Unique archive of Kirrie-born Royal bodyguard up for auction

David Storrier's collection will be auctioned on Wednesday.David Storrier's collection will be auctioned on Wednesday.
David Storrier's collection will be auctioned on Wednesday.
A unique archive belonging to the bodyguard of King Edward VIII, who famously abdicated the throne in 1936 to allow him to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson, is being sold in Edinburgh and live online by auctioneers, Lyon & Turnbull, on Wednesday June (21).

The collection, expected to fetch between £7000 and £11,000, will be auctioned as part of Lyon & Turnbull’s Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs sale.

Edward became King in January 1936 before abdicating in December. He became the Duke of Windsor after his marriage to twice divorced American socialite, Wallis Simpson, in France in June 1937. Edward’s younger brother, George VI, succeeded him as King following the abdication. Edward was the great-uncle of the current King Charles III.

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The Duke’s close police protection officer, David Storrier, who was from Kirriemuir, spent 18 years with the Duke and Duchess. He was at Edward’s side during the abdication, and on subsequent visits and tours throughout Europe, married life in France, and was also present during the couple’s meeting with Adolf Hitler.

Storrier’s archive includes letters, photographs, medals, gifts from the Duke and Duchess to Storrier, as well as a slice of nine-foot wedding cake from the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

The Duke’s Viennese cigarette case, with the monogram WE, topped with a crown, valued at between £3000 and £5000, is the highlight of the collection.

As the Duke’s close protection officer, Storrier was clearly trusted by both the Duke and Duchess, as shown by a letter in the collection from Wallis Simpson to David Storrier: “It has made such a difference having you come here and I was to thank you for all you have done for us both.”

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Storrier, who became a Superintendent, was also entrusted by the British establishment. Not only did his role involve protecting the couple, he also had to report back on their activities to Sir Philip Game, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

A highly decorated servant of the Crown, he held the Royal Victorian Medal, presented as a gift from the sovereign in recognition of his personal service to the monarch. He was also made an MBE.

David Storrier retired aged 55 after 33 years in the police. He died in 1969 and the collection was passed down to the current owner by descent.

Lyon & Turnbull Specialist Cathy Marsden said: “This collection is fascinating and totally unique.

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“It offers a rare insight into the lives of a couple whose relationship caused a scandal and constitutional crisis, as well as their relationship with the man who protected them.

“The Duke and Duchess greatly valued David Storrier but it’s interesting that he almost served as a kind of double-agent, given that he had to keep the British authorities updated as to their movements.

“We’re excited to see what the archive achieves at auction.”

The Duke of Windsor died in 1972, his wife in 1986.

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