1 portrait of Vivien Leigh
© reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London
by Cyril Arapoff
film negative, 1936
Given by Jack Barker, 1978
Events of 1936back to top
Current affairsFollowing the death of his father George V, Edward succeeds to the throne as King Edward VIII, but chooses to abdicate in order to marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. Edward was the only monarch every to voluntarily relinquish the throne.
Art and scienceThe Spitfire, designed by Reginald Mitchell, has its maiden flight. The RAF and other allied forces used the plane extensively and to great effect during the Second World War.
Television broadcasting begins. Although the BBC had been transmitting television since 1930, regular service did not begin until 1936, when the 'BBC Television Service' (now BBC One) was broadcast from Alexandra Palace.