Along with men’s soccer, Perhaps the monarchy is the area in which homosexuality or bisexuality has the least visibility today. But that obviously doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And for example, you just have to trace a little in the recent past of the British royal family, to understand that in the history of the court of Elizabeth II it is not a 100% heterosexual history.
As Diego Parrado narrated for Vanity Fair, “it is not necessary to climb very high in the genealogical tree of the monarch to find the feathers of a homosexual love”. Is about his paternal uncle, George of Kent, father of Eduardo, current Duke of Kent.
Perhaps George of Kent was one of the best-known bisexual personalities within the aristocracy of the islands: married since 1934 to Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark (a wedding that, it was said, was arranged and orchestrated quickly due to the blackmail of a Parisian architect ), their relationship of more than a decade was well known with the famous playwright and composer Noël Coward, whom he met because he himself asked to be introduced after seeing the premiere of Coward’s first great musical, London Calling!.
The writer and musician himself would confirm his 19-year love later, although Gertrude Lawrence, actress of the aforementioned work, had already commented that he surprised the duke in his dressing room trying on a wig of a long mane of blond curls.
However, the most curious thing about Jorge de Kent’s life was the number of lovers with whom he was related: British historian and spy Anthony Blunt; Florence Mills, an African-American cabaret star; the son of the Argentine ambassador to the United Kingdom, Jorge Ferrara; also Poppy Baring, a celebrity from the 1920s; the novelist Barbara Cartland; and, in case the list falls short, a distant cousin, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia.
From the Queen Mother to Lady Di
Despite the death of George of Kent when the future queen was barely 16 years old, tolerance continued to prevail at Buckingham Palace. Above all, thanks to Isabel Bowes-Lyon, mother of the sovereign, used to surround herself with homosexual friends like photographer and couturier Cecil Beaton, the socialite Stephen Tennant o el pianist Benjamin Britten.
The Queen Mother loved to joke with them and there are several anecdotes that reflect this, among which he highlights that, when a conservative politician suggested that he should not have so many homosexual servants in the palace, she blurted out that in that case the next thing would be to switch to self-service. And it is that one of his most faithful butlers, William Tallon, was gay and they say that he had an affair with a Soho hustler in the queen’s favorite armchair in Clarence House.
Precisely there Isabel Bowes-Lyon lived with her daughter, Princess Margaret, who frequented homosexual friends in theory due to the alleged bisexuality of her husband, Lord Snowdon. It’s time to remember that homosexuality was considered a crime in the UK until mid-1967, Because if not, Jeremy Fry, a great friend of the couple, should have been their best man, but when it came to light that he had been arrested having sex with another man, he had to be replaced by Dr. Roger Gilliat.
Waiting to know if in the series The Crown they will have included a reference or their friendship with Elton John or George Michael, the fervor that Lady Di aroused in the LGTB collective is common knowledge. In fact, at 27, Diana of Wales disguised herself as a man so she could enter a gay club and so spend the night getting drunk and playing at voices The Golden Girls (Dorothy, played by Bea Arthur) with Freddie Mercury, comedian Kenny Everett and Brazilian-born actress and presenter Cleo Rocos.
Queen Elizabeth II herself has also surrounded herself with homosexual friends, such as Michael Trestrail, who was her bodyguard for nine years and who was forced to resign in 1982 after the known incident of the man who snuck into the monarch’s room to talk to her about her family problems. The resignation was also influenced by the fact that the event was used by one of his lovers to blackmail him.
The history of the blackmails would give for another article, but here we will enter to talk about the Viscount Linley, son of Princess Margaret, who had to pay 50,000 pounds to two men that they threatened to publish a video in which he not only had sex with one of his assistants but also passed him cocaine.
Also the maternal uncle of Philip of Edinburgh, Lord Louis Mountbatten, was accused by several of his guards of keeping affairs with them, and in various biographies he has been paired with Peter Murphy, his personal secretary, or with the Duke of Windsor, with whom in 1920 he made a tour of the then empire.
A present with a great future
And from one Mountbatten to another. We speak of Lord Ivar Mountbatten, third cousin of Elizabeth II and great-nephew of the last viceroy of India, who on September 22, 2018 made history: starred in the first homosexual wedding held within the British monarchy.
She married James Coyle, an air services businessman. The two met in 2016, on a ski slope in Verbier, Switzerland. And they received the blessing of a large part of the royal family, with Prince Edward, Elizabeth II’s fourth son, at the head, since not only does a great friendship unite them, but he is the godfather of his daughter, Lady Louise, and he encouraged to come out of the closet, and even Lord Ivar’s own ex-wife, Penny, who was the godmother.
It is true that Lord Ivar Mountbatten is one of the more than 200 third cousins that the queen must have, but it does not mean that it was an enormous gesture, beyond the rumors that one of the laws that most excited him initialed was the law of marriages between people of the same sex (although according to other sources she still prefers civil unions) or that she has appointed knights and ladies of the Order of the British Empire to several visible heads of the collective cLike Elton John himself, the poet Carol Ann Duffy, or the actor Ian McKellen.
Despite more or less eloquent words, as when a few years ago, in a speech delivered in parliament, he assured that the government “would address the problem of wage discrimination based on race, religious beliefs, gender, disability or sexual orientation “, there are those who have an advantage over Isabel II in public support for LGTB people.
They are, of course, the new generations. Not in the sense of the rector of the Anglican Cathedral of Glasgow, who in December 2017 asked for prayers to be made that the first-born of the Dukes of Cambridge, Prince George turns out to be gay but something simpler.
The Duke of Cambridge himself, Prince William, heir to the throne, was the cover of the gay-themed magazine Attitude in 2016, where he advocated that “no one should be harassed because of their sexual orientation.” Or his little brother, Prince Harry, who before being with a strong defender like Meghan Markle, fought and fought in the army, saving James Wharton, who would later be the queen’s escort at the wedding, from a homophobic attack. of William of England and Kate Middleton.