The private affairs of Prince George, Duke of Kent are going public in a new docuseries on the Smithsonian Channel.
Private Lives of the Windsors, a three-part series about the British royal family, devotes a segment to discussing how Prince George rebelled against tradition to submerse himself in “the subversive and potentially scandalous scene” of London nightlife in the early 20th century.
“It was so different from the formal life he had been brought up in,” said author D.J. Taylor in the exclusive clip below. “Suddenly here, just outside the palace gates was this burgeoning free and easy socially mixed alternative world that he could take and leave as he [chose].”
This break with tradition was not limited to party-going. It also related to the expression of his sexuality. “Prince George savored every excitement that presented itself — men, women, he didn’t discriminate,” narrator Christy Meyer said. “He didn’t recognize any boundaries to his sexual exploration.”
A 1935 portrait of the British royal family. Prince George, right.
In addition to flouting social norms, Prince George was also flouting British law. “He was sailing very, very close to the wind, because you have to remember that at that time, homosexuality was illegal,” said royal biographer Christopher Warwick. “You could go to prison for it.” Sex between men in England was not legal until the passage of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.
In his lifetime, Prince George was rumored to have affairs with many men and women, including writer Cecil Roberts and playwright and actor Noël Coward. These affairs did not escape his family’s notice. For example, his relationship with freewheeling heiress Poppy Baring was squashed because she was not deemed “Windsor material,” recounts the docuseries.
Watch the clip below. And don’t miss the premiere of Private Lives of the Windsors on Monday, October 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern on Smithsonian Channel.