screenshot-queentohistory-com-2016-11-25-09-39-09For the final stop of my book tour for the paperback version of Illustrated Kings and Queens of England, I’m visiting my friend Sarah Bryson’s QueentoHistory blog to discuss some of the monarchs whose reigns were tinged by scandal.

Do join me and I’d love to hear which monarchs you think were scandalous so do please leave a comment. All those commenting on my article at Sarah’s blog will be entered into a giveaway with a paperback copy of my book as a prize.

Illustrated Kings and Queens of England is an Amazon Kindle Countdown Deal from today until the end of 28th November along with some other wonderful history books. They’re just $0.99 or 99p each! – click here to see the full list and links.

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6 thoughts on “Scandalous Monarchs”
  1. I think we have had plenty of scandalous monarchs throughout the ages, King John acted very irresponsible and when he married he was so besotted with his young bride that he would stay in bed till noon instead of attending to affairs of state, it was not good for his reputation and he was also blasphemous and it was said, not very religious minded, he would have affairs with any woman who took his fancy and some of these were married women, the wives of his nobles, he incurred much enmity this way, he was also said to have been responsible for the death of his young nephew, Arthur of Brittany who was a serious contender for the throne, his loss of the whole Angevin empire his father had so cleverly built up was a catastrophic disaster and his name is synonymous with that of a weak feckless and unwise monarch, another scandalous monarch I feel was King George who sadly went insane and his son the Prince Regent had to take over, that was no fault of the King as he is said to have suffered from the blood disorder porrophia which attacks the brain, also as recent as the early 20 th century and King Edward V111 the King who was never crowned and who abdicated for love, a scandal which rocked the monarchy and led to our current queen being on the throne, of course there’s also Henry V111 whose marital affairs caused a scandal throughout Europe and who is still discussed about today and whose life and times has been made into books and films, actually although I find many of England’s monarchs fascinating I do also find most of the queen consorts fascinating to, there was Queen Alfrida who was the wife of King Edgar and was famed for her beauty and allegedly poisoned her step son so her own son would inherit the throne, he bacame known to history as Ethelred the Unready, then there’s Eleanor of Aquataine who it was said, surpassed all the queens in the world for her beauty and courage and intelligence alone, she rebelled against her husband and was imprisoned for many years, and valiantly ruled England when her son Richard was on his crusade and later for her son John, Isabella the she wolf of France who led an army against her husband with her lover and overthrew him, the only queen consort to effectively do that, she ruled through her son and the King was imprisoned, and later disappeared in Berkely castle, some say he was murdured, all these queens were as interesting as their husbands and dare I say it, maybe even more scandalous?.

  2. I think the most scandalous of all has yet to be King! Our current Prince of Wales has tried for years to redeem himself,going so far as to have the Constitution changed (with his mother’s consent) in order to regularise his illicit relationship with his current wife. We forget that she was not only a divorcee (heaven forfend) but also a convert to Catholicism. How Edward VIII must turn in his grave! He was denied the throne because of his wife, but Charles flaunted his relationship from before he tricked Diana into his bed, only to rid himself of her when she supplied him with the heir and the spare. Let us not forget that his mistress’s husband was an outrider by the barouche ferrying the happy couple to Buckingham Palace crom St. Paul’s. I would dearly love to know what Diana’s children think when they see their father posing for the camera with the woman who set out to, and succeeded in ruining their mother’s happiness and robbed her of her peace of mind. Yes, the worst is yet to come!

    1. Well perhaps the British Monarchy should come into the 21st century and remember that the majority of Kings were Catholic pre Reformation, that 11 million British people are Catholic, that it is perfectly fine to be a Catholic today and many marriages break down. Carmilla will not be Queen as the constitution only recognised her marriage but not her royal title and her marriage to Charles is not illicit. Yes, she not happy in her marriage, they probably had an affair, but so did Princess Lilywhite Diane, she admitted as much. Diane and Charles were not well matched, the media hounded them into marriage just as the media hounded her to her death, which in the end is why they divorced. Carmilla is no angel and neither is Charles, but they are married now and put their human error behind them.

      Guess what….when Charles succeeds the Queen, he will have been divorced. Now what will the unwritten constitutional crises people say about that? His wife cannot be Queen as she is a divorcee but he can be King as one just because of an accident of birth? Maybe he should stand down in favour of Kate and William. Now for a history lesson. We have had a divorcee on the throne before. Henry viii, who was not a Protestant, but a Catholic, even after his break from Rome, he was essentially a Catholic. He had two divorces, two beheadings, lost one to the task of giving him a son and two outlived him. (Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr). The Norman, Plantaganet, plus later Saxons, plus Early Tudors, all Catholic, plus Mary and two Stuarts, although one in secret. We need to live in the present, not fear what a monarch did 400 years ago. The monarchy no longer has that kind of power and we no longer live in their world. Keeping a man or the woman from the crown for converting to another faith or loving what the government calls the wrong person is unacceptable today. If the King converts that should also be fine….abolish the title head of the Church…it was not meant to be inherited anyway. We live in the 21st century but we still expect our monarchy to live in the 17th and 18th.

      Edward viii did not lose the crown because of his wife, but because he chose not to give up the woman he loved and had no choice if he wanted to marry her. Her letters to him show that Mrs Fitzsimmons begged him not to give up the crown for her. The government was an ass then, just as it is now.

  3. We will never know the true relationship between Diana and Charles but there’s no evidence that he flaunted Camilla in front of his wife, in fact he tried to maintain a discreet relationship between them and he was in love, he didn’t have scores of mistresses it was tragic what happened in their marriage yet Charles wanted to be with Camilla and she unfortunately married some one else, it’s what happens, Charles realised too late that he loved her and he had to marry to provide an heir, therefore he courted the young rather naive Diana, from their early photos together you can tell they were not suited anyway, he was 13 yrs older and was serious minded, he preferred the company of intellectuals and Diana was just like any other young girl who liked pop music and anyone with half an eye and brain could see it was all arranged, wether Diana loved him or wether she just fancied being the next queen who knows? I feel very sorry for Diana as I believe she would have made an excellent queen consort, she had a natural rapport with the public and was a caring woman, she adored her sons and did what she could for charity’s as well as land mine victims, AIDS etc, yet Charles had to marry it was his duty and he couldn’t marry the woman he really loved, it was very sad but that’s sometimes what happens, if anyone’s ever been in love they can sympathise with Charles he’s no different from the man in the street, albeit he’s a Royal, yet he deserves to be happy, he certainly did not want his wife dead, how can you even think such a thing? Do you seriously believe he would let the mother of his sons die in such a horrible way and cause them such grief, Harry was only nine years old at the time and I don’t believe he’s ever got over it, as for Camilla she certainly did not set out to ruin Diana, Diana died because she was being driven by a drunk driver who happened to be speeding at over 100 miles an hr, she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, she was a victim of Mohammed Al Fayeds inept security and had she still had Royal protection the crash would never have happened, no chauffeur driving for the Royal family gets in the car drunk and uses the road like a racing track, the conspiracy theories were all a ploy by Fayeds team to divert the fact that his chauffeur was a stoned drunk driver.

  4. Most of them have some scandal that laid a stain on them but top of the pops outside of Henry viii has to be King Edward ii. He had several boyfriends, was a bad King, ignored his wife at his wedding, he was cruel, although Isabella was even worse, he allowed his wife to brutally execute his favourite, he oversaw his own ten years of tyranny, he commanded the army at Bannockburn and he lost the crown to his Queen and her lover. The poor King was then murdered..

    Richard ii again for his incompetence and his cruelty, the executions of several of his nobles by his Parliament, the peasants revolt and his high handed demands regarding homage. Sadly he too came to a sticky end.

    King John who starved his enemies to death, probably killed his nephew Prince Arthur, although this was never proven, made more use of the dungeons of castles than any other King, made war on his own nobles, hanging many from their own castles, was forced to make the country a vassal of Rome, had the country put under Interdict for three years, so you could not bury the dead, receive the sacraments, get married or baptize your children, plus he wzs so unpopular that we invited Louis of France to replace him. He was forced to accept Magna Carta.

    Henry Viii for obvious reasons.

    Francis I of France for the many lovers he had and being taken prisoner by the Emperor. He may have been a Renaissance King but he slept with anything that moved.

    Edward iv, for the murder of Henry vi and the trial and execution of his own brother. Handsome and clever, like his father and brother, Richard, he was a warrior. Caused a scandal when he married the widow of a knight from the other side in the so called wars of the roses, Elizabeth Woodville, his Grey mare. Probably married before this to Eleanor Talbot, this scandal caused a breach with Warwick and the legal disinheritance of his children when he died suddenly in 1483. Another monarch who slept with everyone on two legs, Edward had several mistresses, four before Elizabeth, by the time he was 19. He may have asked at least four to marry him, in order to sleep with him, probably had a male lover, the Duke of Somerset, plus many more affairs after his marriage. Elizabeth Lambert, called Jane Shore, was his last mistress who was accused of witchcraft, being a whore and forced to do public penance by his younger brother, Richard. Edward was also blamed for buying off the French, the death of the Prince of Wales, although he most likely died in battle and being manipulated into killing the Earl of Desmond. When he ordered the defeated nobles to be dragged from sanctuary in Tewkesbury Abbey and then executed, he forced his brother to supervise this as a court of arms go make it legal. Edward in many other ways has a reasonable reputation as he made the country stable, gave us a decent economy and was charming. However, he also became too accustomed to eating, drinking and wild parties and became very obese. His over indulgence, together with food poisoning and a river chill is what is believed to have killed him.

    Top of the pops…George iv. Although he did a decent job as regent, he is known for parties and over indulgence on a grand scale. He was drawn in cartoons in the Spectator, he was a member of a number of notorious clubs and he made several clandestine weddings. As a Protestant George could not marry a Catholic but he fell in love and secretly married two such ladies who he lived with on and off over the years. The marriage was not recognised and the clergy were suspicious as not being true clergy. He married at least one other lady but again was forced to abandon her. In the end he married the equally scandalous Caroline of Brunswick. They had one daughter, the beautiful and tragic, Princess Charlotte who died in childbirth aged 21. She was treated by a male midwife who forced her only to have bread and water for a month and neglected her during the birth. George is also known for locking his wife out of her own coronation, ordering a crown he could not afford to pay for and trying Caroline in Parliament, where she was cleared. Their lives were all over the papers and again his over indulgence most likely killed him. The sad thing was that as a person he was very charming and shy and aware that the public laughed at him. He was very sensitive and suffered from depression. It made him very sad when told what people thought of him and he did make efforts to show a different side, but it was to no avail. He did not want to be King, he could have been happy allowed to live as he wished as a private person and with his first love.

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