This Was King Edward VIII's Wish On His Deathbed

Sometimes it feels like life is just a series of compromises, personally and professionally and certainly in terms of whether or not the market is stocking your favorite brand of salsa. The principle applies professionally — stay in a job you dislike because the money's decent, or follow your joy and resign yourself to eating a lot of ramen? (And if you really like ramen, you win.) Same with long-term intimate relationships. Whether it's a marriage or something else that binds two human beings together into a life-long partnership, there are going to be compromises on both sides. That's not a bad thing. Usually.

Of course, if you're British royalty, nothing's simple. So many expectations, from law and tradition and custom, in the eyes of incredibly extended family and in the public at large — you know, subjects. Standards of behavior. Who you hang out with. Who you marry.

So the next time somebody asks you, "What did you give up to be here?" consider your answer carefully, and be grateful, because you didn't have to give up the throne of England to get married.

Edward fell deeply in love with Wallis Simpson

That was precisely the situation for England's King Edward VIII. He was the eldest son of King George V and therefore the heir to the throne, reports the BBC. Edward — known as David to family and friends, one of several of his middle names, because royal, after all — was still a teenager when his father became king. Edward was named Prince of Wales and seemed to have enjoyed a busy social life until the day he fell in love with a married woman, Wallis Simpson. For her part, Wallis, an American, was not only married, but had divorced her first husband to marry her second. And Edward was madly in love with her and the King of England, who was also the head of the Church of England, could not marry someone with her marital history. (The American part probably didn't help, either.) Some suggest he was going to discuss options with his father when George had the bad timing to die. Edward was crowned King Edward VIII.

And he really wanted to marry Wallis Simpson. Wallis obtained a divorce, but absolutely everyone in Edward's circle opposed their marriage, with the exception of Winston Churchill, says Encyclopedia Britannica.

Edward took to the airwaves to announce his decision to abdicate in order to marry Wallis

Edward was determined and on December 11, 1936, after less than a year on the throne, he announced on a radio address his intention to abdicate: "I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love," as History reports. His brother became king the next day and named Edward Duke of Windsor.

Was there a "happily ever after"? Depends who you ask. There are plenty of reports that they weren't all that compatible after all, and others say they were intensely devoted to one another.

Wyatt Earp's last words were "Suppose ... suppose...." says True West Magazine. According to The Atlantic, as Bob Hope was dying his wife asked him where he wanted to be buried. His response: "Surprise me." And for Edward? People tells the story of Edward's deathbed pleas, relayed by Listverse. It seems that Wallis claimed that the only man she ever truly loved was married to another. When the object of her affections was widowed, he quickly remarried — not to Wallis, who was angry at the rejection. Her divided feelings were destroying her marriage to Edward in their last years, and as he lay dying of throat cancer, she was "rarely at his bedside." He called out for her to return to him — repeatedly — as he lay dying. She didn't.