Real Royal Sex Scandal Quiz: Answers

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Real Royal Sex Scandal Quiz: Answers

  1. Which monarch had six wives, including his own sister-in-law, numerous mistresses (including the sister of one of his wives) and at least one illegitimate son?

    • Henry VIII (1509-1547).

      His wives were:
      1. Catherine of Aragon (1509-1532)
      2. Anne Boleyn (1533-1536)
      3. Jane Seymour (1536-7)
      4. Anne of Cleves (1539-40)
      5. Catherine Howard (1540-42)
      6. Katherine Parr (1543-47)

  2. Which monarch had only two wives, but at the same time?

    • Cnut, also known as Canute (1014/16-10351).

      Also king of Norway, Denmark and parts of Sweden. He married Ælgifu of Northampton, daughter of Ælfhelm Earl of Northumbria, in around 1012 and then married Queen Emma, widow of Æthelred II the Unready, for political reasons. As he married Ælgifu in a pagan ceremony, the church did not recognise his first marriage, leaving him free to marry again. Ælgifu in effect became his queen in the north of England and regent in Norway, while Emma was his queen in the south.

      Victorian historians who generally saw monarchs as black or white good kings or bad kings, have loved to praise Cnut as a moral hero. They love the tale of his proving to his sycophantic ministers that he could not control the tide. Curiously, they glossed over the fact that he was a bigamist, generally saying that Ælgifu, though never divorced, her marriage never annulled and her children never declared illegitimate, must at some point have been officially repudiated, even though there is no evidence to suggest this.

  3. Which monarch abdicated in order to marry his divorced American girlfriend?

  4. Which monarch's sex life is reported to have killed his father, but his antics at the Moulin Rouge did more to improve Anglo-French relations than any of the governments over the previous 100 years?

    • Edward VII (1901-1910).

      When Prince of Wales he was discovered in a compromising position with an actress. his father Prince Albert died shortly after and Queen Victoria remained convinced all her life that the sex scandal shock had caused his death.

      Despite this, Edward spoke fluent French, was popular in French social venues including the Moulin Rouge, and was a driving force behind the signing of the Entente Cordiale treaty between Britain and France in 1904.

  5. Which monarch had so many illegitimate children his Prime Minister said, 'A king is supposed to be the father of his people, and [he] certainly was father to a good many of them.'

    • Charles II (1660-1685).
      Technically the 2nd Duke of Buckingham was not a Prime Minister as that office did not then exist, but he was the contemporary equivalent.

  6. Which monarch was himself illegitimate?

    • William I the Bastard - 1066-1087

      Since Victorian times he has been more popularly known as William the Conqueror; 'bastard' was not always the insult it is now considered to be. Despite committing genocide in Yorkshire, he has had such unbelievably positive PR that many people forget that the nation of England existed and had kings before his reign.

  7. Which ruling Queen spent most of her adult life pregnant?

    • Anne (1702-1707).

      She had 17 pregnancies and only lived to the age of 49. Sadly, almost of her children miscarried, two lived over a year and only one, William, lived to the age of 11.

  8. Which monarch brought his two favourite mistresses with him when he ascended the throne, but imprisoned his wife for the rest of her life and had her lover executed when he discovered she had had an affair?

    • George I (1714-1727)

      He married his cousin, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, who had an affair with Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. After George I discovered this, the count disappeared, rumoured to have either been thrown into the river or buried somewhere in Hanover. Sophia spent over 30 years imprisoned in Ahlden Castle.

  9. Which monarch loved getting his hands on Nell Gwyn's big, juicy oranges?

    • Charles II

      Nell Gwyn was an orange-seller and one of England's earliest actresses who was Charles' long-term mistress.

  10. Which monarch, when asked if he would marry again, replied 'I'll have only mistresses'?

    • George I

  11. Which monarch disappeared on the day of his coronation and was finally found by the Archbishop of Canterbury in bed being seduced by a rich noble widow and her daughter?

    • Eadwig (955-7/92).

      He disappeared during the traditional feast following the church ceremony. In this feast, he was supposed to impress all the gathered nobles and take their oaths of loyalty, and promise fealty to them in return. As the nobles felt slighted and hadn't sworn any oaths of loyalty, most of England turned their back on Eadwig and instead declared his brother Edgar the Peaceable king by 957. Wessex followed suite on Eadwig's death in 959.

      I confess to have spiced up the headlines a little - he was discovered not by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, who was Oda, but by Dunstan who was at the time the Abbott of Glastonbury. Having discovered the king in a compromising position, Dunstan was immediately banished. On Eadwig's death he returned to England, and then became Archbishop of Canterbury. He was later beatified as St Dunstan.

  12. Which monarch fought a minor civil war against his wife, who won and had him executed?

    • Edward II (1307-1327)

      Making Charles and Diana seem like best bosom buddies for life in comparison, Edward of Caernarfon's marriage with Isabella of France began with his ignoring his wife in preference to his favourites, Piers Gaveston, and Hugh Despenser. In 1326 Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer raised an army and captured him, imprisoning him in Kenilworth Castle. Unable to legally execute the king for treason, but unwilling to let him live for political reasons, Isabella announced that he had abdicated in favour of Edward III of Windsor and had him executed, reputedly by a red-hot poker shoved up his bottom.

  13. Which monarch had his marriage annulled by the Archbishop of Canterbury against his will, as his wife was too closely related to him?

    • Eadwig

      This marriage was annulled by Archbishop Oda in 958. Sadly we don't know how exactly he was related to his wife, Ælfgifu. It is believed by many that she was the daughter found in his bed at his coronation. It has been suggested that the annulment was possibly for political reasons, in order to prevent Eadwig getting an heir. As Eadwig died childless in 959 it allowed the clear succession of his brother Edgar, already king in the north of England.

  14. Which monarch, when informed he had a son, remarked, 'He must have been fathered by the Holy Ghost, as [I have] no recollection of doing so'?

    • Henry VI (1422-61, 70-713)

      Henry wished to be a monk, and reportedly spent his life terrified of women. His wife's son was conceived during a period in which he himself was mad, leading to a widespread belief that Queen Margaret's close friend the Duke of Somerset was the young baby's father, and not just the godfather.

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1He ruled the north of England from 1014, but not all of England until the death of Edmund II Ironside in 1016.2King only between 955-957 in most of England, king from 955-959 in Wessex.3Deposed and restored by Warwick the Kingmaker, with Edward IV ruling between 1461-70 and 71-83

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