The royal family's unfriendliness to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor after he abdicated the throne left the Duke deeply embittered long after their scandalous marriage, a series of letters published Monday show.
Calling his family a "smug, stinking lot," the duke lauded his decision to leave court life in one of the letters published by the Daily Mail newspaper as an excerpt from an upcoming book."Let us enjoy our lovely, full life together far removed from the boredom, the restrictions and the intrigues of the royal family and the court," the duke wrote to his wife while in London for the funeral of his mother Queen Mary in 1953.
"What a smug, stinking lot my relations are and you've never seen such a seedy worn out bunch of old hags most of them have become," wrote the duke, who was the uncrowned Edward VIII for 11 months before abdicating.
His mother, Mary of Teck, was as "hard as nails," he wrote another time.
The duke and duchess used a series of codenames to refer to their relatives in the letters, such as "Cookie" for the duke's sister-in-law Elizabeth, now the Queen Mother, and Shirley Temple Jr. for now Queen Elizabeth II.
According to the Daily Mail, the letters were given by the duke and duchess to their lawyers with the aim of eventual publication.
The newspaper published excerpts from 16 letters by the couple, mostly to each other, as the first in a series of installments from a book called "The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor" edited by Michael Bloch, to be published in July. It did not say how many installments would appear.
The duke, who abdicated in 1936 because he couldn't marry the American Wallis Simpson, who had been twice divorced, wrote one series of letters to the duchess during a trip to London for the funeral of his younger brother, King George VI, in February 1952.
At the time, he was informed that the 10,000-pound annual pension granted by his brother would be halted, the newspaper reported.
Earlier, the duke had written to his brother asking for the family to meet his wife. "If only we could be invited just once for tea," he wrote.
The duke died in 1972 at age 77, and the duchess in 1986 at the age of 89.