Arabella Stuart

Arabella Stuart

Arabella Stuart

Arabella Stuart married William Seymour the nephew of Lady Jane Grey without the royal permission of King James I.  Arabella was placed under house arrest and William was sent to the Tower.

Arabella plotted William’s release, so they both could escape to France, but William missed their rendezvous.  Arabella travelled alone, was recognised and returned to England, and sent to the Tower of London.  William on the other hand gained his freedom.

Arabella died in the Queen’s House in 1615, actual cause of death unknown, probable cause murder.

To this day she roams the Tower of London, and has been witnessed by many.

Abdication of King Edward VIII

Edward VIII - Wallis Simpson

Edward VIII – Wallis Simpson

On the 23rd June 1894, Edward Albert Christian George was born at White Lodge in Richmond, to parents King George V and Queen Mary.

Edward, the Prince of Wales, served in the Army in World War One, but was not permitted to go to the front.

He became a celebrity playboy about town, and had several affairs with married women, and high on the list was; Mrs Wallis Simpson.

On the 20th January 1936, King George V died, and Edward ascended to the English throne.

In 1936, Mrs Wallis Simpson obtained a divorce from her second husband, it was clear to see, Edward wanted to be husband number three.

In November of 1936, the uncrowned Edward sent shock waves through Parliament and family.  The two were very much in love, and Edward had to choose Wallis Simpson or the English throne.  She a divorced woman would have been an unacceptable Queen.

On the 11th December 1936, Edward abdicated, which meant any children he might have, were excluded from succession to the English throne.

In 1937 Edward became the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson his Duchess, and the couple were married in France.

Royal Scandal: Rules of Marriage

Lady Mary Grey

Lady Mary Grey

She crossed the class divide, and married below her status.  Lady Mary Grey, this woman of the Royal household, she caused a scandal in Tudor England.

Lady Mary Grey, daughter of Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, and maid of honour to her cousin Queen Elizabeth.

She knew she would never be in line of succession to the English throne, believing rules about marriage did not apply to her.

She married Thomas Keyes, Sergeant in charge of palace security, a widower with several children, without the Queen’s permission in July of 1565.

Queen Elizabeth, hearing of the wedding had Thomas Keyes arrested and thrown into prison, and Mary placed under house arrest… never the two would meet again.

In 1569, Keyes was released from Fleet Prison, and returned to Kent, where he died a few months later.

Mary was held under house arrest by relatives, until the Queen allowed her back to Court in the latter months of 1577, she tasted freedom for a few months, before she passed away in 1578.

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Royal Scandal: Caroline of Brunswick

Caroline of Brunswick

Caroline of Brunswick

Caroline the Princess of Brunswick was born on the 17th May 1768 in Brunswick, Germany to parents Charles William, the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Princess Augusta of Great Britain, sister of George III.

In 1794, Princess Caroline and George Augustus Frederick were engaged.  On the 8th April 1795, they were married at the Chapel Royal, St.James Palace.

On his wedding night, George was so drunk, that he fell into the bedroom grate, and Caroline out of disgust left him there.

Neither liked the other, but for George it meant, Parliament would clear his debts and increase his allowance.

In fact the marriage was illegal, as George had married Maria Fitzherbert in secret, violating the Royal Marriages Act of 1772.

Caroline bor George a legitimate child; Princess Charlotte Augusta at Carlton House on the 7th January 1796.  George replied by making a new will, leaving all his property to my wife; Maria Fitzherbert, and to Caroline the sum of one shilling.

George rejected his wife, and sent her a note, informing her she could do what she liked, as he had no intentions of having any relations with her again.

Caroline, wife of the future King of England, took it to mean she was free to do as she liked.

Rejected by her husband, she moved to Blackheath, and was given to sexual dancing in front of her guests.

In 1806, rumours abounded, that William Austin a four year-old boy, who lived with her, was her son, and the father was her footman.  A Royal Commission; “Delicate Investigation” was to prove the rumour was without substance.

In 1814, Caroline left England, much to the delight of George.  In Geneva she danced naked to the waist, and whilst in Naples, became the mistress of King Joachim, brother-in-law of Napoleon Bonaparte.

In January of 1820, King George III died, and was succeeded by George IV her husband, making her Queen.

The English government offered her the sum of £50,000 to stay out of England, and not claim her rightful place as Queen.  She rejected the offer, returning to England and took up residence in Hammersmith, she would prove an embarrassment to George and Parliament.

On the 17th August 1820, she was summoned to appear before the House of Lords, an attempt by George to dissolve the marriage.  After 52 days the divorce case was dropped.  Could it have been Lord Brougham her defence lawyer, or the fact she was popular with the English people, which led to the case being dropped.

King George’s coronation took place on the 29th April 1821.  The Prime Minister informed Caroline, she would play no active part.

On the day of the coronation, when Caroline arrived at the doors of Westminster Abbey, they were firmly shut in her face.

On the 7th August 1821 Caroline died at her home, and was buried at Brunswick Cathedral.  The words inscribed upon her coffin: “CAROLINE THE INJURED QUEEN OF ENGLAND.”

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Royal Scandal: Sophia Dorothea of Celle

Sophia Dorothea of Celle

Sophia Dorothea of Celle

Sophia Dorothea of Celle was born on the 15th September 1666, to parents George William, the Duke of Brunswick, Luneburg and his mistress, an exiled French Protestant aristocrat; Eleanore d’Esmier d’Olbreuse.  She in fact, was an illegitimate love child.

In 1674 her mother Eleanore became the Duchess of Wilhelmsburg, Sophia became legitimised, and in 1676 her parents were married.

George and Sophia were both insulted by the match, but this marriage wasn’t about their wishes, their feelings, for they were pawns in the creation of uniting adjoining realms.

On the 22nd November 1682, Sophia Dorothea married her cousin, George Louis in the Chapel of Celle Castle, under protest.  You would have thought this should have been a time of joy, but for them it was the opposite.

Sophia Dorothea was often reprimanded for her lack of etiquette she showed at court, by her mother-in-law.

There was little love shown to each other, but the marriage did produce two offspring; George August (1683) who would become George II and Sophia Dorothea (1686).

George Louis neglected his new wife, and took a mistress; Melusina von Schulenburg.

An unhappy Sophia, had an affair with Phillip von Konigsmarch, a Swedish count in 1690.  George Louis questioned his wife over the alleged affair in 1692, and she pointed out, he had a mistress.  George attacked his wife in response, and her attendants had to pull the pair apart, before George strangled her.

Sophia and Konigsmarck made plans to elope, but their plans were thwarted by Countess Platen, mistress to Ernst Augustus, Sophia’s father-in-law.

Ernst Augustus ordered the arrest of Konigsmarck, to avoid a scandal.  One guard was injured and Konigsmarck was killed.  His body was hidden, under the floor of Leine Palace, covered in quicklime.  Sophia was placed under house arrest.

George Louis divorced Sophia Dorothea on the grounds of malicious desertion, and she was sent to Ahlden Castle.  She lost her right to see or have any contact with her children.

From April to September of 1700, she was moved from Ahlden to Celle during a French invasion of the Brunswick duchies, then returned to Ahlden Castle.

Sophia Dorothea died on the 13th November 1726, and was interred in the family crypt in the Old Church of Celle in May 1727.

Sophia Dorothea had inherited her mother’s estate; Eleanore d’Esmier d’Olbreuse upon her death in 1722, and left it to her children.

George destroyed the will, and appropriated the property for himself, and ordered all personal effects belonging to Sophia Dorothea to be burnt after her death.

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Royal Scandal: Catherine & Owen

Owen Tudor Catherine-of-Valois

Catherine of Valois and Owen Tudor

If we travel back to the Middle Ages, marriages were less of love, but more about politics.  Marriage below your rank was frowned upon, yet these did take place.

Catherine of Valois married Henry V, part of an agreement in the Treaty of Troyes of 1420, intended to end the “Hundred Years War.” She bore Henry a son; Henry VI who would inherit the thrones of England and France.

With the death of Henry V in August 1422, Henry VI was appointed a Regent, and Catherine had no part in the affairs of the state, on behalf of her son.

Catherine, former Queen of England, would require the consent of the adult King, should she wish to remarry.

Parliament had not expected, this Queen Consort of the royal household, to cause a scandal, by having a liason, with her steward, Owen Tudor, and to make matters worse, had four children.

Parliament, viewed this as a disgrace in royal circles, however one of her sons, Edmund, married a Lancastrian heiress; Margaret Beaufort, founding the Tudor Dynasty.

Catherine of Valois was banished for her indiscretion, with one of a lower rank, and died aged 35.

Owen Tudor remained a servant within the House of Lancaster, and was executed by Yorkists, following the “Battle of Mortimer’s Cross.”

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