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Libertines, Lotharios or Bastards?

Edward the Caresser does Paris

Edward the Caresser does Paris
Edward VII 1841-1910

The Best Seat In The House


“Bienvenue à Paris Votre Altesse. Serez-vous envie orale, un trio ou un bain de champagne?”

Knowing “Bertie the Bounder” I expect he’ll ask for all of them at once with a buffet on the side.

His Royal Highness, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales has more money than the bank of England, no responsibilities whatsoever (his mother won’t allow him any) and an appetite for “Sport” that would exhaust a prize bull.

And he bloody loves Paris.

"I'll take the lot" “I’ll take the lot”

He was here in 1867 for The International Exposition but you wouldn’t have found him mooning over some Japanese woodcuts or getting over excited about electricity like Jules Verne. No, he was busy paying a call to Madame Giulia Beneni or as she’s better known “La Barucci”.

She titled herself “The Greatest Whore in the World” and lived in palatial splendour on the Champs-Elysees. There were cards from every well heeled gent in town piled up in a bowl by her fireplace, (The Italian look being, at the time, popular among those of a discerning disposition.)

So she sashes down this big staircase and Berite’s eyes are popping out on stalks. Some mealy mouthed French duke presents her to the Prince and as he murmurs a greeting  she turns around, hoists up her skirts and gives him an eyeful of her bare arse. The Duke starts waving his hands in the air and babbling in French to which “La Barucci” replies ‘”What, did you not tell me to behave properly to His Royal Highness? I showed him the best I have and it was free.” That shut him up I can tell you.

You can be dammed sure Bertie paid for it later though, and handsomely.

By the way, your derrière looks simply splendid my dear. By the way, your derrière looks simply splendid my dear.

The Prince has had a pied de terre in Paris since 77. It’s on the Avenue de l’Opéra which is no surprise because all the best whorehouses are on the Right Bank. Lord Hertford calls the area “the clitoris of Paris” which suits His Majesty down to the ground. (Hertford’s an oaf)

No whorehouse however is as popular with the Prince as this one, Le Chabanais. You can keep your Café des Anglais and your Moulin Rouge, 12 rue Chabanais is where you want to go if you fancy “humping the mutton” in style.

It cost 1.7 million Francs to furnish and the interior would make a Sultans head spin. The entrance hall is designed to look like a cave, stone clad and gloomy but once you’re through you enter another world. Actually you enter several worlds, as each room and salon represents a different theme.

What a well appointed boudoir. What a well appointed boudoir.

There’s a Moorish room for those of a “Turkish Persuasion”  (like the poet Guy de Maupassant, who has built an exact copy at his seafront mansion) a Louis XVI room, all gilding and baroque furniture and a Japanese room which is essentially a few low divans arranged around an incense burner, not very comfortable but it takes all sorts.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is here a lot, shuffling around talking to people‘s waistbands. He  paints scenes of brothel life and likes the Pompeii Room so much he’s donated sixteen pornographic vignettes of coupling Centaurs to hang upon its walls. That’s the French for you, when they’re not eating horsemeat they’re painting it having sex.

Toulouse-Lautrec asks an expert if he's got the composition right. Toulouse-Lautrec asks an expert if he’s got the composition right.


She says "Yes" Paint what you see Henri

Bertie always takes The Hindu room; India is the jewel of the British Empire after all so it’s only right he should put his strumpets through their paces within its opulent surroundings.

Before getting in the saddle, Bertie often invites a whore or two to share an enormous copper bath tub with him. The tub needs to be big, as a lifetime of stuffing the royal face has left him with quite a girth and he’s already known in some disrespectful quarters as “Tum Tum”.

It is adorned with an unusual gilded figure, half woman-half swan and is often filled to the brim with the finest Champagne.

Dirty Bertie Bath Dirty Bertie Bath

Waste of good plonk if you ask me.

Tingling with fizz, the royal entourage then adjourn to the boudoir.

To spare princely forearms the strain of pumping his considerable weight atop his courtesan of choice, Bertie has overseen the construction of an ingenious device.

The fauteuil d’amour or “Chair of Love” looks like an upholstered sled with stirrups.

All aboard "The Love Seat" All aboard “The Love Seat”

Actually, it allows the Prince to “Introduce himself to his wench” while standing up and provides another, the option of lying down and attending to his royal undercarriage.

There are many other variations of use (for those of a “Continental Inclination”) some of them punishable by a prison sentence.

You can’t fault him for working hard to foster a stronger relationship between us and “The Old Enemy”.

At this rate though, he won’t have the strength left to become king.

Thank you for visiting Le Chabanais. Please call again "a bientot" Thank you for visiting Le Chabanais. Please call again “a bientot”

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