Who Was Lillie Langtry?

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 Lillie Langtry’s royal illegitimate baby.


Who was Lillie Langtry?

At various times in her life,Lillie Langtry was an entertainer, a racehorse owner, an American citizen, a resident of Monte Carlo and most notably, a mistress of members of the British aristocracy and royal family.

But what is often forgotten is that she had a royal illegitimate daughter whose descendants are related by blood to today’s heirs to the British throne.

Lillie was born in the Channel Islands, in Jersey.The islands are British, although they are closer to the French coast. They have a fascinating French-British culture.

When she was twenty, she married Edward Langtry and the couple moved to London, soon starting to move in society circles.

In 1877, she became the mistress of the Prince of Wales. He was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and as such, became King Edward VII when Victoria died.

But the child she bore was not that of the Prince of Wales but of a later lover. He too was a royal prince.

Asher relationship with the Prince of Wales was waning, Lillie met a friend and nephew of the prince,  the rather dashing twenty-five year old Prince Louis of Battenberg.

Louis, who was in the British Navy, was known to enjoy female companionship and it may well be that the Prince of Wales encouraged the relationship between the two.

He was tiring of his mistress and it was almost inevitable that Lille and Louis would begin an affair.

It was conducted discreetly but there was no suggestion that the relationship could go further. Even if Lillie was to get divorced (which she eventually did) it was unthinkable for a royal naval officer to marry a divorceé. But she discovered that she was pregnant.

When Louis found out, he told his parents who immediately packed him off on a long voyage. Lillie received a financial settlement.

Her relationship with the Prince of Wales was no longer an ardent affair but the couple remained close friends. He too gave her money to see her through the birth and early years of motherhood.

When her pregnancy could no longer be concealed, Lillie went to Paris where she gave birth to a daughter. She named the child Jeanne-Marie. The baby was handed over to Lillie’s mother who brought the little girl up. She believed, as is usual in these circumstances, that Lillie was her aunt, rather than her mother.

When Jeanne-Marie was fourteen, she was told that her’aunt’ was in fact her mother and she believed that her father had been Lillie’s husband Edward Langtry – until she was told when she was twenty one that her father was in fact  Prince Louis.

Meanwhile,Prince Louis had made a suitable royal marriage. His bride was one of Queen Victoria’s daughters. (She was also named Victoria).

The couple had four children. The one that concerns us here is their daughter Alice.  All four children,the legal offspring of Louis and Victoria were half brothers and sisters to Jeanne-Marie, the illegitimate daughter of the prince and Lillie Langtry.

Alice married Prince Andrew of Greece. She had several daughters and one son. He, Philip, married Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and became her consort.Prince Philip of Greece is now known as the Duke of Edinburgh and is the father of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, the grandfather of Prince William and the great-grandfather of Prince George.

Jeanne-Marie married a Scottish laird and had four children. Thus, Lillie Langtry’s descendants are related by blood to the heirs to the throne of England.


Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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