Archive for April, 2012

Sex Secrets Of The Royals, Part 3

- April 30th, 2012

queen-elizabeth

 

When Queen Elizabeth II eventually dies, she will almost certainly be succeeded on the throne of the United Kingdom (and Canada, etc.) by her eldest son, the current Prince of Wales.

 

And, just as (almost) certainly, Prince Charles will follow his mother’s example and retain his own name when he is crowned king.

 

He will be Charles III — the first King Charles of England (etc.) in more than 300 years.

wales-cornwall

But stretching across those 300 years, there’s a very interesting connection between the sooner-or-later-to-be Charles III and his predecessor Charles II.

 

Diana, Princess of Wales, was descended from two — count ‘em, two — mistresses of Charles II. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Sarah, Duchess of York (Fergie), also trace their lineage back to one of those same royal mistresses.

Small world.

camilla_diana

diana-camilla

Prince Charles/Charles III has a dirty-laundry hamper full of his own sex secrets (which we probably will explore later), but for now we are going to examine the erotic piccadillioes, pleasures, perversities  and pomposities of his predecessors as King Charles.

 

That would be Charles I and Charles II.

 

For our purposes, Charles I is quite boring. Except.

 

Except Charles I was the last English/British monarch to openly espouse his divine right to be king. He created the conditions for not one but two civil wars in the mid-1600s and, as a right royal loser, was convicted of treason by Parliament and beheaded.

 

Britain was ruled by the Puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell for the decade after Charles I’s execution in 1649. And a sad decade it was, too: Cromwell even banned the celebration of Christmas because he deemed it to be too Catholic-y.

 

Cromwell finally died in 1658, but England seemed to have acquired the taste for a dominant top. So, after much huffing and puffing and sweating and gnashing of whatever, Parliament invited Charles I’s son — comfortably ensconced in exile in France and Holland for the past decade when not attempting doomed invasions of Britain — to come back to London and resume the position of king, a role that was so rudely interrupted by his father’s beheading in 1649.

Charles-II

The son was restored to the throne — thus the period being called the Restoration — in 1660 and everything seemed quite rosy. Because, along with Charles, activities like Christmas, pub-crawling, theatre-going and general hokey-pokey  were also “restored.”

 

But before we get too far away from dear, old, dumb, dead Charles I, let’s look at one of Charlie One’s sex secrets. Maybe his only one, but I don’t think so.

charles1

Charles I was always considered an upright, uptight monarch, loyal and loving to his queen and dependably boring — if demanding. A lousy king but a good husband supposedly.

 

But back in 2006, historian Sarah Poynting decoded a secret message in a smuggled letter from Charles to Jane Whorwood, step-daughter of one of his courtiers, while he was imprisoned and awaiting a parliamentary decision on his fate.

 

Let’s let The Guardian newspaper pick up the story:

 

“Charles wrote that Jane could easily visit him, but warned that they would not be able to speak privately without special permission. His letter then switched into cipher.”

(which Poynting deciphered as …)

“I imagine that there is one way possible that you may get a swiving from me”.

He then gave instructions on how she could gain secret access to the part of Carisbrooke Castle, where he was held.

And back to The Guardian:

“In the 17th Century, ‘swiving’ was a wholly obscene word for sex, found most commonly in the pornographic verses of the Earl of Rochester, who used it to describe the notorious sexual activity of Charles’s son after the Restoration.”

So all this while the executioner’s axe is more or less hanging over Charlie One’s head. Now that’s sex drive.

Plus … I don’t understand how if she could get in, he couldn’t get out through this secret access.

But enough about sensible behaviour — we’re talking royals here.

charles_execution

So Charles I went off to his beheading, accompanied by his little lap dog and (hopefully) pleasant memories of Jane Whorwood. And 11 years later, his son — Charlie Deuce — rolled back into England. And the real fun and games began.

Charles and his younger brother James had spent much of their exile from Cromwell’s England in the pursuit of “swiving” and both continued their pursuit — perhaps accelerated it — after their formal weddings.

King Charles II had a dozen or so “official” mistresses and dozens more casual flings which didn’t rate his public recognition. He bestowed aristocratic titles on most of those mistresses — and on many of the illegitimate children produced by them.

In fact, he treated his mistresses with more courtesy and affection than he did his formal queen consort, the poor, put-upon Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza.

Catherine_of_Braganza

At formal dinners, Charles would sit surrounded by several mistresses while Catherine was exiled to the far end of the table. He forced Catherine to accept several of his mistresses as ladies-in-waiting and those mistresses were given greater standing — and respect — in court than his wife.

In fact, while King Charles and Queen Catherine were honeymooning in 1662 at Hampton Court Palace, Charles brought along mistress Barbara Villiers to give birth to their second illegitimate child in the same palace.

portrait-of-louise-de-kerouaille-_-duchess-of-portsmouth-1675-henri-gascar-jpg

Villiers, one of the most powerful of Charles’ mistresses, was married to Roger Palmer, appointed Earl of Castlemaine and Baron Limerick by Charles in 1661 for his early, loyal support of the king’s restoration.

Unfortunately for Castlemaine, the king was more husband to Barbara Villiers than the earl. Charles publicly acknowledged five of Villiers’ six children as his and Castlemaine was not believed to be the father of the other child either. After the birth of the first child, Castlemaine separated from his wife but remained a doggedly loyal, publicly cuckolded servant of the king throughout his reign.

As I said, Barbara Villiers was perhaps the most powerful of Charles’ mistresses. She held great sway in court and was considered a vile-tempered, vindictive intriguer. But she had the company of other intriguing mistresses, some of whom were closer to the king and most of whom were illustrious in their own right.

Lely-Gwynn

Lely-DianaKirke

Hortense-Mancini1675

There was a weird practice at that time of having portraits of royal — and some aristocratic — mistresses painted with one or both breasts displayed. The pictures were usually kept in the private chambers of the mistresses’ patrons but they were all done by the same artists who painted all of the formal (non-breast-exposed) portraits of royalty and aristocracy. Most of the breast-exposed portraits done during the Restoration period were painted by Peter Lely, a Dutch artist who became official court painter for Charles II. Lely ran what was essentially a high-end production line: He would paint the faces of his subjects, then hand the work over to assistants to fill in the clothing and background. So what do you do when the exposed breast(s) is/are an essential (expressive?) feature of the portrait? I assume Lely also painted the breasts but maybe not — in some topless portraits of Nell Gwyn, Barbara Villiers and others the breast depiction varies substantially. Go figure. The above portraits, by the way, are of (in order) Nell Gwyn, Diana Kirke and Hortense Mancini.

 

Here is a list of Charles II’s principal mistresses, in the rough order in which they entered his life:

1. Lucy Walter, a Welsh noblewoman, was described as a “brown, beautiful, bold but insipid creature” and a “beautiful strumpet.” She became Charles’ mistress while he was in exile in Europe and gave birth in 1649 to one son who Charles acknowledged as his own. After the Restoration, Charles created that son the Duke of Monmouth and there were later, unsuccessful attempts to claim the throne for Monmouth when Charles II died. Sarah, Duchess of York — Fergie — is a descendant of Lucy Walter through the Duke of Monmouth.

2. Elizabeth Killigrew was maid of honour to Charles’ mother and the sister of Charles’ master of revels during his exile. She gave birth in 1650 to one daughter, Charlotte Jemima FitzRoy, acknowledged by Charles. Elizabeth Killigrew was married at the time to Francis Boyle, fourth son of the Earl of Cork. After the Restoration, Charles made Boyle 1st Viscount Shannon in recompense and thus Elizabeth Killigrew became Viscountess Shannon.

3. Catherine Pegge was considered a great beauty of her day although no known portraits of her survive. She also met Charles during his exile and became one of his long-term mistresses. They had two children, a boy named Charles FitzCharles (later 1st Earl of Plymouth) and daughter Catherine FitzCharles.

lely-villiers

4. Barbara Villiers, as we have already noted, was one of the most notable of Charles mistresses. Like the previous others, she first met Charles (and slept with him) while he was in exile in Europe, but he was much closer to the throne by the time he bedded her. Villiers accompanied her new husband, Roger Palmer, to The Hague in 1659 as part of the English delegation working out the details of Charles imminent Restoration. She would remain one of the king’s mistresses for the next 15 years and bear him five children before being pushed aside in the religious feuding of the period (she had become a Roman Catholic). As Charles had other mistresses at the same time as Barbara Villiers, so she had other affairs while with Charles. Among the other men in her life were her cousin John Churchill (an ancestor of Winston Churchill), acrobat Jacob Hall and Cardonell Goodman, described as “an actor of terrible reputation,” with whom she had her sixth child after Charles cast her out of his inner circle.

As I told you earlier, Barbara Villiers and Charles II started one of the family lines that eventually gave birth to Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana’s great-great grandmother, Adelaide Seymour, married the 4th Earl of Spencer in 1854. And Adelaide’s great-great-great-grandfather was Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton and third-born son of King Charles II and Barbara Villiers.

nel-gwyn

5. Nell Gwynn, the actress who rose from the gutter to the king’s bedchamber, is probably now the most famous of Charles II’s many mistresses. She was certainly the most beloved by the British public back in the day, mainly because of her common touch and generosity. Nell became one of Charles’ two principal mistresses after Barbara Villiers’ influence waned in the late 1660s. Like most of Charles’ other mistresses she bore him children. The elder was Charles Beauclerk, born in 1670, who the king made Earl of Burford and later Duke of St Albans. A second son, James, was born in 1671 and he became Lord Beauclerk.

Nell Gwyn first came to the attention of Charles in 1668 when, as an 18-year-old, the bouncing beauty with oodles of personality and a bawdy sense of humour was the star of  a series of Restoration comedies and dramas. The king took a fancy to the actress and, as randy, tell-all courtier Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary, “did send several times for Nelly.”

Nell was soon living in a royal palace, swiving the king (or being swiven — I’m not sure of the correct usage here) in a silver bed for which she billed the royal purse £1,135 (more than $200,000 in today’s money) and ordering three barrels of fresh oysters a week — again at the public expense.

But she was good-hearted and good-spirited, we’re told, and the British people seemed to enjoy her robust sexuality as much as the king did. Her great rival in the 1670s (who we will get to next) was a French Catholic courtesan who was hated by the largely anti-Catholic English public.

Once, a mob began roughing up the footmen carrying her sedan chair in the erroneous belief that Nell Gwyn’s French Catholic rival was aboard. Nell supposedly pulled aside the curtain and calmed the crowd with these words: “Pray, good people, be civil. You are mistaken — I am the Protestant whore.”

Charles kept Nell Gwyn living in luxury until his death in 1685. His last words to his brother and successor, James II, were said to be “Let not poor Nelly starve.”

Nell Gwyn lived only two years longer than Charles II, dying at age 37 of a series of strokes.

Louise-de-Keroualle

6. Louise de Kerouaille was the French courtesan who was Nell Gwyn’s great rival for Charles II’s affections in the 1670s and ’80s. She came from a family of French aristocrats that would later include the Marquis de Sade and she was probably a spy — certainly an agent of influence — for the French in the English court. But she was beautiful and charmed the pants off Charles (literally) and would maintain a hold on Charles’ affections until his death. Charles lavished money and titles on Louise de Kerouaille. She was most prominently known as the Duchess of Portsmouth, although Nell Gwyn dubbed her Squintabella.

De Kerouaille and Charles had one son, Charles Lennox, given the titles Duke of Richmond and Duke of Lennox at the ripe old age of three.

And it is through this young duke that Diana, Camilla and Sarah, Duchess of York all share the same bloodlines connected back to Charles II and his mistress Louise de Kerouaille.

There were many other woman, of course, who held the king’s attention for shorter spans of time. Among them:

Moll Davis, another actress, who bore Charles one daughter. Nell Gwyn felt one actress was enough in the king’s life and was able to manoeuvre Davis out of official favour in the early 1670s.

HortenseMancini

Then there was Hortense Mancini, daughter of a minor Italian aristocrat, who later became another agent of influence for the French in the English court of Charles II. Hortense was married off to one of the richest men in Europe, the Duc de la Meilleraye, at the age of 15 and bore the eccentric, unpleasant duc four children before the age of 20.

Abandoning those children, Hortense ran away from her husband at age 22 and eventually became the mistress of the Duke of Savoy. When that duke died, she ended up in Paris and was recruited to go to London with the express purpose of seducing Charles.

Since that was never a very difficult task, Hortense succeeded and, for a while in the mid- 1670s, replaced both Nell Gwyn and Louise de Kerouaille as the king’s favourite.

Hortense eventually fell from favour, partly because of the manoeuvring of de Kerouaille, but also because of her penchant for carrying on affairs behind Charles’ back with lovers of both sexes — including Charles’ own illegitimate daughter by Barbara Villiers, the Countess of Sussex. Less politically damaging but possibly more interesting was her lesbian relationship with Aphra Behn, one of the few professional women poets and playwrights of that age. Aphra Behn also had an earlier relationship with Charles, but it was as a spy against his enemies in Holland rather than as a lover.

But Charles had no shortage of other lovers, usually ladies of the court like Winifred Wells, one of the queen’s maids of honour. Winifred was once described as having  “the physiognomy of a dreamy sheep” and seemed to be accepted as a harmless lump by the other mistresses and even by the queen, who kept her on as a lady-in-waiting for years after Charles’ death. She had at least one child by Charles.

And Christabella Wyndham. And Elizabeth Berkeley, Dowager Countess of Falmouth. And Elizabeth Fitgerald, Countess of Kildare. And Diana Kirke, Countess of Oxford. The list goes on and on. It’s seemingly endless.

It’s hard to figure out how Charles had time to run a government and a kingdom. Oh, that’s right, he didn’t — the diarist Samuel Pepys reported frequently about how the king kept his ministers of state and foreign diplomats hanging around for hours while he played with his concubines and little dogs.

And Charles was always looking out for fresh blood. Pepys recounts the story of Lady Frances Stuart, who was forced to flee the court because “she could no longer continue without prostituting herself to the King” and noted Charles had taken liberties with her “more than he ought.”

So there you have it — the playboy king taking what he wanted and tossing it away when he was done. Not much of a royal role model. It’s no wonder that no other British monarch took the moniker “Charles” for the next three centuries and more.

And even though Charles II was known as “the Merry Monarch,” I really think he was a nasty bugger for the way he treated his queen, Catherine.

She endured insult and abuse and infinite mental cruelty, but yet she endured. In the end she outlived Charles. And after suffering three miscarriages, she was left barren and — despite his squadrons of bastards — Charles was left with no legitimate heirs.

His younger brother James assumed the throne. And was so unloved and suspect among the British people — the English, anyway — that James’ daughter Mary and her Protestant Dutch husband, William of Orange, were invited to invade the country. Which they did. But that’s another story.

Of course James kept a coterie of mistresses too. And even Protestant King Billy did later. Which led to this exclamation during the crowning of a German prince as king of England on Oct. 20, 1714 after William’s death.

 

‘Good God, who would have thought that we three whores should have met here!’

— The Countess of Dorchester , mistress of James II, on encountering the Duchess of Portsmouth, mistress of Charles II, and the Countess of Orkney, mistress of William III, at the coronation of George I. 

 

Sex Secrets Of The Royals, Part 2

- April 25th, 2012

 

Sex and royals. They go together like bread and butter. Bacon and eggs. Sado- and masochism.

 

Where to start? Looking for sex scandals of the British Royal Family is like shooting fish in a barrel — only easier.

 

Should we start with William the Conqueror? He was a real bastard. I mean that literally: His nickname was William the Bastard — for obvious reasons — before he became known as William the Conqueror.

 

But he was also a bastard — as in dirty, rotten bastard.

 

And the rotten part is literal too: After William died ( he ruptured his gut falling on a saddle pommel), his big fat body hung around too long before his funeral at the Abbaye-aux-Hommes in Caen. The stone sarcophagus was too small for the bloated corpse and, when the attendant priests and bishops tried to stuff it in, “the swollen bowels burst, and an intolerable stench assailed the nostrils of the by-standers and the whole crowd” (according to Orderic, a contemporary chronicler).

The town caught fire/was set on fire during the funeral ceremony, so it was quite a memorable day  for the residents of Caen.

 

William was also a mass murderer, torturer, wife beater and rapist. All in all, a nasty individual but not worth any more of our precious time.

 

What about Edward II, the crossdressing son and successor to Edward Longshanks, so memorably — and villainously — portrayed by the wonderful actor Patrick McGoohan in the movie Braveheart?

 

Longshanks was a hard man but remarkably loving and relatively faithful to his wife, a rarity for the time. Unfortunately for poor Eleanor of Castile, it also meant she had to bear 14 children sired by Longshanks. He almost certainly had other illegitimate children, but that didn’t lessen the burden on Eleanor.

 

As for the first living child of Longshanks, Edward II inherited his father’s kingdom but not his stature as a monarch.

 

Edward II had four children with Queen Isabella (the first when she was 16, three years after their marriage) and at least one other with another woman. But his greatest infatuations were with several male members of the English aristocracy, on whom he bestowed great political and military power as well as wealth and lavish affection.

 

That brew of sexual politics displeased the barons of England, who repeatedly exiled and/or executed Edward II’s lover-chamberlains during an epoch of great upheaval.

 

Isabella also got in on the act, ultimately overthrowing and imprisoning her husband (with the assistance of her lover). It became inconvenient to have Edward around so, on the night of Sept. 21, 1327, Edward had to die.

 

Because Edward was the rightful king of England, the story was put out that the king had died a natural death due to “internal trouble.” Knights and abbots from the vicinity were brought to Berkeley Castle to observe that the dead monarch’s body bore no visible marks of violence.

 

Of course there were no visible marks because the dead king was lying face-up on a bier for the formal inspection.  A witness to his death, one John Trevisa, later testified that Edward was killed “with a hoote brooche [meat-roasting spit] putte thro the secret place posterialle.”

 

In other words, a red-hot poker was shoved up his ass.

 

Oh, those royals. We’ll delve further into their “secret place posterialles” in a bit, but I’ve had enough of them for now.

Sex Secrets Of The Royals, Part I

- April 23rd, 2012

 

PrincessMarieLouise

 

Queen Elizabeth is okay in my books. Okay. That’s it.

 

She’s not particularly good — as in Good Queen Bess — and she’s certainly not great — as in Great Britain.

 

She’s a survivor and she’s going to leave the family business in fairly good shape for whichever inbred Windsor/Saxe-Coburg-Gotha offspring inherits the throne (probably King Charles III, but who knows … stranger things have happened in the creepy world of British royalty).

 

As for Elizabeth, she’s never done me wrong in her 60-year reign. But, based on her genetic disposition and the past track record of her family, I have absolutely no doubt that she would — if she had the power to.

 

Fortunately, she and her ilk no longer have the power that once allowed them to  rob, pillage, rape, torture and murder at their pleasure.

 

As for “moral” authority, give me a break. This is a woman who married her cousin (on both his mother’s and father’s side), whose sister-in-laws were both married to Nazi sympathizers, whose uncle fawned on Adolf Hitler, and whose grandson thought it was a good idea to go to a costume party dressed in a Nazi uniform. Sip your sherry, Madge, and don’t lecture me.

 

No, the Royal Family is left with only one power — the power to amuse us.

 

That’s now their job — and a job for which they’re very well paid.

 

Sometimes, usually when Charles the Befuddled gets on his high horse, they appear not to understand the arrangement.

 

But most of the time the Royals play by the rules:

 

They dress up in funny clothes and prance about. They make Monty Python upper-class-English-twit skits seem ho-hum. They discover new ways to experience sexual embarrassment in the most public ways.

 

There are exceptions: William and Kate are currently basking in a golden glow of general approbation. But that’s just a passing phase. I guarantee you that William and/or Kate will be laughingstocks and/or villains before I die. It’s not their fault — it’s just their royal destiny.

 

On the flip side of the coin, Queen Elizabeth is the richest woman in the world. Prince Charles is one of the wealthiest idiots in the world. And we all go ga-ga when they walk down the street.

 

But what, exactly, do they do to warrant this?

 

No moral power. No power of life and death. No extraordinary talent or ability. No actual contribution of any kind to the greater well-being of humankind (Charles III’s organic beer-making aside).

 

No, the only power they have is the power to amuse us, to entertain us, to distract us from our own miserable lives with their more majestic misery and misadventures.

 

It’s part of the deal. It comes with the territory.

 

So over the next few days I will uncover some of the Royal Family’s more entertaining sex secrets for your prurient pleasure. What better way to appropriately honour Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee?

 

And I really don’t care if Queen Victoria is not amused. I am.

 

Stay tuned.

P.S. Silly me — of course you need a sex secret to start this whole thing off. It’s sort of sad, but then most sex secrets are. The old woman pictured at the top of this blog post is Princess Marie Louise, one of many granddaughters of Queen Victoria. Marie Louise — with Kaiser Wilhelm as the matchmaker — was married off to a minor German princling who happened to be gay. Nothing wrong with that, except he shouldn’t have married a woman. The princling’s father found his son in bed with one of his manservants while Marie Louise was off touring Canada. Dad went mad — fortunately he didn’t kill anyone — and had the marriage annulled. On Marie Louise’s return to England, her uncle, the newly minted  King Edward VII, summed up the situation thusly: “Ach, poor Louise, she has returned as she went — a virgin.” Marie Louise spent the rest of her life grieving her unconsummated, unresolved marriage (although her diary suggests she found her purported husband repulsive) and threw herself into charitable work back in Britain — specifically patronizing young Boy Scouts. Hmmm. By the way, Marie Louise was one of only two members of the Royal Family who refused to give up their German titles when the British Royals were trying to scrub their German heritage out of the public memory during World War I. None of this matters, really. I just like the neurotic decadence of the photo and wanted to use it.

 

He’s Got Bette Davis Eyes

- April 20th, 2012

mulcair_eyes

 And he’ll tease you, he’ll unease you,

All the better just to please you.

He’s precocious and he knows

Just what it takes to make a pro blush.

He’s got Greta Garbo standoff sighs.

He’s got Bette David eyes.

— with apologies to Kim Carnes, Donna Weiss and the fabulous Jackie DeShannon

 

bette_portrait

The eyes are the window of the soul, so the saying goes.

 

If that’s true, then the NDP’s new leader has a very steely soul.

 

I’m talking about the TV ads that are currently bombarding us with images of this guy with eyes that spark and flash and burn with zeal — but not in a good way. No, it’s more shining like the eyes of a steel shark circling in for the kill. Hard, merciless, heartless.

 

Now I’m sure Tom Mulcahy … sorry, Thomas Mulcair … (sure it’s not Tomas Mulroney?) …  whatever his name is … isn’t really that kind of guy. He’s probably warm and cuddly and sweet. Just ask the other people who ran for the leadership of the New Democratic Party. I’m sure they’ll tell you what a sweet, warm, cuddly  guy he is. Really.

 

But I see these ads running on TV now and all I can think is, “He’s got Bette Davis eyes.”

 

Don’t get me wrong: I like Bette Davis. Thomas Mulcair? Ehhh — don’t really know yet. I’ve never met the guy. (And I can tell in five face-to-face minutes whether someone — anyone — is genuine, a sleaze or an out-and-out psycho danger to society.)

 

But he’s got Bette Davis eyes.

 

And they’re cold. And hard. And calculating. And self-serving. And cold. (Did I say that already?) And self-serving. (I’m sure I said that one.)

 

Not that Bette Davis was a saint but, jeesh, she never wanted to run a country.

 

So let’s look a little closer and see what we deduce.

Thomas-Mulcairjpg

youngishbettedavis
Hmmm, so far it’s a tie. How are they with a drink in hand?
MULCAIR_drink
Bette-Davis-glass
Oh, Bette wins this one by a mile. I’m with The Maltese Falcon’s Kasper Gutman when he says, “I distrust a man who says ‘when.’ If he’s got to be careful not to drink too much, it’s because he’s not to be trusted when he does. “
But how about sex? Not right now, thanks, I’m busy. I mean what if you punch in “Thomas Mulcair sexy” for a Google image search? What do you get?
Well, you get this.
Mulcair
Not really sexy in my books, but what do I know.
And you also get this.
sexy_tara_reid-4829
And this.
old_man_cowboy_hat_nude
Hmmm. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.
Try Googling “Bette Davis sexy” and you get this.
bette-davis-sexy
portrait26
Well, I think Bette wins again.
But then I tried “Thomas Mulcair kiss” and got this (among other things).
Mulcair-kiss-wife
Mulcair and his wife kissing at the NDP convention. Nice. Not terribly hot, but nice.
Then I Googled “Bette Davis kiss” and got … squat. Lots of pictures of Bette Davis but hardly any actual pictures of the screen siren in an actual clinch and smooch. Of course there are a few.
Kiss-against-wall
But so few you begin to wonder.
Then you look at relationships. First, Bette Davis at her daughter’s wedding …
bette_davis_and_daughter
Mulcair-Layton
 I think this one goes to Mulcair even if he is playing a little hard to get.
And what about anger management? Especially with those cold steely eyes.
angry-thomas-mulcair-ndp
Baby-Jane
Betty Davis laughing
I don’t know — Bette Davis by a nose? I really thought there would be more photos of a really crazy-mad Bette Davis floating around out there.
So maybe there is hope for Thomas Mulcair after all. If he can keep his arrogance and temper in control. If not …
bette-davis-gun

Extra! Extra! The Queen’s Favourite Colour Is …

- April 16th, 2012

 

Royal_Visit_Toronto_2010_5

 

I think I can safely speak on behalf of the entire English-speaking world when I say how delighted, positively giddy, we all are that dear old Liz has managed to keep body and soul together for 60 rather interesting years as Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith etc. etc.

coronation-1952

As this Diamond Jubilee year wobbles on to its boffo June 2-5 climax of horse races, concerts, parties and parades, the Queen is actually getting almost as much ink as her grandson’s hot new wife. On a daily basis we’re learning new things about our old queen (some of which we would probably prefer not to know).

Queen-and-Kate

The latest (May) issue of the British edition of Vogue magazine has brought this bustle of Jubilee royal watching to a frothy fever pitch by cataloguing the colour of every single outfit the Queen wore for her public appearances over the past year — somewhere in the vicinity of 200, by my count — a daunting task.

Charlize-Theron-Vogue-UK

And what do we learn from this obsessive exercise in fashionism?

 

We now know that the Queen’s favourite colour is … (drumroll, please) … BLUE.

Diamond-Jubilee-blue

 

Here’s the chart of the Rainbow Queen produced by Vogue.

 

vogue-chart-rainbow-queen

 

 

And from all of this we learn that the Queen wore a variation of blue on 29% of her public outings, followed by floral (13%) — which really isn’t a colour, more a state of mind — then green and cream (11% each), and purple and pink (10%).

 

Then there’s red, orange and yellow (4% each), black (2%) and, at the bottom of the colour pile, checked and beige (1% each).

 

Now far be it from me to quibble but I do have a couple of minor issues with Vogue’s palette designations.

 

I might have been tempted to give a “beige” designation to a couple of the Queen’s dresses which Vogue declared to be “cream” or “orange.” Which would certainly boost the lowly 1% rating “beige” got.

 

And some of those teal outfits that gave blue such a high rating could just as easily be called green, in my opinion.

 

And what do you call this colour — mud? I don’t even see it on the Vogue chart.

Queen+Elizabeth+II+Queen+Elizabeth+II+Attends+N6GDCelE04gl

 

And the florals — each one has a strong predominant colour, so maybe “floral” should just have been dropped and the 16 (by my count) dresses in that category divvied up across the reignbow.

 

And what about this outfit the Queen wore while leading Prince Philip to a pint of Guinness? Vogue put it in their “blue” category. Really? Apart from the buttons and hat, it looks as much white as blue to me — maybe more.

queen-guinness

But, like I said before, quibbles, mere quibbles, compared to the important news that we now know the Queen’s favourite colour is blue.

 

Personally I prefer the Queen in red.

 

queen-red

But Lady Gaga may have put her off that colour a bit.

queen-gaga

 

 

Speaking of important royal news, the Sex Pistols announced on their website today that they will be re-releasing their version of “God Save The Queen” to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

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The anti-monarchial song (“God save the Queen/ She ain’t no human being/ There is no future/ In England’s dreaming”) was first released in 1977 on the Queen’s Silver (25th anniversary) Jubilee.

pistols-bham

On March 10, 1977, the Sex Pistols did a mock signing of their new contract with A&M Records in front of Buckingham Palace. A week of out-of-control debauchery on the part of the Sex Pistols led A&M to cancel the contract on March 16. The Pistols didn’t mind: They got to keep the £75,000 advance from the record company. The band signed with Virgin Records in May and “God Save The Queen” was finally released on May 27 — just in time for the Silver Jubilee celebrations.

 

I wonder if Johnny Rotten/John Lydon will wear floral for the May 28 re-release party? Or is this more “mouldy pile of leaves”?

Rotten-Lydon

 

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By the way, here’s my favourite Johnny Rotten quote about the mass hysteria/hatred that erupted in Britain over “God Save The Queen” in 1977: “I don’t understand it. All we’re trying to do is destroy everything.”