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Saturday, 29 June, 2002, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
New clues to Edward VIII's 'Nazi links'
The former king and the duchess were tailed by the FBI
An MP is trying to secure the release of official papers which might shed light on the alleged Nazi sympathies of King Edward VIII.

Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool, Riverside, plans to table Commons questions to the Lord Chancellor's department following new revelations in The Guardian newspaper.

It suggests President Roosevelt ordered the FBI to carry out covert surveillance on the exiled former king and his wife, Wallace Simpson - the Duchess of Windsor, while they were holidaying in Florida in 1941.


The public has a right to know the truth of what happened in those crucial times of our history

Louise Ellman, MP
Intelligence suggested the duchess was passing secrets to a leading Nazi, with whom she was thought to have had an affair.

The Guardian claims it has seen 227 pages of FBI intelligence reports and interviews with informants after approaching the agency direct.

It has long been the view that Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 because Mrs Simpson was a divorcee.

However, The Guardian says the FBI documents suggest America believed the king's decision was due to the duchess being a Nazi supporter and this was totally unacceptable to the prime minister at the time, Stanley Baldwin.

Allies' campaign 'in jeopardy'

The US authorities were tipped off that the duchess had been having an affair with the Nazis' foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop when he was ambassador to Britain in 1936.

Ribbentrop was already thought to have been supplied with information by the duchess during the German invasion of France in 1940.

However, the US suspected a much closer arrangement was in place.

Edward and Wallis Simpson
The couple are greeted by Hitler in 1937
They launched an intelligence operation because they suspected the duke and duchess were being used by the Nazis to obtain secrets which could jeopardise the allies' war effort.

Ms Ellman said: "The public has a right to know the truth of what happened in those crucial times of our history and what links existed between the abdicated king and the duchess and the Nazi regime.

"There can be no excuse for anyone trying to conceal records of this importance particularly in the light of these latest revelations."

She added that the government had already indicated that the policy on releasing such records was being reviewed.

She said: "I hope this means that it will all now come out into the open.

"It is a matter of the gravest importance."

The king was forced into exile in 1936 after he abdicated and was sent firstly to France and then to the Bahamas.

See also:

22 Feb 98 | Americas
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