December 10, 1936
It is abdication. Thousands of people "stood silently" outside Parliament as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin read the "terse, restrained statement" from King Edward VIII, who becomes the first monarchy in British history to renounce the throne voluntarily," reports the New York Times.
Word quickly spread by word of mouth that King Edward's reign was ending, and his brother, the Duke of York.
Crowds also grew outside 145 Piccadilly, the home of the Duke and Duchess of York and their two young daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose. At 4:30 p.m, Queen Mary's car "swept through the drive," to the door. As soon as she emerged from her car with her lady-in-waiting, huge cheers were heard. and the crowd "surged through police lines and up to the railing of the grounds."
A few minutes later, a blind was drawn back from one of the upper windows of the house, and one could see the two little princesses looking out the window. The crowd spotted them immediately, and broke into more cheers.
The announcement was made at 4.pm. A half hour later, cinemas were showing short films on the recent public appearances of the Duke and Duchess of York and their two daughters.