Saturday, March 28, 2009
Oh, those randy royals. Lady Louis (Edwina) Mountbatten, later Countess Mountbatten of Burma and the last Vicerine of India, scandalized high society when she engaged in an affair with a well-known black entertainer. In 1932, the British newspaper The People printed a blind item, in which it alleged
'a scandal which has shaken society to the very depths. It concerns one of the leading hostesses in the country - a woman highly connected and immensely rich.
'Her association with a coloured man became so marked that they were the talk of the West End. Then one day the couple were caught in compromising circumstances.
'The sequel is that the society woman has been given hints to clear out of England for a couple of years to let the affair blow over and the hint comes from a quarter which cannot be ignored'.
Nearly everyone in Britain knew that the hostess with the mostest in question was Edwina Mountbatten; and soon, the "coloured man" was named as Paul Robeson.
The ensuing libel trial and media circus played out to a salivating throng; in the end, The People could find no evidence to support its claims, and was forced the issue a humble apology and pay full damages to Lady Mountbatten. The irony was that the shady Lady was, indeed, embroiled in an affair with a black entertainer -- but not Paul Robeson. Instead, she was getting royally ______ by the elegant, sophisticated, and sensationally well-hung nightclub entertainer, Leslie Hutchinson.
Hutch, as he was known, besides being the darling of cafe society, was also an astonishingly prolific cocksman who managed to father seven children by various women, and found time to have affairs with Cole Porter and Ivor Novello.
He certainly cast a spell over Lady Mountbatten, who reportedly commissioned a diamond-encrusted penis sheath from Cartier for her ivory-tickling lover, and who, according to legend, became inextricably sexually "locked" with Hutchinson, requiring the services of private surgeons! It all must have been rather appalling for her handsome, dashing, cuckolded husband, Lord Louis Mountbatten; however, the good Lord was involved in extramarital affairs of his own -- and, much like his wife, was none too fussy about the gender. In fact, his whispered nickname was "Lord Mountbottom."
Eventually, Lady Mountbatten's passion for Hutch receeded, as she continued to voraciously take new lovers. Plagued by scandal, and unprotected by family connections and royal titles, Hutch sadly drifted into professional obscurity and social ruin. At the end, he was an alcoholic, bloated, penniless, sad remnant of his once glorious and gorgeous self; his funeral, in 1969, was attended by only 42 mourners.
As for Edwina and Louis Mountbatten, their curious marriage continued until her death in 1960; no shrinking violet in her advancing years she, Edwina continued to court scandal with an intense relationship with India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
According to sordid gossip, the Prime Minister was no stranger to bisexual escapades himself, and Mountbatten, now Viceroy of India, engaged in a bizarre ménage à trois with his wife and her lover in a last ditch attempt to maintain some sexual contact with a woman whose physical need for her husband had vanished long ago.
In a ghastly, ghoulish coda to the Mountbattens' decadent tale, Louis Mountbatten died in 1979 as the result of an IRA assasination plot. A bomb was detonated on his 30-foot sailboat; his grandson and his elder daughter's mother-in-law were also killed in the attack. The fourth victim was "a 15-year-old youth from County Fermanagh who was working as a crew member." At the time, Mountbatten's close relationships with teenage boys were raising more than a few eyebrows.
We've given you most of the good bits, but you can read the whole sticky mess here.