Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David

Australian One Pound note of 1933 featuring the portrait of King George V.
Edward, Prince of Wales, appears in the watermark at left as shown below.

You would think that being named for two kings (his grandfather Edward VII and great-grandfather Christian IX of Denmark), the Prince Consort, and the patron saints of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales would have destined Edward for a long and successful reign, but it was not to be. The King with the absurdly long given name would have the shortest reign of any modern English monarch.

Sovereigns issued for Edward VII and George V as well as an unissued trial strike for Edward VIII. Edward VIII chose to break with hundreds of years of tradition of alternating the orientation of the monarch’s portrait in order to show the part in his hair. (Image from the Royal Mint.)

Edward ascended to the throne on January 20, 1936 upon the death of his father, George V. He would abdicate before the end of the year, brought down by his love for an American divorcee.

With a short reign came a small numismatic footprint. No portrait coinage was issued prior to the abdication but coinage for a few colonies made it into circulation. Portrait trial specimens were made. Fantasy crowns were made in the 1980s.

No banknotes were issued during the reign of Edward VIII with his image. In addition to the watermark image on the Australian pound note pictured above, he appeared on banknotes of the Dominion of Canada in 1923 and Bank of Canada in 1935 as Prince of Wales.

Short snorter from the Bahamas bearing the signature of Edward, Duke of Windsor. He was appointed Governor of the Bahamas by George VI in 1940 and remained in that position until 1945.

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