101 YEARS OF RIGHT ROYAL ROISTERING; They've Been Called the Worst-Behaved Family in Britain, but We Love Them Really. Yes, No Matter What Antics the Royals Get Up to We Just Can't Get Enough of Them. and, as DONNIE KERR Reveals, They Sure Have Been Up to Some Antics

By Kerr, Donnie | The People (London, England), January 26, 1997 | Go to article overview

101 YEARS OF RIGHT ROYAL ROISTERING; They've Been Called the Worst-Behaved Family in Britain, but We Love Them Really. Yes, No Matter What Antics the Royals Get Up to We Just Can't Get Enough of Them. and, as DONNIE KERR Reveals, They Sure Have Been Up to Some Antics


Kerr, Donnie, The People (London, England)


1897 - The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) was the first royal to travel by car on the public highway when he was driven from Cannes to Grasse in France. He eventually took driving lessons from the man who taught him how to ride a bicycle.

1898 - Queen Victoria rebuked an official who had referred to the birth of a royal baby because: "Royal ladies do not have babies, they have princes or princesses."

1899 - Queen Victoria became so weak that when she was being photographed holding a royal baby, a servant had to be positioned under her skirt to support the child.

1900 - The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) scored a unique double on the horses when his Ambush II won the Grand National and his Diamond Jubilee won the Derby.

1901 - Queen Victoria was the first royal to feature in a national newspaper's front page headline - "Death of Queen Victoria".

1902 - Kaiser Bill, Queen Victoria's German grandson, spent 12 days in England trying to improve Anglo-German relations.

1903 - Lord Roseberry entertained King Edward VII to a 20-course dinner.

1904 - Toilet paper was introduced in the Windsor Castle lavatories for the first time. Previously, little squares of newspaper were provided by a thrifty management.

1905 - King Edward VII spent a lot of time and money trying unsuccessfully to master the game of golf on the courses he had had constructed at both Windsor and Sandringham. He even regularly instructed the architect to shift bunkers and other unwelcome obstacles which seemed to attract his balls.

1906 - During a game of bridge King Edward VII made an almost impossible bid which elicited an anguished cry from his partner and favourite mistress Alice Keppel, "God save the King and preserve Mrs Keppel!" Certainly Mistress Keppel's family traditions were preserved - Camilla Parker Bowles is her great-grand-daughter.

1907 - The Duke of Devonshire threw a lavish party for King Edward VII at his family seat Chatsworth, where the "fast and furious" fun went on for a number of days. It was chiefly remembered afterwards for the sight of the normally staid former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour wearing a paper hat.

1908 - King Edward VII presented the skeleton of his 1896 Derby-winning horse Persimmon to the Natural History Museum.

1909 - At a State occasion in Germany, King Edward VII took so long to appear that the welcoming military band had to play God Save The King 21 times.

1910 - On the death of King Edward VII, following a lifetime of sexual adventure, Queen Alexandra, his long-suffering widow, remarked: "Well at least now I'll know where he is."

1911 - Queen Victoria's grandson Kaiser Bill paid an official visit to England so he and cousin George V could try to become chums again.

1912 - The 18-year-old Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) went to university at Oxford where he became known as Pragga-Wagga and learned to sing The Red Flag to his own banjo accompaniment.

1913 - Queen Victoria's grandson Kaiser Bill banned the tango in the German armed forces.

1914 - Queen Victoria's grandson King George V declared war on Queen Victoria's grandson Kaiser Bill but only after Queen Victoria's grandson Kaiser Bill had declared war on Queen Victoria's grand-daughter's husband, Tsar Nicholas II. Understand?

1915 - While serving in France, Edward Prince of Wales was taken by fellow officers to a Calais brothel which he later described as "filthy and revolting".

1916 - Mad King Otto of Bavaria died.

1917 - King George V changed the name of the Royal Family from the vaguely incontinent-sounding German Wettin to the entirely-dignified British Windsor.

1918 - Queen Victoria's grandson Kaiser Bill lost the war and did a runner to Holland to evade the British "Hang the Kaiser" campaign.

1919 - The Duke of York (later George VI) became the first royal to learn to fly a plane. …

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101 YEARS OF RIGHT ROYAL ROISTERING; They've Been Called the Worst-Behaved Family in Britain, but We Love Them Really. Yes, No Matter What Antics the Royals Get Up to We Just Can't Get Enough of Them. and, as DONNIE KERR Reveals, They Sure Have Been Up to Some Antics
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