Aline Countess of Romanones Message Board
Roseanne H posts on 5/6/2011 9:31:59 AM
With respect to the continuous rants and accusations from two or three posters, the Countess does not frequent this board, and is, therefore, not here to defend herself against what she had once described as foolish persons to whom she pays no attention. I will, however, be happy to repeat what I have shared previously on this board.
The Countess considered Edmundo Lassalle her best friend during her OSS years in Madrid, and he is the character whom she has portrayed most exactly, according to her.
Apparently, he committed suicide in London because he was caught stealing something in Harrods and was unable to face the consequences. Although he was a kleptomaniac, he was an exceptionally kind and a loyal friend to the Countess.
The Countess never wrote in her books, to the best of my recollection, that Lassalle worked for the CIA and then was killed by the KGB, as Mr. Huddleston and his wife, Pepita, have claimed.
It also appears that Pepita Huddleston was never known to those who worked at the OSS with Lassalle, as he never had contact with her, nor did Pepita have contact with Princess Agatha Ratibor, whom Lassalle married in 1946. In the fifties, Lassalle married a New York socialite and had three children with her.
Mrs. Huddleston stated on this board QUOTE I know what my father did when assigned to the OSS and I know that he never served with the CIA … then killed by the KGB … END QUOTE. She also shared that her husband QUOTE flew 36 combat missions in WW II as a fighter pilot. The air war over Germany was a bit more dangerous than what OSS agents, my father included, ever encountered in Spain END QUOTE.
I will again applaud the heroic service to our country that Mr. Huddleston and others have made, but I also feel that those on the ground, like the Countess and her colleagues, made just as much as a sacrifice and service to their country. To state otherwise is not only unAmerican, but the epitome of arrogance.
Anita posts on 4/28/2011 1:03:47 PM
Mark M.: I did see the movie "The Shooting Party" from the 1980's but would like to see it again,now that you mentioned it.You are correct it was very "Edwardian", indeed.
MarkM posts on 4/28/2011 11:43:03 AM
Care to elaborate on what you don't think people are being realistic about, RYARISTO?
RYARISTO posts on 4/28/2011 2:06:31 AM
Oh my GOD! Let's be realistic! Pull your head out people who post on this board!
MarkM posts on 4/28/2011 12:21:41 AM
Ever seen the movie The Shooting Party from the mid 80s? Good flick, especially if the idea of a genteel Edwardian weekend party at a country estate appeals to you.
The full list of 1,900 guests hasn't been released, but a selected list is here:
officialroyalwedding2011 dot org
From that list, it appears that just being foreign nobility doesn't get one on the list. Even being a member of foreign royalty won't get you there; you probably have to be a crown prince or higher, or otherwise have some close personal connection to the family. Were Romanones and Diana close friends?
Angela posts on 4/27/2011 9:33:29 PM
Anita, talk about another beautiful and intriguing American born royal, Queen Nor. She is as intelligent and classy as Aline. You're right about those shooting parties. They sound like a blast (Ha ha) except for some of the greasy meals they served up for the guests. Don't forget your Peptobismol on that outing!
Anita posts on 4/27/2011 5:39:57 PM
All things considered, I wonder if the Countess of Romanones, is on the guest list for the Royal Wedding. I suspect she is. I also think that maybe Queen Nor, from Jordan is also on the list. These people all travel in the same European social circles. Also, I bet the Duchess of Alba too, is on the guest list. Reminds me of those extravagant parties and "shoots" she speaks of in her book. They all sounded wonderfully entertaining, interesting, and fun.
Angela posts on 4/26/2011 8:27:18 PM
Mark, it's okay to have doubts. That is the driving force behind the quest for knowledge. I myself have wondered about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their Nazi affiliations. However, I believe that the Countess was savvy enough to know what and how much the Duchess should know and how far to involve her, just in case she did have loose lips. As far as the Countesses friendship with the Windsors, she has a very wide and varied array of people she hangs out with, it seems. I may not agree with her choice of acquaintances at all times, but I can't judge what I don't understand. Who knows, but it seems likely that they were yet another source of information for her line of work. As for the work being boring at times, yes, even Aline admits there were times of intense boredom, but there's always the exceptions, and she seems to be one of those select few that home in on trouble like a bloodhound and latch onto it like a pitbull. Even rivers that appear calm on the surface have dangerous currents just beneath. Also, keep in mind, as far as records are concerned, we are talking about thing that went on in the country of Spain at a time in its history that anything could happen, including murder, and you can bet the investigation would have been woefully lacking.
MarkM posts on 4/26/2011 1:10:50 PM
Robert, I find your comment on Lasalle finding his posting in Spain, as documented in the National Archives, to be most interesting. I think that speaks to what stands out for me in Romanones' memoirs, how the tone and depiction of OSS activities differs from pretty much all the others I have read. Granted, most of the first-hand accounts or information based on first-hand accounts I have researched have been related to OSS activities in Indochina (always been fascinated by the cooperation with Ho Chi Minh), but I still have read quite a few based in the ETO. The work done by SO operatives sounded very exciting and hazardous, but this was all paramilitary activity, while the SI work is routinely depicted as mundane, even when it was done inside enemy territory, and even moreso for duty assignments in neutral countries. Romanones' portrayal of her life has a quality more in line with pre-war spy movies like Hitchcock's The 39 Steps or even Bob Hope's My Favorite Blonde. So, for me, it's a lot of things that make me question the memoirs: the divergence from most depictions of OSS activity, the borrowing of text from other sources, the questions raised in the media, and by CIA operatives who worked on cases she claimed to have worked on. If it were only a matter of the OSS files in the National Archives not corroborating her stories, I would believe as Angela does, that it is simply a matter of the records not being able to document everything. However, when evidence starts coming in from different directions as it is, I can't help but doubt.
Anita posts on 4/26/2011 12:14:54 PM
From all I have read over the years, Mrs. Simpson was allegedly a Nazi Sympathizer. She also dated Ribbentrop(Nazi). After marrying the Duke of Windsor following his abdication, she and the Duke were both sympathizers as Hitler let it be known that when German won the war, they would re-instate the Duke as King once again in England.
I have also not only read, and seen the newsreels from that era, I saw the Documntary that Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth II's son made about his Uncle and Mrs. Simpson a few years ago. His claim is that they were not sympathizers with the Nazi's. I think the bad PR caused Buckingham Palace to get the Documentary made. The Windsor's are Germans, and the name Windsor was another PR job since England was at War with Germany(WW I & WW II).
It is all very interesting and keeps us trying to figure it all out. It has kept me busy!
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