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Royal Sex: Mistresses & Lovers of the British Royal Family

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The current Prince of Wales, our future King, has married his mistress and she will become, barring an accident, our next Queen Consort. This is a unique situation and one that is unlikely to be repeated. Of course, only 70 years ago, his great uncle was in a not dissimilar predicament which cost him his throne. Royal Sex shows how a certain number of key aristocratic fami The current Prince of Wales, our future King, has married his mistress and she will become, barring an accident, our next Queen Consort. This is a unique situation and one that is unlikely to be repeated. Of course, only 70 years ago, his great uncle was in a not dissimilar predicament which cost him his throne. Royal Sex shows how a certain number of key aristocratic families appear to have cornered the market in providing our monarchs with mistresses over successive centuries. The present Duchess of Cornwall is a prime example, her great-grandmother; Alice Keppel was a mistress of Edward VII, as the Duchess was of Prince Charles. The reason? to capture and exploit royal power & royal patronage to place a royal mistress or favourite at the centre of power.


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The current Prince of Wales, our future King, has married his mistress and she will become, barring an accident, our next Queen Consort. This is a unique situation and one that is unlikely to be repeated. Of course, only 70 years ago, his great uncle was in a not dissimilar predicament which cost him his throne. Royal Sex shows how a certain number of key aristocratic fami The current Prince of Wales, our future King, has married his mistress and she will become, barring an accident, our next Queen Consort. This is a unique situation and one that is unlikely to be repeated. Of course, only 70 years ago, his great uncle was in a not dissimilar predicament which cost him his throne. Royal Sex shows how a certain number of key aristocratic families appear to have cornered the market in providing our monarchs with mistresses over successive centuries. The present Duchess of Cornwall is a prime example, her great-grandmother; Alice Keppel was a mistress of Edward VII, as the Duchess was of Prince Charles. The reason? to capture and exploit royal power & royal patronage to place a royal mistress or favourite at the centre of power.

30 review for Royal Sex: Mistresses & Lovers of the British Royal Family

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Where to begin? It's separated into chapters by royal houses (Tudor, Stuart, etc.), then each section is named by a royal mistress/lover. You'd think that each section would then be about the person it's named after. It is, but the author chases several rabbits, offering details that should be in other places. It's very scattered, very all over the place. I had a hard time keeping up with who and what I was reading about and eventually I lost interest. Which is sad, considering this was a book I Where to begin? It's separated into chapters by royal houses (Tudor, Stuart, etc.), then each section is named by a royal mistress/lover. You'd think that each section would then be about the person it's named after. It is, but the author chases several rabbits, offering details that should be in other places. It's very scattered, very all over the place. I had a hard time keeping up with who and what I was reading about and eventually I lost interest. Which is sad, considering this was a book I bought whilst in London, England. The author also has a habit of ending paragraphs with "...and the rest is history." Well, for those of us who want to learn about the history, that tells us nothing. Then again, giving us the history would have made the book even longer and more unwindy so maybe that's a blessing in disguise. Very disappointing read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    Awful- I couldn't even finish it! The plot itself was awesome, and I was really looking forward to learning about the history of British royal mistresses. However, the grammar and editing in the book was so lacking that prior readers had actually used a purple pen to correct spelling and punctuation mistakes. I would not recommend reading this book, there are others out there that document the history of royal accepted adultery. Awful- I couldn't even finish it! The plot itself was awesome, and I was really looking forward to learning about the history of British royal mistresses. However, the grammar and editing in the book was so lacking that prior readers had actually used a purple pen to correct spelling and punctuation mistakes. I would not recommend reading this book, there are others out there that document the history of royal accepted adultery.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Zuvich

    I finished this just last night and I really enjoyed the section on the Stuarts. There were several pros: I was amazed that Powell included a pretty sizeable piece on Elizabeth Villiers, as so few even know of her existence! Largely interesting, and I learned something about Hans Bentinck that I never came across before (his engagement to Stuarta). There is only one con: some sentences didn't flow well - nothing that a few hyphens or commas wouldn't fix! I look forward to reading another book by I finished this just last night and I really enjoyed the section on the Stuarts. There were several pros: I was amazed that Powell included a pretty sizeable piece on Elizabeth Villiers, as so few even know of her existence! Largely interesting, and I learned something about Hans Bentinck that I never came across before (his engagement to Stuarta). There is only one con: some sentences didn't flow well - nothing that a few hyphens or commas wouldn't fix! I look forward to reading another book by Powell.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Full disclosure: I read about five pages of this book. I read the first three and wondered, "Is it all like this?" Skimmed through... Yup. The whole thing reads like the most boring parts of the Bible ("This man married this woman and they had this child who died and then they had this child who married this person...") Major disappointment. With a title like Royal Sex, I never would have guessed I would be so horribly bored. Full disclosure: I read about five pages of this book. I read the first three and wondered, "Is it all like this?" Skimmed through... Yup. The whole thing reads like the most boring parts of the Bible ("This man married this woman and they had this child who died and then they had this child who married this person...") Major disappointment. With a title like Royal Sex, I never would have guessed I would be so horribly bored.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Oh. My. Word. I am not sure what this book is supposed to be, but it was like a huge doctoral thesis unedited. Mr. Powell unloaded an enormous dump of knowledge, dates and hobby-horses onto the page, and never looked at it again. It is replete with actual grammatical errors; run-on sentences, sentence fragments, missing words that even a cursory edit would have caught, and a complete lack of regard for how a pronoun is supposed to cast back to the last proper noun. He is absolutely obsessed with Oh. My. Word. I am not sure what this book is supposed to be, but it was like a huge doctoral thesis unedited. Mr. Powell unloaded an enormous dump of knowledge, dates and hobby-horses onto the page, and never looked at it again. It is replete with actual grammatical errors; run-on sentences, sentence fragments, missing words that even a cursory edit would have caught, and a complete lack of regard for how a pronoun is supposed to cast back to the last proper noun. He is absolutely obsessed with tracing back every royal favorite's genealogy to prove that being a royal favorite is some sort of chromosomal thing, hereditary, as it were. So Lady Diana Spencer is tracked back over eons and eons to Charles II's mistress. So you can't follow a story. because with no warning, no change of paragraph, often not even a comma, you are tracking somebody's great great grandmother's affairs with multiple Europeans and not until a name like George IV or Waterloo clues the reader in that the subject has been changed does the reader realize that the 'she' no longer refers to Diana but to Evie Servingwench. There are also SPELLING errors of the type that spell check doesn't catch because it is a real word, but NOT the one the author wanted. Example: 'The soldiers fort all day." "There were fore children of the marriage." On and on and ON like that! In a published book with a publisher and editor cited! And once finished with his gigantic regurgitation of everything he knew about everybody who ever slept with anybody remotely related to royalty (I mean really, do we need a five page digression about how somebody's great grandmother had an affair with a Royal Dukeness of Royal SaxFrance. No. No, we do not.) Mr. Powell evidently put a huge number of commas and exclamation points in a giant sifter and kind of shook it over the manuscript so you have, for no,, reason! These punctuators sprinkled throughout with no attempt made to use them to do what they are hired to do - make your communication more, clear! Plus Mr. Powell LOVES the word 'bastard' and is perfectly capable of using it 12, 14, 35 times in one paragraph about the same person. It's like his mummy washed his mouth out with soap for using that word when he was little so now he is delighting in using it as much as he pleases. A (pseudo) sample follows. "Mary was the bastard daughter, of bastard Cleopatra who was the bastard daughter of bastard Hesmet the Magnificent. Bastard bastard bastard!,"! I finished this book out of pure stubbornness and love for the person who gave it to me but oh. My. Word. !,! Bastard!

  6. 4 out of 5

    E

    Plenty of information, but it's astounding how a book about illicit love affairs can be so dry and boring. The stories are largely lists of names and how they're connected in rapid succession, the confusing nature of which is compounded by incredible run-on sentences and grammar which is, while technically correct, nearly incomprehensible to read. Multiple times I thought that a name was connected to a title, only to figure out by context half a (lengthy) sentence later that it was two different Plenty of information, but it's astounding how a book about illicit love affairs can be so dry and boring. The stories are largely lists of names and how they're connected in rapid succession, the confusing nature of which is compounded by incredible run-on sentences and grammar which is, while technically correct, nearly incomprehensible to read. Multiple times I thought that a name was connected to a title, only to figure out by context half a (lengthy) sentence later that it was two different individuals. Think the old screencap of "Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector". That, but with English titles and place names. The only reason it gets two stars is because I might be able to use it in a research paper someday thanks to the lengthy, usually irrelevant genealogies and connections included.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michell Karnes

    Royal Sex covers all of the most well-known mistresses of the British Monarchs and some other key figures. The book begins with Henry VIII and progresses through the current royal family. While I liked the topic the author often strays far into the family of each mistress which I often found confusing trying to keep track of relations. Also as the book progresses it seemed each mistress related back to Barbara Villers is some way. When the author came to the current royal family I didn't care fo Royal Sex covers all of the most well-known mistresses of the British Monarchs and some other key figures. The book begins with Henry VIII and progresses through the current royal family. While I liked the topic the author often strays far into the family of each mistress which I often found confusing trying to keep track of relations. Also as the book progresses it seemed each mistress related back to Barbara Villers is some way. When the author came to the current royal family I didn't care for his reference to how current members are not choosing spouses from other royal families implying the monarchy is becoming common.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Caudill

    DNF on page 97. The grammatical and editing errors make it difficult to read and get through. Powell also, instead of just focusing on one person per section, goes on tangents about their family members and other people.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Hard to read. Not Organized.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Wogberg

    Poorly structured, it was a slong to read through and I love the subject matter. The way it was set up and organized makes it cluttered and clunky.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Interesting concept but the book is riddled with grammatical errors.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne Crawford

    Loved it

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for purpose of review. Summary: Beginning with Henry VIII through Prince William and Prince Harry, author Roger Powell has written an interesting book on the relationships of British royalty. Some of these relationships led to marriage and some of them were extra-marital exploits. Powell brings to light certain key families in England, and throughout several generations, provided mistresses to kings. My Thoughts: The book begins by sharing from the life of Source: Free copy from Amberley Publishing for purpose of review. Summary: Beginning with Henry VIII through Prince William and Prince Harry, author Roger Powell has written an interesting book on the relationships of British royalty. Some of these relationships led to marriage and some of them were extra-marital exploits. Powell brings to light certain key families in England, and throughout several generations, provided mistresses to kings. My Thoughts: The book begins by sharing from the life of Henry VIII. I was familiar with the women he had bedded. I was familiar with the women he married. I was familiar with the illegitimate children he produced. I did not feel I learned anything new on his life. Included in this chapter is Henry's sister Mary, Mary and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth Blount, Lady Carew. The chapter on "The Jacobean Period" gave lengthy information about James 1 being gay. From what I've read from other authors and historians this point is a guess, based on his physical displays of affection and lavish money spent on male "friends". Maybe he was and maybe he was not. He did marry and have children. Being gay, if he was, did not affect his ability to have sex with his wife several times and sire children. "The Stuart Period" covered the years of Charles I and Charles II. Charles II had several mistresses. He sired several illegitimate children. The next chapters cover the Hanoverian Period, Edwardian Period, House of Windsor". "The House of Windsor" told the stories of Charles and Diana, Charles and Camilla, William and Katherine. How do I feel about this book? I did not care for the lengthy list of who slept with whom and whom their lineage was. I felt winded and lost at times with the information given. The print I felt was too small. I felt saddened by their lifestyle. It seemed to me that most never were fulfilled with a faithful and committed love. They were searching for fulfillment in the ecstasy that was required to pamper their fetish, or cover up the vacuum in their heart. I did not appreciate the tone or comment from the author, "Are we perhaps witnessing another stage in the dumbing down of the monarchy?" Page 241. This comment was made in reference to Prince William and Prince Harry's choice in women. What I found interesting? Several families throughout the generations sired daughters that slept with kings. The authors research and knowledge of lineages fascinated and impressed me. I'd known little about "The Stuart Period" now I am familiar with them. Contraception in the 1600s.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    Extremely boring book full of proofreading errors.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Girl From the North Country

    A sometimes meandering, other times choppy run down of some of the more well known mistresses from the Tudors to the Windsors. I generally love these sorts of collective biographies, and royal mistresses & courtesans are probably my all time favorite topic, but this one fell a little flat for me- the research, to be fair, is there, and that is primarily why it gets three stars. The caveat being, unless you're entirely new to the aforementioned women, it's just a dry rehash- and if you aren't fa A sometimes meandering, other times choppy run down of some of the more well known mistresses from the Tudors to the Windsors. I generally love these sorts of collective biographies, and royal mistresses & courtesans are probably my all time favorite topic, but this one fell a little flat for me- the research, to be fair, is there, and that is primarily why it gets three stars. The caveat being, unless you're entirely new to the aforementioned women, it's just a dry rehash- and if you aren't familiar, this dry rehash is just going to seem a little dull. It's not Michael Farquhar (thank god); I think it wanted to be Eleanor Herman. Powell definitely knows his stuff, and perhaps that's the issue- as a genealogist who studies the royal family, he sometimes can forget to throw in the parts that make biographies entertaining. I had to push myself to finish it. I don't regret buying it in print- it makes a handy reference, but I'm a collector on the topic. If you're looking for something about Royal mistresses to cut your teeth on, and you tend to favor more textbook-style reads, then you'll like it, even if you don't read it in one swoop and just keep it for thumbing through. If you're at all familiar with the protagonists, or just looking for some basic introductions to these women, with the intent of finding more detailed biographies of the ones who interest you, skip it and go with Herman instead- she at least covers a wider range and region.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sylwia Zupanec

    This book details history of the royal mistresses starting with the Tudors, ending with the House of Windsor. It’s an entertaining book if you have an interest in British monarchy. This book held my interest and gave me insight into the history of the times and of the royal families.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Hunt

  19. 4 out of 5

    Monique

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rho

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

  24. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheyenne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  29. 5 out of 5

    Junemarie Brandt

  30. 4 out of 5

    Firefly

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