Extracts from www.sxolsout.org.uk/zdrug.html
[This is an undeniably lurid and dramatically reconstructed account, which switches forwards and backwards rather disjointedly. I've tidied up the format and punctuation here and there, and omitted some of the seamier content as indicated by dotted ellipses. But taken together with the other accounts, it provides a vividly convincing narrative.
Factually it appears to be heavily dependent on the authoritative source murderpedia.org/female.F/f/fahmy-marguerite.htm]
Paris during WW1
Marguerite Alibert Meller – known to all as 'Maggie' – became the mistress of His Royal Highness, Edward, the Prince of Wales. Over eighteen months they exchanged dozens of deeply revealing love letters.
Maggie became a Princess when she married an Egyptian billionaire, Prince Aly Bey Fahmy.
Savoy Hotel, London, 9 July 1923
Over dinner the Egyptian Prince and his new French wife started arguing. High Society gossip columns had noted the couple turning heads with public cat fights in Paris, Cairo and Monte Carlo. Their voices got louder as they left the restaurant and took the lift to their fourth floor suite. The Prince's family had forecast the marriage wouldn't work.
The 23-year-old Prince was beginning to think his 32-year-old wife, gorgeous as she was, simply had to go.
Just before midnight the Prince burst out of the suite noisily trading French expletives with his wife before slamming the door in her face. Screaming with frustration Maggie kicked the door. Shouting at the ceiling she strode into the bedroom. She pushed open the big sash window. An almighty thunderstorm was brewing, she breathed in deep and long. Again. And again. Black rolling clouds and deep rumbling thunder was calming her down. Leaving the window wide open she walked over to the bed and took her Browning .32 pistol from under her pillow. Checking the chamber was full she practised the two-handed aiming stance. Maggie wasn't worried about cat burglars coming for her Cartier baubles.She was planning to get away with murder. Maggie had a unique Ace up her sleeve. It was just a question of having the nerve to use it.
Heavy spots of rain started falling as the Prince walked out of the hotel. He nodded at the concierge who instantly beckoned and umbrella-ed him into a cab. A volley of forked lightning flashed, cracked and danced across the skyline. One minute later a sudden torrential downpour slowed down the Oxford Street traffic to a snail's pace as the Prince's cab headed for the fleshpots of Soho. Stood at the open window Maggie smiled as the hissing deluge joined the crashing chorus of thunder and lightning. She clicked the safety catch off. Standing legs apart, arms stiff she aimed high and fired a round into the roaring storm. Her mind was clear now. She closed the window then put the gun in her Alligator clutch purse on her dressing table.
The Prince returned at 2:00 am.
Around 2:20 am, the fourth floor porter heard the couple engaged in yet another French language screaming match. In a drunken rage the Prince lunged at Maggie grabbing her by the throat. She dug her fingernails into his face and pulled down hard – breaking nails in the process. Screeching in pain he stumbled backwards across the room. Flinging the door open he staggered into the corridor.
The porter was walking towards him. 'Look! Look what the bitch has done! Look!' he shouted, pointing at his face. The porter coughed and replied, 'Please keep your voice down, sir. This is the Savoy, sir'. He carried on walking down the corridor. Maggie's lapdog ran out of the suite and chased after the porter. The Prince followed them a few yards, then lent against the wall shouting slurred abuse at both dog and porter.
The time had come. Calmly she took her gun out of her purse. As she walked out the door she clicked the safety catch off. As the Prince turned round he saw the gun, a few feet away, aimed between his eyes. Maggie glared at him, legs apart, arms out stretched. Both hands steady on the gun. Blood on her nails, bloody finger on the trigger. The Prince gasped and turned to run. He didn't hear her snarl the word 'Bastard!' Her voice was drowned-out by the noise of the gun as a bullet slammed into the nape of his neck. He tried to hold on to the wall as he sank to the floor like a puppet with slashed strings. Slowly, Maggie walked forward, repeating the word Bastard! twice as she fired two more bullets at his head.
One missed. One entered his brain through his temple leaving black powder burns on his skin. The burns were caused by Maggie firing the gun a few inches from his head.
Taking her eyes off her bleeding target Maggie looked up and saw the porter, accompanied by her dog, running back up the corridor. She threw the gun down. Job done.
Faking instant remorse, she started crying and choking on her words. The porter understood her to be repeating, 'I lost my head. I lost my head'. [As] a French-speaking assistant Hotel Manager who Maggie recognised arrived on the scene, she grabbed his arm asking, 'What have I done? What have I done?'
He replied, 'You know better than I do.' Sobbing she told him, 'I lost my head. I've shot the bastard...'
Arrest and imprisonment
An hour later in Charing Cross Hospital the Prince was pronounced dead. Maggie was taken to Bow Street Police Station. At 11 am she was interviewed and then charged with the wilful murder of her husband. When the interpreter repeated the detective's caution 'Anything you say will be taken down and may be used in evidence' Maggie replied, 'I told the police I did it ... I have told the truth ...'.
She was then taken to Holloway Prison, the all-female jail known as 'Holloway Castle,' where the inmates were fiercely proud to be known as 'Castle Girls'. She got on well with the other girls and with her jailers. Some of her new-found friends had suffered a "religious education" delivered by nuns – as Maggie had. In the ten weeks she spent waiting for her trial 'the richest ever Castle Girl' didn't feel like a prisoner, she felt protected. Apart from her husband's family there was another family who would like to see her dead. In the Castle she felt safe.
Crime reporters noted Maggie had a surprising amount of visitors – some of who remarked how cheerful and confident they found her. They believed her confidence stemmed from her defence lawyer Marshall Hall, who was known and revered as 'The Great Defender'.
It was rightly rumoured Maggie had agreed to pay a record fee for Marshall Hall's presence in court and an equal sum for his team to sweeten London newspaper editors in Maggie's favour.
Her regular visitors included an ex-lover, Major Ernest Bald, who she last saw in wartime France. Along with Maggie, Major Bald was an old friend of both Edward, Prince of Wales and of the Duke of Westminster. Against prison rules Maggie was allowed to converse in French with the Major without an interpreter in attendance.
Days before her Old Bailey trial, 'The Savoy Murder' was all over the newspapers. Leading articles emphasized how Oriental men consider their wives as property to be used as the husband sees fit. Editorials warned of the dangers of white women marrying Orientals. Editors quoted the first line of a Kipling poem, 'East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. Maggie's defence team had used her sweeteners well.
The trial, 10 – 14 Sep 1923
As the trial got underway the judge, Mr Justice Rigby Swift, ruled-out any cross-examination by the prosecution concerning Maggie's life before she met Prince Aly Bey Fahmy.
Mr Percival Clarke, leading council for the Crown Prosecution, had two rock-solid eye-witnesses who testified the defendant admitted to the fatal shooting within minutes of the crime. Clarke apparently believed, as most people in the legal profession did, Guilty was the only verdict.
Marshall Hall started the defence by painting a rosy picture of Maggie, who, coming from humble beginnings, had been swept off her feet by the offer to become a Princess. Hall created the impression she was naive enough to have been hoodwinked into marrying an Oriental billionaire playboy Prince who turned out to be a violent sex maniac.
Hall launched into an unprecedented attack on Orientals, implying the Egyptian Prince and his entire entourage were all homosexuals with no regard whatsoever for women. Solemnly, Hall told the court how the Prince had forced Maggie to have 'unnatural intercourse' that left her 'torn' in the most intimate of places.
Hall's unashamedly theatrical presentation of Maggie's case concluded with his retelling of Maggie's account of the fatal shooting. According to Maggie, in the heat of the argument, when the Prince was threatening to strangle her, [she] ran into the bedroom grabbed her gun then fired a shot out of the window to frighten him.
He wasn't frightened. He went berserk and lunged at her, grabbed the gun and wrestled it off her. According to Maggie he pointed the gun at her face he started shouting, 'You ******* bitch. You ******* bitch. I will kill you'. According to Maggie, the gun went off as she wrestled the gun back off him.
Using the actual murder weapon, Hall acted-out how the Prince had allegedly threatened to kill her – pointing the gun at the jury!
In his summing up the judge gravely told the jury. 'We in this country put our women on a pedestal; in Egypt they have not the same views.' It took less than an hour for the jury to find her Not Guilty.
Those who had packed the public gallery to watch 'the Great Defender' presenting Maggie's case thought the verdict was fair and just. The rest of the world thought the headline, Princess: Not Guilty, was a misprint.
Reading the daily press reports, published throughout the British Empire, readers had learned from the porter's testimony and again from the assistant manager's testimony how Maggie had admitted to deliberately shooting her husband. Foreign editors asked, 'How could the jury find her innocent?'
In the British press, Hall's over-the-top, over-emotional presentation of his beautiful client's case was generally held responsible for deleting the actual facts of the murder from the juror's minds.
The British press studiously ignored foreign press reports accusing Mr. Justice Rigby Swift of perverting the course of justice by preventing the prosecution calling witnesses to reveal Maggie's past. The judge's ruling prevented the jury learning Maggie's history.
Maggie's first husband, millionaire Charles Laurent, could have testified; he was glad to give Maggie 200,000 francs per-year-for-life, to get rid of her. He could have described how her violent temper had suddenly surfaced shortly after their wedding. Laurent divorced Maggie after six months of marital misery.
Her father could have testified; from a very early age she suffered from violent fits of screaming temper. Her father could also have told the court, as a child Maggie much preferred wearing boys' clothes to her own. And her first and only love was money.
Aged 9, Maggie's wild ways forced her parents to place her in a nunnery ... The nuns later placed her in service with a rich family – who promptly threw her out when she got pregnant
Aged 15, Maggie farmed out her illegitimate daughter in order to pursue her ambition of becoming a courtesan.
Aged 16, Maggie had already started her climb up the social ladder working as a bisexual whore sleeping with rich [clients] on her way up to super-rich [clients].
Girls who worked with Maggie in the finest brothel in Paris could have testified how she dressed to please her clients, as a sailor boy, a choir boy, whatever uniform any anally-inclined-client was willing to pay for having tailored for her. His Royal Highness, Edward, Prince of Wales – known in Parisian brothels by one of his other titles – the Earl of Chester – dressed her as a Turkish servant boy in baggy silk pants, silk-tailed-shirt, silk waistcoat and silk turban.
Wartime Paris 1917
When Edward, Prince of Wales arrived in France to 'serve his country' his commanding officer, the Duke of Westminster, took him to the best bisexual brothel in Paris – where Maggie just happened to be the star attraction. Maggie was 28 at the time. Edward was 23 – and putty in her hands. It wasn't long before he had a chauffeurs' uniform tailored for her, so she could drive his Rolls Royce around Paris.
... Edward enjoyed putting his innermost thoughts and most perverted desires into letters to his mistresses. In some of his letters Edward told Maggie how much he hated the war and his father – King George 5th – who in Edward's opinion, could have prevented the war by sacking the ... politicians who were nothing more than war profiteers. Some of his letters spoke of the glittering limelight of London's High Society and his plans for enjoying himself after the war. Until Edward callously dumped her, Maggie was hoping for an apartment near Harrods and all the trimmings befitting a Royal Mistress. The dream ended when Edward met Freda Dudley Ward.
Edward neglected to kiss Maggie goodbye. Hopping mad at being dumped, her first thought was to sell his letters to the American press. The British Press wouldn't dare publish the truth about a royal. The Americans would jump at the chance. Maggie could star in a Hollywood film of her royal affair. Selling Edward's secret would put her in the limelight she craved ...
On reflection, when she calmed down, Maggie decided to play the long game.
She posted a message to Edward. A few days later she sent a mutual friend to deliver exactly the same message in person to Edward in London. The message informed him she [had] kept all the photographs she took of him playing dress-up in the brothel and every single one of his ... letters. Edward was offered the chance to buy them all back for £100,000. Maggie would accept payment by instalment into a Swiss bank.
On her previous form with other disagreeable clients, Maggie would have negotiated a deal with Edwards' friends to return the ... letters and the photos of him ..., gradually, over time, until he had paid £100,000.
Had Edward demanded to pay the full amount and retrieved all the photo's and letters, in 1918, when the offer was made, their affair would have been her word against his. Maggie could not sell her story without written and photographic proof.
[Edward's arrogant refusal] to see her instalments plan gave her enormous control over his future. His closest friends could not penetrate his inherent belief that he was "royal" and therefore invincible.
Assuming he wrote to Maggie once a week – for the eighteen months they were seeing each other; that means three dozen letters (most historians think there were more because of Edward's love of letter writing). Whatever payments he made, Maggie still had the greater part of his photo's and letters at the time she decided to commit murder.
The French language meetings with Major Bald were to discuss how to keep her thick catalogue of unusual bedtime stories describing Edward – his friends and family – out of the world's press.
Maggie would only settle for an acquittal and the balance of the £100,000. Through Major Bald the Royal Household were informed Maggie would sing like a canary if the verdict went against her. Edward's photo's and letters would be published by her powerful friends abroad. Gagging the British Press would only add credibility to their provenance when they were published in France, Egypt, America, Australia etc etc.
In 1973 some of Edward's surviving letters written to close friends came to light. In 1918 Edward [had written], "Oh! Those bloody letters. She's not burnt one! I'm afraid she's a regular £100,000-or-nothing type".
In 1980 a letter written days before Maggie's trial came to light. The then Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, wrote to his wife, 'The French girl to be tried for the Savoy Murder was the Prince's mistress in Paris during the war... his name is to be kept out.'
The only possible way to keep Edward's name out, and thereby stop Maggie exposing the heir to throne as a worthless royal tosspot, was to arrange for Maggie to get away with premeditated cold-blooded-murder. There can be no reasonable doubt Royal orders were issued – to fix the trial in Maggie's favour – to save the Monarchy.