1982: When Buckingham Palace was full of queens

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, according to the Sun newspaper, was run in 1982 by a ‘homosexual ring’ with a third of Queen Elizabeth’s household servants alleged to be gay.

Of course, it was a Murdoch paper so make of the figure what you will. The head of the royal household denied it was that many. However, rumours circulated for decades of the gay mafia in control of Buckingham Palace, allegedly both favoured and protected by the Royal Family.

Stories of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (the current king’s notoriously gin-sodden old grandma) circulated for years.

“This old queen is dying of thirst”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald (below), the old girl once rang downstairs in Clarence House to find out what happened to a gin and tonic she asked for.

“I don’t know what you old queens are doing down there, but this old queen is dying of thirst.”

Like her daughter Princess Margaret, the Queen Mum was renowned for preferring gay staff. Back in the 1970s, a Conservative minister advised her not to employ gays. She responded that without them the royal family would need to turn to self-service.

Indeed, she employed the openly gay William Tallon, otherwise Backstairs Billy, for nearly half a century. The devoted servant became head of the old queen’s household. His life partner Reginald Wilcock also worked for the popular royal up until the day he died after more than 40 years on the job.

The Queen Mother was also friends with the famous wit Noël Coward.

Once, as she and the gay playwright made their entrance to a Buckingham Palace gala, she apparently noticed him checking out a hot young guardsman.

“I wouldn’t if I were you, Noël; they count them before they put them out.”

True? Who knows?

In more recent times, we know that other than the odd reporter privileged with a leak from a royal with an agenda or access to phones via illegal hacking, most royal correspondents just make shit up.

(Speaking of which, congratulations on his court victory to Prince Harry, the one royal in living memory who has actually performed a public service through his legal battle against Britain’s feral media.)

25 Jul 1982, Sun The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia) Newspapers.com

1982: Queen Elizabeth II’s gay bodyguard

But everything turned quite serious in 1982. The royal family’s security arrangements first came under scrutiny when an intruder broke into the palace and made his way to the Queen’s bedroom.

Then, QEII’s chief bodyguard confessed to a years-long relationship with a male sex worker. Homophobic Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher seized on the opportunity to demonise gays.

The bodyguard, of course, resigned and the royal family, of course, said nothing.

Always the way of the Windsors — keep sucking on the public teat and never do or say anything to risk that.

More royal scuttlebutt

REMINISCENCE – Charles III: the Prince and the Elephant.

GOSSIP – Charles III allegedly mocked Diana: ‘I might be gay’.

OPINION – The invention of Elizabeth II as LGBTQ rights activist.

HISTORY – Elizabeth was King: and now James is Queen!

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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