EDWARD VIII. (1894-1972). King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Emperor of India (January 20-December 11, 1936); later known as the Duke of Windsor; abdicated the British throne for “the woman I love”. Long and lengthy, Autograph Letter Signed “Edward”, as Prince, to “Spencer”. May 1st, 1925, Writing from Paris “Avenue du Bois de Boulogne” on his red crested, embossed royal stationery. Four very full pages. 4½ x 7’ inches. Very fine condition. In a tight, precise and descriptive pen, Edward writes:
Dear Spencer, I have not written to you for ages, for the simple reason that I have had a very busy time since Xmas. I spent two months in London when my father + mother returned from India, & now I have been in Paris for a month, & you can imagine that it is not exactly a slack. I am in France for about 4 months to get practice in speaking French, & am living with Marquis de Breteuil who is a friend of my father’s. I do a good deal of work & have been about a great deal to museums & places of interest. I must say that Paris is a very interesting town. And I hope later to do a motor tour in other parts of France which will be more amusing, as I hate town life in general. I met your father & sister who were on their way from the South of France to England, at luncheon both on Saturday & Sunday last.
On Saturday they were lunching with Ms. Standish who I know, & on Sunday at the British Embassy where there was a very formal party given by Sir Francis Bertie. Lord Spencer is looking very much better than when I saw him in January just before he resigned, & I am sure that the rest has done him no end of good. I see that you have changed your ship & are now in the “Duncan” with Agnew, which could not be better for you. And Newell is also a friend so I so not suppose Fawcett troubles you much, unless you are on better terms with him now!!
Bremmer told me a few things he did in the “Cornwall” which made him so unpopular. I must say that I rather liked him at Dartmouth, though I always thought him rather a snob. Although I am not having a bad time here, I am more than sorry not to be at sea, though I think that one could do with more leave. Perhaps I had rather an advantage in having a cabin when I was at sea, but I must say that even without that I don’t think one can lead a better or more interesting life. Of course junior snotties do get rather a stiff time at first, but after a month when one has got shaken down it is all right.
I think keeping watch in harbour is the worst thing one has to do, as at sea one is always occupied & the 4 hours or whatever the time is passes fairly quickly. My great drawback was not being with anyone in our term, though the senior snotties we had were a very nice lot, & they helped me a great deal. I liked them much better than the Grenvilles who I was afterwards with, although they were 3 yrs. senior. The latter were an awful lot, though I got on all right with them. What sort of chap is your senior Sub? I see his name is Lockhart. It generally makes a good deal of difference, if he is decent or otherwise. There were two very nice ones in the “Hindustan” & they are both in the “Victoria & Albert” now. Mr. Beasley is now in “Australia” in the “Drake” (flagship.) & I should it must be a very nice job. Not a great deal of work I should think, & plenty of leave. I suppose at present you get second choice in that concern, & are not very sure when you will get it. There is a quite a good golf course near here, & I am able to get away occasionally. The French young men that I have met here are a very weird lot, though not bad on the whole. They are very advanced for their years, as a rule, & are in consequence affected.
Eng. Lieut. Cox is going to be married at Halifax on May 10th!! I suppose he got engaged when the “Cornwall” was so long in dock there. Did you know this before? You must let me know whenever you return to England on leave, as we have not met for so long now. I am very sorry that Nesbitt has had to leave the service on account of his weak heart. It is really very bad luck for him. I think he intends to go out to Canada later to do some farming, which will be an open air life anyhow. I hope to get back for Cowes (?) week & then go to Scotland for the shooting in the station. And then I am going to Oxford in October which ought to be rather nice, but it will be very different from the navy. I am going to Magdalen, which is about the best college I think. I suppose you are chiefly at Mal—which is not a bad place, is it? Though of course one gets tired of any place after a time. Please remember me to Agnew, & with kind regards, I remain, yours very sincerely, Edward”