Love against the odds

Scandals of the House of Windsor

Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan Markle.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, BBC, TOWN&COUNTRY/ TWITTER, VOGUE PARIS/TWITTER
King Edward and Wallis Simpson.
King Edward and Wallis Simpson.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, BBC, TOWN&COUNTRY/ TWITTER, VOGUE PARIS/TWITTER
Group Captain Peter Townsend and Princess Margaret.
Group Captain Peter Townsend and Princess Margaret.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, BBC, TOWN&COUNTRY/ TWITTER, VOGUE PARIS/TWITTER
Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, BBC, TOWN&COUNTRY/ TWITTER, VOGUE PARIS/TWITTER
Married aristocrat Camilla Parker Bowles.
Married aristocrat Camilla Parker Bowles.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, BBC, TOWN&COUNTRY/ TWITTER, VOGUE PARIS/TWITTER
Prince Andrew with Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Andrew with Queen Elizabeth II.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, BBC, TOWN&COUNTRY/ TWITTER, VOGUE PARIS/TWITTER
One of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
One of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, BBC, TOWN&COUNTRY/ TWITTER, VOGUE PARIS/TWITTER

As Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle create a stir by giving up their roles as senior royals, The Sunday Times looks at the soap-operatic affairs of Britain's monarchy

There would have been no Queen Elizabeth II - the current and longest-reigning monarch in British history - without Edward VIII abdicating his throne for a woman.

King Edward's rule did not make it to a year - he succeeded the throne in January 1936 and gave it up in December of the same year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 09, 2020, with the headline 'Scandals of the House of Windsor'. Print Edition | Subscribe