Aline Countess of Romanones Message Board

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!
MarkM posts on 4/26/2011 10:46:51 AM One thing that has always struck me as hard to believe is Romanones' story about her and the Duchess of Windsor working together to uncover a CIA mole. Simpson was a well-known Nazi sympathizer before and even during the war, and acoording to 1st Baron Ironside, had even leaked information on French and Belgian defenses to nazis. This person sounds like a major security risk, and from what I have read of CIA procedure, I would think the CIA would have a dim view of Romanones, if she were a CIA agent, bringing Simpson into an operation.
Angela posts on 4/25/2011 10:02:23 PM Robert, to start with, I respect you and your opinions very much. I know from past posts that you also served our country, and I find it very touching that you labored to provide Edmundo's family with the most factual account of his life that you had access to. But herein lies my point; All things in life do not come neatly bundled in a folder filled with bits and pieces of info. considered factual. Remember the parable of the elephant and the two blind men? Depending on which part of the elephant they were touching, each had his own way of describing the same elephant? Well, Aline's description of Tophat came from her personal experiences with him. As for him not being an assassin, how could you possibly know that for 100 percent sure? In addition, what is the stigma with him if he was an assassin? It would have been for a good cause, right? The KGB part I could understand not being true, because at the time the books were printed, wasn't Edmundo's official cause of death still undetermined? Anyway, you call her books fiction based on some fact, but the way I see it, the books are as factual as the Countess could allow them to be to avoid exposing people to needless danger and scrutiny. Send my best wishes to your wife. Her father was an awesome man. Too bad you couldn't have met him.
Robert Huddleston posts on 4/25/2011 12:25:15 PM THE SPY WORE RED and THE SPY WENT DANCING, the two books featuring Edmundo Lassalle, were fiction based on the fact that both Edmundo and Aline were OSS employees in Spain during WW II and CIA agents in 1966 though any CIA connection I have been unable to confirm. Yes, Edmundo is my wife's father though he died before we were married. I published EDMUNDO: FROM CHIAPAS, MEXICO TO PARK AVENUE for his seven children to know that he had been depicted in Aline's books as a man and spy he never was. He had many flaws but was never an assassin nor was he killed by the KGB. Yes, many memoirs are quote enhanced unquote but key events MUST BE FACTUAL. Had Edmundo not died in 1974 he most certainly had grounds to sue for slander but we were advised that a deceased person cannot be slandered. Edmundo Lassalle became an employee of the OSS on January 17, 1944 with his cover as the European Representative of the Walt Disney Company. He was posted to Spain with a Mexican passport in May 1944. As Disney's representative he moved in the high circles of Spain's business, political and social circles. Aline accompanied him socially and in 1945 learned that he was also an OSS agent and he submitted his reports to the OSS station Chief through her. He found the duty so dull he requested to be posted from Secret Intelligence to Counterintelligence elsewhere, verified by documents in the National Archives. A writer in Madrid is working on a book about the relationship between Edmundo and Walt Disney which should prove interesting.
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