The English King Edward VIII caused a great tumult in the 1930s when he chose to abdicate the throne because of a woman. He had been inserted on the throne on January 20, 1936, 41 years old, after his father George V's death, but on the 10th of December that same year he signed his abdication decree.
The reason for the abdication was that the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and other politicians opposed his planned marriage to the American woman Wallis Simpson, whom Edward had been dating for several years. Since she was twice divorced (and the second divorce was not even yet completed), it was unacceptable that she would become queen. A constitutional crisis arose and King Edward then decided to renounce the crown in favor of his younger brother, the Duke of York, who became King George VI - the current queen's – Queen Elizabeth’s – father.
After the abdication Edward was instead appointed Duke of Windsor. The wedding with Mrs. Simpson took place in private on June 3, 1937, in France, where the couple also came to live. After the Second World War broke out in 1939, the Duke, who was pro-German and arguably also a Nazi sympathizer, was considered by many as a security risk. Prime Minister Winston Churchill appointed him governor of the Bahamas - a place where he was supposed to cause minimal damage.
Before Edward was inserted on the throne he had gained a notorious reputation as a "ladies man", with a number of "affairs" with married women. His father - and many others - expressed concern about how he would manage his upcoming role as reigning monarch. The father, George V, reputedly said about his son that "within twelve months after my death, he will have ruined himself."
Edward was born on June 23, 1894, and died on May 28, 1972, at the age of 77, in France. The horoscope is as follows:
Edward VIII, June 23, 1894, 21:55, Richmond, Surrey, England
(Source: Astro Databank)
The abdicating king seems to have been a sensitive and in many ways contradictory person. The Moon in sensitive Pisces in the First House is in stark contrast to the Ascendant in Saturn-ruled Capricorn. The Sun and Mercury in Cancer indicate additional sensitivity. The Sun, the Moon and Uranus (in Scorpio in the Ninth House) form a grand water trine.
One gets the impression of a person who largely perceives the world subjectively, having some difficulty being objective and keeping distance. And yet the Capricorn Ascendant indicates a certain coldness and reserve in relation to the world. Saturn in the Eighth House suggests that the reservation and discipline has to do with the inheritance (Eighth House) of his royal birth, the legacy that he renounced (Saturn) by abdication.
Another powerful theme that emerges in the horoscope is the need for autonomy and independence - to be assertive, to affirm his own values and have the confidence and courage to go his own way. This is reflected partly by the Moon in the First House but especially by Mars in Aries on the Second House cusp in conjunction with the North Lunar node, also in Aries. Mars also forms a trine to Mercury in Cancer in the Seventh House of marriage. It was through his marriage with Wallis Simpson that Edward broke with the royal heritage and went his own way. In the horoscope, Mars and the North Lunar node in the Second House of values are opposed to the Eighth House (inheritance) – the royal legacy that he gave up in order to follow his own values.
This contradiction and conflict is reinforced by the Sun in Cancer (in the Fifth House but near the Sixth House cusp) squaring the two Lunar nodes in the Eighth and Second House. The square between Mars and the Sun reflects the conflict between his own freedom and his own values on the one hand and the father and the throne on the other.
Neptune represents abdications and Edward's Neptune is in Gemini conjunct both Pluto and Jupiter. Moreover, it forms a trine to Saturn in the Eighth House. Expansive Jupiter in Gemini on the Fifth House cusp gives a clear picture of the playboy life that characterized the Duke. The conjunction with Neptune (abdication) shows that it was his debauchery that paved the way for his abdication. Jupiter also forms a trine to Saturn, just like Neptune. In addition, it rules the MC in freedom-loving and adventurous Sagittarius.
The conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune - and their square to Chiron in Virgo in the Seventh House - also suggests how the Duke was "chasing rainbows", had romantic dreams, hunted unrealistic "truths" and perhaps to some extent lacked proper contact with the stark reality. This is a clear contradiction to his Capricorn Ascendant - Mirrored by Neptune's sesquisquare to the Ascendant.
Moon in Pisces in the First House squaring Pluto in Gemini in the Fourth reflects his intensity and perhaps an emotional need to dramatize his own person. Pluto in the Fourth House in conjunction with Neptune and squaring the Moon in the First House may imply some kind of childhood trauma.
The Moon rules the Seventh House, where Mercury in Cancer is on the Descendant. It was the duke's marriage that came to change his life fundamentally - reflected also by Mercury on the Descendant ruling the IC and Gemini, where Pluto, Neptune and Jupiter are. Mercury also implies the big media news of his marriage with Wallis Simpson at the time. The same might be said of Venus in Taurus who is in the Third House (the media, news).
Venus - the woman in his life - is completely unaspected in the horoscope – lives its own life - except for a trine to the Ascendant and a conjunction with the Pars Fortunae. Venus also rules the Eighth and Third Houses.
Uranus in Scorpio in the Ninth House forms a quincunx to Pluto in Gemini in the Fourth House. It reflects how after the abdication the Duke came to settle (Fourth House) abroad (Ninth House), and perhaps also how he suddenly (Uranus) was appointed governor of the Bahamas (Ninth House) because he was seen as a potential security risk (Scorpio) during the war.
© Mats Bergman 2013