his father, George V, in January 1936 Edward became King.

But Edward had fallen in love with American divorcee Wallis Simpson and was determined that he would marry her.

Opposition from his family and the government effectively forced him to choose between Mrs Simpson and the office of King.

He chose to abdicate, announcing his decision on radio, and on 10 December, just 11 months after becoming King, he left England under his new title the Duke of Windsor.

He married Mrs Simpson the following year.


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