Who was Prince Eddy?
As we know, due to Queen Elizabeth’s uncle abdicating from the throne to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, the lineage to the British throne was altered.
But that was also the case in the reign of Queen Victoria – in 1892. Victoria reigned for many years and, like the current situation today, the Prince of Wales had to wait a long time to become the sovereign.
Similarly to Prince Charles today, he had grown up children when he ascended to the throne. His eldest child, and therefore his own heir, was named Albert Victor but was known by the family as Eddy.
He had never been considered bright as a child and when he grew to adulthood he enjoyed exactly the same pastimes as his father – shooting, hunting, playing cards and …making love.
He was attractive and had a friendly and amiable personality but it became more and more evident that he did not have the qualities that would be required to be king, should he inherit the throne eventually from his father.
Was Edward homosexual?
This is one of the rumours that still persist today. There were many homosexual brothels, clubs and other establishments in London in Victorian times. One of the busiest, when raided by the police, was found to have an aristocratic clientele. One of the gentlemen was Lord Arthur Somerset who was an equerry to the Prince of Wales.
To avoid prosecution he fled the country but rumours soon began that he had introduced Prince Eddy to the establishment. Those who defended his reputation spoke of his love of attractive women but others remarked that this did not preclude homosexual dalliances. Although the rumours abounded, there was never any proof to show that the prince was a client of the brothel, however.
Was Prince Eddy Jack the Ripper?
This theory did not develop until the twentieth century. The serial killers nicknamed Jack the Ripper was killing and mutilating prostitutes in the Whitechapel area of London. The killer was never found and ever since, there have been several theories.
One that surfaced was that it was Prince Eddy who was responsible and who committed the murders during periods of insanity brought about because he suffered from syphilis. Not only is there no evidence to show that he did suffer from syphilis there is also the fact that at the times of several murders, the prince was hundreds of miles away at royal functions attended by his own family, visiting royals and dignitaries, plus dozens of servants.
Prince Eddy’s love life
Eddy’s parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales decided that it was high time that the young prince was married. As was the royal practice in those days, several potential brides were suggested and the prince fell head-over-heels in love with the one he was prevented from marrying. Princess Helene of Orleans was found to be unsuitable because of her Catholic religion.
But another candidate was able to repair the prince’s broken heart – Princess May of Teck. On 3rd December 1891, the couple became engaged.
A month later, the family assembled at Sandringham to celebrate the prince’s birthday. But the prince became ill.
There was an influenza pandemic that was devastating Europe at the time.
This became pneumonia and on January 14th, 1892, the man who should one day have become king died at the age of twenty-eight.
The royal family destroyed Eddy’s papers after his death. But historian an author Andrew Cook realised that the people Eddy wrote to would have kept his letters. He discovered that there was a great deal more to this elusive prince than was previously thought.
See the fascinating video below.
You can read more about Prince Eddy here
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