Spying on the Royals

Spying on the Royals

Series 1 - Episode 2

ADVERTISEMENT

Review

After Edward VIII’s 1936 abdication, he and his new wife Wallis Simpson decamped to Europe where, one might have assumed, they were largely ignored by the British government and royal family while they indulged in a glamorous life of leisure. In fact our intelligence forces were secretly watching their every move.

“They are very clearly Fifth Column,” states one wartime report that’s just come to light, while their “banishment” to the Bahamas led to the FBI suggesting Wallis was sending secret messages about British official activities to the Germans. Eventually the surveillance operations were so numerous they were tripping over each other to set up wiretaps, intercept letters and bug the Windsors’ private rooms.

Summary

The conclusion of the two-part documentary about surveillance on Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. In the wake of the abdication, the couple took a holiday in America, unaware they were being spied on by US intelligence agencies as well as British. The outbreak of the Second World War saw them move on to Lisbon, where their dealings with a known Nazi collaborator raised concerns for MI5.

Cast & Crew

Director Chris Durlacher
Series Director Paul Elston
Documentary