Several kings of England were rumoured to be gay and some most certainly were. James I had a succession of male lovers, including the Earl of Somerset and George Villiers whom he referred to as his ‘sweet child and wife’. Extraordinarily handsome, Villiers rose from the humble post of royal cupbearer to Gentleman of the Bedchamber and finally to Earl of Buckingham. Edward II had a ‘lifelong very good friend’ in Piers Gaveston, who was decapitated by jealous nobles in 1312. Edward met a terrible end in 1327 when he was tortured to death by his wife Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, harsh treatment which included a red-hot poker up the backside. Other homosexual monarchs include Richard the Lionheart and Queen Anne who maintained a lifelong passion foi Sarah Jennings, despite the fact that both were married.