Hampton Court and Windsor Beauties – Ladies in waiting Portraits

We went to Hampton Court last week. Viewing the different centuries of apartments there was fascinating and several stories came through of court life, but one I found particularly inspiring was the story of two sets of portraits, which were paintings of the Queen’s ladies in waiting.  The first set was commissioned by King Charles II. These portraits are quite erotic for the era.  Displayed in a long gallery, they include one of his mistresses. They were painted by Sir Peter Lely. I could only stand and wonder at the tales of intrigue behind these portraits.


Even more interesting though is that a generation later King William II’s wife, Queen Mary II, commissioned a similar set painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, these were on display in the Dinning room, and knowing there are still, let me say, questions, hanging over King William II sexuality, it is quite thought-provoking that he dined amidst these pictures even after Queen Mary’s death.


This link takes you to the Wikipedia page which gives you details on the ladies in each portrait. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampton_Court_Beauties


Brilliant, I do love these delicious tales, sometimes real life is better than imagination. According to Wikipedia two of the Hampton Court Beauties were married to the bastard sons of King Charles II, and one had a secret marriage.  The Windsor Beauty who was Kings Charles II’s mistress is  Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland. She bore King Charles II five children as his mistress. There is also a beautiful tale about Elizabeth, Countess de Grammont, who had an agreement with a French Count who’d promised her marriage but then planned to leave England without her, her brother’s followed him and brought him back, she did leave with him after this.

Hampton Court 2


Jane Lark is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional love stories.

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Belton House and Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson

The Brownlow family who owned Belton House were connected to the Royal family through close service for several generations. Peregrine Adelbert Cust – Perry Brownlow – is the most notable of these.

In 1936 he was involved in the Abdication Crisis. 

Peregrine had moved in Edward, Prince of Wales’s, circle for several years staying at Fort Belvedere with his first wife. In turn the Prince of Wales would have also stayed at Belton, often along with Wallis Simpson.

Certainly Perry Brownlow would have known of their affair. His friendship with Edward was so close when Edward succeeded the throne in January 1936, Perry was appointed Lord-in-waiting and would have spent considerable time in the Prince’s company.  

Therefore, because Perry was a close friend of the King’s, when rumours of Edward’s intent to marry Wallis Simpson became known, the Royal Family and its advisers turned to Perry, begging him to  persuade King Edward against the notion.

Perry tried to persuade the King to let Wallis Simpson live at Belton, near Lincoln, far enough from London for the affair to remain more discreet and close enough for Edward to keep in contact with her.

However this was not to be, on 3rd December 1936 the crisis was aired in the British press and the next day the Government announced that it would not tolerate Wallis Simpson as the wife of a King.  

It was Perry Brownlow who took Wallis Simpson away from Britain, to Cannes, to escape public scrutiny.

In Cannes Perry pressured Wallis to give Edward up and she did agree to and issued a statement on 7th December 1936 confirming this: Perry advised her on the wording of this. But the king would not let her go and abdicated on 10th December 1936.

Consequently, due to his close connection with King Edward, and his inability to prevent the abdication, Perry Brownlow was cut by the royal family. The King’s mother would not speak to him.

In the picture of  King Edward VIII’s coronation above Lord Perry Brownlow is the one on the right by the railing. You can see the dress he wore on that day on the bed behind the picture.

Illicit_LoveJane Lark’s debut novel is due to be published 2nd May 2013, by Sapphire Star Publishing See  Jane’s website www.janelark.co.uk to learn more or click  like on Jane’s Facebook  page. You can also follow Jane on twitter at @janelark