“Abdication Speech” Summary, Text, & Analysis

February 20, 2023

4 min read

King Edward's Abdication speech marked a turning point in British history, questioning the role of the monarchy in modern society. Check out our “Abdication Speech" summary, text, and analysis.

In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, delivering an emotional radio address. The Abdication speech raised questions about the monarchy’s role in modern society and sparked a constitutional crisis. Below is the historic “Abdication Speech” Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis.

“Abdication Speech” Summary

We ran King Edward’s speech through Yoodli, the free AI powered speech coaching platform. You can get started at www.yoodli.ai and view results for King Edward here. Here’s a summary of his speech:

  • The speaker declares their allegiance to the newly crowned Duke of York, having recently relinquished their duty as King and Emperor.
  • The speaker explains that they made this decision based on what they thought would be best for all, but that it was ultimately a personal decision.
  • The speaker expresses their gratitude for the support and kindness of their family, the Prime Minister and all classes of people throughout the British Empire.
  • The speaker expresses their wish for the new king and his people to be blessed with happiness and prosperity.

Abdication Speech” Text

The Yoodli AI-powered speech coach provides this “Abdication Speech ” text:

"At — At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak.

A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor, and now that I have been succeeded by my brother, the Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart.

You all know the reasons which have — have impelled me to renounce the throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the empire, which, as Prince of Wales, and lately as King, I have for 25 years tried to serve.

But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.

And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone. This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself. The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course.

I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would, in the end, be best for all.

This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother, with his long training in the public affairs of this country and with his fine qualities, will be able to take my place forthwith without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the empire. And he has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you, and not bestowed on me — a happy home with his wife and children.

During these hard days I have been comforted by her majesty my mother and by my family. The ministers of the crown, and in particular, Mr. Baldwin, the Prime Minister, have always treated me with full consideration. There has never been any constitutional difference between me and them, and between me and Parliament. Bred in the constitutional tradition by my father, I should never have allowed any such issue to arise.

Ever since I was Prince of Wales, and later on when I occupied the throne, I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all classes of the people wherever I have lived or journeyed throughout the empire. For that I am very grateful.

I now quit altogether public affairs and I lay down my burden. It may be some time before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of the British race and empire with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of service to his majesty in a private station, I shall not fail.

And now, we all have a new King. I wish him and you, his people, happiness and prosperity with all my heart.

God bless you all.

God save the King!"

Abdication Speech” Analysis

We ran King Edwards’s Abdication Speech through Yoodli’s AI-powered speech coach, and got back an analysis on various aspects of word choice and delivery. You can view the full results here.

Word Choice

King Edward’s Abdication speech employed crisp, yet emotional language to explain his decision to abdicate. Yoodli’s analysis reflects this, showing no filler words, and very few weak words (1%). Also, notably, his top keyword was “king” and “empire.” This is fitting for a royal figure of his stature.


In the Delivery category, Yoodli provides scores on Centering, Pacing, Pauses, and Eye Contact. The highlight metric to look at here is pace. King Edward had a quite slow pace, at about 82 words per minute. Yoodli recommended being at least 120 to ensure the audience stays engaged.

Wrapping Up

If you like this “Abdication Speech” summary, text, and quick analysis, sign up to Yoodli for free and see how you can get the same kind of feedback on any speech you upload or record. It’s a great way to practice your own public speaking skills as you learn to connect with your audience, just as King Edward did!


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