Letter: The Duke of Windsor's keen financial instincts

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The Independent Online
Sir: As the author of HRH, a play about the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson, mentioned in your article "By republican appointment" (24 April), I would like to comment on the recent television programme Edward on Edward.

Prince Edward was particularly misleading about his avaricious relative's financial dealings. The Duke may have been famously dimwitted, but his financial instincts were keenly honed. In all my researches on the Duke, I could never find anyone who had been bought lunch by him. The reason that the monarch was discovered to have pounds 1m in the bank when he abdicated was not unconnected with the fact that he cut wages at the Palace by 10 per cent during his short tenure. His extortion of pounds 25,000 a year from brother Bertie was by threatening to turn "his" Balmoral into a hotel for visiting Americans.

During the Second World War, guided by the Nazi sympathiser Axel Wenner Gren, the Duke's money was invested, outside the sterling area, in a Mexican bank which gave preferential rates to its top brass Nazi investors.

My play entertains the allegation that during his term as Governor of the Bahamas, the murder investigation which he took over personally in Nassau was an attempt to protect the murderer who knew about his financial arrangements, and who, if arrested might have turned King's Evidence.

Snoo Wilson

London SW4

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