Letters show a royal Duke complaining about news reports

Royal prerogative: parallels between one overprivileged prince and another, 80 years later, are obvious

A collection of letters written on behalf of the Duke of Windsor in the 1930s that were amassed by a royal fan will be offered in Catherine Southon Auctioneers and Valuers’ antiques auction on Wednesday February 8.

The letters, to Lillian Boraston, have been discovered in a box of family papers by her granddaughter and are estimated could sell for between £300 and £500 at the auction being held at Farleigh Golf Club.

The letters include comments which show that the “Spare”, the Duke of Sussex, is far from the first royal to grumble about reporting in the national press.

The 14 letters in the collection were posted from all over the world were written by the private secretary of the Duke of Windsor and date from June 1937 – six months after Edward VIII’s abdication – though to Christmas 1939.

One letter dated September 7, 1937, comments: “His Royal Highness thanks you for the poem and your kind wishes but asks me at the same time to assure you that the information that His Royal Highness is homesick is entirely without foundation.”

Well-travelled: the letters were sent from around the world

It continues: “His Royal Highness wishes me to add that quite apart from rumours in the press, it is not very likely that he would be missing the country which in every possible way, tried to humiliate and misrepresent both himself and the Duchess of Windsor.”

TV auctioneer Catherine Southon said: “It’s amazing that these letters have just come to light and what parallels there are with today’s Royal Family, whether it be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex or the death of the Queen last year – people are still totally fascinated.”

In the auction, the letters are accompanied in a lot by nine scrap albums of newspaper cuttings relating to the Duke of Windsor from 1936 to 1941.

The full auction catalogue is available on Southon’s company’s website here.

Read more: 19th century abolitionist Starbuck’s archive up for auction
Read more: A great time hunting down antique bargains with Jo Brand

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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