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Author Topic: Portrait of a mistress - King Edward VII's lover Lillie Langtry  (Read 8633 times)
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PeDe
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« on: April 17, 2013, 03:02:39 AM »

Portrait of a mistress: Album of King Edward VII's lover Lillie Langtry is uncovered after 135 years

Rarely seen photographs of the beautiful actress who famously had an affair with King Edward VII have been unearthed. The album of portraits of the woman behind the royal affair is to be sold at auction for 7,000. 82 black and white photos of the 'other woman' have emerged for sale at Doyles auction house in New York.

The photographs were taken as publicity shots for Langtry's acting career and were taken five years after the affair had ended. King Edward VII married Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 but was rumoured to have had multiple affairs throughout his marriage.

King Edward VII met Langtry at a dinner party in the 1870s and had a three-year relationship with the actress-cum-socialite. He built Langtry a large house in Bournemouth, Dorset, which became their private retreat throughout their three year relationship. Langtry, who was aged 32 at the time, later emigrated to the US and the album ended up in the ownership of an American friend.

Wearing different outfits, including a Japanese-style gown, the Victorian beauty posed showing her left-hand side in most of the photographs. Edward Ripley-Duggan, director of the book department at auctioneers Doyles, said: 'The album has been with the current owner for a number of years now. 'Every single one of the images is signed by Langtry. This is a wonderful piece in terms of her career.

'She was obviously a little notorious but she was fundamentally a very intelligent and driven woman. 'Langtry was a very interesting figure indeed. Everybody knows about her liaisons with the then Prince of Wales.' She was a close friend of Oscar Wilde and I don't think you gained entry into that circle if you were a fool.

'This was a circle of wits where women were expected to be both pretty and witty. 'She was a strong character and prepared to deal with whatever came her way following the liaison with the Prince of Wales.' Langtry's former home, called the Red House, is now the Langtry Manor Hotel in Bournemouth and the King's room there is now used as a honeymoon suite.

Langtry became an American citizen in 1897 and died in Monte Carlo in 1929 aged 75. She is rumoured to have been the inspiration for the character of Irene Adler in Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tale A Scandal In Bohemia. The album is being sold on April 23.



Actress and socialite Lillie Langtry had a three-year
affair with the Prince of Wales in the 1870s




Langtry was a regular in high society- and counted
Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle as close friends



 
Lillie Langtry met King Edward at a dinner party. The King was rumoured to
have had a string of affairs despite being married to Alexandra of Denmark




King Edward VII and his long-suffering wife Queen Alexandra in 1903



Most of the pictures were taken in New York after Langtry
emigrated to America following the end of the affair in the 1880s



 
The black and white photos were designed to show Langtry
off to her fullest. Each picture has been signed




The Bournemouth lovenest of Edward and Lillie is now a hotel
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Kiki LaShrewd
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 06:16:00 AM »

Is it me or does Alexandra look quite a bit like Lillie?
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PepperImp
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 06:28:48 AM »

  Yeah, I think Edward lucked out, getting such a beautiful princess, in an age where they didn't have the option of just going out and finding the hottest woman they could find, but were expected to  marry another royal. I think Alexandra must have been a woman to emulate in those days. I do remember reading that when she got a little older and her skin got a little whispy, that's when she started wearing pearl chokers and high-necked gowns, and the rest of the women of fashion followed suit.

But I do think they look a lot alike! But it was a good thing Lillie was born when she was, she wouldn't have been considered the height of beauty nowadays. But she apparently had violet eyes, I think you had to actually see her in person to appreciate how lovely she was!
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luvcharles

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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 07:14:44 AM »

A lot of women copied Alexandra's style.  The Alexandra choker was one of her signature pieces of jewellery that she was certainly wearing shortly after her third pregnancy when her deafness, limp and other issues became pronounced due to the illness she suffered during that pregnancy.

She was a gentle woman who set the standard for Princesses of Wales and none since have come close to being as elegant as her.
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Cloaked

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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 07:45:21 AM »

Poor Alexandra - to suffer such deafness and other ailments.

The old photos of Lillie Langtry are sweet.  I wonder what happened to her after going to America.  Thinking
Just looked it up and Wow!! Lillie Langtry flitted from one man to another for the whole of her life.
She led a very adventurous life involving much horse racing and racy living.

Wasn't King Edward VII also the lover of Camilla's great grandmother, Alice Frederica Keppel? (nee Edmonstone)  He had many lovers, including (it is speculated) the mother of Winston Churchill.  
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 07:51:53 AM by Cloaked » Logged
luvcharles

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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 08:11:47 AM »

Yes - Mrs Keppel was his last mistress.
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fairy

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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 09:52:05 AM »

Personally I think most women at that time looked quite alike on the old photos.
It has got to do with the fashion at that time, that to us today (well at least to me) is so strange that we can hardly see any differences.
Then the hairstyle is extremely similar, the sepia obstructs any personal colouring that would stand out in real life and the women all had the same sort of serious sad face.
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 04:59:25 AM »

I loved the PBS mini series on Lillie Langtry; she has fascinated me as a royal figure since then.
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 03:34:13 AM »

I loved the PBS mini series on Lillie Langtry; she has fascinated me as a royal figure since then.

That is an oldie series.  Excellent portrayal of Lillie by Francesa Annis.





I forgot who played Oscar Wilde, but he looked just like him!!! 
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2013, 03:01:30 PM »

Yes, I concur. This was outstanding! Francesca Annis also portrayed her in the series Edward VII. Highly recommend both series. Outstanding.
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2019, 01:35:50 AM »

Lillie Langtry in a pink evening dress and tiara   
http://www.alamy.com/stoc...-dress-and-105347987.html
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