Thursday, November 3, 2016

King Edward VIII opens Parliament

November 3, 1936

King Edward VIII opened Parliament today, and pledged his nation to do all in his power "to further the appeasement of Europe."

The 42-year-old "bachelor monarch made this significant plea for peace to the bristling arm cams of troubled Europe," reported the Associated Press.

This was the first opening of Parliament for the king, who succeeded his father in January.  He stood before the throne in the House of Lords, "garbed in the heavy state robes of gold-edged velvet," and announced that after his Coronation next May, he would travel to India to be crowned Emperor.   He also called for an imperial conference to meet in London next May.

Thousands of his subjects "jammed the Mall and the Horse Guards' parade in Whitehall," to catch a glimpse of the king in a motor car.  Due to the heavy rain, the procession from Buckingham Palace to Parliament was canceled.

In a "firm, resonant voice," the king "launched into the reading of his address from the throne," after he affirmed his "solemn declaration of the Protestant faith."   As he is an uncrowned king, and unable to wear the Imperial Crown until after his Coronation on May 5, Edward followed the "glittering  jeweled emblem of the nation and the empire" in the procession from the robing room.

He also spoke of strengthening the country's defenses.

The King's mother, Queen Mary, stood by a window at Marlborough House  as the King's car passed by.  He glanced at the window, saw his mother, and waved "his cocked hat," that he held in his right hand. Queen Mary smiled, and then turned away from the window.

This is the first time in more than twenty-five years that Queen Mary had not attended the State Opening of Parliament.

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