Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Airbrushed Affair

We all know the story about King Edward VIII abdicating the throne for the Shebug he loved. His marriage to the American divorcée rocked not only the royal household--but the entire kingdom.

What has just come to light is a jaw-dropper: Wallis, it appears, was not the only Shebug to wreak havoc for the royals.

This newly unearthed Shebug went by the name of Maggie Meller; her real name was Marguerite Alibert. She took on the sir name Meller from a client she had hoped to poach. Undeterred, she later snagged the affluent Charles Laurent and bore him a daughter. But six months into the marriage, Maggie divorced him and collected a lucrative settlement. 

The fateful meeting between prostitute and prince occurred whilst Edward was off losing his innocence in Paris. The city’s musky scent of permissiveness drew many to the already alluring capital. Demimondaines reigned as the It Girls of their époque. They were brash, gusty, unapologetic, and financially, very savvy.

This blackmailing cocotte dug her well-oiled pincers into the prince’s side so deep that she was be able to get away with murder...

Maggie fired  three bullets into Egyptian Prince Ali Fahmy Bey at London’s Savoy Hotel during a stormy July night in 1923 dressed in a Chanel gown. But this time, the prince happened to be husband number two. 

The courtesan's affair with the Prince of Wales six years earlier had served her well. Fashionistas might have turned a blind eye to the Parisian jailbird in Holloway prison, but not the Establishment. This high-profile trail took place at the Old Bailey. But in spite of the evidence stacked against the Shebug, Princess Fahmy Bey managed to escape the gallows.

Shebugs excel at boldness; Maggie threatened the Esablishment to expose her affair with the future king. A deal was brokered: the public heard all about her husband’s supposed fits of violence and deviant sexual appetite but never once was there any mention of the Prince of Wales -- nor of her promiscuous past.

The entire affair was carefully airbrushed from the history books so as not to link the heir to the throne to his murderous maîtresse. A recently recovered stash of ‘vanished letters’ penned by the Prince of Wales and others in his court has added an even richer patina to this dormant Shebug who decided to erupt, and make everyone living in Buckingham Palace dance to her tune when the price was right. 

Princess Fahmy Bey moved back to the City of Lights once acquitted.  She passed away in 1971 in her  home located in the prestigious Place Vendôme -- a splendid abode she acquired courtesy of five different settlements from different lovers. And by then, she was eighty years old.

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