Historical Talks Northants

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Roger Powell

Author & Historian

Books by Roger Powell Northamptonshire

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Guest Speaker and Historical Talks in Northants and surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire


Books by Roger Powell Northamptonshire Books by Roger Powell Northamptonshire

Copyright © 2014 Roger Powell, Rushden, Northants

or direct from the author

Royal Sex


Royal Bastards


B O O K S :        R O Y A L   S E X        |        R O Y A L   B A S T A R D S

Guest Speaker and Historical Talks in Northants and surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

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Books by Roger Powell Northamptonshire

01933 411214

Review of Royal Sex by Peter Pininski, author of The Stuarts Last Secret and Bonnie Prince Charlie – A Life

Napoleon famously described the English as a nation of shopkeepers. How he underestimated this island race. England gave birth to many an industry, and Royal Sex, Roger Powell’s brilliant sequel to Royal Bastards, reveals one which for generations was successfully exploited by the aristocracy: the provision of mistresses to the royal family to obtain political favour and influence, advance social position, and bring profit to the families whose combined loins produced this delicious fruit for the consumption of successive monarchs and lesser royals.

Charles II’s working class actress, Nell Gwynn, may have been an exception, but on the whole Powell, in this 2010 hardback of over three hundred pages and thirty colour illustrations by Amberley Plc., presents convincing evidence that a group of aristocratic families established something of a monopoly in this lucrative and ingenious trade in upper class human trafficking.

Take the example of the present Prince of Wales, who carried on with Mrs Parker Bowles for years prior to being exposed, if you forgive the expression – her great grandmother was Alice Keppel, mistress of Edward VII. And no-one could be better qualified than Roger Powell to write such an authoritative work; senior editor at Burke’s Peerage and Gentry and former Director of Debretts Ancestry Research, he has over forty years of experience with which to reveal the complex web linking the mistresses and lovers of the British Royal Family. It might have made the reader’s task easier had there been genealogical charts, but then the author did not set out to prove a genetic algorithm, but to fascinate the reader with a multiplicity of anecdotes about this legion of royal mistresses.

Three sections are of particular interest. The first concerns Isabelle de Montmorency, Duchess de Chatillon, mistress of the Duke de Nemours, the Prince de Condé and then Charles II during his exile, about whom historians make almost no mention. The second one is about Hortense Mancini, mistress of Charles II and great-grandmother of the de Mailly sisters, three of whom became Louis XV’s maitresses. The colourful Hortense firstly had an illegitimate child by the Chevalier de Rohan’s page and then proceeded to have a passionate romance with her nephew, the Prince of Monaco. The third section of particular note deals with the Guelphs and Fitzroys and the complicated family relationships of the various mistresses of George I and his son, George II.

Royal Sex provides an extraordinary amount of information, including the discovery that Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Dudley, was the cousin of Bessie Blount, mistress of Henry VIII; and that Louise, Duchess of Portsmouth was a cousin of the Marquis de Sade … which causes one to think. Coming ever closer to the present day the reader stumbles across Edward VII and his mistresses, such as Daisy, Countess of Warwick, before drawing back the bed-sheets on  Freda Dudley-Ward and her lover, Edward VIII.

In both Royal Bastards and Royal Sex, Roger Powell sheds considerable light on a remarkable social phenomena.

Royal Sex

The scandalous love lives of the British Royal Family.

  Exposes the amazing story of how key English aristocratic families supplied the British royal family mistresses over several generations to secure influence at court.

  Roger Powell is an expert investigative genealogist specialising in the British Royal Family.

 Perfect follow-up to the author’s successful last book, Royal Bastards: Illegitimate Children of the British Royal Family (The History Press 2008).

The current Prince of Wales, our future King, has married his mistress and she will become, barring an accident, our next Queen Consort. This is a unique situation and one that is unlikely to be repeated. Of course, only 70 years ago, his great uncle was in a not dissimilar predicament which cost him his throne.

Royal Sex show how a certain number of key aristocratic families appear to have cornered the market in providing our monarchs with mistresses over successive centuries. The present Duchess of Cornwall is a prime example, her great-grandmother, Alice Keppel was a mistress of Edward VII, as the Duchess was of Prince Charles. The reason? to capture and exploit royal power & royal patronage to place a royal mistress or favourite at the centre of power.

Takes the story of ‘romping royals’ to the present day and includes Kate Middleton and Prince Harry’s lovelies!

Mistresses & Lovers of the British Royal Family

Amberley Publishing 2010

Books by Roger Powell Northamptonshire


Roger Powell Gives Talks on the following:

•  Royal Bastards “A Quest for a Crown”

•  Royal Mistresses “A Quest for Love”

•  Great Painters

•  Great Architects

•  Great Military Commanders

•  Noble Families of Britain

•  History of Marriage & Divorce in England


•  Royal Palaces

•  Great British Prime Ministers

•  Great Musicians

I should like to thank you on behalf of the Friends of Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery for giving us such an interesting talk on Great Painters and Royal Mistresses.

We all enjoyed it so much as was evident from “audience feedback”, both through and at the end. It certainly gave our knowledge of art history a good brush up.

Many thanks again for coming to talk to us and I hope to be in touch with you again for future programmes.

All best wishes.


Roger Powell Bedfordshire Historical Talks Roger Powell Bedfordshire Historical Talks Roger Powell Bedfordshire Historical Talks