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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 ?
After the abdication, Akihito's elder son Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne on May 1, 2019.
Le fils aine de l'empereur, le prince Naruhito, age actuellement de 57 ans, doit acceder au trone du Chrysantheme le jour suivant son abdication.
The timing of his abdication, the first in more than two centuries, has been the subject of debate in Japan.
Now the government has to hammer out the details of the abdication, including the timing, but media reports have said it is likely to take place at the end of 2018, which would mark three decades on the Chrysanthemum throne for Akihito.
Production was halted following his abdication, so all that remains are rare patterns and trial pieces.
But in the course of Japan's imperial household tradition reaching back to ancient times, instances in which of abdication in favor of a successor are by no means rare.
King George became King at a time when the monarchy and country were in turmoil following the abdication, but on his death left a strong monarchy and united kingdom.
Edward VII gave the early twentieth century the "Edwardian Era," bridging the gentlemanly world of his mother, Victoria, and the modern world of technology and fashion, but his grandson, Edward VIII, remains a problematic and enigmatic figure almost eighty years after his 1936 abdication.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the Spanish king's abdication, as they did when Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands stepped down in April, 2013, and King Albert II of Belgium did likewise three months later.
In a nationwide address, the king - pictured signing a document yesterday opening the way for his abdication - said that he first started thinking seriously about giving up the throne when he turned 76 in January.
Thousands of anti-royalists took to the streets across Spain calling for a vote on the monarchy's survival after the abdication of King Juan Carlos.