With the rules of succession in place, everyone knows who comes after Queen Elizabeth or Prince Charles and reigns as the next monarch. But Her Majesty would not have become the current monarch in the first place had her uncle, the former King Edward VIII, not chosen love over the English throne.

King Edward VIII, the eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary, became the monarch on Jan. 30, 1936. However, his reign was a brief one. He caused a constitutional crisis when he proposed to American divorcee Wallis Simpson and chose to abdicate on Dec.s 11, 1936, so he could marry Simpson.

As a result, he became the Duke of Windsor, while his brother rose to the throne as King George VI. Based on the duke’s decision, it is evident that he must have loved Simpson deeply. However, there are some speculations that Queen Elizabeth’s uncle might have regretted his decision to give up the throne.

In fact, there’s evidence suggesting that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and a few friends in the Palace were secretly plotting to claim back the throne. According to royal biographer Christopher Wilson, the duke communicated with Kenneth de Courcy to come up with a way to wrest the throne from his niece, Elizabeth.

It happened a decade after he abdicated. When King George VI’s health was starting to fail in 1946, the former King Edward VIII also started to make plans to return to Britain and become the regent, a move that would have pushed Elizabeth aside.

While the then Princess Elizabeth was the heir apparent, there were talks at that time that she, who was still 23 years old at the height of the plot in 1949, was too young to take over the throne. In addition, there were many within the establishment who fear that Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, might end up running the show behind the scenes.

“I do not think it too much to say that if the Regency should be one primarily influenced by the Mountbattens, the consequences for the [Windsor] dynasty might be fateful,“ De Courcy wrote to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. “The Mountbattens, thoroughly well-informed of the situation, will do everything in their power to increase their influence.”

Thus, a plan was hatched where the former king will return to England. And should his younger brother pass away, he will rule in his stead as regent.

De Courcy even outlined what the couple should do to bolster their public image once they return to England. “I should like to see you and the Duke buy an agricultural property somewhere near London, and the Duke devote a good deal of his time to experimental farming on the most advanced modern lines,” the strategist wrote. “This would make a great appeal to the country.”

However, it is unclear just what happened later as communication ceased at this point. What is clear, however, is that the duke did not push through with the plan, which allowed Queen Elizabeth to smoothly take over the throne after her father’s death.

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II attends a State Banquet at the Philharmonic Hall on the first day of a tour of Slovakia on October 23, 2008, in Bratislava, Slovakia. Chris Jackson/Getty Images