There is a pub in Nottingham called Langtry’s and known locally as Lillie’s. S came to visit a couple of weeks ago. We were sat outside the said establishment when she asked if I knew how Edward VII managed to have so many mistresses. I replied that I really didn’t know but it was probably a case of the personality of the man eclipsing his personal appearance, not to mention that it was probably difficult to say ‘No’ to the heir to the throne.
Last week, however, I chanced, opportunely, upon this very interesting book.
Lillie Langtry was the first of three serious mistresses (followed by Daisy Warwick and Alice Keppel). These women were flattered to receive the attentions of a prince and their own social ambitions made his conquests easier, but there does seem to be compelling contemporary evidence that Edward was a very charming man. He was at ease with all manner of people, he was generous and kind. Plus, if his mother, Queen Victoria was going to make him wait for the throne, he was going to enjoy himself while he waited.