‘Women with pasts interest men because men hope that history will repeat itself.’ Mae West
The twice-married Victorian-Edwardian-era social beauty and actress’s most famous lover may have been the Prince of Wales – later Edward VII – but she could also name one or two other notables among her conquests. Edward himself is said to have lost interest in her when she got drunk at a party and slipped on an ice cube; his introduction of her to Prince Louis of Battenberg (father of Lord Louis Mountbatten) was supposedly in order to offload her. She apparently bore his child, a daughter, in 1881. Other lovers included Robert Peel and wealthy racehorse-owner George Baird.