Well, that’s a tough question.
The more I learn about Queen Victoria, the more I like her, but I’m glad she wasn’t my mom.
Henry VIII remains fascinating hundreds of years after he left a wake of headless ex-wives, priests, and other “traitors” behind.
And that’s just the English!
The French had their stars as well.
And it makes it hard to narrow down, so this could be a series!
Yeah, I know you’re thrilled.
But, as always, my interest in history IS the people, and though I can talk cause, outcome, and reason for hours days weeks ever, I usually come back to the people.
Especially the ones with faults.
Which brings us to Prince George, Duke of Kent.
He was never king, but he was truly royal.
The present Queen’s uncle, The Duke of Kent, was among other things, a British Naval Officer and a war casulty. He died during WW II at the age of 40. He was the father of Prince Edward, the present Duke of Kent, Prince Michael, and Princess Alexandra , 1st cousins of Her Majesty. He was married to a Greek Princes, Marina, and was the last member of the British Royal Family to marry a “true’ foreign royal…UP to this point.
On 25th August 1942, Prince George, the fourth son of King George V, was killed when his aircraft crashed into Eagles Rock near Dunbeath, Caithness, Scotland. He was the first member of the British Royal Family to be killed on active military service for 500 years. His death is shrouded in mystery. The official report into his death has never been published. In fact, the government claims that it has disappeared from the archives.
Some believe that he was assassinated by the British intelligence services on the orders of Winston Churchill, and that The Duke of Kent was one of many people murdered as part of a cover-up operation
As with most of the “younger brother” royal family members, there was a dark side.
Handsome and glamorous, he was probably the most interesting, intelligent and cultivated member of his generation of the Royal Family. He took a strong interest in the arts, theatre, and in interior decoration, an interest he shared with his mother, Queen Mary, but no other member of the family.
Both before and after his marriage, Prince George had a long string of affairs with both men and women, from socialites to cabaret singers to political figures to Hollywood celebrities.
Some of his liasons included the African-American cabaret singer Florence Mills,
heiress Poppy Baring,
and social butterfly Margaret Whigham, who later became the Duchess of Argyll and was involved in a notoriously scandalous divorce case.
Twistedly enough, he had an affair with Barbara Cartland, the romace writer.
And he is most likely the father of Cartland’s daughter, Raine (Acid Raine) McCorquodale, the step-mother of Diana, Princess of Wales.
There were claims of a 19 year “off and on” affair with Noel Coward.
Coward’s long-time companion, Graham Payn denied it, but intimate letters from the Duke to Coward were stolen from Coward’s house in 1942, shortly after the Duke’s death. Most think the British Secret Service did the deed.
According to Lucy Moore, a British historian , he had an affair with Indira Raje, the Maharani of Cooch Behar – an Indian state; well, at least he was keeping it royal.
He was also ‘extremely close’ to Henry “Chips” Channon. Channon was an American born, British politician who married into the Guinness (Ale) family, and had, shall we say, a reputation.
The Duke was also addicted to drugs – morphine and cocaine. His older brother, The Prince of Wales, and the future King Edward VIII was comissioned by the family to ‘cure’ him during the latter part of the 1920s. There were several occasions when the Prince of Wales traveled to France and dragged his brother home, literally kicking and screaming. He was one of the few royals banned from the George Cinc Hotel in Paris.
Goerge was blackmailed by a male prostitute to whom he wrote intimate letters.
Good thing texting was invented yet.
Another boyfriend was his distant cousin, Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia, and the grand son of the last Kaiser of Germany.
British traitor, Soviet Spy, and art historian Anthony Blunt may have been on George’s dance card as well. Which could be why Churchill was so pissy about everything.
Prior to marrying Marina, The Duke tried to court Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. She was less than amused, and sent him packing. Juliana settled for a lesser royal, with less baggage, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Bisterfeld instead.
In addition to his legitimate children, the Duke probably had a son with Kiki Preston a.k.a. Alice Gwynne. The American society maven was a generous girl, and she, George, and Jorge Ferrara, the bi-sexual son of Argentine ambassador to the Court of St. James’s engaged in menage a trois on numerous occasions.
Kiki was known as “the girl with the silver syringe”. Drug-addict Preston — a cousin of railroad heiress and jean queen Gloria Vanderbilt, was married at the time of her affairs with the George and Jorge.
The Duke of Wndsor, older brother of George was convinced that the son was Michael Canfield, the adopted son of Cass Canfield, an American publisher, who by the way, was the first husband of Lee Radziwill, younger and far trampier sister of Jackie O.
This guy makes Prince Harry look DULL!
He’s not my favorite, but I’m sure he would have livened UP any party!