Official: Prime Minister: Correspondence regarding the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII].

Reference code: CHAR 20/148

Part of: CHAR 20
Next record: CHAR 20/149
Previous record: CHAR 20/147A-B

Date: 1944

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Contained records

Reference Record Date
CHAR 20/148/1 Letter from Oliver Stanley (Colonial Office)[Secretary of State for the Colonies] to WSC marked "Secret" informing him that the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] has notified him that he intends to resign from his position at the termination of four years service in this appointment and commenting that he will have completed this period on 16th August 1944. Signed. Annotated. 19 Jan 1944
CHAR 20/148/2 Note from Francis Brown [Prime Minister's Private Secretary] to WSC suggesting a time when he might be available to speak to Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] regarding the Duke of Windsor's [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] resignation. Initialled. Annotated "later". 20 Jan 1944
CHAR 20/148/3 Note from Charles Thompson [Personal Assistant to the Minister of Defence] to WSC informing him that Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] is very grateful for his invitation this weekend, but regrets that he is unable to come due to prior engagements. Initialled. Manuscript. 27 Jan 1944
CHAR 20/148/4-6 Letter from the Duke of Windsor (The Homestead, Hot Springs) [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] to WSC thanking him for his sympathetic handling of his request to be relieved of his position in the new year and informing him that he wishes to go to France and commenting that he would like to be of some assistance there and remarking that he was surprised at his suggestion that King George VI might find it awkward if he were to return to England and stating that he hopes that they might be invited to see them as they pass through England and discussing the desired requirements for his successor. 03 Oct 1944
CHAR 20/148/7 Letter from C Thornley (Colonial Office)[Private Secretary] to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] marked "Top Secret and Personal" enclosing a letter from the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and the proposed reply from Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] Signed. 01 Nov 1944
CHAR 20/148/8 Letter from Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] to the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] marked "Private and Personal" thanking him for his letter and stating that he is greatly saddened by his decision and thanking him for his suggestions as to a possible successor and informing him that he intend to come to the Bahamas in the early part of his tour Signature in typescript. Nov 1944
CHAR 20/148/9-11 Letter from the Duke of Windsor (Waldorf Towers, New York) [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] to Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] informing him that he wishes to be relieved of his position within the next few months and containing extracts from CHAR 20/48/4-6 regarding his successor and informing him that the Duchess of Windsor [earlier Wallis Simpson] is recovering from her operation. Signature in typescript. Copy. 18 Oct 1944
CHAR 20/148/12 Reminder note marked "write to Duke of Windsor" Manuscript. 1944
CHAR 20/148/13 Note from John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] to WSC asking him if he intends to reply to the Duke of Windsor's [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] letter and stating that Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] has remarked that the suggestion that he should consult with Queen Mary on this matter is a good idea. Initialled. Annotated. 05 Nov 1944
CHAR 20/148/14 Note from CSC to WSC thanking him for allowing her to see this proposed letter and asking him if she can see him about it before it is sent Signed manuscript. [Nov] 1944
CHAR 20/148/15 Letter from C Thornley (Colonial Office) [Private Secretary] to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] marked "Immediate" enclosing an extract from a letter from the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] to Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] in which he quoted an earlier letter to WSC regarding his future plans [see CHAR 20/148/16-17]. Signed. 22 Nov 1944
CHAR 20/148/16-17 Extract from a letter from the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] to Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] quoting an earlier letter to WSC regarding his future plans [see CHAR 20/148/16-17]. 18 Oct 1944
CHAR 20/148/18 Note recording the details of a letter from the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas]. Manuscript. Dec 1944
CHAR 20/148/19-20 Letter from John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] to WSC informing him that Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] has contacted them to suggest that he might like to show George VI his proposed reply to the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and suggesting that he should send Lascelles a short summary of the proposed letter and adding that his remarks regarding King George's wish to see his brother differ greatly to what he has heard from Sir Alan Lascelles Initialled. 05 Dec 1944
CHAR 20/148/21-23 Note of points to be included in WSC's reply letter to the Duke of Windsor [Governor General and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] which include: an explanation for the delay, noting that he has discussed this matter with King George VI; that the King is happy to see his brother and that the problem lies with a meeting with the Duchess of Windsor ; that the Duke of Windsor should delay his trip to France as it is still in a very troubled state and suggesting that he should spend a few more months in the United States. [Dec] 1944
CHAR 20/148/24-25 Note to WSC reporting on a letter received from Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] which claimed that he did not feel that he could state in writing that King George VI was unwilling to see his brother and adding that the King's wish is that the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] should either stay in the United States or that he should live in France and that he should not bring the Duchess of Windsor to Britain and that he suggested that the King should not actually see a draft of the proposed reply to the Duke of Windsor, but that he should see a copy of the main points of the letter. 21 Dec 1944
CHAR 20/148/26 Letter from Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] regarding WSC's reply to the letter from the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and commenting that he does not feel that King George VI's attitude is any different to that of the two Queens as to a meeting with the Duke, but noting that none of them wish to see the Duchess of Windsor and describing an episode on which the Duke of Windsor has not behaved well towards his brother Signed manuscript. 20 Dec 1944
CHAR 20/148/27 Note from WSC to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] suggesting that he should contact Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] and ask him to send an informal proposal of the type of letter which King George VI would wish him to send to the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and adding that he had thought that the problem was with the Royal Family meeting the Duchess of Windsor and that it was not due to their attitude towards the Duke Initialled. 18 Dec 1944
CHAR 20/148/28-30 Letter from WSC to the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief] marked "Private and Personal" regarding his request to see King George VI and Queen Elizabeth if he should pass through England and stating that the King will gladly see him, but that Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth will not meet the Duchess of Windsor and commenting that he cannot therefore see how this proposed visit can take place and advising that he shouldn't travel to France as the country is still unsettled and suggesting that he should stay in the United States for a few more months and possibly until the end of the war Signed. 31 Dec 1944
CHAR 20/148/31 Letter from John Martin [Prime Minister's Private Secretary] to Sir Alan Lascelles marked "Private" enclosing a minute from Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] and asking him advice on this matter Initialled. 26 May 1944
CHAR 20/148/32 Note from WSC to the Private Office asking them to send this to Sir Alan Lascelles and to advice them on what steps to take Initialled. 25 May 1944
CHAR 20/148/33-34 Note from Oliver Stanley (Colonial Office, Downing Street) [Secretary of State for the Colonies] to WSC regarding a conversation he had with Professor Richardson (Economic Adviser to the Duke of Windsor) regarding the future of the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and informing him why the Duke did not find the Bahamas suitable and why he would not be interested in another Governorship and notifying him that he would be interested in a Government post in the United States or Canada, but that he does not wish to return to private life during the war and that if he could not have another position, that he might consider remaining in the Bahamas. Signed. 23 May 1944
CHAR 20/148/35 Letter from John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] to C Thornley (Colonial Office) [Private Secretary] informing him that WSC is consulting Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] about Oliver Stanley's [Secretary of State for the Colonies] minute Initialled. 26 May 1944
CHAR 20/148/36 Letter from Sir Alan Lascelles (Windsor Castle) [King George VI's Private Secretary] to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] informing him that King George VI has unofficially approved of the recommendations which he made in the political Honours List and adding that the private letter which he also sent has raised a large issue and that he will contact him on this matter later. Signature in typescript. Copy. 26 May 1944
CHAR 20/148/37-39 Letter from Sir Alan Lascelles [Private Secretary to King George V] (Buckingham Palace [Windsor, Berkshire]) to John Martin [Private Secretary to WSC] marked "personal and secret" discussing the future of the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII and Edward Prince of Wales and commenting on four possible options: to grant him an ambassadorial or pro-consular position; to live in the United Kingdom as a "quasi younger brother of the King"; to live as a private individual in the United Kingdom or in the United States. Lascelles feels that the Duke would not be suitable as a representative of the Government because of his "constitutional inability to see the wood of the public weal apart from the trees of private inclination" and his tendency to make undesirable acquaintances. He expresses his opinion that the Duke ought not to live in the United Kingdom, because it would not make him or [Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, earlier Wallis Simpson] happy, and would be "a constant agony" to the King. He concludes that the Duke ought to live abroad "furthering some of the many schemes that have successively caught his interest", such as the dehydration of vegetables, and notes that the matter is of great concern to the King and could affect his health and happiness. Signed typescript. 30 May 1944
CHAR 20/148/40 Note from John Martin [Prime Minister's Private Secretary] to WSC regarding a typing error in one of his recent letters Initialled manuscript. 26 Jun 1944
CHAR 20/148/41 Note from John Martin [Prime Minister's Private Secretary] to WSC stating that he assumes that he does not intend to take any further action at the moment and notifying him that Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] has been consulted regarding Oliver Stanley's [Secretary of State for the Colonies] minute Initialled manuscript. 13 Jun 1944
CHAR 20/148/42 Draft letter from WSC (10 Downing Street, Whitehall [London]) to Sir Alan Lascelles [Private Secretary to King George V] responding to his letter about the future of the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII and Edward Prince of Wales, see CHAR 20/148/37-39]. He states that the first contingency [granting the Duke an ambassadorial or pro-consular position] should not be ruled out and that they cannot decide on contingency 4 [the Duke living as a private individual in the United States]. He adds that the Duke cannot be prevented from returning to live in the United Kingdom and possesses rights as a British subject and peer of the realm and concludes that a representative ought to be sent to discuss the matter with the Duke. Signed typescript with manuscript annotations in WSC's hand. Copies at CHAR 20/148/44-45. 26 Jun 1944
CHAR 20/148/43 Note from John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] informing him that he has been notified from the Colonial Office that the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] is not asking to be allowed to leave his position in August and that the Colonial Office are therefore prepared to allow the matter to rest and that he has spoken to Sir Alan Lascelles regarding this matter and that he understands that both King George VI and WSC are in agreement that Sir Walter Monkton should visit the Duke to discuss his future plans Initialled. 28 Jul 1944
CHAR 20/148/44-45 Copy of a letter from WSC (10 Downing Street, Whitehall [London]) to Sir Alan Lascelles [Private Secretary to King George V] responding to his letter about the future of the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII and Edward Prince of Wales, see CHAR 20/148/37-39]. He states that the first contingency [granting the Duke an ambassadorial or pro-consular position] should not be ruled out and that they cannot decide on contingency 4 [the Duke living as a private individual in the United States]. He adds that the Duke cannot be prevented from returning to live in the United Kingdom and possesses rights as a British subject and peer of the realm and concludes that a representative ought to be sent to discuss the matter with the Duke. Carbon typescript, two copies. Draft letter at CHAR 20/148/42. 27 Jun 1944
CHAR 20/148/46 Letter from C Thornley (Colonial Office, Downing Street, S W 1) [Private Secretary] to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] enclosing CHAR 20/148/48 Signed. 22 Jun 1944
CHAR 20/148/47 Telegram from the Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State of the Colonies] to the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] marked "Private and Personal" approving his visit to New York [United States] and stating that he hopes that the result of the medical consultation will be satisfactory Signature in typescript. 22 Jun 1944
CHAR 20/148/48 Telegram from the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] to Oliver Stanley [Secretary of State for the Colonies] marked "Private and Personal" informing him that he proposes to visit to New York [United States] so that his wife may receive a medical consultation. 19 Jun 1944 - 30 Jun 1944
CHAR 20/148/49 Extract from a letter from Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] asking him to let him know if there is any possibility of WSC travelling to a location, after Octagon [Second Quebec Conference, Canada], where he might meet the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas]. 06 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/50 Letter from Anthony Bevir [Prime Minister's Private Secretary] to Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] marked "Private and Personal" informing him that he has written to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] to let them know if there is any possibility of WSC travelling to a location, after Octagon [Second Quebec Conference, Canada], where he might meet the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and stating that he feels that this is unlikely at the present time Initialled. 10 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/51 Letter from Anthony Bevir [Prime Minister's Private Secretary] to John Martin [Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary] marked "Secret and Private" informing him that he has had an enquiry from Sir Alan Lascelles [King George VI's Private Secretary] asking him to let him know if there is any possibility of WSC travelling to a location, after Octagon [Second Quebec Conference, Canada], where he might meet the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and that he has told him that this is unlikely at the present time Signed. Annotated. 10 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/52 Letter from WSC to King George VI marked "Personal and Top Secret" thanking him for his message and stating that he will gladly see King George II of Greece and informing him that President Roosevelt has invited the Duke and Duchess of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] to lunch at Hyde Park and noting that he will have an opportunity of talking to the Duke then and commenting that it would please him if he were to send a message to his brother, the Duke. 15 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/53 Letter from WSC to the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] informing him that President Roosevelt has invited the him and Duchess of Windsor to lunch at Hyde Park and stating that he hopes that he will be able to come as they have much to talk about. 1944
CHAR 20/148/54 Same as CHAR 20/148/53. 15 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/55 Telegram from King George VI to WSC marked "Strictly Private and Personal" stating that he is glad to know that he will be seeing his brother the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] and asking him to put forward his own conviction regarding the Duke's future, that he should make his home in the United States. 16 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/56 Telegram from WSC to King George VI marked "Personal and Top Secret" stating that he feels that if he was to convey this message to the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] that it might have the effect of leading the Duke to make his home in England and commenting that he has no objection to the Duke being offered an Ambassadorial role or Governorship and that he will ascertain the Duke's wishes and then report back. 16 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/57 Copy of CHAR 20/148/56. 16 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/58-59 Telegram from WSC to King George VI marked "Personal and Top Secret" reporting on his conversation with the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief in the Bahamas] and commenting that the Duke wishes to be relieved of his position by the end of the year and then to reside in a villa in the South of France, and perhaps travel to England on route to France and that he hoped that he might be found a position at the head of an Angle French organisation. 19 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/60-61 Same as CHAR 20/148/58-59. 19 Sep 1944
CHAR 20/148/62 Note recording the details of correspondence regarding the Duke of Windsor's [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] wish to live in the South of France Manuscript. Nov 1944
CHAR 20/148/63 Letter from Pierson Dixon (Foreign Office, S W 1, London) [Principal Private Secretary] to John Colville [Prime Minister's Private Secretary] enclosing CHAR 20/148/64 which records details of the French Ambassador's comments regarding the possibility of the Duke of Windsor [Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] living in the South of France Signed. Annotated. 10 Nov 1944
CHAR 20/148/64 Note from O Harvey [Private Secretary, Foreign Office] commenting on a conversation he had with Rene Massigli [French Foreign Affairs Minister] regarding the possibility of the Duke of Windsor [earlier King Edward VIII, Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bahamas] living in the South of France and stating that Massigli had advised that it would be better if the Duke and Duchess did not come to France until the war was over and adding that he felt that Massigli was concerned that the Duke and Duchess might try to renew acquaintance with friends many of whom have been discovered as collaborators and that this would cause an embarrassing situation. Signature in typescript. Annotated. 08 Nov 1944