A Prince, a Lord and a Maid of Honour, Part I

Robert Halsband unearths a remarkable story of amorous intrigue at the court of George II.

Frederick, prince of wales, son of George II; John, Lord Hervey, politician and writer, notorious as the ‘Sporus’ of Pope’s satire; and Anne Vane, daughter of a peer and Maid of Honour to Queen Caroline: these three form one of the most bizarre triangles in the history of English court-life.

Their passionate friendships and hatreds mixed sentiment, politics and sex.

The history of their connexion had begun at the Electoral Court of Hanover in 1717. Hervey, twenty-one years old at the time, had just begun lys Grand Tour with a visit to Paris, when a peremptory order came from his father, Lord Bristol, that he was to hasten to Hanover.

George I was there on his first visit since ascending the English throne three years before. But Hervey could easily shine in the Royal presence in London. Why was he sent to Hanover?

The King’s grandson, Frederick, who reigned there as his representative, was a seven-year-old princeling, an agreeable looking boy, with the light blond hair of his mother. He was surprisingly quick and polite in conversation, and seemed to have an abundance of wit and good sense far beyond his years.

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