CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ruined Nazi Duke of Windsor And British Ruins Come to Life

 

 

Military leaders had serious concerns about the Duke of Windsor, right,  and his wife Wallis Simpson, left      

The then Duke of Windsor, who abdicated the previous year, was pictured making 'Heil Hitler' gesture on 1937 visit

  • Edward VIII faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser and once claimed Hitler was 'not a bad chap'
  • Images part of a collection of photographs being put up for auction this month at Morgan Evans and Co on Anglesey
  • Footage emerged this week showing Queen making gesture while playing with Edward VIII as a seven-year-old child

Photographs have emerged which appear to show Edward VIII giving the Nazi salute - just days after a home video was published showing the Queen making the same gesture.

The Queen's uncle, who abdicated the previous year, is pictured making what appears to be the distinctive 'Heil Hitler' sign while surrounded by uniformed high-ranking fascists on an unofficial visit to Germany in 1937.

The photographs, which have emerged just days after the royal video scandal, are believed to be the only pictorial evidence of Edward VIII doing the Nazi gesture, recognised internationally as a sign of obedience to Hitler.

Photographs have emerged which appear to show Edward VIII giving Nazi salutes - just days after a home video was published of the Queen making the same gesture 

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Photographs have emerged which appear to show Edward VIII giving Nazi salutes - just days after a home video was published of the Queen making the same gesture

The Queen's uncle, who abdicated the previous year, is pictured making the distinctive 'Heil Hitler' sign while surrounded by uniformed high-ranking fascists on an unofficial visit to Germany in 1937 

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The Queen's uncle, who abdicated the previous year, is pictured making the distinctive 'Heil Hitler' sign while surrounded by uniformed high-ranking fascists on an unofficial visit to Germany in 1937

Edward was accompanied by Robert Ley, the Nazi leader of the German Labour Front (pictured in the black uniform to his left)

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Edward was accompanied by Robert Ley, the Nazi leader of the German Labour Front (pictured in the black uniform to his left)

He had been crowned king in January 1936 but abdicated in the December so he could marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

In 1937 the couple visited Germany and even met Adolf Hitler - the trip when these pictures were taken

He faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser and is known to have performed the salute at other times. He was once said to have given a Nazi salute to Hitler - which he later claimed was a 'soldier's salute' - and claimed the Fuhrer was 'not a bad chap'.

The images, part of a collection of photographs being put up for auction this month at Morgan Evans and Co on Anglesey, have been made public just days after the controversial video, which showed Edward VIII encouraging the future Queen to make the salute.

The footage, recorded in 1933, shows the then seven-year-old Princess Elizabeth playing with a dog on the lawn at Balmoral with her sister Margaret, before raising her arm in a Nazi salute.  

Her mother, the future Queen Mother, and Edward are also shown in the pose. Her uncle appears to be showing them how to perform the Nazi salute.

Historians have stressed that Hitler was the subject of much derision and that the film appears to show the Queen Mother making fun of the Nazi salute. She became one of the heroes over the war, staying in London to face the Blitz and famously said when Buckingham palace was bombed: 'Now I feel I can look the East End in the face.' Princess Elizabeth would have been too young to understand the gesture.

The latest album, compiled by the German mine's managing director and presented to a Major DG McLea just after the World War II, has been held by a private collector for the last 30 years, but the decision to sell now had nothing to do with the recent revelations.

Morgan Evans and Co auctioneer and valuer Simon Bower told the Daily Post Wales: 'It's pure coincidence. It happened to come at the same time as the other story broke.'

The Daily Post published the pictures today before they also appeared on national newspaper websites.

 Ley (pictured centre) committed suicide while awaiting trial at Nuremberg for war crimes. The Duke of Windsor is pictured left 

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Ley (pictured centre) committed suicide while awaiting trial at Nuremberg for war crimes. The Duke of Windsor is pictured left

The images are part of a collection of photographs being put up for auction this month at Morgan Evans and Co, Gaerwen, on Anglesey

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The images are part of a collection of photographs being put up for auction this month at Morgan Evans and Co, Gaerwen, on Anglesey

The former king on his visit to a mine ( The Duke of Windsor (pictured left) with his equerry Sir Dudley Forwood

The former king on his visit to a mine during the visit (left) and with his equerry Sir Dudley Forwood on another visit in the same year (right)

The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson pictured at Berchtesgaden after visiting Adolf Hitler in 1937 during a separate trip to Germany

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The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson pictured at Berchtesgaden after visiting Adolf Hitler in 1937 during a separate trip to Germany

In the latest pictures, taken two years before the outbreak of the war, the then Duke of Windsor is seen standing with Nazis - some of whom are wearing swastika armbands - before raising his right arm.

In other photographs from the same collection, Edward is also pictured with his guide Robert Ley, the Nazi head of the German Labour Front, who later committed suicide while awaiting trial at Nuremberg for war crimes.

The black-and-white photographs were taken after Hitler had risen to power in Germany, two years before the outbreak of the Second World War. The Nazi salute subsequently became a symbol of fear across Europe, but in the years leading up to the Second World War it did not have the universally recognised connotations that it has today.

Edward made the visit, in spite of the opposition of the British Government and Mr Bower believes the photographs - which also includes some of the Major's First World War medals - are a rare find.

Controversial: Footage emerged earlier this week showing the Queen giving a Nazi salute while playing as a seven-year-old child 

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Controversial: Footage emerged earlier this week showing the Queen giving a Nazi salute while playing as a seven-year-old child

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were also seen smiling and shaking hands with the Nazi leader during a meeting in Munich in the same year The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were also seen smiling and shaking hands with the Nazi leader during a meeting in Munich in the same year

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were also seen smiling and shaking hands with the Nazi leader during a meeting in Munich in the same year

 

Resplendent in ceremonial robes he would never again be able to wear in public, never-before-seen photo shows exiled Duke of Windsor posing at French country retreat he shared with Wallis

  • Extraordinary new photograph of former Edward VIII shows him dressed in Order of the Garter robes
  • He poses in sunny garden of his French country house, with a blue ribbon - rather than a garter - around his calf
  • The shot is part of three private photo albums which has emerged 43 years after the duke's death

Draped in the blue velvet robes of the Order of the Garter and with a plumed hat in his hands, at first glance the Duke of Winsdsor looks every inch a king.

But in this extraordinary photograph – which has never been seen before - the silver-haired former Edward VIII is not posing in state in one of the royal palaces of Britain.

Instead, he stands squinting in the sun in the back garden of his French country house, replacing the ceremonial garter around his calf with a blue ribbon. 

Scroll down for video 

The Duke of Windsor poses in his Order of the Garter robes in a photograph that has never been seen before

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The Duke of Windsor poses in his Order of the Garter robes in a photograph that has never been seen before

This picture is part of a stash of three photo albums capturing decades of the duke's life with wife Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, which has remained hidden until now.

It appears in the new issue of Hello! magazine, along with earlier photographs from the albums, that are being published for the first time.

Filled with intimate shots up to the former king's death in 1972, the three albums give a hitherto-unseen glimpse into Edward's life as Prince of Wales, King Edward VIII and then duke.

After the duke's death in 1972 they passed into the possession of his gardener, Henri Gay, 90, who said he had a close working relationship with his royal employer.

Mr Gay told the magazine: 'We shared a passion for gardening and nature that cut across the difference in our social backgrounds.'

HELLO reveals never-before-seen images of the Duke of Windsor

 

As the Prince of Wales, Edward poses with future wife Wallis Simpson and dogs at Fort Belvedere, Windsor

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As the Prince of Wales, Edward poses with future wife Wallis Simpson and dogs at Fort Belvedere, Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor's former country home La Moulin de la Tuilerie in Gif sur Yvette, south west of Paris, from 1952 to 1972

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The Duke and Duchess of Windsor's former country home La Moulin de la Tuilerie in Gif sur Yvette, south west of Paris, from 1952 to 1972

 

An official photographer shoots Prince Edward (left) posing in his Garter robes in Buckingham Palace after his investiture in 1911 at the age of 17; the Illustrated London News pictured King Edward VIII in garter robes (right). The caption notes he was depicted as the Prince of Wales, and the picture is a water colour replica of an artist's oil painting which hung in the Guildhall Portsmouth measuring 9ft by 6ft

Mr Gay, who is retired and lives near Montpelier, was head gardener at Le Moulin de la Tuilerie, the Windsor's country retreat southwest of Paris, for seven years from 1966. 

He told Hello! that after the duke's death in 1972, the duchess gave him the photo albums on her last visit to the house before it was sold - and she generously left him $10,000 in her will.

For him, the volumes initially held sentimental value but as the years passed he began to realise their historical significance.

 

The gardener, who worked for the couple with his wife Renee, said he was the photographer behind the picture of the older, silver-haired duke posing in the historic garb in front of, what looks like, a farm building.

Mr Gay said: 'On one occasion he called me over to take a picture of him in his robes. 

'It was in the garden where he had installed a mini-golf course. He loved mini-golf.' 

Interestingly, two parts of the official ceremonial robes are missing: he is not wearing the gold link-chain 'collar' and he has tied a blue ribbon around his leg rather than the official garter.

According to Hello!, the first album of the collection passed to Mr Gay, is labeled The Fort after the Duke's home in Windsor, Fort Belvedere and seems to track his growing passion for the thin, abrasive American woman, as she features in almost every shot. 

Other snaps capture Edward's brief time as king as well as a Mediterranean cruise he took with Wallis. 

The photos are just another glimpse into the life one of the most controversial royals who courted scandal with his fast-living set in the 1930s and refused to assume a life of duty when he became king.

In fact, on becoming king 20 January 193l, he caused a constitutional crisis just months into his reign by seeking to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who had divorced one man and was trying to divorce another.

Preferring to marry Wallis, Edward abdicated after 326 days, becoming the shortest-reigning monarch in British history.

In an address to the nation, he said: 'I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.' 

After his abdication, his younger brother Albert took the throne - and the name George VI - while his wife Elizabeth became queen, and their eldest daughter Elizabeth, first in line for the throne.

The newly-titled Duke of Windsor married Wallis in a private ceremony on 3 June, 1937, at Château de Candé near Tours, France.

The new king forbade any members of the royal family to attend the wedding and denied the Duchess of Windsor the styling of 'Her Royal Highness', which added to the strained relationship between the Windsors and the rest of the royals. 

Edward hoped to settle in Britain after a couple of years of exile in France but his brother George VI threatened to cut off his allowance if he returned to Britain without an invitation.

During the war, he was installed as the Governor of the Bahamas but afterwards he and the duchess returned to France where they spent the rest of their lives, becoming international socialites in Paris and New York.

While relaxing at Le Moulin, the only property the couple would own, Edward and Wallis hosted the biggest stars of the day including Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas, Marlene Dietrich and Cecil Beaton. 

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor and the era in which they lived continues to fascinate, with Madonna's film W.E focusing on the couple's love affair and the Oscar-winning King's Speech highlighting the relationship between his brother the Duke of York and then George VI and his speech therapist. 

The Duke of Windsor on tour in the French Riviera

 

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who had been married for 12 years, pictured here in 1949 at Victoria Station

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The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who had been married for 12 years, pictured here in 1949 at Victoria Station

WHAT IS THE ORDER OF THE GARTER? THE HISTORY, THE MEMBERS AND THOSE CEREMONIAL ROBES

The Order of the Garter is the oldest British Order of Chivalry and was founded by Edward III in 1348.

It is said to have been founded when at a court ball, a lady lost one of her garters and King Edward bent down, picked it up and - amid blushes and laughter - tied it around his own leg with the remark: 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' which means, 'Shame on him who thinks this evil'.

The phrase is now the Order's motto.

The Order consists of the monarch and 24 knights and honours men and women (permitted to join the order in 1987) who have served the nation or the sovereign. 

Members of the royal family are also permitted to join in addition to the 24 knights and include Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and Duke of Cambridge.

St George is the order's patron saint and St George's Chapel, Windsor is its spiritual home.

The ceremonial robes have changed and evolved over the years but today the insignia includes the following items:

  • The collar, a heavy linked gold chain which includes 24 red enamel Tudor roses within blue enamel garters and 24 interlaced knots.
  • The Badge Appendant, known as the George, is a gold and enamel representation of St George on horseback slaying the dragon, and is suspended from the collar.
  • The star is eight pointed and made of chipped silver. At its centre is a white enamel medallion with a picture of the Cross of St George in red enamel, surrounded by a blue enamel garter, bearing the motto in gold letters.
  • The garter itself, is a dark blue velvet band edged with gold. It is emblazoned with the motto of the Order in gold letters and gold embroidered roses edged with gold chains. Women wear it on their left upper arm and men tie it below the knee of the left leg.
  • The Investment Badge, also called the Lesser George, is made of gold and portrays St George slaying the dragon, surrounded by an oval band bearing the motto. It is worn suspended on the broad ribband or sash of Saxon blue. The Garter sash passes over the left shoulder and the Lesser George rests on the right hip.
  • The mantle is a dark blue velvet cloak lined with white satin. On the left side is a shield of the arms of St George within the garter, with the motto in gold letters. A red velvet hood hangs from the mantle, attached to the right shoulder but slit on the right side to free the knight's sword arm.
  • A black velvet hat completes the dress. Lined with white satin, it is decorated with a plume of white ostrich feathers and a tuft of black heron feathers, fastened to the hat with a badge with a design of a white enamel shield of the Cross of St George.

British ruins which have been transformed into luxury holiday rentals

  • Historic buildings charity the Landmark Trust has rescued all kinds of buildings over the past 50 years
  • Forts, castles, cottages, a railway station, lock-keepers cottage and prison have been saved from the bulldozers
  • The buildings have been lovingly restored by the Trust and now have a new life as holiday rentals

The UK's architectural heritage is one where it seems no building, no matter how old, historic or unique is safe from developers, indifference or lack of funds. However thanks to the charity the Landmark Trust, a lot of historic houses that might have been lost to the nation for ever have been saved.

The trust has lovingly restored almost 200 buildings and then made to pay their way by becoming holiday rentals for visitors who want to feel what it is like, albeit briefly, to live in a building steeped in history.

The charity has rescued all kinds of amazing buildings in the past 50 years, from forts, castles and cottages to an old railway station, lock-keepers cottage and former prison.

Accommodation is luxurious but can work out as good value - prices start from as little as £16 per person per night. Last year over 54,000 people stayed in the buildings. Stays can be booked through the Trust's website here.

MailOnline Travel takes a look at some of the Trust's most incredible renovation projects before and after the charity took them on. The transformations from wreck to restoration are amazing.

Scroll down for video 

East Banqueting House in the Cotwolds was in a sorry state of repair before the Trust renovated it in 1987  - the roof was near to collapse, the west wall was bulging and the second floor was too dangerous to walk on, and most of the windows had been smashed. This deceptively diminutive Landmark is one of two Jacobean banqueting houses flanking the original site of Old Campden House, built in 1613, but burnt down by Royalists withdrawing from the town in 1645. 'The house (which was so faire) burnt' noted one observer

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East Banqueting House in the Cotwolds was in a sorry state of repair before the Trust renovated it in 1987  - the roof was near to collapse, the west wall was bulging and the second floor was too dangerous to walk on, and most of the windows had been smashed. This deceptively diminutive Landmark is one of two Jacobean banqueting houses flanking the original site of Old Campden House, built in 1613, but burnt down by Royalists withdrawing from the town in 1645. 'The house (which was so faire) burnt' noted one observer

Nowadays East Banqueting House is a gem of a Landmark - it is a three-storey building which sleeps 4 built into a hill. There is a further twin bedrooms and bathroom in one of the ancillary pepperpot lodges.Sir Baptist Hicks would entertain his guests over sweetmeats and wine in the East and West Banqueting Houses whilst admiring his domain. Today they remain vantage points where guests view the ancient landscape, noting the mysterious humps and bumps of its lost gardens. Sleeps 4+2. Four nights from: £338

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Nowadays East Banqueting House is a gem of a Landmark - it is a three-storey building which sleeps 4 built into a hill. There is a further twin bedrooms and bathroom in one of the ancillary pepperpot lodges.Sir Baptist Hicks would entertain his guests over sweetmeats and wine in the East and West Banqueting Houses whilst admiring his domain. Today they remain vantage points where guests view the ancient landscape, noting the mysterious humps and bumps of its lost gardens. Sleeps 4+2. Four nights from: £338

Water used to pour down to the lower floors before the Trust started to renovate it - the house had been built in 1613 in the latest Court fashion by Sir Baptist Hicks

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Water used to pour down to the lower floors before the Trust started to renovate it - the house had been built in 1613 in the latest Court fashion by Sir Baptist Hicks

Now the interiors are fully restored and the East Banqueting House is Grade II listed. THe house's terrace overlooks the remains of Old Campden House in the village of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds Now the interiors are fully restored and the East Banqueting House is Grade II listed. THe house's terrace overlooks the remains of Old Campden House in the village of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds

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Now the interiors are fully restored and the East Banqueting House is Grade II listed. THe house's terrace overlooks the remains of Old Campden House in the village of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds Now the interiors are fully restored and the East Banqueting House is Grade II listed. THe house's terrace overlooks the remains of Old Campden House in the village of Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds

It is thought the Bath House  was designed in 1748 by the gentleman-architect Sanderson Miller for his friend Sir Charles Mordaunt but it had been left in ruins for many years

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It is thought the Bath House was designed in 1748 by the gentleman-architect Sanderson Miller for his friend Sir Charles Mordaunt but it had been left in ruins for many years

The Landmark Trust restored the Bath House to a cottage that sleeps two - the benefits from bathing were held to be limitless by medical opinion of the 18th century

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The Landmark Trust restored the Bath House to a cottage that sleeps two - the benefits from bathing were held to be limitless by medical opinion of the 18th century

After becoming derelict and suffering vandalism, Landmark restored The Bath House and today real surprises lie inside. The octagonal main room is festooned with elegant shell-work, a contrast to the grotto-like bath chamber below, into which guests can plunge today 

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After becoming derelict and suffering vandalism, Landmark restored The Bath House and today real surprises lie inside. The octagonal main room is festooned with elegant shell-work, a contrast to the grotto-like bath chamber below, into which guests can plunge today 

After terrible damage by vandals restoration of the intricate interiors was expertly done at the Bath House for the Trust by Diana Reynell. Sleeps 2. Four nights from £301

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After terrible damage by vandals restoration of the intricate interiors was expertly done at the Bath House for the Trust by Diana Reynell. Sleeps 2. Four nights from £301

Laughton Place is a moated brick tower that is all that is left of a much larger house built in 1534  -  the tower served as an outlook post and a set of private rooms

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Laughton Place is a moated brick tower that is all that is left of a much larger house built in 1534  - the tower served as an outlook post and a set of private rooms

The Laughton Place tower stands proudly on the flat lands between the South Downs and Ashdown Forest Near Lewes in East Sussex. It's a wonderful base to explore the South Downs. Sleeps 4, Four nights from £307

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The Laughton Place tower stands proudly on the flat lands between the South Downs and Ashdown Forest Near Lewes in East Sussex. It's a wonderful base to explore the South Downs. Sleeps 4, Four nights from £307

When the Landmark Trust bought it in 1978, Laughton Tower had great cracks in its sides and the floor had fallen in – much engineering and lime mortar went into its repair

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When the Landmark Trust bought it in 1978, Laughton Tower had great cracks in its sides and the floor had fallen in – much engineering and lime mortar went into its repair

Built in 1830 Clavell Tower (which had stood empty and derelict since the Great War) is a four storey circular tower that stands high on the cliff overlooking the beautiful Dorset coast. Built in 1830, Clavell Tower’s location overlooks one of the most striking bays on the Dorset coast and has captivated many - including writers Thomas Hardy and PD James

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Built in 1830 Clavell Tower (which had stood empty and derelict since the Great War) is a four storey circular tower that stands high on the cliff overlooking the beautiful Dorset coast. Built in 1830, Clavell Tower's location overlooks one of the most striking bays on the Dorset coast and has captivated many - including writers Thomas Hardy and PD James

By 2002, the Tower  was perilously close to the edge of the crumbling cliff - the only feasible way to save the tower was to dismantle it and re-erect it on sounder footings, further back from the cliff’s edge. Sleeps 2. Four nights from £428

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By 2002, the Tower was perilously close to the edge of the crumbling cliff - the only feasible way to save the tower was to dismantle it and re-erect it on sounder footings, further back from the cliff's edge. Sleeps 2. Four nights from £428

The late medieval rooms in this gatehouse are all that survive of Cawood Castle, once a residence of the Archbishops of York  - Cardinal Wolsey was dramatically arrested here for treason on Henry VIII’s orders arrested for failing to realise the king's plans to marry Anne Boleyn. Henry III, Edward I and Edward II all stayed at the castle, the last on his way to disastrous defeat at the hands of the Scots at Bannockburn. Henry VIII later stayed at the castle with his wife Catherine Howard. In her retinue was Thomas Culpeper; the relationship between them ultimately causing her execution

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The late medieval rooms in this gatehouse are all that survive of Cawood Castle, once a residence of the Archbishops of York  - Cardinal Wolsey was dramatically arrested here for treason on Henry VIII's orders arrested for failing to realise the king's plans to marry Anne Boleyn. Henry III, Edward I and Edward II all stayed at the castle, the last on his way to disastrous defeat at the hands of the Scots at Bannockburn. Henry VIII later stayed at the castle with his wife Catherine Howard. In her retinue was Thomas Culpeper; the relationship between them ultimately causing her execution

The gatehouse is attached to the magnificent former great hall (now empty) and overlooks open ground in the centre of Cawood - stairs from the second floor lead up to the flat roof which offers lovely panoramic views of the surrounding Yorkshire countryside. Guests staying in the secluded gatehouse today can enjoy the beauty of the late-medieval rooms and ponder over the history that has taken place so close by. Sleeps 2+ 2. Four nights from: £223

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The gatehouse is attached to the magnificent former great hall (now empty) and overlooks open ground in the centre of Cawood - stairs from the second floor lead up to the flat roof which offers lovely panoramic views of the surrounding Yorkshire countryside. Guests staying in the secluded gatehouse today can enjoy the beauty of the late-medieval rooms and ponder over the history that has taken place so close by. Sleeps 2+ 2. Four nights from: £223

The excuse for building the majestic little Swarkestone Pavilion was to give a grandstand view of whatever went on in the enclosure in front of it. Suggestions range from the jousting to bear-baiting though it is likely it was in fact bowls. This 17th-century majestic little pavilion was a shell without roof, floors or windows when Landmark acquired it in 1985, the lead had been stolen from the towers

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The excuse for building the majestic little Swarkestone Pavilion was to give a grandstand view of whatever went on in the enclosure in front of it. Suggestions range from the jousting to bear-baiting though it is likely it was in fact bowls. This 17th-century majestic little pavilion was a shell without roof, floors or windows when Landmark acquired it in 1985, the lead had been stolen from the towers

The pavilion belonged to Swarkestone Hall, a great house demolished by 1750. The pavilion survived but was a shell when the Trust took it on - they re-roofed it and put back floors and windows. Rather charmingly the bathroom is in the top of one of the turrets and to reach it you have to cross the roof: perfect for stargazing at night or surveying the Derbyshire countryside. The Rolling Stones used the Pavilion for a photoshoot intended for the cover of Beggar’s Banquet. Sleeps 2, Four nights from: £242

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The pavilion belonged to Swarkestone Hall, a great house demolished by 1750. The pavilion survived but was a shell when the Trust took it on - they re-roofed it and put back floors and windows. Rather charmingly the bathroom is in the top of one of the turrets and to reach it you have to cross the roof: perfect for stargazing at night or surveying the Derbyshire countryside. The Rolling Stones used the Pavilion for a photoshoot intended for the cover of Beggar's Banquet. Sleeps 2, Four nights from: £242

Hidden in a pine wood on the edge of the Shuttleworth estate is this intriguing folly with high quality 18th-century brickwork, known as Queen Anne's Summerhouse, sadly neglected before it was taken on by the Trust . It was built in the early 1700s by Samuel Ongley, a linen draper, to commemorate Queen Anne

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Hidden in a pine wood on the edge of the Shuttleworth estate is this intriguing folly with high quality 18th-century brickwork, known as Queen Anne's Summerhouse, sadly neglected before it was taken on by the Trust . It was built in the early 1700s by Samuel Ongley, a linen draper, to commemorate Queen Anne

Queen Anne's Summerhouse was restored to its original splendour it is thought its is so names as in 1712 Queen Anne knighted Samuel Ongley, who owned the estate at Old Warden, an event that provides the most likely explanation for the building of the folly. After the Second World War it was left derelict and empty and needed a lot of restoration work. With only the flora and fauna for company in the woods of the Shuttleworth Estate, this is a magical spot for a break today. Sleeps 2 – 4 nights from £268

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Queen Anne's Summerhouse was restored to its original splendour it is thought its is so names as in 1712 Queen Anne knighted Samuel Ongley, who owned the estate at Old Warden, an event that provides the most likely explanation for the building of the folly. After the Second World War it was left derelict and empty and needed a lot of restoration work. With only the flora and fauna for company in the woods of the Shuttleworth Estate, this is a magical spot for a break today. Sleeps 2 – 4 nights from £268

Dolbelydr in Trefnant, Denbighshire was the family manor of humanist and physician Henry Salesbury. In 1593, Salesbury published his Grammatica Britannica, written in this fine stone house - some claim this to be the birthplace of modern Welsh. When Landmark's surveyor first saw Dolbelydr 15 years ago, it had no floor nor roof, it had holes in the walls and a tree growing through the middle

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Dolbelydr in Trefnant, Denbighshire was the family manor of humanist and physician Henry Salesbury. In 1593, Salesbury published his Grammatica Britannica, written in this fine stone house - some claim this to be the birthplace of modern Welsh. When Landmark's surveyor first saw Dolbelydr 15 years ago, it had no floor nor roof, it had holes in the walls and a tree growing through the middle

Now back to its former gloty and sleeping 6,  'Meadow of the Rays of the Sun' is one translation of the name Dolbelydr, which rings especially true when you gaze at the sunlight slanting across the ground from the mullioned windows down this tranquil valley

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Now back to its former gloty and sleeping 6,  'Meadow of the Rays of the Sun' is one translation of the name Dolbelydr, which rings especially true when you gaze at the sunlight slanting across the ground from the mullioned windows down this tranquil valley

Dawn at Dolbelydr as the manor house is reborn

 

Astley Castle was on the verge of collapse after a fire in 1978 and far beyond a conventional restoration project 

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Astley Castle was on the verge of collapse after a fire in 1978 and far beyond a conventional restoration project 

The Landmark Trust held an architectural competition with the result  unequivocally modern living accommodation was clasped within the shell of the ancient Castle. Three English queens have owned it – Elizabeth Woodville, Elizabeth of York and Lady Jane Grey

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The Landmark Trust held an architectural competition with the result  unequivocally modern living accommodation was clasped within the shell of the ancient Castle. Three English queens have owned it – Elizabeth Woodville, Elizabeth of York and Lady Jane Grey

Now sleeping 8, the accommodation in Nuneaton, Warwickshire won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture for innovative design in 2013 - sleeps 8, 4 nights from £871

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Now sleeping 8, the accommodation in Nuneaton, Warwickshire won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture for innovative design in 2013 - sleeps 8, 4 nights from £871

In the woods above Danescombe Mine lie the abandoned shafts of other mines, but the Landmark Trust converted this former engine house into an interesting place to stay after finding it in a derelict state, without a roof. The building stands proudly in the landscape unlike those that surrounded it centuries ago. It has a new lease of life: the living room leads onto wooden decking where you can sit out and overhear the stream running past the back door

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In the woods above Danescombe Mine lie the abandoned shafts of other mines, but the Landmark Trust converted this former engine house into an interesting place to stay after finding it in a derelict state, without a roof. The building stands proudly in the landscape unlike those that surrounded it centuries ago. It has a new lease of life: the living room leads onto wooden decking where you can sit out and overhear the stream running past the back door

Danescombe Mine has been leased by the Landmark Trust from the National Trust and following a restoration now makes a good base to get a sense of the Cornish mining industry. One guest wrote “sleeping in the top bedroom is like being in a tree house.” Only a short and beautiful walk away is Cotehele, an unaltered medieval house owned by the National Trust. Sleeps 4, Four nights from: £216

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Danescombe Mine has been leased by the Landmark Trust from the National Trust and following a restoration now makes a good base to get a sense of the Cornish mining industry. One guest wrote 'sleeping in the top bedroom is like being in a tree house.' Only a short and beautiful walk away is Cotehele, an unaltered medieval house owned by the National Trust. Sleeps 4, Four nights from: £216

When the Landmark Trust took on the Château in Lincolnshire in 1982, there was little of the building that did not need extensive repair. It’s now been restored to its original elaborate appearance

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When the Landmark Trust took on the Château in Lincolnshire in 1982, there was little of the building that did not need extensive repair. It's now been restored to its original elaborate appearance

At first glance this looks like a French château, but it is actually a very clever scale model of one sitting on a hill above the River Trent in the middle of the Lincolnshire countryside. One guest said “I feel like Beatrix Potter’s mice, living in a very up- market doll’s house”. Sleeps 2. Four nights from £307

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At first glance this looks like a French château, but it is actually a very clever scale model of one sitting on a hill above the River Trent in the middle of the Lincolnshire countryside. One guest said 'I feel like Beatrix Potter's mice, living in a very up- market doll's house'. Sleeps 2. Four nights from £307

The Landmark Trust has owned Calverley Old Hall since 1981, when it was for sale in three separate lots, having long been divided into cottages

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The Landmark Trust has owned Calverley Old Hall since 1981, when it was for sale in three separate lots, having long been divided into cottages

Landmark recovered the gracious proportions of 17th-century rooms, with fine moulded beams and flagstone floors. The Chapel has also been repaired, as has the fine hammerbeam roof of the Great Hall Landmark recovered the gracious proportions of 17th-century rooms, with fine moulded beams and flagstone floors. Sleeps 5. Four nights from £258

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Landmark recovered the gracious proportions of 17th-century rooms, with fine moulded beams and flagstone floors. The Chapel has also been repaired, as has the fine hammerbeam roof of the Great Hall Landmark recovered the gracious proportions of 17th-century rooms, with fine moulded beams and flagstone floors. Sleeps 5. Four nights from £258  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palace fury as pictures emerge after 80 years of the seven-year-old Queen and the Queen Mother being taught a Nazi salute by Edward VIII in private film at Balmoral

  • Footage has emerged of the Queen being taught a Nazi salute by Edward VIII
  • The 1933 photo shows Edward VIII and the girls saluting at Balmoral
  • The Queen Mother is also in the photograph, taken as Hitler rose to power
  • Buckingham Palace has slammed The Sun's 'exploitation' of the footage

Buckingham Palace has reacted with fury after footage of the Queen performing a Nazi salute as a young girl was released by The Sun last night.

The shocking film from 1933 shows Edward VIII teaching the seven year old future Queen and her three-year-old sister Princess Margaret how to do the salute in the gardens at Balmoral.

The publication of the 17-second film has outraged many across the nation who believe that the Queen cannot be held responsible for her actions as a girl playing with her family.

Buckingham Palace last night slammed The Sun for the publication of the footage, obtained from the family's private archive, saying it is 'disappointing' that the film has been 'obtained and exploited in this manner'.

A palace spokesman said: 'It is disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from her Majesty's personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner.'

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Nazi salute: A grainy photograph has emerged of the Queen performing a Nazi salute with her family in the gardens at Balmoral

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Nazi salute: A grainy photograph has emerged of the Queen performing a Nazi salute with her family in the gardens at Balmoral

Outrage: The shocking 17-second clip of the Royal family playing on the lawns at Balmoral, shows Edward VIII, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth aged seven, and her three year old sister Princess Margaret performing the salute

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Outrage: The shocking 17-second clip of the Royal family playing on the lawns at Balmoral, shows Edward VIII, the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth aged seven, and her three year old sister Princess Margaret performing the salute

Sieg heil: The footage, released by The Sun, is sure to cause outrage across the country, but a Buckingham Palace spokesman has slammed the 'exploitation' of the film

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Sieg heil: The footage, released by The Sun, is sure to cause outrage across the country, but a Buckingham Palace spokesman has slammed the 'exploitation' of the film

A Palace source added: 'Most people will see these pictures in their proper context and time. This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary news reels.

'No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest.

'The Queen is around six years of age at the time and entirely innocent of attaching any meaning to these gestures. 

'The Queen and her family's service and dedication to the welfare of this nation during the war, and the 63 years The Queen has spent building relations between nations and peoples speaks for itself.

The clip shows the Queen Mother also saluting proudly alongside Princess Margaret, aged three. They are encouraged by Edward VIII, who is known to have harboured Nazi sympathies.

The grainy black-and-white photograph was taken just as Hitler was rising to power in Germany, seven years before the outbreak of the Second World War and before the atrocities of the Third Reich terrorised Europe.

At the age of seven, the Queen is unlikely to have understood the full the implications of making a Nazi salute.

As the controversial footage spread on the internet, many reacted with horror, believing that its release was wholly inappropriate.

Barbara Keeley MP, a Labour politician representing Worsley and Eccles South, retweeted a message which said: 'Hey @TheSun, if you want to stir up some moral outrage about a misjudgement in history, look a bit closer to home.'

The tweet included an image of the Sun's controversial 1980 front page which criticised Liverpool fans during the Hillsborough disaster.

Angela Jariwala tweeted: 'Great! Enough b***** hatred in the world and you go and use this picture to incite more of it. Cheers.'

Josh Cook added: 'Horrible journalism. Pre-World War Two, before anybody knew anything about Nazi behaviour. Totally taken out of context.'

Matt SW added: 'All this "Queen does the Nazi salute" thing is ridiculous. She was 7. Are we really judging people based on what they did when they were 7?'

But the Sun defended its use of the footage, saying the photographs 'provide a fascinating insight in the warped prejudices of Edward VIII and his friends in that bleak, paranoid, tumultuous decade.'

It added that the footage casts 'important new light on the Royal Family's attitudes towards Germany in the 1930s – and the influence of Nazi-loving Edward'.  

Archive footage shows young Queen being taught Nazi salute

Edward VIII was a known Nazi sympathiser, and once described Hitler as 'not a bad chap'

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Edward VIII was a known Nazi sympathiser, and once described Hitler as 'not a bad chap'

Youngsters: Many argue that the future Queen and her sister Margaret can not be held responsible for their actions, as they were simply children playing with their family

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Youngsters: Many argue that the future Queen and her sister Margaret can not be held responsible for their actions, as they were simply children playing with their family

The Nazi salute became a symbol of fear across Europe after the rise of Hitler, but in the years leading up to the Second World War it did not have the universally recognised connotations that it has today.

Respected military historian James Holland told The Sun: 'They are all having a laugh, there are lots of smiles, so it's all a big joke.

'I don't think there was a child in Britain in the 1930s or 40s who has not performed a mock Nazi salute as a bit of a lark.

'It just shows the Royal Family are as human as the next man.'

The historian added that while it was no secret that Edward VIII met Hitler and was known to have been sympathetic to Nazism, the same cannot be said about the Queen Mother or King George VI.

He continued that both the Queen Mother and King George were 'completely steadfast from start to finish' in their opposition to the Nazis, in the 'fight against that tyranny'.

Members of the Royal Family were not the only British citizens to perform the salute in the pre-war period. In 1938, the English football team did so in unison before the start of a friendly game against Germany in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

The footballers’ action was met with derision, because by then Hitler had annexed Austria and his anti-Jewish measures were already advanced.

Salute: The Nazi salute became a symbol of fear across Europe after the rise of Hitler. But at the time the footage was taken there was not 'a child in Britain in the 1930s or 40s' who had not 'performed a mock Nazi salute as a bit of a lark', according to historian James Holland

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Salute: The Nazi salute became a symbol of fear across Europe after the rise of Hitler. But at the time the footage was taken there was not 'a child in Britain in the 1930s or 40s' who had not 'performed a mock Nazi salute as a bit of a lark', according to historian James Holland

Before the war: The English football team performing a Nazi salute in May 1938, in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, before a friendly game with Germany

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Before the war: The English football team performing a Nazi salute in May 1938, in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, before a friendly game with Germany

The leaked footage is the only pictorial evidence of Edward VIII doing the Nazi gesture, but he is also known to have performed it at other times. 

Questions will be raised about exactly how the footage was obtained and leaked it to the media.

The Palace is expected to look into whether a crime has been committed in the leaking of the film, which belongs to the royal family. 

Edward VIII, faced numerous accusations of being a Nazi sympathiser, abdicated in 1936 less than a year after becoming King to marry Wallis Simpson.

He once gave a Nazi salute to Hitler and claimed he was 'not a bad chap'.

EDWARD VIII: NAZI SYMPATHIZER

The former King of England, Edward VIII with Wallis Simpson, for whom he abdicated in 1936, less than a year after becoming King

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The former King of England, Edward VIII with Wallis Simpson, for whom he abdicated in 1936, less than a year after becoming King

The extent of former King of England Edward VIII's Nazi sympathies were laid bare in the Mail On Sunday in March - in addition to the efforts made by the Establishment to destroy vital documents they feared could bring down the House of Windsor.

Edward began communicating with Hitler shortly after he was elected Chancellor in 1933 - the same year Queen Elizabeth II, then seven, was pictured making a Nazi salute.

Hitler even tried to marry Edward, then Prince of Wales, to a young German princess as he increasingly became seen as a friend and ally of the Nazi regime.

After his abdication in 1936, Edward became an outspoken critic of Churchill and was convinced that if he had stayed on the throne war would have been averted in Germany.

He spent his honeymoon in Austria before the war and visited Germany in October 1937 as Hitler's honoured guest - with the Fuhrer hoping he would become his 'puppet king'. The Nazis even had a code name for the plot – Operation Will.

Pro-Nazi comments made by Edward were 'tantamount to treason', historian John Costello said, as the then-Duke even told a reporter during the war: It would be a tragic thing for the world if Hitler was overthrown, Hitler is the right and logical leader of the German people. Hitler is a very great man.’

Edward was photographed meeting Hitler in Munich in October 1937, less than two years before the Second World War broke out. 

In January 1933, the year the footage was filmed, Hitler became chancellor of Germany and by August 1934, he had declared himself Führer, the leader of Germany. 

The Sun quotes prominent German historian Dr Karina Urbach, a top Nazi expert, who described the film as 'remarkable'.

'Edward was already welcoming the regime as Prince of Wales in 1933 and remained pro-Nazi after war broke out in 1939.'

 
Edward the Nazi King of England: Princess Diana's biographer reveals the Duke of Windsor's collusion with Hitler
 
 
and a plot to regain his throne
  • The Duke of Windsor was willing to deal with Hitler to win back his throne

  • Revelations according to an extract of Andrew Morton's new book, published in the print edition of the Mail on Sunday

  • The Nazi leader would put the Duke back on the Throne as a puppet king

  • However, details of the secret deal were ordered destroyed after the war

  • Now, after more than 70 years, fresh evidence of this betrayal has surfaced

The extraordinary extent of King Edward VIII’s flirtation with Hitler and the determined efforts by the post-war British establishment to bury the evidence has been uncovered in a new book by the biographer of Princess Diana.

Author Andrew Morton says he spent years working through Nazi files to demonstrate Edward’s true sympathy with the Fuhrer - to the extent that Hitler planned to install Edward as a puppet king on the British throne.

Fearing the files were ‘an unexploded bomb’ which could bring down the House of Windsor, prominent figures including King George VI, Winston Churchill and even Allied Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower had demanded that all evidence of Edward’s dealings with the Nazis be destroyed.

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A sensational new book claims that Adolf Hitler, right, wanted to install the Duke of Windsor, left, as a Nazi puppet if his forces were able to crush British resistance during World War II

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A sensational new book claims that Adolf Hitler, right, wanted to install the Duke of Windsor, left, as a Nazi puppet if his forces were able to crush British resistance during World War II

The book claims that the Duke, center, was angered at being forced to abdicate the throne in 1936 because he wanted to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, left, and was willing to work with Adolf Hitler, right

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The book claims that the Duke, center, was angered at being forced to abdicate the throne in 1936 because he wanted to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, left, and was willing to work with Adolf Hitler, right

The Duke of Windsor, right, viewed Winston Churchill, left, as a war-monger and wanted peace with Germany

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The Duke of Windsor, right, viewed Winston Churchill, left, as a war-monger and wanted peace with Germany

According to an extract of the Seventeen Carnations - The Windsors, The Nazis and the Cover-Up published in the print edition of The Mail on Sunday, his disloyalty knew no boundaries.

Edward - or the Duke of Windsor as he became known after the abdication - thought his brother, the King, was ‘utterly stupid, that the Queen was an ‘intriguer’ and that Churchill was a ‘war monger’.

Only the continued heavy bombing of British cities, he believed, would bring the country to the negotiating table with Germany.

As to Hitler himself, the duke thought he was ‘a very great man’ and that it would be ‘a tragic thing for the world’ if the Fuhrer were overthrown.

Morton says the crucial documents in what became known as the Windsor Files were originally contained on microfilm, hidden in a battered metal canister and buried in a remote German woodland.

They were recovered by Allied soldiers, dubbed ‘the Documents Men’ days after the end of the fighting in 1945, and despite the best efforts of the British establishment, to suppress them, copies still survive.

Morton, who also had access to previously unpublished letters and historical documents, reveals how deeply Edward had felt ostracised and humiliated in the wake of his abdication in 1936, and had become dangerously outspoken in his criticism of Churchill and the war effort.

Military leaders had serious concerns about the Duke of Windsor, right,  and his wife Wallis Simpson, left

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Military leaders had serious concerns about the Duke of Windsor, right,  and his wife Wallis Simpson, left

The couple, pictured, married at a private ceremony on June 3, 1937 in France and honeymooned in Germany

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The couple, pictured, married at a private ceremony on June 3, 1937 in France and honeymooned in Germany

The Duke, pictured here making his abdication speech, believed Britain could be bombed to submission

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The Duke, pictured here making his abdication speech, believed Britain could be bombed to submission

Duke of Windsor marrying Wallis Simpson back in 1937

Before his abdication, Edward had gone so far as to send Hitler a telegram wishing him ‘happiness and welfare’ for his 47th birthday, a month after the dictator occupied the Rhineland in March 1936.

The duke spent his honeymoon in Austria before the war and visited Germany in October 1937 as Hitler’s honoured guest. When he accepted an invitation to take a 12-day visit to the Fatherland. in October 1937, he controversially gave a Nazi salute to Hitler and other leaders at Berchtesgaden, Fuhrer’s mountain retreat.

Morton’s book reports that, encouraged by Edward’s unguarded private utterances, the Germans promised to protect his rented houses and their contents in Paris and Cannes, and hatched a sinister plot to entice the Duke and Duchess to stay in Spain while they invaded and conquered Britain. The Duke would return home as the Fuhrer’s puppet king.

Before Edward’s abdication, Hitler had tried to marry him to a young German princess. When that failed, says the book, but he then flooded London with a slew of Nazi supporting aristocrats who were ordered to find out what their Royal cousins were thinking. Wallis Simpson, too, came under suspicion from the British authorities, says the author. It was thought she had conducted an affair with Nazi diplomat Ernst von Ribbentrop, who had sent her seventeen carnations daily, one for each night they had spent together - hence the title of the book. Some even suspected that Wallis was a Nazi spy.

Despite concerns, the Duke of Windsor made trips to the War Office, pictured, during the conflict 

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Despite concerns, the Duke of Windsor made trips to the War Office, pictured, during the conflict

By September 1939, Edward and Wallis had been packed off by the British government to France.

Morton writes that there is strong circumstantial evidence that loose table talk from the Duke made its made its way from Paris back to Berlin and influenced Hitler’s military strategy.

When the former king was ordered to move to Spain, Hitler is said to have offered the former royals a small fortune and a palace in Ronda, in southern Spain, if they would stay there for the duration of the war. Edward was so tempted by the offer he telegraphed Churchill to ask if there was any need for a prompt return to London. Churchill promptly ordered that he be moved to Portugal.

Morton says the Nazis were so sympathetic to Edward, they regarded him as a virtual prisoner of the British secret services who longed to escape and join them.

German diplomats believed the Duke was ‘the only Englishman with whom Hitler would negotiate any peace terms, the logical director of England’s destiny after the war.’

How the dippy duke with a death wish was snared by Mrs Simpson, the 'sexual hypnotist': Royal biographer reveals Edward hated 'Princing' as much as he loved its top perk... other men's wives
  • Edward VIII hated 'princing' and felt he was living a lie as heir to the throne

  • But he did enjoy affairs with a string of women, some who were married

  • Prince's parents did not allow him to marry Lady Rosemary Leveson-Gower

  • He then fell madly in love with long-time mistress Freda Dudley Ward

  • Edward penned one lover a letter saying he was 'dippy to die with her'

  • Eventually met Wallis Simpson - a relationship which set throne tottering

  • Queen Mary, Edward’s mother, thought Wallis to be a 'sexual hypnotist'

Last week we revealed the extent of the shamed Edward VIII’s flirtation with Hitler, and how the Establishment mounted a desperate cover up.

Here, in the second and final extract of Andrew Morton’s new book 17 Carnations, illustrated with never-before-seen photographs, the author presents a devastating portrait of a boyish prince who was in reality a serial womaniser – until he gave up the throne for his domineering wife...

He was the first Royal sex symbol of the modern age. The wistful features of the Prince of Wales adorned the bedside tables and dormitory walls of thousands of schoolgirls and young women across Britain and the Empire. He may have sent his austere father, King George V, into despair but Prince Edward – David to his family – was the undisputed darling of the dominions.

However, they were worshipping a false god. It was all a monstrous charade played out before an innocent public. The immovable reality was that the prince did not believe either in himself or in his future position as sovereign. In moments of melancholy and self-doubt, which were frequent, he felt he was living a lie, trying to match an image that bore no relation to the real man.

He baulked at the very thought of becoming King and hated a daily existence of what he derisively called ‘princing’.

Clowning about: Edward - then King - fools around for a snap with Wallis Simpson during a beach visit on a 1936 Mediterranean cruise

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Clowning about: Edward - then King - fools around for a snap with Wallis Simpson during a beach visit on a 1936 Mediterranean cruise

At the heart of his darkness the gloomy Prince considered suicide. Returning from his wildly successful tour of North America in 1919, he said to his private secretary: ‘I loathe my job now... I feel I am through with it and long, and long to die.’

Like many men of his generation, he was generally bashful about the female form – ‘filthy and revolting’ was his description of naked prostitutes posing in a Calais brothel – and both ignorant of and timid about the act of coition itself.

Stories about his ambiguous, not to say confused, sexuality dogged him throughout his life. His one-time private secretary Anne Seagrim believed that his sexual ambivalence went to the heart of who he was. The cornerstone of his character, she said, was his ‘fundamental uncertainty about his sexuality and his ability to be a heterosexual man. He was fundamentally afraid of women’.

In July 1917, thanks to the efforts of his equerries, a French prostitute called Paulette helped him overcome his fears. A subsequent six-month affair with a Parisian courtesan named Marguerite Alibert gave the Prince a healthy appetite for sex that belied his boyish, almost effeminate countenance. As society belle Lady Diana Cooper crudely observed, from then on the Prince was ‘never out of a woman’s legs’.

Often those legs were married. His most famous relationship was with the twice-married American Wallis Simpson, whom he met at a weekend house party near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, in 1931.

From the outset, this rather plain American mesmerised Edward. He was besotted by her and the couple enjoyed a ‘50 Shades’ relationship, where he obeyed her every whim, even getting down on hands and knees to paint her toe nails.

Duke of Windsor marrying Wallis Simpson back in 1937

Sightseeing: With war imminent in 1938, Edward, Wallis and her lifelong friend Katherine Rogers holidayed in Italy

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Sightseeing: With war imminent in 1938, Edward, Wallis and her lifelong friend Katherine Rogers holidayed in Italy

Soon High Society was agog with lurid speculation about her various liaisons and exploits, including her time spent learning curious sexual techniques in the brothels of Shanghai, as well as a botched abortion during an affair with the Italian diplomat Count Gian Galeazzo Ciano, who later became foreign minister and Mussolini’s son‑in‑law.

Indeed, Wallis was widely seen as the ultimate temptress – Queen Mary, Edward’s mother, thought her a sexual hypnotist.

It was even thought that Wallis had seduced the Nazi diplomat Joachim von Ribbentrop, who had given her a bouquet of 17 carnations.

A chronicle of these sexual adventures is apparently contained in the infamous ‘China dossier’, which was prepared for Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and King George V years later.

Even though 80 years have passed since that report was purportedly compiled, not a trace of it has been found in any official or unofficial record. The document retains a mythical status, like so much surrounding the girl from Baltimore. By the time they met, of course, Edward was by no means the ingenue that many supposed.

Indeed Wallis had been introduced to Edward by his mistress of two years, Viscountess Furness, the daughter of an American diplomat who was already on her second marriage, to Marmaduke Furness, 1st Viscount Furness, the head of the Furness Shipping Line. After seducing her, Edward invited Thelma Furness and her husband to join him on a safari to Kenya. Although they were chaperoned, the lovers managed to spend time alone.

‘This was our Eden,’ Thelma later wrote of their magical nights under canvas. ‘I felt content to let the Prince chart the course, heedless of where the voyage would end.’

Informal pose: Edward on a seaside break in shorts and beach shoes

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Informal pose: Edward on a seaside break in shorts and beach shoes

The accepted version of events is that Thelma met Wallis at the Ritz hotel and asked her American friend to look after ‘her little man’ while she was in New York visiting friends. When Thelma returned some two months later Wallis had, as Thelma acidly remarked in her memoirs, ‘looked after him exceedingly well’.

Long before he met Wallis, Edward’s freewheeling bachelor lifestyle had become a great concern to the King and Queen. They were already concerned about his bisexual brother Prince George, who had become addicted to cocaine and morphine thanks to his relationship with the American socialite Kiki Preston, known as the ‘girl with the silver syringe’.

On the subject of marriage, Edward told his cousin Louis Mountbatten: ‘I suppose I’ll have to take the fatal plunge one of these days, though I’ll put if off as long as I can, ’cos it’ll destroy me.’ This reticence did not stop him playing the field.

His first amour on home soil was in 1917 with Marion Coke, the wife of Viscount ‘Tommy’ Coke, heir to the Earl of Leicester.

The Prince spent so much time in her company that eventually her husband warned him to stay clear.

Simultaneously, he romanced his sister’s best friend, Lady Sybil ‘Portia’ Cadogan, and was thought by many to be heading for the altar.

In June 1917, when Portia sent a telegram to her parents and told them ‘Engaged to Edward’, they presumed they had a future queen in the family.

Actually she had ended her association with the Prince and accepted the hand of the Prince’s university friend, Lord Edward Stanley.

The next affair was with Lady Rosemary Leveson-Gower, a noted society beauty who was described by the Illustrated London News as ‘generous, cheery and kind, ready for any excitement, especially outdoor expeditions’.

After a whirlwind wartime courtship, the Prince asked her to marry him, but both his parents were against the match, Queen Mary explaining that there was ‘bad blood – a touch of madness – in one line of the Leveson-Gower family.’

The Prince, who felt ‘bitter and furious’ towards his parents, was incensed that they were preventing him from following his heart.

As Lady Rosemary’s friend Lady Paget said: ‘I don’t think he ever forgave his father. I also felt that from that time on, he had made up his mind that he would never make what might be called a suitable marriage to please his family.’

Even after Rosemary married William Ward, later the 3rd Earl of Dudley, in March 1919, the Prince continued to stay close, privately visiting his one-time paramour at her home, Himley Hall.

He was godfather to her eldest son, Billy, who became the 4th Earl.

Throughout his life, Billy was amused by the possibility that the Prince might have been his father.

From then on, Edward yo‑yo’d between grand passions and casual pursuits, invariably with compliant married women. In many ways his next lover and long-time mistress Freda Dudley Ward – the half-American wife of an MP who was vice chamberlain of the Royal Household – was, marital status apart, an eminently suitable choice. His family and friends pragmatically acknowledged that Freda – the daughter of a Nottingham lace manufacturer – whom Edward met by chance during an air raid at the end of the war, was a ‘good thing’ in his life.

She was much more than his lover, becoming his close confidante. When Winston Churchill, who treated the Prince like a surrogate son, travelled to Nottingham with the couple, Edward’s adoration was transparent.

Churchill said: ‘It was quite pathetic to see the Prince and Freda. His love is so obvious and undisguisable.’

Freda soothed and steadied Edward’s tormented soul.

Mountbatten observed that she was not just beautiful and charming, saying: ‘She’s absolutely been a mother to him, comforted and advised him, and all along he has been blind in his love to what the world is saying.’

At times their relationship degenerated into a mother with her baby rather than the cliche of an immature man seeking a mother figure. ‘I’m just DIPPY to die with YOU even if we can’t live together,’ was just one example of a burble of baby talk that issued from the princely pen.

The public saw nothing of the Royal romantic dramas, but as Edward showed no sign of weaning himself away from Freda Dudley Ward, and with the King’s health failing, Edward’s lack of a wife became of wider concern. There were plans for the Australian prime minister Stanley Bruce to impress on him that the ‘certainty of the succession… is not less than essential for the maintenance of the Empire.’

WALLiS SIMPSON'S MISSION TO SAVE HER BEDLINEN FROM THE NAZIS

The Duke was notorious for never tipping his golf caddies or settling his gambling debts, and for sliding out of paying restaurant bills.

However his extravagance towards Wallis knew no bounds, and he showered her with gems and designer clothes.

When they embarked on their honeymoon to an Austrian castle in June 1937, they took with them an equerry, a couple of Scotland Yard detectives, two cairn terriers – and 266 pieces of luggage.Wallis, pictured meeting Adolf Hitler, sent her maid to Nazi-controlled Paris to save her fine bedlinens

The amount of luggage that accompanied their every journey became a source of comment and fascination.

On a visit to America in 1941, the British ambassador Lord Halifax described as ‘ridiculous’ the amount of luggage they brought, chafing at the cost of hiring a lorry to transport it.

Media coverage of their baggage excesses became to be seen as a crucial factor in the plunge in his public reputation from Edward the Peacemaker, international statesman, to spoiled playboy socialite. His demand to be allowed to return to England after the abdication crisis was derailed by the simple observation to the effect that he would have to pay income tax.

During the war, Edward secretly approached the Nazis to guard his rented homes in Paris and the south of France.

Wallis, concerned that their fine bedlinens be protected, sent her maid to Nazi-controlled Paris to save them.

When he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas, Edward refused to sail there unless Churchill, then grappling with the fallout from the Dunkirk evacuation, agreed to allow two soldiers to be released from Army service to act as his man servants.

He also insisted that they first sail to New York – so that his wife could go shopping along Madison Avenue.

The London-based Australian diplomat RG Casey informed Bruce: ‘I hear pressure is steadily being kept on the Prince of Wales with regard to his marriage. There is some little anxiety, I believe, with regard to the amount of heart he would find himself able to put into it – as it would, of course, be a marriage de convénience.’

Mountbatten drew up a list of 17 eligible young royals. Princesses Margarita and Theodora of Greece were possible candidates, but for a time the front runner was 18-year-old Princess Ingrid of Sweden, who arrived in London in 1928 in the hope of snagging the Prince of Wales, but there was little chemistry between her and the 34-year-old prince.

In many ways the most serious contender was promoted by the newly elected German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. As part of his grand diplomatic strategy after he became Chancellor in 1933, Hitler encouraged marriage between German aristocrats and their European counterparts in order to improve the international position of the Fatherland. His eye fell upon the Prince of Wales and Princess Friederike, the 17-year-old daughter of Duke Ernst August III of Brunswick.

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Although ‘petrified’ Wallis found Edward to be ‘truly one of the most attractive personalities' when they first met

Friederike’s pedigree was impeccable. As a descendant of King George III, she would have been 34th in line to the throne had the First World War not led to Germany’s nobles being stripped of British rank and honours.

But unknown to Hitler, Edward’s heart beat faster when he was facing west towards America rather than east to Germany. And if the women he coveted were married, and seemingly unattainable, so much the better.

In the summer of 1929 he met Viscountess Furness in the incongruous setting of an agricultural show in Leicestershire. She became his hostess, companion, and lover. He often stayed at Burrough Court, the Furnesses’ country home near Melton Mowbray. There, in 1931, he met a woman nursing a heavy cold.

Wallis Warfield Simpson and her husband, Ernest, were last-minute additions to the house party. Wallis later recalled striking up a conversation when she was seated next to Edward at lunch.

Although ‘petrified’,’ by the time dessert arrived, she found him ‘truly one of the most attractive personalities I have ever met’. And so began an acquaintance that within five years would set the throne tottering.

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