Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Oh, the Scandal!

Puck had his number, all right.
Could have been worse.
He could also have been twerking.
On 8 September 1890, several members of the Marlborough House set, including HRH the Prince of Wales (eventually King Edward VII) partied hard at Tranby Croft.

Whilst there, Sir William Gordon-Cumming cheated at cards... And Got Caught.  (Should I mention that gambling at baccarat was illegal at this time?)

A few of the guests thought this was not cricket.  On 10 Sept they approached HRH with their concerns.

In the end, everyone made Sir William sign an agreement, duly witnessed by all present, including HRH Essentially, he would never play cards again in exchange for everyone's silence.  A gentleman's agreement, in other words.

Shame it was a Lady who broke it.  Daisy, Lady Brooke, Countess of Warwick and current mistress to HRH  (yes, THAT Daisy), had to go and gossip about the whole thing.  Babbling Brooke could never keep her trap shut about anything.

Within forty-eight hours, the whole on-dit was all over the ton.

Sir William, terribly embarrassed, sued every signatory on that agreement for slander.  Eventually, HRH got dragged up as a witness and severely chastised.  After all, he knew something illegal was going on, and according to Queen's Army Regulations, he should have dobbed in a fellow officer.  (Not the first time HRH had been dragged to court as a witness in a scandal.)

Poor Sir William was found guilty, and that was pretty much the end of him in Society.  He retreated to Scotland to cry in his whiskey for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, the Queen was Not Amused at the shameful behaviour of her son. There was quite a to-do about that.  HRH never did recover from this one.

Lessons learned:
1. Don't play illegal gambling games.
2.  Don't cheat at cards.
3. Don't get caught.
4. Don't sign anything that can come back to bite you.
5. Don't sleep with other men's gossiping wives.
6. Don't gossip.
7. Don't piss off the Queen.
8. Don't go up in court against a member of the royal family. Everyone will take his side.

No comments: