WHILE THE nation mourns after a historic ceremony in London, a piece of royal history and one of the biggest scandals of the 20th century has been spotted closer to home.
A red post box standing on the corner of Warmdene Road and Dale Crescent in Patcham is one of only 130 that exist on roads in Britain.
It is so rare because it is minted with the royal cypher of Edward VIII, who served as king for less than a year before abdicating, a move previously unknown for a British monarch.
Edward ascended the throne after his father George V died on 20 January 1936, but caused immediate unease after appearing to meddle in political affairs while visiting villages in South Wales.
He also broke with the tradition that each monarch’s portrait should face the opposite direction of that of his predecessor.
However, it was his relationship with American divorcee Wallis Simpson that would eventually bring an end to his brief reign.
The revelation that the King was proposing to marry a woman with two ex-husbands was deemed unacceptable, especially as Mrs Simpson would then become Queen Consort.
Then-Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin told the king – who is also the head of the Church of England – that people would find marriage morally unacceptable, particularly because the Church opposes remarriage after divorce.
The marriage was opposed by both the British Cabinet and the British Dominion governments overseas.
Mr Baldwin presented the King with three options: give up the idea of marrying Mrs Simpson, marry against the government’s wishes or abdicate.
Edward, unwilling to end his relationship or trigger a constitutional crisis, chose to abdicate after reigning for just 326 days – making him Britain’s shortest-serving monarch.
Only about 130 post boxes were installed with Edward VIII’s cipher, including the post box at Patcham before he abdicated.
Edward’s brother, the Duke of York, ascended the throne as George VI, with his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, becoming the heir.
In a speech shortly after his abdication, Edward – who became known as the Duke of Windsor – told the nation: “You must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to shoulder the heavy burden of responsibility and fulfill my duties fulfill as kingly as I would wish without the help and support of the woman I love.”
Of the 115,500 mailboxes scattered across the country, more than 60 percent carry the Queen’s EIIR cipher.
For King Charles III. A new cipher will be created that will appear on all new mailboxes, police uniforms, orders and royal staff.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22312134.brighton-postbox-linked-biggest-royal-scandal-20th-century/?ref=rss Post box in Brighton linked to the biggest royal scandal of the 20th century