Spying on the king: when MI5 targeted Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
In 1936, amid the threat of European war and a broiling abdication crisis, British intelligence services undertook an unprecedented secret surveillance operation. Their target? The king. A new Channel 4 series, Spying on the Royals, examines the controversial MI5 operation that listened in on King Edward VIII and his American mistress Wallis Simpson...
1936: demonstrators protest against the potential abdication of King Edward VIII. (Keystone/Getty Images)
Sir Vernon Kell, founder of MI5. Kell did not take the decision to spy on the head of state lightly, says Dr Rory Cormac. (Hulton/Corbis via Getty Images)
The front page of the London Star, breaking news of King Edward's abdication and his brother's accession to the throne.(Getty Images)
Following Edward’s abdication, he married Wallis in June 1937. (Bettmann/Getty)