- In February 1940, the German ambassador in The Hague, Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda, claimed that the Duke had leaked the Allied war plans for the defence of Belgium.
Minister Zech to State Secretary Weizsäcker, 19 February 1940, in Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918–1945 (1954), Series D, Volume VIII, p. 785, quoted in Bradford, p. 434
- A German aircraft with an officer on board carrying the plans for Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), the German attack on the Low Countries, crash-landed in neutral Belgium near Vucht in the modern-day municipality of Maasmechelen within the Province of Limburg. The fact was leaked to the Germans by Edward VIII. The Germans changed the plans, deeply surprising the French.
The wealthy French industrialist and future collaborator, Charles Bedaux, hosted the couple’s wedding at his palatial home near the city of Tours. He would later entertain the Duke at the Paris Ritz and then pass on details of their conversations to Count Julius von Zech-Burkersroda, the German ambassador in The Hague. During one of their meetings, the Duke is believed to have told Bedaux that the British had found Hitler’s secret plans for the invasion of France. The German High Command subsequently changed its strategy and crushed the French army.
In Portugal Edward committed what may have been the worst act of his shabby career. In July 1940 the German ambassador in Lisbon passed a message to Berlin saying: “The Duke believes with certainty that continued heavy bombing would make England ready for peace”. The former king was urging the bombardment of his own people.
- The FBI files show that at a party in Vienna in June 1937 – the month he married Mrs Simpson – the loose-tongued Duke told an Italian diplomat that the Americans had cracked Italy’s intelligence codes.
Adapted from “17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover Up in History” by Andrew Morton
Britain’s Nazi King Revealed, Channel Five, Thursday 16 July 2009, 8pm.