The eternal enigma… and such a drag. Mastering the art of seduction and a certain sexual open mindedness were required of royal mistresses, while virtue beyond all doubt was demanded of princesses and queens. A king without a mistress was weak, a cheating queen was a traitor. The power of their sex was solely determined by their fertility , but behind closed curtains queens had both matters of state and of the heart to deal with.
Mere currencies in the hands of their families, pawns in an intricate games of power, victims of arranged marriages, these queens never stopped seeking true love desperately, recklessly, madly, sometimes throwing themselves into affairs that consumed them to the marrow. Shortly after, she married Prince Albert. Unlike most royal marriages, theirs was happy and active to say the least. Perhaps the result of a hormonal imbalance, Queen Victoria had an unquenchable sexual appeti te, comparable to nymphomania.
It seemed the beginning of a beautiful year-long friendship, but their compromising correspondence reveals more than amity. When he died in , the queen went mad with grief. Victoria was 68, still mourning after Albert, the love of her life, and John Brown. Karim was tall, dark, and handsome. Their relationship was anything but Victorian, it went against the rules, it was a taboo. Or at least he thought he did. She was 17, he was 10 years her senior, and she hated him.
Marie bore six children. Ferdinand himself was aware of her indiscretions, but chose to turn a blind eye. The love of her life was Prince Barbu Stirbei, a handsome man with deep brown eyes. Ileana and Mircea, her youngest children, showed a curious resemblance to Stirbei that did not go unnoticed. Her son, Charles II, exiled her lover to end the affair. In her letters to her old friend she desperately cried love, sadness, and despair. In return, Stirbei always ended his passionate letters with five letters: But are they true?
She was 15 when she married Louis XVI , the Dauphin of France, who was more fascinated about locks and hunting than his lovely wife. For seven whole years their marriage remained unconsummated. Louis presented his wife with a lovely little gift, the Petit Trianon, a three-story house strategically hidden in the faraway corners of the Versailles.
A chivalrous and handsome man, he was a frequent visitor at her Petit Trianon and even had his own apartment right above hers. Nobody can say for sure whether their love was consummated, but their secret correspondence written in invisible ink shows their great affection for each other. During the French Revolution, when Marie and her family were imprisoned at Tuileries, Fersen plotted their escape.
He mortgaged his house and borrowed large sums of money, but the plan proved a failure. Marguerite of Valois, the Price of Freedom Two times queen, mediation tool, dangerous hostage, an inconvenience that needed to be removed, Marguerite was a Catholic at the helm of a Huguenot country, whose mission was to bring peace. Margo loathed her marriage to Henry, and they both took lovers. Joseph Boniface de La Mole is said to have been the first, though the queen does not speak of him in her memoirs, perhaps to protect herself from accusations of complicity in his plots against the king.
But they both lacked two important virtues: In , in an incredible gesture for her time, she abandoned her husband and traveled from town to town, consummating lovers until finally captured and imprisoned at Usson Castle, where she spent the next 20 years of her life, first as prisoner, then as castellan. As soon as the king laid eyes on her, he was mesmerized. In , his marriage to Ann Cleves was annulled and Catherine immediately became his fifth wife and Queen of England.
Thomas Cromwell, who arranged the previous royal union, was decapitated on their wedding day. Back to her days as Queen of England, less than a year into her marriage, Catherine began flirting with Thomas Culpeper.
The two often had clandestine meetings, but nothing nearly as outrageous as her next move: Catherine was accused of unchastity and adultery and was sentenced to death. She was stripped of her title of queen, her lovers Derham and Culpeper were decapitated, their heads exhibited on London Bridge. Two years her senior, Christian was still a child, skinny, pale, and spoiled. He began acting like a bachelor, hitting the brothels and getting drunk on the streets of Copenhagen.
The Royal Threesome The marriage was finally consummated and the Queen of Denmark gave birth to a son. But Christian was mentally unstable and his condition was getting worse.
Young and handsome, he was the first person to actually listen to Caroline. Chaos was unleashed, violent rebellions and reforms devastated Denmark. Enraged by their indecent behavior, their enemies plotted a coup.
Accused of adultery, Caroline was tricked into confessing her affair with Struensee. Her lover was executed and she was sent away on exile. In , aged 23, she died of scarlet fever. A year later, the two became king and queen of France. Less than another year passed, and Francis died. A young widow, Mary returned to Scotland, queen of a country she knew nothing about.
It was a self-suggested love. He was an unscrupulous drunkard. The Affairs While Mary was still at the court of France, she met the Earl of Bothwell, a handsome and brave man, five years her senior. The two immediately clicked. When she returned to Scotland, Bothwell became her closest confident.
After her lover David Rizzio was killed by jealousy driven Darnley right before her eyes, she hated her husband with every bone of her body and returned to Bothwell, whom she desired more passionately than ever. Darnley was killed in a mysterious explosion of gunpowder.
Three months later she married the Earl of Bothwell, a Protestant. Their union led to war. Mary Stuart was deposed and imprisoned by Elizabeth I until finally executed for treason. What she may or may not have done in the intimacy of her bedchamber is a whole different story, still covered in mystery.
She gave false hope to numerous marriage proposals, never stopped flirting, and yet never married or had any children. None that we know about anyway. The Affairs Elizabeth had quite the taste in men, choosing them wisely: Ironically, the only man she could never marry was Robert Dudley, the love of her life. He had one awful flaw: Elizabeth and Robert remained close until his death.
He had it all, good looks, charm, talent, and a sense of adventure. But he made a terrible mistake by marrying in secret, infuriating Elizabeth and falling out of her favors. When they met in , Elizabeth was Devereaux was still a teenager. A spoiled brat, he planned a coup.
Elizabeth did not hesitate to order his execution by decapitation. Beautiful and confident , her reputation was slandered by her Roman enemies, who accused her of arrogance, debauchery, and crime. She was 18, he was years-old. He was 30 years her senior. Their relationship was of political interest, both seeking power. In 47 BC, she gave birth to a son, Caesarion. Caesar never acknowledged the boy as his own, but Cleopatra did accompany the general to Rome, where she lived with him until his assassination in 44 BC.
Little did they know that their encounter would change the fate of the empire and their love story would live on as one of the most romantic tragedies in history. Enraged after Antony divorced his sister to marry Cleopatra, Octavius Augustus declared war on Egypt. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated in Greece and they both fled back home. Separated and in hiding, Antony received a false letter that his love had committed suicide and decided to stab himself with his sword. Heartbroken, she committed suicide by allowing a snake to bite her.
Catherine the Great did not die while getting it on with a horse, nor did she die on the toilet, although the latter seems much more plausible. No, she died an uneventful, boring death, suffering a stroke and passing away in her bed.
Grand Duke Peter showed no interest in making love to his beautiful, slender, tall, blue-eyed wife, the perfect Russian doll, so Catherine found other means to entertain herself. She seduced the secretary to the British ambassador Stanislaw Poniatowski. The affair produced a daughter and a few years later she made him the king of Poland. In , she gave birth to a son, Paul. A strong and intelligent woman, Catherine knew she was nothing more than a pawn in a mischievous game of power.
She plotted a coup, removed Peter, and took over the empire in But love has its ways… Catherine met him in He was a breath of fresh air, and she renounced all her lovers in his favor.