The Prince, The Princess, And The Perfect Murder

If you think that wanting to marry serial divorcee Wallis Simpson was the only blunder of King Edward VIII, then here is a book to make you think again. It is also a book for all conspiracy theorists, because this conspiracy is well enough documented to hold water. It was a conspiracy to keep the promiscuous and rather stupid Crown Prince of the United Kingdom David Prince of Wales out of a sordid murder trial. The price that had to be paid was the freedom of a murderess and princess. The Prince, The Princess, And The Perfect Murder by Andrew Rose is published by Coronet.

Appearances can be deceiving. And the Princess in question in this story is just such a case. Princess Marguerite Fahmy had come by her title through marriage. She had started out as plain Marie-Marguerite Laurient born into the gutters of Paris. She became a well-known dominatrix catering to rich men in Paris. During World War I, she looked after English soldiers of substantial means, among them David Prince of Wales, better known as King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. The latter was young and impressionable, and foolish enough to send her letters signed with his real name.

After he broke off their entanglement, she initially threatened disclosure, but stopped short of full black mail and just let him know that she had the letters safe. She finally managed to land her fish from among her rich and famous clientele in the person of Prince Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey. The Prince was ten years her junior and she converted to Islam prior to their marriage in Cairo in 1922. In 1923, the couple resided at the Savoy in London when Marguerite shot Ali in their suite.

She was apprehended at the scene, and there was no doubt that she would be charged with murder with a very good probability to hang. But ten weeks after her arrest, a jury acquitted her unanimously. The book of Andrew Rose follows the story under the premise that a conspiracy by friends of the Prince of Wales engineered the sensational outcome of the trial. And author and barrister Andrew Rose builds an excellent case for the prosecution and for his own conspiracy theory in the book.

The intervention of Prince David’s friends reeled in the Director of Public Prosecution at the very beginning. Consequently, the dice were loaded when the murder case came to court. A junior prosecutor, an inexperienced judge, and ‘The Great Defender’ Sir Edward Marshall Hall hired for her defense were all put in place while Marguerite rehearsed her role as abused victim of a cruel eastern prince.

Marguerite had been proposed a deal: Freedom for the return of the letters and the promise to keep the Prince of Wales out of court proceedings. She duly instructed her lawyers to send the letters to London, at least most of them. And the Great Defender was let loose on the person, life and memory of hapless Prince Ali. After Sir Edward had had his run in court, the young Prince, probably more homosexual than anything else, had become a figure from hell, an abuser, wife beater, slaver, sexual pervert, by using just about every racial and religious prejudice ripe at the time.

As performances go, both he and Marguerite were magnificent. They were so good, in fact, that minor quibbles were overlooked by the jury. Sir Edward was claiming self-defense for Marguerite, and no one ventured to ask why she had to shoot three times, and one of those shots into the Prince’s back for instance. But as Rose builds his story, the outcome seems inevitable: Freedom for Marguerite and her return to Paris. She cheekily tried to claim her inheritance, too, but was foiled by the courts in Cairo.

This is a book that ticks many boxes. History, period drama, conspiracy theory, gossip, Royalty all rolled into one. As it is also well written, this for once is no waste of money. Go for it.

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Reference: Book 'The Prince, The Princess, And The Perfect Murder'; Author 'Andrew Rose'; Publisher 'Coronet'; Published 'London, April 2013'.