Thanks to the roaring popularity of The Favourite, British palaces have announced they will be hosting special LGBTI tours.
Historic Royal Palaces’ guides will highlight the scandals and sexual drama of the British royal family throughout history in Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London.
The tours will cover all the details, from lesbian love affairs to bisexual nobility.
Oscar-nominated film The Favourite has already thrown the spotlight on Queen Anne. The film dramatized the speculated love affair between the Queen (portrayed by Olivia Coleman) the Duchess of Marlborough and rival Abigail Masham.
Gay royal family
The way we conceptualize sexuality now is a lot different to how it was perceived in the past. Also, in order to avoid scandal, a lot of the proof has been destroyed.
Yet much of it still remains. In one letter, the queen writes to the duchess: ‘I would rather live in a cottage with you than reign as empress of the world without you.’
Curator of the Historic Royal Palaces, Matthew Storey, has been researching the royal LGBTI stories for the tours.
He told The Times that same-sex relationships between women were tolerated in court. ‘What we forget is that people of this class would not have conducted love marriages. All marriages are political. So there is a lot of tolerance for extramarital relationships, especially between women as there is no danger of affecting the line of succession.’
Same-sex relationships between men were illegal but were not between women.
Thus you have stories of Charles II’s mistress sleeping with both him and his illegitimate daughter Anne, Countess of Sussex.
Storey says that the King was likely amused by his mistresses affair, rather than angry.
But it’s not all about the women – there’s of course the famous relationships between King James I and Robert Carr, the Earl of Somerset, before he moved onto George Villers, the Duke of Buckingham. And there’s way more to be revealed – the British royal family history is just a supercut of all the sex scenes from Game of Thrones.
Dates for the tours are yet to be announced.