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Top 10 Nazi links to the British Royals

As we have all been reminded of in recent weeks, the royal family is no stranger to controversy. With so much money, power and influence that's hardly surprising. But if you have so much money, power and influence, everything you do is usually pretty well documented. No matter how well you think, you're hiding something, who knows what historians might discover in the future. In the case of the royal family, there seem to be some connections they tried to hide but those historians considered too good to bury them today.

See also: 10 plans that Hitler would have put into action if the Nazis had won.

10 Edward VIII

If you've seen the movie The King's Speech, then you've already seen him an understanding of why King Edward VIII is so famous. The man who worked so hard to overcome his fears and inspire the nation was none other than George VI, who became the unexpected king when Edward abdicated 1936 much more to Edward's story than the first few minutes of this film would suggest.

You may think that working as an officer in the First World War would have given the young Edward a certain anti-German sentiment, but it seems that the opposite is the case. After witnessing the horrors of the war, he grew up wishing to ensure that Britain and Germany had better relations, and his sympathy for the Nazis is well documented. [1] This would not have been the case in the early 1930s. Particularly unusual, but the fact that he was heir to the throne made his support a little more controversial.

In 1934, the prince started an affair with his future wife, a divorced American named Wallis Simpson. Although the public was unaware of the relationship, British and US intelligence suspected that Wallis Simpson was a Nazi spy. She was accused of holding a second affair with the German ambassador to the UK, Joachim von Ribbentrop, [2] and sharing sensitive information with the Nazis. However, none of these allegations have ever been proven and it is possible that these were merely character attacks against a woman who had the gall to marry three times.

During the Second World War, Edward Reden, in which he advocated reconciliation both before and after his abdication, much to the chagrin of the British people. In 1937, he even took his controversial new wife on an official visit to Germany, where she met with cheering crowds, Nazi greeting (whom they returned), and even an afternoon tea with the guide. Although Edward told an interviewer in 1966 that he had been "stupid and naive" with regard to Hitler [3] it is hard not to look back and wonder if there is more to this story that has not come to light.

9 Churchills Weeders

We often hear that the victors write the story, but most of us probably underestimate how much work goes into the editing process before that story is published. This proverb is often (though unreliably) ascribed to Churchill himself, and although he was not the first to speak it, he took the advice to heart.

As soon as the war was over Churchill was the first to found an elite team called The Weeders. Their job was to search all the records in Berlin they could get hold of and look for useful information, especially information that might harm the British. They have managed to uncover some potentially unflattering files, but unfortunately they were not the first.

The files in question were a series of German telegrams sent in 1940, in particular a conversation that Edward & Wallis had had with Nazi officials. According to the telegram [4] the couple was fascinated when officials said the war could lead them to return to the throne if the Nazis were victorious.

As the telegrams were intercepted by both the US and French intelligence agencies, Churchill worked to ensure that they were not released. President Eisenhower agreed that they were probably Nazi counterfeits intended to combat Allied distrust and that nothing good would come of their release. Their publication was delayed until 1957.

The weeders may not have obtained enough solid information to make an informed decision as to whether they are fictional or fictitious telegrams, but the fact that they are public domain leaves us Another big question: If these files were published after about a decade, what did the Weeders find out in the files that the Royals have blocked for 100 years? [5] Come back in 30 years to find out.

8 Operation Willi

With such strong ties between Edward VIII and the Nazis, it should come as no surprise that there was one last attempt to win him over for the Nazi cause. Or, more precisely, take him by force.

After France had fallen victim to the National Socialists in 1940, Edward and Wallis fled to Spain to avoid capture. Although Spain was technically neutral at the time, it quickly declared a state of "non-combatant leadership," which essentially meant supporting the Nazis when provoked. This explains why Joachim von Ribbentrop, when the Spanish Foreign Minister asked about dealing with the Royals, demanded that they be imprisoned for two weeks, without informing them that this was at the request of the National Socialists.

During this delay, the couple continued to travel to Portugal, and Edward allegedly spoke of his aversion to the royal family, their policies and their treatment of his wife. While the Nazis listened delightedly and agreed that he would be much better without the royals, Churchill heard about the talks and sent 2 telegrams to Edward. The first ordered him to return to Britain, reminding that Edward was technically a soldier and could be court-martialled; the second announced his new role as governor of the Bahamas and instructed him to go there immediately.

Although Edward hesitated, he seemed to be seriously considering the governorship, and at this point Hitler began with Operation Willi, [6] a plan to kidnap the couple and use them either as peace mediators or reinstall the throne of a German Great Britain. The first step in the plan was to intimidate the couple. These included throwing stones through the windows, sending a bunch of flowers with threatening news, and spreading rumors among staff that the British secret service intended to assassinate the couple.

The operation came to a head on August 1, when Hitler learned that the couple was on their way from Portugal to the Bahamas. While the Spanish ambassador to Portugal tried to convince the couple not to leave, the car carrying their luggage to the port was sabotaged and a sham bomb was fired at the ship they were to drive on. Despite these efforts, the pair managed to escape and put an end to Edward's relationship with the Nazis.

7 Charles Edward

When Charles Edward was 16 years old, he was asked by his grandmother, Queen Victoria, to move to Germany. Although he had no knowledge of German culture or had no desire to learn anything about it, the queen had personally chosen him to be the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, where her husband was born and whose family received his name, and so on he ships a second thought without him. In the following years he plunged into his new life and finally married the niece of William II, the last German Emperor and King of Prussia. [7]

When the First World War broke out and the house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha became the home of Windsor, Charlie decided to campaign for his new family instead of the old family. When George V was replaced by Edward VIII, Charlie wore a full Nazi military uniform for the funeral and immediately set to work to use Edward's pro-German sentiments to his advantage. After Edward's abdication, Hitler named Charlie president of the German Red Cross, [8] which sounds good, but the position was actually used to lull up to 100,000 disabled people. Despite his royal blood, Charlie was held in a brutal detention center while waiting for the trail after the war. Due to his worsening health condition, he was spared imprisonment, but his entire fortune was fined.

6 Home Video

Now that we know so much about Nazi activities during the Second World War, it can be easy to think afterwards about how people could have supported or considered them anything else as a monster. You can argue about how much and when people should know, especially if you see the information that was available at that time. But we could easily put forward the same arguments on all sorts of topical political issues, so it should not come as a surprise to associate known figures with the bad guys.

This was the heart of the statement the palace released in 2015, when The Sun released a 17-second video of the royal family filmed 82 years earlier. [9] The footage from 1933 is said to have been filmed In Balmoral, the Queen Mother plays alongside Prince Edward and Princess Elizabeth, both of whom would rule the nation. It shows all 3 holding the Nazi greeting, with Elizabeth giving the token first and most frequently. Understandably, the palace said that it was unfair criticism to take out of the context torn footage of a child who made a gesture before it became significant as a symbol of oppression. The video, however, continued to cause a stir in the tabloids and made people question what else could the royal family be.

5 Princess Alice

Although the royal family has some very questionable ties to the Nazi regime, there are also some examples of royal-Nazi relationships that they can indeed be proud of. Probably the best example of this is Princess Alice von Battenberg (mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth), also known as Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, after her husband. While most royals do some kind of charity work on their names, Alice is one of those who has really spent a lot of time helping the needy, [10] which many attribute to the fact that she was born partially deaf.

When the Nazis invaded Greece in 1943, Alice was contacted by Rachel Cohen, a Jewish widow of Haimaki Cohen, a longtime family friend. Years before, Haimaki had helped King George, who promised to repay the favor someday. Although both men had died by now, Rachel turned to Alice to seek refuge from the occupying powers. While four of her sons planned to join the Greek government in exile in Egypt, Rachel and her daughter needed protection in Athens and were later accompanied by one of Rachel's sons who could not make the trip across the Mediterranean. The Cohen family remained with Alice until Greece was freed by the Nazis the following year. During this time, the Gestapo became suspicious of Alice and interviewed her at home. Using her deafness to her advantage, Alice pretended to have trouble understanding the questions (fluent in three languages), and frustrated the process enough to keep the family safe until the end of the war.

4 Nazi Costume

Although most National Socialist anecdotes of the royal family understandably took place around the 1940s, their most well-known Nazi scandal was much younger after it took place in 2005. You may recall that this was the year in which a 20-year-old Prince Harry disguised himself as a Nazi while attending a private party. [12] As you can imagine, many members of the public were upset and he quickly issued a public apology.

Since Harry was still living with his father at the time, the statement was issued from the office of their residence, Clarence House, and Charles ended up with a lot of warmth. A book published in 2011 claims that even Queen made Charles responsible for the incident and questioned his ability as a father. Although the scandal did not cause too much damage to the Royals as a whole, he will undoubtedly follow Harry for the rest of his life.

3 Prince Ernst

Prince Ernst August of Hanover may not be the most famous prince, but in modern times he is a symbol of kingship: a descendant of Queen Victoria, whose father is a brother. Prince Ernst is not really a prince from anywhere since Germany has become a republic, though the family still uses the styling "of Britain and Ireland", though he himself is married to Princess Caroline of Monaco. Relatives are the kings of Britain, and Ireland has none. In general, Ernst is best known for his controversies such as public urination and serious assault.

Despite the fact that he was born in 1954, Prince Ernst fell into a web of National Socialist legal problems as a result of his grandfather, who was also known as Prince Ernst (Duke of Brunswick). In the 1990s, the recent Ernst lawsuit filed against the Bild newspaper [13] Germany's leading tabloid, which claimed its assets were the result of Nazi operations against the Jewish community before, during and after World War II that his grandfather Ernst had acquired large, albeit majority, shares in Jewish companies such as the Munich Bank and the then largest German construction company. Although they were never charged, both the grandfather of Prince Ernst and the father (who was also called Prince Ernst) were Nazi supporters, with the middle Ernst even joined the SS. While this lawsuit went nowhere, questions about the prince's money continue to this day. Others claim that the family smuggled artifacts from Germany to sell back to the German government after the war.

2 Princess Ileana

Although she is the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and Tsar Alexander II (Not Together), Princess Ileana is not a well-known historical figure. While living a relatively exciting life and living through two world wars, forcing her father's abdication and being banished from her country, Ileana (among those she even knows) is probably best known for her anti-Communist speeches and books. But not all are convinced that their public proclamations accurately reflect their private beliefs.

In 1953, the cousin of Ileana, Archduke Franz Josef, wrote to a senator in New York (where Ileana was living at the time) to inform him that the Archduke would take legal action against the princess. In it, he claimed Ileana was not the anticommunist heroine she would let people believe in, and she had used her position as queen to benefit from the Nazi regime. [14] This he claimed when Hitler first invaded Austria, the princess and her husband telegraphed him. For this reason, Hitler allowed them to continue using their royal titles, and the couple remained in National Socialist Austria for the next 7 years, cuddling with the elites.

The archduke also claimed that Ileana had stolen a number of his Austrian properties during this time by traveling to Berlin and using her royal status to claim the buildings. After Austria was freed by the Nazis, Ileana spent several years in Romania before moving to Argentina, where many Nazis fled after the war, before finally settling in America.

1 King George VI.

Even though his brother worked behind the scenes with Nazis, there is no doubt that the loyalty of King George VI. Lying with the British. While planning Operation Overlord, which culminated in the Normandy landing, the British asked Operation For the King for a larger plan to trick the Nazis into invading Normandy.

Throughout the year 1944, King George, Queen Elizabeth, and Princess Elizabeth visited the troops in Britain. That's pretty normal, so the public would not have suspected. But the hope was that the Nazis would do it. [15] The venues visited by the Royals were carefully selected to make the Nazis believe that they were really there for the planning, and the photo shoots were just a cover. In reality, the places visited should lead the Nazis away from Normandy, and they suggested that Norway and Calais were the real targets. At the same time, newspapers published articles trying to "hide" the position of the Royals while giving the Nazis enough information to find out. In the end, the plan worked when the Nazis pulled the bait, and the battle for Normandy is now considered one of the main factors in their defeat.

About the author: Simon can be found on Twitter @simongireland

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