A letter from Edward VIII reveals the royal rift caused by marrying Wallis Simpson has come to light 84 years later and is will go on sale for thousands of pounds.
The private and confidential letter is now being sold by a private collector at auction for an estimated £5,000.
It is a fascinating letter that reveals remarkable parallels of the current row between the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and the royal family today.
Harry’s spectacular falling out with his father and brother over their alleged mistreatment of his American actress wife seems like history repeating itself, judging by the contents of his great-great uncle’s letter.
The Duke of Windsor and Duchess of Windsor at a Ball in Versailles on June 17, 1953
Edward caused a constitutional crisis by abdicating the throne in 1936 so he could marry Wallis Simpson
In it, Edward lashed out at the ‘attitude and behaviour’ shown towards his American socialite wife by his mother, Queen Mary, and his sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth.
Richard Davie, of International Autograph Auctions, said: ‘There are certainly parallels to be drawn between the relationships of Edward and Wallis and Harry and Meghan and the consequences that Edward and Harry’s love for their American wives has had on their relationships with their siblings and other family members is certainly a fascinating instance of history repeating itself within the House of Windsor.’
Edward caused a constitutional crisis by abdicating the throne in 1936 so he could marry Wallis Simpson.
The subsequent strained relationship between him and the rest of the royal family, in particular the Queen Mother, was well documented in the first two series of the Netflix hit The Crown.
A fascinating letter by Edward VIII (pictured) laying bare the royal rift provoked by his marriage of Wallis Simpson has come to light 84 years laterr
Edward wrote of his fears that Wallis would be shunned by the pair during a planned visit to Britain from their exile in France
The typed letter is on the Duke of Windsor’s personal monogrammed stationery.
It was addressed to his friend Lord Beaverbrook and was in response to a gossipy article written about the Duke and Duchess in the Sunday Express newspapers.
Edward wrote of his fears that Wallis would be shunned by the pair during a planned visit to Britain from their exile in France.
The Duke had been warned by royal courtiers if that happened it could trigger a backlash in public opinion over his brother, King George VI.
At the time of writing in March 1939, the King was about to tour the US and Canada and there were concerns he might be booed if Wallis was treated badly in England.
He agreed to postpone his trip to London for the good of the King, adding he would ‘play his brother’s game’ but warned it would be the ‘last time I would agree to a postponement’.
He also wrote that the content of the sensitive letter could ‘never be traced back to me’, but as a ‘staunch’ supporter he wanted him ‘to know the truth’.
He wrote: ‘It is for no other reason than for fear lest the attitude my mother and sister-in-law seem likely to adopt towards my wife may provoke some controversy in England and adverse criticism of them in America, that I have been advised to postpone our projected visit to England this Spring, until after the King and Queen’s official journey to Canada and the United States.
‘In accordance with the policy of playing my brother’s game, I have agreed to another postponement, but, believe me, for the last time.
‘Whatever may be the behaviour of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth towards the Duchess, it would in no way affect any plans we might make for going to England.’
Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December 1936 after just 11 months to marry divorcee Simpson
The couple remained living in France for the rest of their lives. In 1952 Edward returned to Britain for his brother’s funeral and again in 1965. Pictured, the couple at their home, the Villa La Croe in Cap D’Antibes, Cannes in France in 1939
Debunking the article the Duke and Duchess were banned from Britain, he revealed they lived in France out of deference to his brother to ‘leave the field clear’ for him.
He wrote: ‘While the Duchess and I have received the greatest courtesy in all the countries, especially France, where we have resided since our marriage, I have not lived out of England for over two years by preference…I have remained away out of deference to my brother in order to leave the field clear for him to establish himself on the throne, which it is admitted he has succeeded in doing.’
He added that he considered it an ‘insult’ that Wallis had been denied the Royal Highness title.
He wrote: ‘I wish to say, that while naturally the matter of witholding (sic) the title of Royal Highness from the Duchess is an insult which I as her husband and a member of the Royal Family have always resented far more deeply than she has, we have too many other more important interests to worry over such a triviality.’
Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December 1936 after just 11 months to marry divorcee Simpson.
The couple remained living in France for the rest of their lives. In 1952 Edward returned to Britain for his brother’s funeral and again in 1965.
The sale takes place on Thursday, November 30.