16.03.

1976: British Prime Minister Wilson’s Unexpected Resignation

1976: British Prime Minister Wilson’s Unexpected Resignation
Photo Credit To https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_B_145_Bild-F019859-0022,_Staatsbesuch_Harold_Wilson,_Ludwig_Erhard.jpg

On this day in 1976 British prime minister Harold Wilson suddenly announced his resignation. He justified this by stating he had just turned 60 (on 4 March that year) and allegedly had always wanted to resign at that age. Even so, the public was left astounded. Wilson spent around eight years as Prime Minister, and was a member of the Labour Party.

It is interesting that Queen Elisabeth II herself came to visit Wilson for dinner at 10 Downing Street. She gave that honor to only one other prime minister – Winston Churchill. After leaving his position, Wilson was named a knight of the Order of the Garter by the Queen. The Order of the Garter is the highest decoration in Britain in general.

During his retirement, Wilson even became a lord. Namely, he was made Baron Wilson of Rievaulx. Of course, all barons in England automatically become lords, so Wilson was referred to as “The Lord Wilson of Rievaulx”.

It is interesting that Harold Wilson was a very successful student at Oxford in his youth. Namely, he attended an interdisciplinary study of philosophy, politics, and economy, and attained exceptionally good grades. Such interdisciplinary studies are popular across the world, and were completed by many famous politicians (David Cameron, both Miliband brothers, the current Australian prime minister, and many others).

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