Recently, we have been bombarded with news of the British Royal Family and a little matter called Megxit; well 84 years ago, Harry’s great-uncle “Eddie” had to make some big choices too about his family and the throne. In January 1936, Edward ascended the British throne after his father King George V died, but his reign was short-lived. In December of that year (326 days later), he abdicated the throne so that he could marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. As King and head of the Church of England, marrying a divorcee was not acceptable, but Edward felt he could not carry out his obligations as King without the woman he loved by his side — so he gave the crown to his younger brother, King George VI.
The Royal Mint of the United Kingdom produced a ‘trial set’ of just six coins featuring King Edward VIII upon his ascension and planned to release the coins in 1937, but because his reign came to a quick ending, the coins were never minted or circulated. The coins are known as the Edward VIII Sovereign, four of them are in museum collections and two are in private collections. The rarity of the coin makes it one of the most sought after by really serious collectors. Therefore, when a collector in the United States decided to sell his Edward III Sovereign, the Royal Mint brokered the deal. The previous owner had paid £516K ($674K) in 2014; the proud new owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, paid a record price of £1M ($1.3M), making this the most expensive British coinage.