Duke of Windsor letters show ‘parallels’ with today’s fascination with royals

A collection of letters written on behalf of the Duke of Windsor that are to be sold at auction show “parallels” with today’s public and press fascination with the royal family, the auctioneer says.

The private secretary to the duke, who signs his name as “G. Bedford”, wrote the 14 letters on behalf of the duke, who was known as Edward VIII until his abdication in 1936, from the period June 1937 to December 1939.

In one of the letters, Mr Bedford dismisses press reports that Edward was homesick living in the US, adding that the UK had “humiliated and misrepresented” the duke and his American wife Wallis.

The letters were collected by royal fan Lillian Boraston, from Surrey, and were recently found in a box of papers by her granddaughter, who did not wish to be named.

The Duke of Windsor (Archive/PA)
The Duke of Windsor (Archive/PA)

They will be sold at the Catherine Southon Auctioneers and Valuers’ sale of antiques and collectables on February 8 at Farleigh Court Golf Club in Selsdon, Surrey with an estimated value of £300 to £500.

Ms Southon said the letters show “parallels” between Edward and the fascination towards the royal family today, especially towards the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

It comes amid the fallout of Harry’s memoir Spare, which was officially released on Tuesday, and contains bombshell revelations about the royal family, his and Meghan’s acrimonious split with the royal family and his mistrust towards the press.

One letter dated September 7 1937, reads: “His Royal Highness thanks you for the poem and your kind wishes but asks me at the same time to assure you that the information that His Royal Highness is homesick is entirely without foundation.

“His Royal Highness wishes me to add that quite apart from rumours in the press, it is not very likely that he would be missing the country which in every possible way, tried to humiliate and misrepresent both himself and the Duchess of Windsor.”

The Duke & Duchess of Windsor in the grounds of Charters in Sunninghill, Berkshire (Archive/PA)
The Duke & Duchess of Windsor in the grounds of Charters in Sunninghill, Berkshire (Archive/PA)

Ms Southon said: “It’s amazing that these letters have just come to light and what parallels there are with today’s Royal Family whether it be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex or the death of HRH the Queen last year, people are still totally fascinated.”

Mrs Boraston’s granddaughter said: “My grandmother died when I was five years old, but these letters were mentioned occasionally.

“They give a great insight into the duke’s life in the 1930s, where he stayed, where he went on honeymoon etc, all things that we would now learn from TV or social media.”

The letters will also be accompanied by Mrs Boraston’s nine scrap albums of newspaper cuttings relating to the Duke of Windsor from 1936-1941.