Man to sue Buckingham Palace claiming he’s rightful heir to the throne
A man is suing Buckingham Palace claiming his ancestors were rightful heirs to the throne – because his gran had an affair with King Edward VIII.
Francois Graftieaux, 73, who has twice requested a DNA sample from the Queen without success, says his family were cut from the Royal bloodline in the early 1900s following the alleged illicit tryst.
He claims his father, Pierre-Edouard, was born out of an affair between the-then Prince of Wales and his granny Marie-Leonie Graftieaux – a French seamstress.
But Francois alleges that Pierre-Edouard never found his way to the throne after the king abdicated, due to pressure from the Royal Family and the British Government.
This meant his family lost land, titles and wealth – and now he's looking for his gran to be included in the history books.
Under English law, the Royal Family cannot be prosecuted under criminal law nor sued through the civil courts.
But Francois believes a civil action can be brought against Buckingham Palace itself, which serves as the monarch's administrative headquarters.
The retiree, who bears a striking resemblance to Edward, his claimed late grandfather, said that he has "absolutely no interest" in compensation.
He is instead looking for closure and for the history books to be "rewritten as necessary" to reflect his family's place in the sovereignty's lineage – as he has no children of his own.
He said: "In the 1900s, the true line of succession was unlawfully concealed to block the Graftieauxs from their place in history.
"Whilst my father and I would have had no direct claim to the throne on account of Edward's abdication, which also precluded his descendants from becoming King, the Graftieauxs would have become nobility at the very least.
"As the last of my family of Graftieauxs, I will take whatever action is possible and necessary to protect our legacy and to shed light on one of the greatest Royal sex scandals in living memory."
He has requested a DNA sample from the Queen on two previous occasions without success, in 2004 and 2013.
This week, Francois, who now lives in Portugal, wrote to Buckingham Palace for a third time to ask for help.
He now says that, if this latest plea is ignored, he may be forced to take legal action to force an investigation, possibly under the broad remit of the Human Rights Act.
He said: "I am not asking the Palace for money, title or power but merely to ascertain the identity of my grandfather and the circumstances surrounding my father's birth.
"If the Palace again refuses to cooperate, which I strongly suspect it will, then I am happy to seek legal advice and let what amounts to the largest Royal sex scandal in history play out in public through the courts."
Francois' own research began shortly after the death of Pierre-Edouard in 1994.
The soldier had never revealed the identity of Francois' grandfather to him, other than that he was someone famous who had not been "allowed to marry your grandmother".
After a casual remark by a former girlfriend that Francois strongly resembled the Duke of Windsor, the title Edward took on his abdication, he began searching the family archives to find the "missing piece" in his ancestry.
Francois believes the pair met at the Luna Park in Paris and continued a clandestine relationship for two years whenever Edward could escape from his wartime duties.
But when Marie-Leonie fell pregnant in 1915 Edward ended the relationship and allegedly bought her silence.
This money that helped her to become one of France's leading fashion designers almost overnight – transforming her from penniless to plush.
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