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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pregnancy Scandal: Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll

To cite the amusing line from the Daily Mail UK “Every now and then there’s someone who would move forward and claim he or she is a royal offspring produced from the wrong side of the blanket

The legendary secrecy of the European royals has never been so intriguing since the middle ages, some of these secrets left buried in the archives of the royal repository museums, some of it managed to escape all the way to the hands of writers who are always on the look out of juicy tidbits about royal misadventures.

But most often than not, even if the scandals still hovered in the horizon of the modern royals, few of the smokes of intrigues went into public consciousness due to its lack of evidence. The fact that monarchies in the past centuries were extremely protected from the public scrutiny and media criticism, those scandals remained to be just part of the myths that could never be substantiated.

HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Queen Victoria's sixth child.
Did she secretly gave birth to a baby boy?

Take for instance the story of Nick Locock, a retired racing commentator who even went to court in 2004 to press his claim on his royal ancestry from the bloodline of Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, and sixth child of Queen Victoria of Britain. 

Due to lack of evidence and the fact that Locock was not allowed by the court to dig the grave of his grandfather, Henry Locock, to extract sample of DNA, his case was considered non sense and immaterial and he seemed went to live in history as one of those nuts who wanted to gain popularity by claiming they were part of the royal bloodline by accidents.

But was he?

A decade later, an intriguing book about the dangerous secret of one of the popular daughters of Queen Victoria, came out, dishing the world with an equally chilling story of a hidden pregnancy that would taint the reputation of commendable virtues exemplified by the longest reigning British monarch in English history during her time.

Princess Louise was said to be the prettiest among the daughters of the Queen, and the most unconventional. She was the first British princess since the sixteenth century to marry a subject, which was considered a little bit "shocking" to royalists in the 19th century. Except for Louise, none of the daughters of the Queen married a man with a non-Prince status.

Though John Campbell was a future Duke, his position in the English society was considered not suitable to marry a daughter of a reigning British sovereign. Nonetheless, the Queen granted her permission and the couple appeared happy and contented. They temporarily settled in Canada when Campbell served as the nation’s Governor-General. 

The couple had no children and according to the Queen, her daughter was barren. And that was all that. No more inquiries. No more intrigues.

Princess Louise was active in the British social scene and became famous for her unique talent in sculpture. She was a great advocate of women's rights and had been helping organizations that promoting women's welfare. After becoming widow in 1914, she devoted her time supporting different charities and pursuing her artistic passion.

However, beyond the morally upright image she projected, the Princess was said to be a little stubborn and wild. At 17, she was revealed to have fallen in love to a dashing military officer who had served as a tutor to her haemophilic brother, Prince Leopold. She eventually got pregnant and secretly gave birth to a baby boy.

None of these rumors were reported during the 19th century maybe because during those times, royals were treated as demigods and above reproach. If ever there were uncompromising issues or intrigues related to royalty, it never went beyond the gossiping tables and benches of the royal circle and reporters never dared crossing the boundary of royalty’s unspoken code of secrecy.

Until recently, when Louise’s intriguing past was brought into the limelight digging past issues of her colorful life.

This royal pregnancy scandal is part of my book “Tragedy in the Royal Court” which I will be publishing soon.

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