By Eleanor Herman
during this follow-up to her bestselling Sex with Kings, Eleanor Herman finds the reality approximately what is going on at the back of the closed door of a queen's boudoir. Impeccably researched, full of page-turning romance, ardour, and scandal, Sex with the Queen explores the scintillating sexual lives of a few of our so much cherished and notorious woman rulers.
She used to be the queen, dwelling in a plush palace, donning lavish robes and incredible jewels. She was once envied, well-known, and respected. She was once additionally depressing, having been compelled to marry a international prince sight unseen, a royal ogre who was once sadistic, foaming on the mouth, bodily repulsive, mentally incompetent, or sexually impotent—and sometimes the entire above.
How did queens locate happiness? In courts bristling with testosterone—swashbuckling generals, polished courtiers, and virile cardinals—many royal ladies had amorous affairs.
Anne Boleyn flirted with courtiers; Catherine Howard slept with one. Henry VIII had either one of them beheaded.
Catherine the good had her fool husband murdered, and governed the Russian empire with an extended checklist of attractive younger favorites.
Marie Antoinette fell in love with the good-looking Swedish count number Axel Fersen, who attempted valiantly to rescue her from the guillotine.
Empress Alexandra of Russia came across emotional solace within the mad monk Rasputin. Her habit used to be the spark that trigger the firestorm of the Russian revolution.
Princess Diana gave up her palace bodyguard to get pleasure from numerous amorous affairs, which tragically ended in her early death.
whilst a queen grew to become ill to demise of her husband and took a lover, something may well happen—from shame and dying to political victory. a few kings imprisoned erring better halves for all times; different monarchs obligingly named the queen's lover top minister.
The an important issue finding out the destiny of an untrue queen used to be the affection affair's implications when it comes to energy, cash, and factional competition. At eu courts, it used to be the politics—not the sex—that triggered a royal woman's tragedy—or her final triumph.
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Extra info for Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics
Catherine the Great’s lover Gregory Potemkin was made a knight of the Order of St. Andrew, Russia’s highest order. He was given the Black Eagle by Prussia and the White Eagle by Poland. Denmark bestowed upon him the Order of the Elephant, and Sweden the St. Seraph. Joseph II of Austria made him a prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Louis XV balked at giving the empress’s lover the Order of the Holy Ghost, claiming it was only for Roman Catholics, and the prudish George III ﬂat out refused to give him the Order of the Garter.
And, indeed, her home court was eager to surround her with as many compatriots as possible to inﬂuence her on behalf of her native land. As for the bride herself, she was glad to see familiar faces and speak her mother tongue. But this inﬂux of outsiders caused ill will in her new country from courtiers unwilling to see their remunerative positions go to babbling foreigners. In 1600 Princess Marie de Medici of Tuscany, the bride of Henri IV, arrived with a throng of Italians itching to be awarded positions at the French court.
Bristling with pride in her royal birth, Elizabeth Charlotte was devastated at such a misalliance for her only son. ”29 The duc de Saint-Simon related that after hearing the news of the betrothal, Madame “was walking briskly, handkerchief in hand, weeping without restraint, speaking rather loudly, gesticulating, and giving a ﬁne performance of Ceres after the abduction of Proserpina. . [The next day Madame’s] son approached her, as he did every day, in order to kiss her hand; at that moment Madame slapped his face so hard that the sound was heard several paces away, which, in the presence of the entire court, deeply embarrassed this poor prince.
Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics by Eleanor Herman