Now questions are being asked as to why the Duke of Windsor was not “hanged for treason” after German documents unearthed in the Royal Archives unmask how he passed information to Germany that aided the fall of France in 1940 and resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.
The damning allegations of Edward, who abdicated in 1936 to marry the divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson, were revealed exposed in the Channel 4 documentary Edward VIII: Britain’s Traitor King, following years of academic research into how close to the Nazis the Duke was and the effect of his friendships on the war.
Andrew Lownie, upon whose book the documentary was made, said: “The Duke definitely believes the continued severe bombing would make England ready for peace.
“It is extraordinary - here is the former king of Britain saying if you bomb his family and country, it's the best way to bring the pursuit of peace.
“He's prepared to go to those lengths to achieve those aims. It's chilling and sinister and very shocking.”
Following his advice the Germans bombed Buckingham Palace, missing killing the King and Queen by feet.
Appearing in the documentary renowned historian A.N. Wilson told how the Duke was attracted to Hitler who he viewed as “flashy” and “trendy”.
He said: “He was so susceptible to that kind of flattery and he succumbed.
“The Duke once said to one of his friends in exile, he didn't have a drop of English blood in him. He was pure German.
“He felt like a wounded child and the person who came into the playground to pick up the wounded child was Adolf Hitler.”
In a May 1939 speech which has never been broadcast, but was accessed by the historian through the BBC Sound Archive reference card, the Duke asked the British to surrender to Hitler before the war began.
“The Duke encouraged the Germans to bomb London and indeed, that's what they do”
“The Duke encouraged the Germans to bomb London and indeed, that's what they do” (Image: GETTY)
Wilson said: “The BBC were furious, they felt the impartiality of the BBC would be infringed and they felt the Nazis were using the duke for their own propaganda, which they were of course.
'No one quite knew what was going to happen in May, but later it was fairly obvious.'
The documentary went on to reveal how the Duke gave information on French military weakness to Nazi informant Charles Bedaux.
Whilst living in Paris Edward penned four reports on the French First Army detailing its poor leadership and morale.
The reports were ignored by British officials but captured German diplomatic cables showed Edward gave them to Bedaux.
The subsequent German invasion of France targeted the weaknesses the Duke had identified.
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