Albert Edward (1841 – 1910), who went on to reign as King Edward VII of the United Kingdom from 1901 until his death, was no great shakes as a king, being a mediocrity both as a man and as a monarch. As a libertine, freak, and all-around royal pervert, however, Edward VII shone, standing in stark contrast to his notoriously straitlaced mother, Queen Victoria, who lent her name to an uptight and prudish age.
Growing up, the then-Prince Albert, or “Bertie”, was a disappointment to his prim and proper parents, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg. It started with Bertie’s first sex scandal, at age 16, with a prostitute. The queen was not amused. On the way back home from chastising Bertie for his wayward ways, his father caught pneumonia, which did him in. For the next four decades, Queen Victoria blamed Bertie for killing her beloved husband, and actively tried to prevent his following her on the throne.
She failed to get him removed from the line of succession but often remarked that her longevity and long reign were due to her determination to outlive Bertie and prevent him from ever becoming king. She tried hard and did her best, but after a 64-year reign, Victoria finally died in 1901, and after a long wait that he thought would never end, Bertie became king at age 60.
During the decades-long wait for becoming king, Bertie became notorious for his relentless quest to gratify his sexual appetites. Whether cheap hookers or top-notch French aristocratic ladies and courtesans and from discrete liaisons to well-publicized affairs with famous actresses to wife-swapping orgies, Bertie was insatiable and “down” for it all.
He was a big fan of Paris’ elite brothels, especially its most exclusive whorehouse, La Chabanais, where he had his own room, decorated with his coat of arms and furnished to his specific tastes. Those tastes included a specially designed chair, named siege d’amour, which he had installed in his whorehouse room. By the 1890s, Bertie was an obese, middle-aged, and out of shape man, so he had the heavy-duty love chair custom made to enable him to have sex without crushing his partners, and also to position them just right for royal access, with minimal exertion and contortions on his part.