New Revelations: Edward, the Nazis, Wallis Simpson and Her Linens
Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop regularly sent Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, bouquets of carnations – 17 to be exact – rumoured to signify the number of times the two were intimate.
The odd-numbered blooms serve as the title of a new book by Andrew Morton.
17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History reveals the attempt by authorities at the highest international levels to conceal “the Windsor file” – microfilm of incendiary German documents discovered in a hidden metal canister.
The damning documents detail the extent of the Duke of Windsor’s collaboration with Hitler and their plan to put the Duke back on the throne as a puppet king after Germany won the war.
But, says Morton, the tawdry story was kept secret.
“It’s a compelling narrative about this incredible cover-up and preservation of the monarchy not just by the British, but by Eisenhower,” says the author.
The best-selling author of Diana: Her True Story and confidante of the Princess of Wales details not only the possible treasonous behaviour of the Duke and Duchess but also their stunning narcissism. Evidently, one of Wallis’ great worries as Europe was being decimated by the Nazis was getting her 600 thread count linens safely out of the war zone.
Morton is no fan of the former King.
“I realized that he was utterly self-absorbed, without any political intelligence,” he says. “He hadn’t even slept with that woman and yet he gave up the world for her. A more ambitious man would have remained king and Wallis would have been there — a bit like Charles and Camilla.”
Nevertheless, Morton and others believe that, as the reason for the abdication, Wallis may have saved the nation.
“Edward was an interfering king and saw himself as Edward the Peacemaker.”
The secret German documents suggest that, if Edward had been on the throne during the war, he would have pushed for accommodation with Hitler.
As for the Duchess, Morton says, “I had a lot more sympathy for Wallis Simpson than she’d ever had. She was blamed for the abdication when it had nothing to do with her. It was about Edward not wanting to be king.
“I think she was good for him, like a governess, providing comfort and security at a primal level.”