Royalty Gone Wild: We Pair Real Life Scandals With Our Favorite Historical Reads

Pics or it didn’t happen? That’s the one thing Prince Harry won’t have to worry about now that he’s slunk back home in disgrace to Buckingham Palace. He’ll have no trouble proving his wild night of excess in Vegas since leaked photos of his naked (and royal!) derriere already grace the ‘net. But there’s one person in the palace who most definitely won’t be amused by Harry’s latest hi-jinx — his grandmother, the Queen Mum.

Still, Prince Harry isn’t the first royal to go buck wild. Over many a year — actually, over many a century — the supposedly illustrious nobles have provided enough fodder to keep scandal sheets in business. And we love every bit of it! Because when they make a cake of themselves, they have the means to really go over the top.


Here’s a list of our favorite real-life Royals going wild, and our picks for stories reminiscent of the scandal:


#1 When Harry Met Vegas

This isn’t Prince Harry’s first brush with trouble, but it is the closest we’ve gotten to seeing the full monty. How a pool party in Vegas suddenly turned into a late night game of strip-billiards, we’ll never know. But we’d have to guess that copious amounts of alcohol were involved. The red-headed rapscallion has already been in hot water over his use of marijuana, skirmishes with paparazzi and a costume choice that had the royal palace — and the world — cringing. Will they ever be able to tame this bad boy? Only time will tell. But let this be a cautionary tale for all: Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

If you’re interested in reading about the consequences of a royal hangover, check out Sophia Nash’s series The Royal Entourage that begins with Between the Duke and The Deep Blue Sea. One night of excess leads to unimaginable consequences for some very staunch bachelors!


#2 Trading in the Castle on the Hill for the Big Top

Monaco’s Princess Stephanie had it all — she was the daughter of the Prince of Monaco and his wife, Hollywood’s beloved leading lady, Grace Kelly. But she must not have felt this way because in 2001 she ran away to join the circus. After falling under the seductive spell of an elephant trainer, she uprooted her family to join him in a Swiss caravan. When that marriage ended, she set her sights on another high-flyer — a trapeze artist. They walked the tightrope for only nine months before filing for divorce.

Can’t get enough about runaway royalty? Then try Nora Robert’s series Cordina’s Royal Family, starting with Cordina's Crown Jewel, for a peek into a palace where the royals won’t stay put!


#3 Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em

Her name was Lola and she was kind of a showgirl, but her stage was far from the Copacabana. Lola Montez was the stage name of the woman who would go on to become Bavaria’s Countess of Landsfeld. It’s rumored that she became the mistress of the popular Ludwig I of Bavaria when he spotted a certain asset of hers that he admired. After proving to the king that her chest was real and spectacular, he took her under his wing. But she also proved to be a divisive figure: meddling in politics, taking an annuity, and helping to cause the king’s downfall. Ludwig I abdicated the throne just two years after having met Lola. She must have been some woman!

With her background, Lola surely wouldn’t have minded being Taken By The Prince. Christina Dodd’s tale is also one in which a prince has his destiny changed by a woman ….


#4 There’s No Rushin’ Love

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was one of Europe’s greatest rulers. During her reign, Russia expanded and became more modern. But like every busy women everywhere, she still had needs. Catherine took numerous lovers to her bed, but she didn’t always have time to “interview” hopeful new-conquests. She left those prospective partners in the hands of her ladies-in-waiting. They’d first have to prove their skills in the beds of one of her ladies if they wanted to make it into hers! How’s that for delegating?

We have a feeling that Catherine would be great friends with Captain Imena Leung from Victoria Janssen’s The Duke and the Pirate Queen. Both forceful women, both with a fine appreciation for men ….


#5 The Way to His Heart Was Through Her Stomach

Nell Gwyn was a woman who knew how to get her man — who was none other than England’s King Charles II. When a plan to set her up as the king’s mistress went awry, Nell took matters into her own hands. Although unsubstantiated, it’s rumored that the daring Miss Gwyn slipped laxatives into the teacakes of her rival for the king’s affection. In just a few short months, Nell was the mistress of King Charles II. We wonder if he slept with one eye open?

It seems kings will always need mistresses. Check out the tale of Alice Perrers, The King’s Concubine, in a historical fiction story about love, strength and second chances by Anne O’Brien.


#6 Cornering the Market on Concubines

And just for sheer fun, there’s Jahangir, the fourth Mughal emperor of India. Men out there who complain about the demands of one wife, why not try this on for size: Jahangir had 300 wives, 5,000 female concubines and 1,000 male concubines! Guess he never lacked for company ….

We couldn’t find a book suggestion with enough concubines to match Jahangir’s army of lovers. But, for a tale about a nineteenth century Chinese king who must select 28 wives and a woman, Chen Ji Yue, determined to make the cut — until she meets the king’s sexy best friend, pick up The Concubine by Jade Lee. This sizzling story is sure to satisfy!


So there you have it — our favorite tales of royal scandal. In real life or between the pages of fiction, what’s your favorite? Share with us below! For more historical romance, visit our Everything Romance Page.