Security matters relating to the Abdication of HM King Edward VIII

Sketch map of police beat around Wallis Simpson's residence at 16 Cumberland Terrace

This file contains newspaper clippings reporting that Wallis Simpson had received death threats, a story the newspaper later conceded was 'unfounded'. Correspondence in the file deals with the security precautions in place for Mrs Simpson and police instructions to her on 'how best to make her home burglar proof' and steps to prevent her being 'annoyed by press men and photographers'. An 'inconspicuous beat' around her house was arranged and the Chief Inspector was asked to 'accompany Mrs Simpson when she leaves the house'.

Later correspondence in the file includes an instruction from Sir Horace Wilson to arrange interceptions of telephone communications between Buckingham Palace and Fort Belvedere, the country home of King Edward VIII which became the scene of his 1936 abdication. There is also an instruction from one of His Majesty's Secretaries of State to the postmaster general, with an order to detain and present for inspection two telegrams dated 6 December, which had been sent to a news publications in South Africa 'both of which contain statements that the King has abdicated'. News stories subsequently emerged in overseas media outlets suggesting that the King had already signed the instrument which would make the abdication final and that it would be officially announced within the hour. The abdication instrument was signed on 10 December.