There is a new film out at the moment titled The King’s Speech which one would assume was about the abdication speech of the uncrowned king, Edward VIII.
It is not of course, it is about Edward’s brother, who would become king on his abdication, King George VI, and his speech impediment.
Having not seen the film I don’t know if the scene where the former king left England’s shores for the last time were shown.
As the Prince of Wales he gained a great love from the English race and as the first Freeman of the newly-formed City of Portsmouth he brought great honour to the Royal Navy which had its chief home in the town and city for nearly a thousand years.
In 1936 to the great sorrow of the British Empire around the world the king announced his ‘Final and irrevocable decision to renounce the Throne’.
Just two hours later, on December 12, 1936, the by-then titled the Duke of Windsor travelled by car to Portsmouth through the night, and in the darkness entered the dockyard and embarked on a destroyer to his new home overseas.
Shunned by members of the Royal Family he lived out his life in France dying on May 28, 1972 a month short of his 78th birthday, outliving his brother by 20 years.
I know it is 74 years ago, but are there any former sailors or dockyard policemen still living in the city who might remember the occasion and seeing the former King pass through?