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Battle of the First Ladies: Sexy Edition

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From Marge Simpson vs. Barbara Bush, to Hillary vs. the internet, feuds between high-profile women are nothing new.  Recently, we brought you Battle of the First Ladies, in response to presidential candidate Donald Trump and former contender team Cruz’s mutual denigration of each other’s wives.  

The media tit for tat was inflamed by a nude photo of Melania Trump, which (despite its previous publication in a mainstream magazine) was misrepresented as a shocking expose by a Ted Cruz PAC who decided that it was a “secret” in need of exposure.

In our first edition, we delved into the private lives and public feuds of classic American Presidential First Ladies.  To spice things up a little, we’ve expanded our definition of “First Lady” to include courtesans, royal consorts, dictator’s mistresses and other women literally or figuratively in bed with the guy in charge…now with 10% more sex appeal than our White House edition!


1. Nell Gwyn vs. Louise de Kerouaille

Peter Lely gives us a signature nip-slip with this portrait of Nell (left).  Louise with a slave by Pierre Mignard, in the National Portrait Gallery, London (right).

300 years before the Monica Lewinsky era, political mistresses were not dirty secrets, but publicly acknowledged power players.  King Charles II is called Britain’s “Merrie Monarch,” a reputation he earned largely in bed.  He did have sex with that woman…and that woman, and that woman, and wasn’t afraid to admit it.  Two of his favorite courtesans were Nell Gwyn and Louise de Kerouaille.  Nell was an English girl and beloved stage star, whereas Louise was an aloof, Catholic foreigner suspected of spying.  Nell delighted in calling Louise “Squintabella” because of her disagreeable expression, and telling everyone she had dirty underwear.  Once, when an angry mob stopped Nell’s carriage, mistaking her for Louise and calling her a Catholic Whore, she quipped, “Good people…you are mistaken; I am the Protestant whore!”

As you can see, Melania wasn’t the first high-profile woman to pose for nudies.  King Charles kept this painting of Nell also by Lely hidden behind a landscape.  Etchings of her in the buff were also circulated among the commoners.

And the winner is…Nell!  Louise may have lived to 85 while Nell died of syphilis at 37, but Nell scores bonus points for witty banter and her killer beach bod.


2. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte vs. Napoleon

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte by Gilbert Stuart, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (left); Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David, in the Malmaison Chateau (right).

Before Grace Kelly, Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson of Baltimore was America’s first princess.  As the daughter of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Betsy had the breeding of a First Lady even if she never had the title.  The gorgeous American heiress married Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother, in a skimpy white dress that scandalized polite society.  Napoleon forcibly separated the couple and had the marriage annulled, even though Betsy had already borne Jerome a son.  Jerome married the Princess of Wurttemberg under duress while he was still technically married to Betsy.  Betsy spent the rest of her life fighting for her son’s right to inherit his father’s legacy.  You can still see her princess tiara in the Maryland Historical Society.

Betsy’s tiara in the Maryland Historical Society.  There she is, Miss America!

And the winner is…Betsy!  Sure, Napoleon destroyed her marriage, but he died alone in exile.  Betsy died a wealthy woman, the matriarch of an American royal dynasty.


3. Theodosia Burr Alston vs…Pirates?

Theodosia Bartow Burr Alston by an unknown artist (after John Vanderlyn), in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (left); Pirate as interpreted by Johnny Depp on the right.

First Lady of South Carolina Theodosia Burr Alston has a song named after her in the hit musical Hamilton!  Her father was Aaron Burr, who shot the guy on the $10 bill.  Aaron educated her to be a future President, or even Queen of a new American Empire, but tragically she wouldn’t live long enough to be the flower of his ambitions.  In 1813, at age 29, she boarded a ship that vanished without a trace.  Various theories claim Theodosia was raped and/or murdered by pirates, died naked in the arms of a Native American chief, washed ashore with amnesia and lived the rest of her life under an alternate identity, or simply went down with the ship in a storm.  The pirate theory gained credibility when a portrait resembling her turned up in a fishing shack, allegedly salvaged from a pirate wreck during the war of 1812.

Video/audio provided by Warner Music Group, from Hamilton.

And the winner is…the sea.  Having a song in a Broadway blockbuster is pretty cool, but being lost at sea is a real bummer.  Since the pirate rumors can’t be proven, we give victory to the sea…the sea always wins.


6. Eva Braun vs. Emmy Goering

Eva Braun, the nice girl who loved a monster (left). Emmy Goering, the Berghof witch (right).

Eva Braun is unfairly remembered as the dumb blonde who fell in love with History’s greatest monster, Adolf Hitler.  In fact, she was a vibrant, creatively inclined girl with a passion for photography, but she obviously had terrible taste in men.  Though she spent 14 years with Hitler, he refused to put a ring on it until a few hours before their mutual suicide (big of him) or even publicly acknowledge her existence.  Thus the title of First Lady of the Reich went to Emmy Goering, wife of the Rapist of Europa Hermann Goering.  The Goerings stole a crapload of art and other valuables from Jews, including Adele Bloch-Bauer’s diamonds.   Emmy hated Eva, who she thought was a low-life hussy, and Eva never forgave Emmy for assuming the position that should have been hers.  Emmy gloated over the fact that at Hitler’s estate, the Berghof, flowers were delivered to her room every day, but to Eva’s only every other day.

The Four Elements by Hitler’s favorite artist Adolf Ziegler, in the Gallery of Modern Art epitomizes the wholesome yet erotic beauty that Hitler saw in Eva (top).  Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt, in the Neue Galerie New York, wearing the diamonds stolen by Emmy Goering (bottom).  This painting was one of many looted by the Nazis.

And the winner is…nobody.  Eva wasted her life and died in the Fuhrerbunker at 33.  Emmy spent a year in prison for war crimes and died in shame.  Nobody wins in Nazi Germany.

That brings us to the end of our daily scandal-mongering, but fear not, history repeats itself!  As the World’s favorite soap opera, Election 2016 continues with Ted Cruz’s jaw-dropping withdrawal from the race and Trumps presumptive victory over the Republican establishment, it promises to be the curse that keeps on cursing.  So stay tuned for more political backstabbing as this real-life Hunger Games heads for a crash-and-burn finale.

By: Griff Stecyk

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Griff Stecyk

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