8 LGBTQ+ British Royals in the Through History
Author: Trudy Ring
With the new Prime Video film Red, White, & Royal Bluenovel by Casey McQuiston even features a stern Stephen Fry as the King of England.
King William II (William Rufus), who reigned from 1087 to 1100, was the third son of the famous William the Conqueror and was his chosen heir. William II, called “Rufus” for his reddish complexion, never married or fathered children, leading to speculation that he was gay. His closest adviser was Ranulf Flambard, who eventually became bishop of Durham, and William was often in the company of attractive men, notes the website Historic UK,
King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) reigned from 1189 to 1199. “His knightly manner and his prowess in the Third Crusade (1189-92) made him a popular king in his own time as well as the hero of countless romantic legends,” notes Encyclopedia Brittanica. “He has been viewed less kindly by more recent historians and scholars.” He was a savvy politician and military leader who also wrote poetry but was “capable of great cruelty,” according to Brittanica. There is significant evidence that he was gay, although historians differ on this point. He had no children with his queen, Berengaria. Richard has been portrayed frequently on stage and film; The Lion in Winter
Many historians believe Edward II, king from 1307 to 1327, was gay or bisexual. He had a close relationship with Piers Gaveston, whom he made earl of Cornwall, and it’s widely assumed they were lovers. Edward ran afoul of many British nobles, who had Gaveston executed in 1312. He also was close to Hugh Despenser the Younger, his nephew by marriage, who became royal chamberlain. All along the way Edward made enemies, and he was deposed in favor of his son, crowned King Edward III in 1327. Edward II was imprisoned that year, and the traditional belief is that he was murdered, although some historians now believe his death was staged and that he lived three more years. Christopher Marlowe’s play Edward II
Fundamentalist Christians often point to the King James Version of the Bible as the definitive edition, but do they stop to think it was commissioned and overseen by a man who was likely gay or bi? James was the first British monarch of the Stuart line. The son of Mary, Queen of Scots, he became King James VI of Scotland at age 1 (ruling with much help, of course). As an adult, he forged an alliance with England and became King James I of England in 1603, upon the death of Queen Elizabeth I. He was married and fathered children, but he is believed to have had many male lovers, including George Villiers, the early and later duke of Buckingham. They were affectionate in public and had a secret passage between their bedrooms. Besides the Bible and his liaisons, he’s known primarily for his clashes with Parliament. He died in 1625.
Queen Anne, who ruled from 1702 to 1714, became known to a wider audience through Olivia Colman’s Oscar-winning portrayal in the 2018 film The Favourite,
George was one of five children of King George V and had two very famous brothers: Edward, who became King Edward VIII but abdicated to marry an American divorcee, and Albert, who as King George VI ruled the U.K. through World War II. But Prince George, an uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, deserves fame in his own right. He had love affairs with both men and women, was known for his fashion sense, and was a darling of high society. Unfortunately, he was also suspected of sympathizing with Nazi Germany. He was the first royal to work as a civil servant; then during WWII, he joined the Royal Air Force and was killed in a crash while flying to visit other troops. “Conspiracy theories abound” regarding the crash, according to U.K. publication The Rake,
They were icons of the swinging ’60s: Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband, celebrity photographer Antony Armstong-Jones, also known as Lord Snowdon. Margaret partied with the Rolling Stones and was rumored to have had an affair with Mick Jagger — as well as with Sharman Douglas, daughter of U.S. Ambassador Lewis Douglas. Lord Snowdon is said to have had liaisons with both men and women as well. They were married in 1960 and divorced 18 years later, making Margaret the first royal to divorce since King Henry VIII. Margaret died in 2002, Snowdon in 2017.
Finally, the 21st century brought us members of the royal family who could be publicly out and proud. Lord Ivar Mountbatten, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, came out in 2016, five years after divorcing his wife, Penelope Thompson. Two years later, Thompson “gave him away” at his wedding to James Coyle, the first same-sex marriage of a member of the extended British royal family. The men live at a magnificent country estate, Bridwell, which you can rent for your own wedding or event.
And just for fun…Henry Fox-Mounchristen-Windsor
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring