A PENSIONER has requested a sample of the Queen’s DNA in a bid to prove his ancestors were the rightful heirs to the throne, threatening to sue Buckingham Palace if his request is ignored.
Francois Graftieaux, 73, claimed his father Pierre-Edouard was born after an affair between his grandmother Marie-Leonie Graftieaux and the then-Prince of Wales Edward VIII. If proven right, this illicit relationship means Mr Graftieaux’s ancestors were heirs to the throne between 1916, the year Pierre-Edouard was born, and December 1936, when Edward VIII abdicated to marry his lover Wallis Simpson, the 73-year-old said. The retiree, who bears a resemblance to the Duke of Windsor, the title given to Edward VIII after he renounced his rights to the throne, 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.”
In order to prove his father’s connection to the House of Windsor, Mr Graftieaux has asked, for the third time, for Buckingham Palace to provide a sample of the Queen’s DNA.
A retiree has requested a sample of the Queen’s DNA (Image GETTY)
Francois Graftieaux, his father Pierre-Edouard and Edward VIII (Image SWNS)
The retiree, who now lives in Portugal, had already asked for a DNA sample in 2004 and 2013, only to see his plea snubbed.
If his latest request is ignored, the retiree said he would start a legal case against the palace itself, which serves as the Queen’s administrative headquarters.
Mr Graftieaux said he is not seeking compensation or a title, he simply wants his family to be recognised as an important piece of the British Royal Family’s history.
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.”
Marie-Leonie’s Van Cleef and Arpels diamond bracelet (Image SWNS)
The Royal Family can’t be prosecuted under criminal law nor sued through the civil courts, according to the English law.
However, Mr Graftieaux may successfully launch a legal case against the Palace itself and force an investigation, possibly under the broad remit of the Human Rights Act.
Mr Graftieaux’s belief his family may be linked to the late Edward VIII first arose when a girlfriend told him he looked very much like the Duke of Windsor.
However, he started researching his father’s lineage only after he died in 1994.
Francois Graftieaux has already asked for a sample of the Queen’s DNA three times (Image GETTY)
The Royal Family’s family tree amended according to the claims made by Mr Graftieaux (Image SWNS)
The soldier had kept secret the identity of Mr Graftieaux’s grandfather, telling him only that he was a famous person who had not been “allowed to marry your grandmother”.
And his grandmother had not declared the name of the father on Pierre-Edouard’s birth certificate, Mr Graftieaux found out after a visit at the French archives.
The retiree believed his research has proven his grandmother fell pregnant in 1915, two years after Edward VIII started a relationship with her, seeing the woman every time he could escape his war duties.
The Royal Family’s family tree (Image EXPRESS)
When she spoke about her pregnancy, Marie-Leonie’s silence was bought, Mr Graftieaux said.
The money she received, the retiree believes, helped her become one of France’s leading fashion designers almost overnight, transforming the life of the former penniless seamstress.
Mr Graftieaux also said the fact his father was given Eduoard as a second name is also evidence.
Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson (Image GETTY)
In the French tradition, it is usual to give as a second Christian name the father’s first name – in this case, Edward.
Moreover, the retiree’s grandmother received a Van Cleef and Arpels diamond bracelet and watch as a present when he was born in 1946 – based on an exclusive design created by the Duke of Windsor.
A similar timepiece, once owned by the Duchess of Windsor, was sold at auction in 2011 for £286,000.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK