On September 27, 2014, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orleans hosted a royal weekend gala to honor the literary legacy of Ian Fleming on the 50th anniversary of his death. A special Le Bal de la Riviera Tribute Award was presented to the Fleming Family. Another family, unconnected to the Flemings, was also invited.
The fourth page of the invitation helps to explain why the second family was included.
Notice that the invitation mentions only ONE name as Fleming's inspiration for James Bond—Dusko (Dusan in Serbian) Popov. The second family invited was the Popovs—Dusko's widow and sons.
Assuming that the Fleming family approved the invitation, Popov was their choice as the individual most likely to have been Ian's inspiration for James Bond. It is worth noting that the last sentence of the paragraph appears in bold: "Ian Fleming and Dusan Popov always met in Estoril either at the Casino or the Palacio Hotel Spy Bar."
Isn't it time the world knew?
There was a REAL James Bond.
Larry Loftis is the author of INTO THE LION'S MOUTH: The True Story of Dusko Popov—World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond (Berkley, June 14, 2016).