Saturday, August 25, 2012

MISBEHAVING ENGLISH ROYALTY ... Charleston's Connection

This week the entertainment media has been buzzing about the exploits of Prince Harry in Vegas, getting naked and generally acting like people who go to Vegas usually act. Prince Harry, third in line to the English throne, exposed the crown jewels while playing a game of billiards.

This is pretty mild stuff when you view Harry's behavior through a historic lens. After all, Harry is the son of Princess Diana, who is a direct descendant of Charles II, the namesake of Charleston, South Carolina. Charles II restored the Monarchy from the Puritan Oliver Crowell in 1660. When he died in 1685 (of syphilis) Charles had no legitimate heir, but he acknowledged a dozen bastards with seven different mistresses. Diana is descended from two of Charles' illegitimate sons, Henry Fitzroy, 1st Duke of Grafton and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond.
Charles II and his Royal Scepter

Charles II was called "the Merry Monarch" due to his complete repudiation of Puritanism and his embrace of hedonism. He ran his court like a royal version of "ANIMAL HOUSE," filled with drinking, debauchery and all kinds of sexual excess. Nell Gwynne, one of the king's mistresses was called "a bold merry slut!" Charles referred to Nell and Louise (his other mistress) as his "protestant and Catholic whores." One of Charles' court members, Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper (the namesake of Charleston's two rivers)  was called "the greatest whoremaster in England." 

Nell Gwynne
So Harry's behavior is just proof that the royal apple does not far from the tree. One can easily imagine Charles and his court playing naked billiards, or more! His brother, William, has lived a relatively quite, and scandal-free existence. His wedding to Kate Middleton was one of the important social events of 2011. However, a photograph taken during the post-wedding celebration in London reveals that maybe the prim and proper William and Kate have a little bit of the Merry Monarch blood running through their blue veins.

Long live the King!