Internal Memorandum : BUCKINGHAM PALACE
To: His Majesty the King
From: Miss Jane Padget
Date: 3 January 1941
For the King's eyes only
May it please Your Majesty ?
You have commanded me to set down in writing, while the memories are still fresh in my mind, an account of the kidnapping of Her Royal
Highness the Princess Elizabeth.
My report is set out below. If you require any further information, please let me know.
This report has been drawn up not only from my own recollection but also with the aid of
material supplied by MI5. Where appropriate, the MI5 reports have been supplemented with information from U.S. Military Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I am grateful to the Officers of all these bodies for allowing me access to some of their files.
Your Majesty--you encouraged me to tell the story in my own words, and that I have done. But you will know that an American citizen, Mr Seymour Jensen, was with me throughout almost all the events described. I therefore took the liberty of allowing him to read a draft of the report. Mr Jensen has corrected me, or augmented my comments, on a few points of detail.
I would like to take this opportunity of recording my view that we all owe Mr Jensen a profound debt of gratitude, myself perhaps most of all. I am anxious that you should be left in no doubt about his contribution to our nation's welfare.
I will begin my report by giving an account of what happened on Monday 23 December, 1940. A number of events occurred in the afternoon of that day. At the time, many of them did not appear to be important. But, with the benefit of hindsight, they obviously were....
'Seymour! Seymour! I'm over here!'
Jane Padget was standing outside the Hans Crescent entrance of Harrods as she waved frantically to attract Seymour Jensen's attention. He was just across the road, looking towards Sloane Street, which was the direction she would have been coming from if she hadn't arrived before the arranged time.
'Seymour!' Honestly, the man was a bit slow sometimes even if he was very sweet. He had obviously heard her shouting this time, but he was still obstinately looking in the wrong direction--he was looking up at the windows of the houses nearby, if you please. As if she were likely to be there!
'SEY-MOUR!' she shrieked, and at last he turned round. He smiled with relief, looked the wrong way to check the traffic, of course, because he was still a dim-witted colonial who hadn't realised that cars came at you on the left-hand side of the road--and then, having risked life and limb unwittingly, he trotted across the road to greet her.
As she saw him run, Jane gave a little intake of breath. He was absolutely gorgeous, there was no doubt about that. A tall, fair-haired, blue-eyed, Swedish-origined American, and a Harvard man too. Well, just. At the end of his first term actually, whereas she of course was in her second year at Oxford, and was therefore, by definition, infinitely more sophisticated than a Harvard freshman. But, nevertheless, he was terribly sweet and very good-looking.
Seymour trotted up and gave Jane a dazzling smile. She hoped for a moment that he might kiss her. Nothing elaborate, just a dab on the cheek would do, and she half-turned to give him an opportunity. But no. Mr Beautiful Dimwit passed on that. He was obviously worried about frightening the horses. He just said, 'Hi,' and smiled again, and she forgave him instantly.
'Well,' she said after a moment. 'Shall we go shopping?'
There wasn't a lot to buy, if truth be told. England in December 1940 was fifteen months into the war, and rationing was well established. The German U-boats were very successful at sinking the ships bringing food from abroad, and even in Harrods there was little to be had.
Jane took Seymour towards the meat counter, and found a lengthy queue waiting patiently. The lady in front of them turned round. 'The young man in charge thinks a lorry has just brought in some chops,' she said confidentially.
This was good news, and they decided to wait. Jane noticed that the lady who had spoken to them was immaculately dressed. Two years earlier, her maid and butler would have done all the shopping. Now, the butler was probably in the army and the maid was a Land Girl--and the lady of the house was talking to strangers in the street, something she would never have dreamed of doing before.
For ten minutes Jane and Seymour chatted about the film they had seen the previous evening, and then their patience was rewarded. They were able to buy three pork chops, which Jane would cook for dinner--one for herself, one for Seymour, and one for her father, Alastair Padget.
They left Harrods and began to walk towards Jane's home, which was in Eaton Square.
'I wish you'd let me bring you meat from the Embassy,' said Seymour. Frederick Jensen, Seymour's father, was Defense Attaché at the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, and therefore had almost unlimited access to steaks, ice-cream and other luxuries unheard of in wartime Britain. But Jane would have none of it.
'Seymour, darling,' she said, 'I've explained to you before, and as a Harvard man you really ought to be able to remember. I do not approve of the black market. Neither do I approve of people with connections in your Embassy making improper use of those connections to stuff themselves silly. As it is we've got three perfectly good chops, plus some very nice vegetables, and we didn't even have to queue for very long. So stop moaning.'
Seymour, she noticed, was about to complain that he hadn't been moaning at all, but then he changed his mind, in case he offended her. Jane had her work cut out not to giggle. Poor Seymour, he just hadn't got the hang of English girls--not yet.
It was about half-past four on a cold, gloomy, December afternoon. The light was fading, and most pedestrians who did not have to be out and about had already arrived home. In pre-war days, the last few days before Christmas would have seen the streets packed with shoppers, but now there were few people about. The traffic was also light, with only an occasional taxi passing by. Petrol rationing meant that people did not use their cars unless they absolutely had to, and the black-out regulations made driving after dark hazardous.
Seymour and Jane walked briskly to keep warm.
As they turned into Pont Street, the air-raid sirens began to wail. One siren, close at hand, was very loud, and rather frightening; others, further away, could also be heard, rising and falling with their warning of an imminent bombing raid.
Seymour seized Jane's arm and began to look around for the nearest air-raid shelter: they were usually sign-posted. 'Quick,' he said, 'we must run and take cover.'
'Why?' said Jane calmly. She resisted the pressure on her arm as Seymour tried to get her to break into a trot.
'Why?' Seymour repeated. His eyes bulged in astonishment. 'Well, because the bombs are going to fall any minute. I've only been in England two weeks, but I've already been caught in several raids, and they're not a lot of fun.'
'Yes, I know that, darling,' said Jane patiently. 'But why run? If a bomb's going to hit us it's going to hit us, whether we're in a shelter or anywhere else.... You only die once, Seymour, and if I'm going to die today I'll die with dignity if you don't mind. We won't run anywhere.'
Seymour knew when he was defeated. 'Oh, very well,' he groaned. But they were passed by several other pedestrians who took quite a different view and were moving at unaccustomed speed.
'Where shall we go then?' Seymour asked. 'Shall we just wander along, hand in hand, giving Mr Hitler a clear target?'
'Yes,' said Jane. 'Why not?' But actually she was looking for somewhere quiet. Somewhere warm. Somewhere private.
Shortly she spotted a small hotel on the other side of the road. She was about to lead Seymour over to it when there was a sudden squeal of tires. A black car, driven extremely fast, rounded the corner of Sloane Street and began to advance upon them, accelerating rapidly until it was doing about sixty.
This display of high-speed driving was most unusual in any circumstances, and Jane could only think that the air-raid siren had put somebody into the most frightful panic. She held Seymour's arm, restraining him in case he might once again have forgotten about which side of the road to look at first, and she stared at the windscreen of the fast-moving car as it roared past them and flashed straight through the red traffic-lights at the junction fifty yards ahead. Then the car roared on up Beauchamp Place, eventually disappearing as it turned left.
Jane was quite taken aback. 'Well!' she said. 'What do you think of that?'
'Very odd,' said Seymour, frowning. 'Do English people often drive so fast?'
'The driver looked awfully familiar,' said Jane. 'I'm sure I've met him at a function of some sort. All red face and pomposity. And he was certainly in a great hurry.'
'Yes,' said Seymour slowly. 'And what about those two women fighting in the back seat?'
'What about the what?'
'The two women,' Seymour repeated. 'Struggling in the back seat.'
'There were!' Seymour insisted. 'I saw them. You were looking at the man, evidently--' He gave her a hard look, as if to say You would always look at the man. Then he continued: '--and I was looking at the women. Two of them, in the back seat. One of them blonde, the other dark.'
'Nonsense.' Jane took Seymour by the arm and led him across the road towards the hotel which she had spotted a few moments earlier. 'I cannot vouch for what happens in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or for that matter in Cambridge, England, but in London ladies do not fight in the back seat of cars. Especially when the car in question is a Bentley driven by a peer of the realm.'
'Oh, so you do know the driver?' said Seymour.
'Sort of. I remember his face. He had House of Lords written all over him.'
'Oh, well, that would explain it then.'
Seymour Jensen paused on the pavement outside the hotel. 'Well--' He hesitated.
'Spit it out, Seymour darling, you'll feel so much better afterwards.'
'Well--it's just that I thought the darker woman in the back seat was more of a girl, really. And she reminded me very much of Princess Elizabeth. And before you say anything,' he added hurriedly, 'let me say that I have seen the Princess--she was at a reception at the Embassy only two nights ago. And I was very nearly introduced to her.'
'Hmmph,' said Jane, which meant that she didn't believe a word of it.
Jane took Seymour by the hand and led him into the hotel.
'What are we going in here for?' squeaked Seymour.
'We are going in here,' said Jane, 'to shelter from the bombs, to get out of the cold, and to have a madly passionate snogging session all on our own.'
She glanced at Seymour and saw that he had gone quite pale, which caused her to burst out laughing.
Still holding him by the hand, she stood in the deserted hotel lobby and looked around.
'Where is everybody?' asked Seymour, voicing her own thoughts.
'Sheltering in the basement probably. Not a place I would care to be myself. It takes too long to dig you out if there's a direct hit.' Then Jane found what she was looking for and pulled Seymour along behind her.
'Come with me,' she said. 'We'll go in here.'
Seymour proved unco-operative. 'But... but... ' he stammered. 'This is the ladies toilet!'
Jane looked at the sign on the door, as if seeing it for the first time. 'So it is,' she said, and pulled him in after her.
To her delight, Seymour was clearly far more frightened of being found in a ladies toilet than he was of being killed by German bombs. 'We can't go in here!' he hissed.
'Of course we can,' said Jane. 'There's a war on. Things are different in wartime. And why are you whispering?'
'Because I don't want anyone to hear us.'
'But nobody can hear us, Seymour, we're alone. Look, there're only three stalls and they're all empty.'
'But what if someone finds us?'
'They won't,' said Jane. 'I'll put the light out.' And she reached over and clicked off the switch.
Seymour groaned and Jane chuckled. As usual, she was persuading him to perform acts which were in total conflict with the way he had been brought up, and few things amused her more. She took a firm grip of Seymour's hand and pulled him into one of the stalls. She locked the door, sat him down on the seat of the toilet, and then perched on his knee.
'There,' she said, nibbling his ear. 'Isn't this cozy?'
'Oh God,' groaned Seymour. 'Cops nab Yank perv in dames' can. I can see the headline now.'
'Shut up,' said Jane. 'And kiss me.'
It took a minute or two, but eventually Jane got Seymour going. The warm contact of her own flesh against his proved to be a more powerful stimulus than his nineteen-year-old self-control could deal with--which was exactly what Jane had anticipated. Soon she could feel a pleasingly firm erection pressing hard against her thigh.
'Stand up,' she said.
'Stand up, Seymour. Don't argue. And don't say What. It's vulgar.'
'Why do I have to stand up? Are we going?'
'No,' said Jane. 'We're going to come.'
'Oh God,' breathed Seymour.
'Sshh, my darling,' said Jane softly. 'Sshh. Sshh. Sshh.'
Seymour stood up. Jane unbuckled his belt, reached in through the fly of his trousers, and drew out his erect penis. She squeezed it and Seymour gave an involuntary sob.
'Oh I know, darling,' said Jane sympathetically. 'I know.'
Now that Seymour was ready, Jane unzipped her own skirt and stepped neatly out of it. She pushed down her silk knickers (Fortnum and Mason), and deposited them on top of her skirt on the seat of the toilet.
The darkness hummed around them. Outside there were four successive crunches as bombs fell some streets away. Seymour flinched instinctively.
Jane reached up and pulled Seymour's head down. She kissed him passionately, pushing her tongue into his mouth. She desperately wanted him to do the same to her, but he didn't seem to understand that. Well, never mind, she would teach him some other time.
Then while gently squeezing and stroking his cock, she took his hand and drew it down between her legs. She felt the tension in his arm, a tension which reflected the conflict between Seymour's desire and dismay. Half of him wanted--oh how he wanted--to feel her and grope her and play with her. But the other half of him clearly couldn't cope.
Jane had only known Seymour about two weeks, but already she knew him well enough to be aware that he had been brought up to believe that you just didn't do these things. You just didn't suck girls' nipples while you were pinching them hard between the legs. Especially not when they were nice, well-bred English girls, who were supposed to be terribly shy and retiring and introvert. But Seymour was learning, slowly. This time, when she placed his hand where she wanted it, he didn't move it away.
'There,' said Jane with a sigh. 'Now you play with me nicely, Seymour. Just the way I taught you. And if you're very very good I might even play with you.'
Which, of course, she did immediately. She began to stroke his cock, rhythmically, firmly, and steadily, but controlling him all the time. Not letting him get too far gone until she was good and ready.
Eventually--Jane had no idea how long it took--she opened her legs just a little bit wider, and then she closed them tight, gripping Seymour's fingers in her groin. And she sighed with pleasure as her brain fizzed and her pulse pounded.
Then, with a quiet laugh, she began to quicken the movement of her own hand.
Seymour squirmed, and she sensed that he was still sufficiently under control to be concerned about where his ejaculation would go. 'Just let it come,' she said fiercely. 'Just let it squirt wherever it wants.'
And then, with a practiced movement, she went on flicking and fondling his cock until she felt a powerful throbbing in her fingers and he almost fell against her.
* * * *
The bombs seemed to have stopped falling, so Jane and Seymour left the hotel. No one saw the two of them depart, and the streets remained almost deserted.
They walked in silence for a while, Seymour in particular moving like a zombie.
Then Jane glanced at her watch.
'It's nearly five already,' she said, 'so let's go round by the Palace and pick up my father. It's a bit out of our way but you'll enjoy having a look round inside.'
'The inside of Buckingham Palace?' squawked Seymour. 'They'll never let me past the door.'
'Oh yes,' said Jane confidently. 'If I vouch for you.'
As they approached the Palace, the nearby air-raid sirens gave out a high, steady-pitched note. This was the so-called 'all-clear' signal, indicating that the danger of an enemy attack from the air had passed, for the time being at any rate.
Seymour had said nothing while they walked through the enclosing darkness, and as they neared the Palace gates Jane asked him what he was thinking.
'Do you want the truth?'
'Well--to be honest--I was thinking that you're kind of weird.'
Jane laughed. 'No, darling. I'm not weird. I'm just English.'
Jane led the way round the front of the Palace to the private entrance in the south wing. In the black-out it was hard to see where they were going, but with the aid of a small torch, which she had carried in her handbag ever since the beginning of the war, she found the door without difficulty.
Once inside, Jane introduced Seymour to Mr Redpath, a gray-haired security guard who was an old friend of hers.
'You remember Mr Jensen from the American Embassy?' she said. 'This is his son, Seymour.'
'Well, how do you do, sir,' said Redpath. 'A pleasure to meet you.... I expect you'll be going up to see your father, Miss?'
'Just sign in, if you will.'
Jane and Seymour signed the proffered visitors book, and then she led the way into the main building. Seymour was most impressed, she could tell.
'Gee,' he said. 'I've been inside the White House, but I never expected to come in here.'
They climbed a flight of stairs, and as they were walking down one of the long corridors leading to the King's business offices, a woman with an agitated air rushed out of an adjoining corridor and almost bumped into them.
'Oh!' she said. 'Oh, I'm so sorry.' And then: 'Oh, it's you, Jane.' And she went on hastily, without any preliminaries, 'Tell me, you haven't seen Lillibet have you?'
'No, Crawfie, I'm afraid not,' said Jane.
'Oh. Oh dear,' said Crawfie. 'She should have been back ages ago.' And she dashed off immediately, her unbuttoned cardigan flapping in the breeze she created.
'Who was that?' asked Seymour, as they continued their trek down the corridor.
'That was Crawfie. Miss Crawford to you. She acts as governess to the two Princesses. A real mother hen.'
'Ah. And who is Lillibet?'
'Short for Elizabeth.'
'Princess Elizabeth?' Seymour paused and gazed back the way they had come, but Crawfie had long since disappeared.
'God, Seymour, your powers of deduction are amazing.'
'But if she's looking for, er, the Princess Elizabeth, shouldn't we tell her that we saw her in the back of a car?'
'No, Seymour, we should not, because we did not see her. You simply imagined that you had.'
In December 1940, Jane's father, Alastair Padget, was Legal Secretary to the King. He had served three Kings in this capacity: George V, from 1933 to 1936; Edward VIII, during his reign of a few months in 1936; and now the 'new King', George VI.
When Jane and Seymour arrived at Alastair's office he was just pulling on his overcoat, and so almost immediately they all three retraced their steps to the south entrance.
As they approached Mr Redpath, in order to sign out, the door swung open and in came the formidably tall and well-built figure of Commander David Mantle, the uniformed officer from Scotland Yard who was responsible for the security of the royal family.
'Evening, Alastair,' boomed the Commander, as he scribbled his name in Redpath's book.
'Hello, David,' said Alastair. 'What brings you here?'
Commander Mantle lowered his voice. 'Oh, some sort of panic about Lillibet,' he said, as if he wasn't taking it very seriously. 'She went out for a dancing lesson earlier on, and now Crawfie is frantic because she's late getting back. I don't suppose you've seen the Princess have you?'
'No,' said Alastair. 'I haven't seen her all day.'
Jane realised at once that if Commander Mantle had been sent for, there was genuine concern about Princess Elizabeth at a high level, so she decided to put aside her own private doubts about what Seymour had seen. She put a hand on the police-officer's arm as he made to move by.
'Er, Commander,' she said, 'if you've really been sent for to look for the Princess, I have to say that Mr Jensen here thought he caught a glimpse of her in the back seat of a Bentley, at about half-past four.'
'Oh? Where was this?'
'In Pont Street,' said Jane. 'We were just about to cross the road, and the Bentley came by very fast.'
'Heading which way?'
'Oh....' The Commander looked doubtful. 'Wrong way entirely, really. The dancing class was in Belgrave Square. And she went in a Rolls. You say this young gentleman saw her--so you didn't see the Princess yourself, Jane?'
'No. I was looking at the driver, because he was driving so recklessly and I thought he was a menace to society. But it was just after the siren went, so I suppose he must have been in a bit of a panic.'
The Commander turned to Seymour. 'And you, young man. Are you sure of the identification?'
Seymour turned slightly pale. 'Heavens, no, Sir. Not really sure. I've only seen the Princess once, at a reception at the American Embassy. And I only got a glimpse of the two women in the back of the car. But one of them sure looked like the Princess to me.'
'Well, thank you for your help,' said the Commander. 'I may come back to you. But I'll go upstairs and see what the King has to say. I expect it's just the raid that's caused the problem.'
Jane, Alastair and Seymour made their way on foot to the Padgets' flat, which was in a house in Eaton Square. It wasn't far, about half a mile, and Jane and her father knew the route intimately. This was just as well, because in the black-out a stranger would soon have got lost.
Once home, Jane set about cooking dinner, while Seymour and her father sat talking over sherry.
Jane wondered if Seymour realised what was going on during this preprandial chat. Probably not. But she knew perfectly well what her father was up to. In suggesting that they should all three have dinner together, Alastair Padget was achieving a number of ends at once.
First, he was making his daughter happy, because he knew that she was fond of Seymour, although she hadn't known him very long. Second, he was flattering a young man, making him feel important by discussing the progress of the war with him on confidential terms, just as if he were a man of the world much older than his actual years. This was a good way to make a friend, possibly an influential friend, for the future. And third, Alastair was finding out, very tactfully, what Jensen Senior at the US Embassy had been telling his son about the political situation in Europe.
In December 1940 the United States of America had not yet entered the war, and was, strictly speaking, a neutral party; hence it was useful for the British to know what Washington was really thinking and intending to do. And in return Alastair Padget was subtly feeding into Seymour's memory a few bits of information which he wanted passed on--passed on indirectly and discreetly of course--to the US government. Alastair had no doubt that, later on in the evening, Frederick Jensen would ask his freshman son what had been talked about over dinner.
Jane smiled as she cooked. He was a devious so-and-so, her father. But then he had once worked for MI5, and still maintained close links with that organisation.
'Chops!' exclaimed Alastair with delight when his meal was served. 'Haven't seen a chop for a fortnight. What did you have to do to get these?'
'Had to promise the butcher the use of my body three times a week,' said Jane, and was gratified when poor Seymour nearly choked on his wine.
Her father sighed. 'Jane,' he said, 'I do wish you would remember that you are not among your left-wing Oxford friends now, but in the presence of a guest.'
'Yes, Daddy,' said Jane dutifully.
Discussion turned to the former King, Edward VIII. Since his abdication in December 1936, he had been known as the Duke of Windsor, and Seymour was astonished to hear that the Duke and his then mistress, Mrs Wallis Simpson, had on several occasions been entertained to dinner in this very room.
'In fact,' said Alastair, 'he sat in the same chair as yourself.'
'And Wallis Simpson sat in mine,' said Jane. 'The seat is still warm.'
'Gee whiz!' said Seymour. 'Just wait till I tell Pa!'
Alastair laughed. 'You'll find he knows already. He and your mother have been here on several occasions.'
Seymour became thoughtful. 'There's been an awful lot about the Duke in the American press, you know. He's been giving interviews and making statements that even I thought were a bit...'
'A bit what?' asked Jane.
'Well...' Seymour paused. 'Disloyal? Out of line?'
'The Duke makes no secret of the fact that he wants this war to end,' said Alastair. 'We haven't been in any doubt about that for some time, and he will tell anyone prepared to listen that he wants a negotiated peace between Great Britain and Germany.'
Seymour hesitated again, as if worried about offending his hosts. 'And isn't there... some sort of idea about him becoming King again? Or not so much King perhaps, but a President of England?'
'Well,' said Alastair carefully, 'it isn't very widely known, but the Duke of Windsor would apparently be willing, as part of a peace treaty, to see his brother King George packed off to Canada or Australia--with the royal family given safe passage as well, of course. And it appears that, in those circumstances, the Duke would be prepared to return to England as some sort of head of state. Whether as King, or President, or whatever, would remain to be seen.'
The phone rang, and Jane left her chair to answer it.
'Are you two planning to go out tonight?' Alastair asked, after Jane had disappeared into the hall.
'Er, yes, I think so,' said Seymour. 'Jane has promised to take me to the theater. I gather it's quite a cultural evening. At the Windmill, I believe it's called.'
What response Alastair Padget might have made to his daughter's suggestion for the entertainment of Seymour Jensen that evening will never be known, because Jane called him to take the telephone.
When Alastair returned a few moments later his expression was grave. 'I'm afraid I've got to go back to the Palace,' he said. 'There's some sort of crisis blown up.'
'Oh dear,' said Jane. 'And you haven't had your pudding yet, either. Never mind, Seymour and I will share it between us.'
'No you won't,' said Alastair. 'Seymour must eat on his own. Because you, Jane, have got to come too.'