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in a political sense, renunciation of high public office, usually by a monarch. Some abdications have been purely voluntary and resulted in no loss of prestige. For instance, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VCharles V,
1500–1558, Holy Roman emperor (1519–58) and, as Charles I, king of Spain (1516–56); son of Philip I and Joanna of Castile, grandson of Ferdinand II of Aragón, Isabella of Castile, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and Mary of Burgundy.
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, who abdicated for religious motives, remained influential until his death, and Philip VPhilip V,
1683–1746, king of Spain (1700–1746), first Bourbon on the Spanish throne. A grandson of Louis XIV of France, he was titular duke of Anjou before Charles II of Spain designated him as his successor.
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 of Spain actually resumed the throne after abdicating. In Japan it has not been uncommon for the ruler to retire voluntarily to a life of religious contemplation, assured of a special title and many honors. However, most abdications have amounted to a confession of a failure in policy and are only the final and formal renunciation of an authority that events have already taken away. In the Chinese Empire forced abdications were frequent, the empire itself ending with the abdication of the boy ruler Hsuan T'ung in 1912 (see Pu YiPu Yi
or Henry Pu-yi,
Manchu Aisin Gioro, 1906–67, last emperor (1908–12) of China, under the reign name Hsuan T'ung. After his abdication, the new republican government granted him a large government pension and permitted him to live in the
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). Since 1688, when the English Parliament declared James II to have abdicated by reason of flight and subversion of the constitution, abdication by a British ruler without parliamentary consent has been forbidden. When Edward VIIIEdward VIII,
1894–1972, king of Great Britain and Ireland (1936), known in later years as the duke of Windsor; eldest son of George V. He attended the naval colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth and Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1911 he was made prince of Wales.
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 of England abdicated in 1936 in order to marry an American divorcee (his ministers having refused to approve the marriage), the abdication was given legal effect by an act of Parliament. Though several written constitutions contain provisions for abdication, there are few uniformly accepted rules for dealing with it. Defeat and political chaos following World Wars I and II forced the abdication of many rulers, most notably Emperor William II of Germany, Farouk of Egypt, and Leopold III of Belgium.
References in periodicals archive ?
The official view has always been that he abdicated to marry the woman he loved but could not stay on the throne because the former Wallis Simpson was a divorcee.
Greene King created the brew to mark Edward's first year on the throne - but he abdicated in 1936 after just 325 days to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
1936 Edward VIII abdicated as King after a reign of 325 days, in favour of his brother, the Duke of York, who became King George VI.
Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, said: "The British Government has abdicated any responsibility.
all that I have heard suggests your mother has abdicated her responsibility.
She later became the Duchess of Windsor after Edward VIII abdicated because of his love for her.
A furious Prince of Wales last night flatly denied claims made in a TV programme that he would be glad if the Queen abdicated so he could become King.
Mr Major could have quit and the Queen abdicated - such events would have been knocked into touch.
He was catapulted to the throne when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
In the present system, primary responsibility is abdicated (some would say given) to the school board and its appointees, Gov.
By then, Jerro, a second-year assistant, had stepped effortlessly into the caregiver's role that Wilson had abdicated.
If what has been written is true, we say Johnson and McCoy abdicated their right to privacy when they broke a very public law not once or twice but thrice.