This is another post inspired by a library book I picked up out of curiosity. The book is The Pocket Guide to Royal Scandals by Andy K Hughes.
Thirteen Royal Scandals
1. William the Conqueror – 1066 – 1087 – he was born illegitimate, but this didn’t slow him down. He asked Count Baldwin V of Flanders for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Matilda, the daughter, wasn’t impressed and informed everyone she’d rather become a nun than marry him. William was so furious he attacked Matilda, beating her and ripping off her clothes. Despite this, she did end up marrying him. The marriage was condemned by the church, which caused a great scandal in the day.
2. Henry VIII – 1509 – 1547 – He’s well known for his six wives, his role in breaking with Rome and the church and the destruction of monasteries in England. He was a larger than life figure who really shook up traditions.
3. Queen Elizabeth I – 1558 – 1603 – she never married or bore an heir and this resulted in the end of the Tudor line. She had a close relationship with Lord Robert Dudley, and no one is certain whether they did the deed or were merely close friends.
4. George I – 1714 – 1727 – He came from Hanover after the previous ruler died childless. He arrived with two mistresses, one very short and fat and the other tall and thin. They were nicknamed the maypole and the elephant. His English was almost nil and senior ministers ran the country more than he did.
5. George II – 1727 – 1760 – He had a private agreement with his wife, and she picked out all his mistresses. She made sure they were uglier than her.
6. Caroline of Brunswick and George IV – George had his marriage to Maria Fitzherbert annulled in order to marry Caroline of Brunswick. She wasn’t attractive and didn’t bathe often. They lived apart and she held rowdy parties. There were rumors of an illegitimate son, but public opinion was with her rather than George IV. A Royal Commission cleared Caroline of adultery but they did censure her behavior. George tried to get rid of Caroline, to prevent her from become Queen. They aired her dirty laundry but kept George’s from the hearing.
7. Queen Victoria 1837 – 1901 – After Prince Albert’s death, she had a close relationship with personal servant John Brown. It’s not known if the relationship was a sexual one, but there was a lot of speculation. She had a second friendship with a younger man after Brown’s death. Her advisors warned her against having a relationship with Munshi Hafir Abdul Karim because he was a dark-skinned man.
8. Edward VII – 1901 – 1910 – He was known to hang out with prostitutes in both England and during his travels. His wife Princess Alexandra maintained a dignified silence.
9. King Edward VIII – he had a relationship with Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee and finally married her after abdicating.
10. Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh – he’s known for his tactless remarks over the years.
11. Sarah, Duchess of York – She was married to Prince Andrew. After her separation from Prince Andrew she was filmed topless and having her toes sucked by financial advisor, John Bryan.
12. Princess Margaret – she divorced Lord Snowdon. It was the first royal divorce for more than four hundred years. Margaret had an affair with Roddy Llewellyn, a younger man. The scandal consumed the nation and she was publically blamed for the breakdown of her marriage.
13. King Farouk, Egypt – 1936 – 1952 – He spent money hand over fist. He abused his power and was promiscuous. He was a playboy and was overthrown and sent into exile after a military coup. He was supposedly a kleptomaniac and enjoyed stealing.
Note – the dates refer to the royal’s reign.
Personally I find royalty fascinating, although I wouldn’t like to be one. In these modern times they have no privacy, while hundreds of years ago all the intrigue could help you lose your head!!
What do you think about royalty? Do you think you could handle royal duties for a week or two?