Edited by MarcA on August 11, 2017, 10:03 pm
When Mrs Greville died in 1942 it was the height of the war. The war was now turning against Germany but this is only known for certain retrospectively.
Having learn't the lessons of the Romanov's, Romians and Milford Haven's you don't keep your egg's in one basket. Not only the crown jewels but I would imagine the majority of the jewel collection was scattered around the country in case of an invasion. An invasion from which direction no one could really know.
With the Dutch royal family living in modest circumstances in Canada what better jewels to try and ship over to the US, Canada or South Africa than the Greville piece's. They could then easily be broken down or sold piecemeal as required to keep the exiled royals in befitting circumstances or help fund a resistance. Also at this point there is no royal provenance or emotional attachment if they were lost at sea Also no one would probably notice them in an overseas sale if required in the middle of WWII.
The jewels could have been separated up and then would all have been shipped over on the same convoy as I'll explain.
When U-Boats attack a convoy with a Navy escort and you can bet your bottom dollar if this theory holds water they will have had an escort. The U-boats usually only the manage to sink or target one or two of the ships before the Naval ships from the escort go in pursuit. The rest of the convoy is under orders to sale on and not even stop to pick up survivors. Obviously some may have been on the Naval ships.
This way some, the majority or all would have reached their destination to support an exiled royal family, royal families who are not on the losing side have very poor retention records) or just the Princess's as they'd have be first or the only one's out.
At the end of the war in 1945 Britain elected it's most socialist government ever, also a number of Allied thrones toppled in this period. With the UK royal's having one of the largest jewel collection's ever it's not like they needed to repatriate them immediately. They were short of jewels and known pieces for morale and discretion purposes looks a lot better then new pieces suddenly appearing during mass austerity...
Once things are calmed down the jewels can be safely returned. Some might have been lost unfortunately on the way over. Interestingly I believe the current Queen holds quite a bit of real estate in the US which could have been funded by a part sale. Maybe some are in a safety deposit box still overseas.
Only a theory...
« Back to index | View thread »