New book said to reveal long-kept secret of the royal family

Did the Duke of Windsor have a love child with a Parisian seamstress and buy her silence with money that

Did the Duke of Windsor have a love child with a Parisian seamstress and buy her silence with money that helped her become one of the French capital’s top fashion designers? That’s what a new book by François Graftieaux suggests.

In fact the grandson of Marie-Léonie Graftieaux is so sure of his claims he’s even written a letter to Queen Elizabeth II requesting a DNA test be carried out to prove his grandfather was the monarch.

“I’m not asking for their love nor their money, nor indeed any power,” he says. “I just want to know if my origins, even illegitimate, are found to be here.”

In his book, The Man Who Should Have Been King, François claims the Duke had an affair with his grandmother during a trip to Paris in 1912.

Now 70, François says he believes the pair met in their late teens at Luna Park, a famous amusement park in Paris, highlighting that the evidence is supported in both the Duke’s memoirs and his grandmother’s diary.

It appears that shortly after the birth of her son in 1916, Marie-Léonie Graftieaux, who had been working as a seamstress and had done some modelling work for a well-known Parisian designer of the day, suddenly had the means to open her own fashion house and changed her name to Marcelle Dormoy. She went on to design dresses for French actresses and celebrities.

“I believe a secret contract was agreed in which she received money in exchange for her silence on the matter,” François told the Telegraph.

He says that while his grandmother was “tight-lipped” over his grandfather’s identity, when François was born his mother received a Van Cleef & Arpels ‘cadenas’ diamond bracelet, designed by the Duke of Windsor and said to be worth more than £250,000 today (A$430,000).

It was only after seeing a photograph of the former King that François thought anything of a connect, revealing that he thought it to be the “spitting image” of his father.

As Edward VIII, the Duke was King from January 20, 1936 to December 11 that same year, before abdicating to be with the woman he loved — Wallace Simpson. The Duke was a controversial figure in the royal family, known for an early admiration for Hitler and as a notorious womaniser.

What do you think? Are you intrigued?

  1. Susan  

    If he is illegitimate (or his father was) there’s no way either of them has any claim – if his Granny got a diamond bracelet, it’s more than many mistresses did!

    • Rosemary O'Meagher  

      Camilla Parker Bowles received a lot of trinkets and was assisted in buying her house, by a Prince of Wales. Mistresses and certainly anyone bearing their children did very well. Edward when Prince of Wales was always very generous with the people he had affairs with or was fond of. I see many similarities between these last two Prince of Wales. Except where one as King was pressured to abdicate over his Mistress, this one held out and his will be Queen.
      Regardless though I am not sure why they can’t get a DNA test. This person and the one claiming to be the product of Camilla’s aadulterous affair with Charles, should know who they are.
      But really after the Queen I can see the interest in the Royals dwindling

  2. Lance Fishman  

    Oh no!
    I thought that the royal family was special.
    We are expected to bow or curtsy to them because we are their inferiors.
    Anti-republicans argue that out head of state must be an issue of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (later renamed Windsor during a family squabble 1914–1918).
    No Australian is good enough to replace a member of this family (chosen solely by their order of birth) as our head of state.
    Yeah right!

  3. Meryl  

    I read an article years ago of a family (in Queensland then I think) who, if the line is correctly followed, should be the King and Queen. Might be worth one of your writers following this. Interesting.

  4. Fay thin.  

    A d.n.a.test would solve it all.

  5. Lynne  

    Who cares, leave them alone and move on. It’s all history!

  6. Terri Rice  

    The whole lot of them & their ancestors are ripe with scandal & wrongdoings whilst living off our taxes. Why shouldn’t we know what the ” hierarchy” who receive our hard earned money, do with it? Meanwhile they all swan around in luxury, cutting a couple of opening ropes for a new building,smashing a bottle of vintage champagne on a newly commissioned ship, – then go off to a fully funded ( by the taxpayers) top of the range lunch or dinner with apx. 200-500 of ” their closet friends, celebrities & dignatories” accepting gifts worth so much money it could build a new hospital or feed the nations homeless for years.
    There must be 1000’s of us who could be traced back to a Royal. Unfortunately they have the money & the power to hush it all. God rest Diana.

  7. Janelle  

    Edward VIII was a very weak man, in many respects.
    Thank goodness he abdicated, & Bertie took the Throne, & was a good King.

    • The watcher  

      No such thing as a good king. Cruel, ineffectual, vicious, self serving are all words that can be used in connection with an hereditary blot on our collective dna but good? Please.

  8. Cathy branch-Smith  

    I have the same problem! my dad told me he was fathered by a prince of England! He looked like the Royal family and so did my brothers and myself! wish I could afford to chase it up!

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