Thursday, 15 December 2011

Edward VIII’s forgotten coronation portrait comes to light

Last weekend saw the 75th anniversary of the abdication of King Edward VIII of Britain, which was signed on 10 December 1936 and came into effect the following day, and this anniversary was the occasion for the publication of an unknown coronation portrait of the uncrowned king.
During a recent move of offices one found a proof copy of the Illustrated London News’s coronation issue, which had been prepared in advance of his coronation, set for 12 May 1937. Among the illustrations was a reproduction of a portrait by Albert Collings, showing King Edward VIII in his coronation clothes, the Imperial State Crown and other regalia resting by his side. The original portrait is, according to the Daily Telegraph, believed to have been lost during World War II.

POSTSCRIPT: The Daily Telegraph today (3 January 2012) reports what happened to the portrait: the face of Edward VIII was quite simply painted over and replaced with that of George VI. (

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