Traitor King: The Scandalous Exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor
Andrew Lownie

Traitor King: The Scandalous Exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

Traitor King, looks at the years following the abdication of Edward Vlll when the former king was kept in exile, feuding with his family over status for his wife, Wallis Simpson, and denied any real job. 

Drawing on extensive research into hitherto unused archives and Freedom of Information requests,  it makes the case that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were not the naïve dupes of the Germans but actively intrigued against Britain in both war and peace.

It reveals:

- the story behind the German attempts to recruit him as a British Petain in the summer of 1940.

- the attempts, by Churchill in particular,  to prevent post-war publication of the captured German documents which detailed the Duke’s Nazi intrigues.

- the reasons why the Duke, as Governor of the Bahamas, tried to shut down the investigation into the 1943 murder of his close friend Harry Oakes.

- the full extent of the feud with the British Royal Family, based on his betrayals going back to his dishonesty about his true financial position at the time of the Abdication.

- that far from a love story, Wallis felt trapped in a marriage she had never wanted with a pathetic and suffocating husband, one of the reasons she took several lovers, including the gay playboy Jimmy Donahue.

With uncanny modern parallels Traitor King tells the story of a royal exiled with his wife, turning his back on duty, his family and using his position for financial gain.


Book Details:

  • Author: Andrew Lownie
  • Published Year: 2021
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Bonnier
    • US: Pegasus
Andrew Lownie

Andrew Lownie

Andrew Lownie was born in 1961 and was educated in Britain and America. He read history at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he was President of the Union. He went on to gain an MSc at Edinburgh University and spend a year at the College of Law in London. After a period as a bookseller and journalist, he began his publishing career as the graduate trainee at Hodder & Stoughton. In 1985 became an agent at John Farquharson, now part of Curtis Brown, and the following year became the then youngest director in British publishing when he was appointed a director. Since 1984 he has written...
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Book Reviews

  • "briskly written and compulsively readable...Does Andrew Lownie persuade me both that it is worth telling the story again, and that he has made out the case for his unforgiving title? The answer is an unambiguous yes. I don’t think any of the previous books have quite confronted, with Lownie’s candour and forensic skill, the sheer accumulation of evidence....By the conclusion to the book, I for one felt that Lownie had made his case with overwhelming force. Along the way, he had managed to lace his story with some wonderfully salacious gossip"
    A.N. Wilson, Times Literary Supplement
  • "meticulous research and telling detail in lively prose ."
  • "a remarkably detailed and refreshingly different outlook on their lives. While most biographies of the couple finish with the 1936 abdication, this is the point where Lownie’s investigation begins…Lownie’s research for the book has been fastidious."
    Salisbury Journal
  • "Lownie’s descriptions of the antics of various intelligence agents outdoing anything you might read in spy fiction… The suggestion is that he was complicit in a scheme to install him as a puppet ruler in Britain after a negotiated peace, an accusation the Duke denied when the files became public in 1957. Lownie is dutiful in compiling his evidence on this matter and his argument is convincing….While much of the material in this book is familiar, Lownie presents it in a way which makes it seem fresh again, as well as urgent reading for current and future royals.  "
    Evening Standard