Saturday, 13 October 2012

Appeasement: The Leeds Castle Connection

Many of the visitors to Leeds Castle in Kent might not realise that they are visiting a site as important as Cliveden to the history of British Appeasement.

Lady Olive Baillie was a society hostess to rival pro-Nazi Hostesses Emerald Cunard and Maggie Greville. All three hosted first the sets around Royal Princes, the Prince of Wales, Duke of York and Duke of Kent. Lady Baillie was daughter of Lord Queenborough.
Lady Baillie became renowned as a hostess. The Baillies lived during the week in London and held house parties at Leeds Castle at the weekends. Frequent visitors to the castle were political friends of Sir Adrian, David Margesson and Geoffrey Lloyd who were to become lifelong friends of Lady Baillie.[11] During the 1930s members of the royalty, including the Prince of Wales with Mrs Simpson, the Duke of York, Princess Marina, Queen Maria of Romania, Alfonso XIII of Spain and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia were visitors. Other prominent visitors included Sir Alfred Beit, many MPs, including Anthony Eden, and Germany's ambassador to Britain, Joachim von Ribbentrop. Lady Baillie was a lover of the cinema and her guest list during that decade included the film stars Douglas Fairbanks senior and junior, Fredric March, Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, Lili Damita, Robert Taylor, James Stewart[3] and Gertrude Lawrence.[12] Other guests were Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, Barbara Hutton, the author Ian Fleming, and the singer Richard Tauber.[12]
Sir Adrian Baillie was Conservative MP for Tonbridge and a leading Scottish Freemason.  
Here is pictured with Grand Master the Duke of Kent in the 1930's.Writer Daphne Du Maurier described the set at Leeds Castle in the 1920's and 1930's as the worst sort, and leaked MI5 files Kim Philby sent to Moscow place the set around Lady Baillie as having very strange Occult gambling  involving cabinet ministers there during World War 2. (Crown Jewels 1998) 
What is clear is that Baillie was a prime mover in Fascist Circles, he invited Nazi Alfred Rosenberg to London in May 1933 and he was a member like Sir Louis Greig of the fascist front the January Club (Blackshirt - Dorrill 2006 p.237)
He had connections to the British Film Industry - to London Films and his own company set up in 1938 with Fairbanks -Albion Films Ltd. It is likely that he was well known to Sir Joseph Ball who at this time also was a leading light in the British Film Sector. By the way, fellow scot and Ball's friend at MI6 - it's head C, was Stewart Menzies and he was also a frequent visitor to the Castle. Given Ball's friendship to Lloyd (at CRD and Truth) and Margesson - it seems likely that Ball was also part of this circle.
Baillie was Grand Master of Lodge Polkmmet 927 in Edinburgh in 1930-31 and a previous Grand Master in the same lodge was a J Greig - possibly Louis Greig's elder stockbroking brother.
With the death of the Duke of Kent who had succeeded George VI as Supreme Grand Master , there is an obvious masonic link here with all the major players in the Rudolf Hess Affair in 1941.
It is another example of the many right wing appeasement and homosexual circles in which all the Royal Princes, including George VI circulated in.