Kit Harington discovers his grandfather was a Second World War spy

Kit Harington has discovered that his grandfather was a Second World War spy who kept tabs on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as part of a controversial plot.

The actor, 35, speculated that his paternal grandfather John could have inspired James Bond as he unraveled the truth of his relative’s little known past as a spy.

The revelation came as he appeared on Channel 4’s My Grandparents’ War, which sees celebrities retrace their grandparents’ experiences during World War II.

History: Kit Harington has discovered that his grandfather was a Second World War spy who kept tabs on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in a controversial spying operation

Kit told The Telegraph that he also discovered his royal connections on the show, because his grandfather John was the 22-time great-grandson of King Edward III.

Speaking about John’s past as a spy, Kit told the publication it was ‘fascinating’ to find out he was in charge of one of the most controversial spying operations of the 20th century.

The Game Of Thrones star quipped that his grandfather may have inspired James Bond, as John was colleagues with creator Ian Fleming after being recruited by naval intelligence in 1941 and sent to Jamaica.

John, who Kit never met, was then tasked with keeping tabs on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in case the former king, who abdicated the throne in 1936, passed any information to the Nazis.

Unbelievable: The actor, 35, speculated that his paternal grandfather John (pictured) could have inspired James Bond as he unraveled the truth of his relative's little known past as a spy

Unbelievable: The actor, 35, speculated that his paternal grandfather John (pictured) could have inspired James Bond as he unraveled the truth of his relative’s little known past as a spy

Inspiration?  Kit said John may have inspired the creation of James Bond, as John was colleagues with creator Ian Fleming during the war.  Pictured: Daniel Craig as the 007 spy

Inspiration? Kit said John may have inspired the creation of James Bond, as John was colleagues with creator Ian Fleming during the war. Pictured: Daniel Craig as the 007 spy

Kit said he had heard ‘rumors’ about his grandfather’s spying days but didn’t know the full extent of his job, nor did his own father Sir David Richard Harington.

‘We couldn’t find out huge details about it, but we know he was spying on them,’ he told The Telegraph.

‘I said I think it’s really worth looking into my father’s parents, because I’ve heard some rumours, some… Chinese whispers… about what they’d been involved with.’

John’s wife Lavender worked as a codebreaker in Bermuda, where she would read letters to see if they contained any coded messages from Nazi spies. The couple met while both working in intelligence in Bermuda during the war.

Incredible: The revelation came as he appeared on Channel 4's My Grandparents' War, which sees celebrities retrace their grandparents' experiences during World War II

Incredible: The revelation came as he appeared on Channel 4’s My Grandparents’ War, which sees celebrities retrace their grandparents’ experiences during World War II

Revelations: Speaking about John's past as a spy, Kit said it was 'fascinating' to find out he was in charge of one of the most controversial spying operations of the 20th century

Revelations: Speaking about John’s past as a spy, Kit said it was ‘fascinating’ to find out he was in charge of one of the most controversial spying operations of the 20th century

A spying operation on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor was denied for decades and remained a secret until the full extent of the mission was revealed, according to reports.

But it was John who had to keep an eye on the former King Edward VIII, who was appointed Governor of the Bahamas and famously had tea with Adolf Hitler in 1937.

The Duke of Windsor’s rooms in the Bahamas were said to be bugged to make sure that he didn’t leak any information, as his Nazi sympathies concerned security services.

Kit admitted he was disbelief after hearing John and Lavender’s stories, saying his family had only vaguely heard that they took part in something potentially involving Official Secrets Act, but that his grandparents had never spoken about those years.

Secrets: John was tasked with keeping tabs on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in case the former king, who abdicated the throne in 1936, passed any information to the Nazis

Secrets: John was tasked with keeping tabs on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in case the former king, who abdicated the throne in 1936, passed any information to the Nazis

In the documentary, which is set to air on Thursday night, Kit reportedly also discovered that his maternal grandfather was left with survivor’s guilt after the Second World War.

His grandfather Mick Catesby was an officer in the Royal Artillery and was left mentally scarred by the Battle of Monte Cassino in Southern Italy in 1944.

Mick’s wife Pippa – the only grandparent that Kit knew well – also became a senior nurse in Exeter during the war but was forced to give up her career after the conflict.

Kit said reflecting on his grandparents’ wartime experiences made him realize how different generations have dealt with trauma, as his grandfather Mick was left unable to even speak of the war.

Trauma: In the documentary, Kit (pictured with his mother Deb) reportedly also discovered his maternal grandfather was left with survivor's guilt after the Second World War

Trauma: In the documentary, Kit (pictured with his mother Deb) reportedly also discovered his maternal grandfather was left with survivor’s guilt after the Second World War

‘My grandparents’ generation were very closed off, I think we’re much better off being able to discuss those conflicts and discuss those feelings – it stops them getting bottled up and harming us,’ he told The Telegraph.

The Eternals star said their generational trauma has been handed down to him through his parents as he emotionally spoke about his grandparents’ experiences during the Second World War.

My Grandparents’ War has returned for a second series and will also see singer Emeli Sande, actress Kiera Knightly and actor Toby Jones explore their family history.

My Grandparents’ War airs on September 15 at 9pm on Channel 4.

Struggles: Kit (pictured with his aunts Prue and Julie) said that reflecting on his grandparents' wartime experiences made him realize how different generations have dealt with trauma

Struggles: Kit (pictured with his aunts Prue and Julie) said that reflecting on his grandparents’ wartime experiences made him realize how different generations have dealt with trauma

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