"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 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 twenty-five 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
"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
"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!"