Edward VIII Abdication Letters to be sold at Bonhams Auction

Edward VIII's Abdication Letters are to be sold at Bonhams, London in their 29th March Fine Books and Manuscripts Auction.

The papers are from the collection of Sir George Albert Allen, who was the Duke of Windsor's solicitor at the time of his abdication, and they give a unique insiders insight to the abdication crisis.

Edward VIII Abdication Letters to sell at Bonhams
Image: Bonhams


The collection which includes three notes signed by King Edward VIII is available with an opening bid of £8,000 and an estimate of £10,000 - £20,000.

One of the most important notes is a handwritten piece by Allen, on Edward VIII's mongrammed notepaper, which reads:

"The only conditions on which I can stay here, are of I renounce you for all time." 

Allen had given this note to Edward to read to Wallace SImpson over the telephone, to convince her that his abdication was the only way they could remain together.

This note is described by Bonhams as the letter that changed the monarchy.

Another piece is a letter from Edward VIII to Walter Monckton, the Attorney General, and an advisor to the King setting out his timetable for the abdication:

"Tuesday I tell SB [Stanley Baldwin]/ Afternoon I GO/ Evening Announcement in House and Press/ Wedny Message/ Afternoon Bill/ Assent/ Evening Broadcast".

There is also a signed letter from Edward VIII to then Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin requesting that he and Wallace retain the 'His/Her Royal Highness' titles following the abdication.

Other correspondence includes letters to arrange a ship's cabin for Wallace on a boat to Dieppe to meet the King to discuss the abdication broadcast, letters requesting comment from Winston Churchill, and transcriptions of telephone conversations with Wallace the night before the abdication.

Allen was the founder of the London law firm Allen & Overy and  for his advice to Edward VIII he was awarded a Rolls Royce Phantom III Sedanca De Ville, and a knighthood in the June 1952 Queen's Birthday Honours.

The collection of letters are being sold presented in a folder entitled 'Sir George Allen/ Confidential Notes/ Re Abdication'.

A one-off opportunity to own an incredibly rare and important set of letters.

You can follow the auction at Bonhams

About your Author:

Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.

Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.

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