A prince, a prostitute, a ranch and a murder

The title of author and historian Brian Brennan’s latest Commentary piece is delectable – if you like your history with a frisson of salaciousness.

He calls it The Prince and the Prostitute — or, “How a British Royal Hid Out in Canada While his Former Mistress Went on Trial for Murder in London.” An excerpt: 

When the heir to the British throne paid his first official visit to Canada in 1919, it was expected he would follow the usual royal routine of shaking hands, making speeches and inspecting troops. What wasn’t anticipated was that Edward, Prince of Wales, would buy a ranch while he was abroad. And what certainly wasn’t predicted was that the ranch would become a convenient hiding place for the prince four years later, when one of his former mistresses went on trial for murder in London.  

The prince’s link to the murder trial has only come to light recently. For 90 years it was believed that when Edward returned to Canada in September 1923 to do some riding, fishing and shooting on his newly acquired 1,400-acre ranch near Calgary, it was just because he needed a break from his royal duties. What wasn’t disclosed, until a retired British judge named Andrew Rose published a book about it earlier this year, was that the prince’s staff wanted him out of the country when his former mistress, a French prostitute named Marguerite Fahmy (née Alibert), was being tried on a charge of murdering her wealthy Egyptian husband at their suite in London’s Savoy Hotel. Author Rose learned about the royal cover-up in 1991 when the woman’s grandson wrote him a letter about it. 

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