Queen Victoria slept in same bed as her servant John Brown but they didn’t have sex, claims top historian
- Queen Victoria’s close relationship with John Brown caused controversy
- Rumours that the monarch and her servant were lovers endure to today
- But her biographer claims that they never consummated their relationship
- AN Wilson said the couple shared a bed but simply ‘hugged on another’
Queen Victoria’s relationship with her devoted ghillie John Brown 150 years ago set tongues wagging from the grand hallways of Buckingham Palace to the servants’ quarters at Balmoral.
But while rumours that the pair were lovers endure to this day, a top historian has now claimed that they never had sex.
The monarch’s biographer, AN Wilson, believes that the couple ‘hugged one another and slept together’ but that the relationship was never consummated.
Man and wife: Queen Victoria and her servant John Brown, pictured together, were married but never consummated their relationship, her biographer, AN Wilson, claimed in a new BBC programme
He said: ‘I don’t believe Queen Victoria had full sexual relations with Brown. I do believe they had a little marriage ceremony at Crathie Kirk, which the minister confessed to on his deathbed.’
The historian made the statement in the first installment of Queen Victoria’s Letters: A Monarch Unveiled, a two-part series he is presenting on BBC Four.
John Brown, who was seven years Victoria’s junior, is best remembered today thanks to the acclaimed 1997 film Mrs Brown, starring Dame Judi Dench and Billy Connolly.
The strapping 6ft ghillie was brought south from his post at Balmoral to become Victoria’s personal groom at Osborne – her house on the Isle of Wight – following her husband’s death.
On film: The couple portrayed by Judi Dench and Billy Connolly in acclaimed 1997 movie Mrs Brown
Her courtiers were pleased at first that Brown was able to coax her out of her misery but they soon became concerned that she had fallen utterly under his spell.
Brown immediately adopted a bullying and familiar manner with her that astonished courtiers and caused the Queen’s daughters to refer to him as ‘Mama’s lover’.
He became increasingly high-handed, and soon the rest of the royal household came to loathe him. Other servants snidely dubbed Brown ‘the Queen’s stallion’.
Brown encouraged her to drink whisky with him. Begg’s Best was their preferred tipple. She was soon referring to the hirsute Highlander as ‘fascinating Johnny Brown’.
A shocked Foreign Secretary, the Earl of Derby, recorded that they slept in adjoining rooms ‘contrary to etiquette and even decency’.
The first anti-Brown propaganda, claiming that he was the Queen’s ‘morganatic husband’ (married but with the stipulation that he would have no claim on any title), appeared in pamphlets circulated by the Scottish socialist republican nationalist Alexander Robertson.
Victoria began to address Brown as ‘Darling’ in her letters to him, and it was some claimed that during a trip to Loch Ordie, ‘Hochmagandy’ — the old Scottish word for sexual intercourse — had taken place.
There are those who believe that the pair went on to have a child together, but suggestions that a child was born nine months later in Switzerland are untenable.
Edgar Boehm, the sculptor, who spent several months at Balmoral sculpting a head of John Brown for Victoria and observed them both at close quarters, later told Catherine Walters (one of Edward VII’s mistresses) that Victoria allowed Brown ‘every conjugal privilege’.
Further evidence may have existed in the affectionate memoir Victoria wrote about John Brown after his death in 1883. But her senior courtiers refused to let her publish it, fearing that it would further damage her reputation, and had it destroyed, together with Brown’s own diaries.
But there are those who disagree with the claim that the pair shared a romantic relationship.
Intimate: Victoria began to addressed Brown, above, as ‘Darling’ in her letters, and it was some claimed that during a trip to Loch Ordie, ‘Hochmagandy’ — the old Scottish word for sexual intercourse — had taken place
Close: The strapping ghillie was brought south from Balmoral to become Victoria’s personal groom at Osborne, her house on the Isle of Wight, following her husband’s death. Above, a painting of the pair
Irish author J.H. Brennan claimed in her book that the reason Queen Victoria kept her strapping servant so close was because he ‘channelled the spirit’ of her late husband.
She argued that the Queen’s senior courtiers went to great lengths to keep the seances she held with Brown secret, fearing news of them would lead to rumours that the Queen had lost her Christian faith, or even her sanity.
Another biographer of Queen Victoria, the late Lady Elizabeth Longford, concluded that Victoria and Brown had a platonic relationship.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2836582/Queen-Victoria-slept-bed-servant-John-Brown-didn-t-sex-claims-historian.html#ixzz3JGOAm0ry
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