Anthony Blunt

Anthony BluntGetty: Images

A Russian spy lived a double life in the United Kingdom...and the Royal Family allegedly knew all about it

Anthony Blunt was the Windsors' chief art curator for decades but he was also one of the 'Cambridge Five' spy ring.

A new book called 'The Secret Royals: Spying And The Crown From Victoria To Diana' by Richard Aldrich and Rory Cormac has revealed that the man many believed to have been an art historian, was in fact a double-agent who worked for both MI5 and the KGB.

Anthony Blunt had enjoyed a close relationship with Queen Elizabeth II's mother, Queen Mary. Following the end of WWII, he accepted the role offered to him by the Queen, Surveyor of the King’s Pictures.

It was during this period that Blunt would go on to work for the KGB, as a talent spotter. While MI5 reportedly was aware of his espionage at the time, it has now become clear that his treachery was a topic of conversation among the Royal Family also.

It is believed that the Royal Family was willing to turn a blind eye to Blunt's espionage due to the fact that he almost certainly had classified information about the family themselves.

It is believed that Blunt had undertaken work on the behalf of the Royal Family. Much of this work included stealing classified documents from other countries on the European continent. Several reports allege that, following the war, Blunt was sent to Germany to find art, jewels, and rare coins which had once belonged to the Windsors but also sensitive documents that might show them in a bad light.

Papers and files that related to Vicky, the eldest child of Queen Victoria, who married future German emperor, Frederick III, in 1858, thus becoming empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia, are believed to have been on the agenda of Blunt at the time.

Following the war, there were concerns among several members of the Royal Family about the Nazi sympathies of the Duke of Windsor, and the pro-German sentiments of other members of the British Royal Family.

Blunt visited Europe four times in the two years following the war, but his findings have never been revealed.

Blunt received a knighthood for his services in 1956, despite the fact that the Royal Family were aware of his connections to the KGB at that point.