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Prince George, Duke of Kent and King Umberto II the Last King of Italy

Throughout history, many homosexual or LGBTQ+ royal individuals were not acknowledged. For Prince George, Duke of Kent, he was rumored to be bisexual, have many affairs and illegitimate children. While the last king of Italy, Umberto II, had relationships with multiple men. Both were born in the first decade of the 1900’s and both would go on to be married to women.

Prince George, Duke of Kent was born on December 20, of 1902 and was the

fourth child of King George and Queen Mary, making him Queen Elizabeth’s II uncle. He and his wife, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, were adored as a favorite couple across the nation and had three children. Though, due to him being far in line for the throne, he didn’t try to hold up to a king's expectation. With this, he was able to experiment with his sexuality, drugs and partners while under the radar of the public.

Many people would go on to claim that they would see George and Noël Coward, an English playwright and composer, in drag within London. At one point George was arrested for suspicion of prostitution but he was released due to his status. Though it is very interesting how he was able to go under the radar due to him being a prince.

Prince George had many affairs, it’s believed that Noël Coward and he had been together for 19 years, while others had claimed to have George’s illegitimate children. Kiki Preston, an American socialite nicknamed the girl with the silver syringe, had been rumored to have one of Geroge’s children who had been adopted by another family. It is believed that in the 1920’s George was using morphine and cocaine, possibly due to Kiki Preston’s influence.

On August 25, 1942, at the age of 39, Prince George had died in a plane crash. The Prince had decided to do his duty and go back into the Navy and be a part of what was supposed to be an uneventful trip to Iceland. The plane was supposed to be mainly over the water, but this was not the case when in action. With the plane going off course and crashing in Scotland after 32 minutes of flight. Though, there are many suspicions on what had happened during the flight to meet with RAF Airmen with only one survivor, not many questions were answered.

Two years after Prince George was born, Prince Umberto II was born on September 15, 1904. Umberto was seen as modern, handsome and charming, the people of Italy raved about him. Over time though, this image would be ruined by rumors. There are

many factors that caused the fall of the Italian Monarchy that include world war 2 but his lifestyle was apart of it.

As a child, Umeberto was placed into an arranged marriage with Maria José, who would be wedded by January of 1930, and not have children until 1934. This is where the major rumors began, many people believed that either Umerbto was not the father or the children were artificially inseminated. There was a claim from Maria’s doctor that the children were artificially inseminated.

This wasn’t the only thing that caused suspicion of Umberto being homosexual. Umberto had many arrangements where he would bring men to his palace, he would give gifts to many of these men, one being a lighter with words engraved on it. “Dimmi di si!” which can be translated to say yes to me.

The last king of Italy would only be king for less than a month from May 9th to June 12th of the year 1946. This is due to the political issues that involved the people’s feelings about a monarchy. He placed himself in exile, left for Portugal and never returned, his wife leaving to live in Switzerland and dying in Geneva Switzerland in 1983.

These men had to hide their sexuality and not live their lives the way they wanted to due to the time in history and status that they held.


Sources:

Beeman, A. (2023, February 2). The tragic death of Prince George, duke of kent. Grunge. https://www.grunge.com/384168/the-tragic-death-of-prince-george-duke-of-kent/


Bridger-Linning, S. (2023, December 28). Who was prince george, duke of kent? the husband of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and grandfather of lord Frederick Windsor – who tragically died in a military air crash aged 39. Tatler. https://www.tatler.com/article/who-was-prince-george-duke-of-kent-the-charming-son-of-king-george-v-and-queen-mary-who-died-in-a-military-air-crash


Dama, F. (2023, March 20). The last king of italy. Italy Segreta. https://italysegreta.com/the-last-king-of-italy/


Lorna White | Updated on26 10 2022, By, White, L., 2022, U. on26 10, & on, U. (n.d.). Prince George, duke of kent and his scandalous history. Yours. https://www.yours.co.uk/leisure/nostalgia/prince-george-duke-of-kent/


The Rake. (2024, April 26). The forgotten prince. https://therake.com/stories/the-forgotten-prince


Rogers, D. (2023, January 1). On this day: Umberto II, outed before his coronation. QNews. https://qnews.com.au/on-this-day-umberto-ii-outed-before-his-coronation/

Umberto II, King of Italy. Umberto II, King of Italy, Joined italian army, Led invasion force, Went into exile, Books. (n.d.). https://reference.jrank.org/biography/Umberto_II_King_of_Italy.html

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