slumming in a cheap nightclub

Sir Francis Henry Laking, Baronet and Royal Surgeon, was knighted in 1893. In 2004, historian Tor Bomann-Larsen published revelations concerning him that rocked the royal family of Norway.


Bomann-Larsen makes an interesting case for King Haakon’s royal physician Sir Francis Laking as Olav’s real father. The book contains a photograph of Laking’s son Guy Francis Laking, born in 1875, who bears a striking resemblance to the adult King Olav. Bomann-Larsen also raises the possibility that Laking’s son was a possible sperm donor for Queen Maud, and that Olav was the result of artificial insemination.

Guy and Olav

The royal couple had been childless for six years before his birth in 1903, and Prince Carl was in Denmark while Princess Maud was in England at the most likely time for his conception.

The third Baronet was also named Sir Guy Francis Laking. Unlike his grandfather and father he did not seem particularly interested in medicine or museums. According to Tallulah Bankhead he was the greatest mischief maker in all England.


“He was witty, malicious and petulant and lipthed when he spoke. When Tony Wilson and I were on the brink of wedlock Francis surpassed himself in offensiveness. We were slumming in a cheap nightclub with a crooked chemin de fer game upstairs when I spied the evil Francis nearby. He sent Tony a note via a waiter that stated “You’re a pimp”. Tony was furious and hunted him down in his rooms.


“You can’t tuth me, you can’t tuth me, I’m on Tom Tiddleth ground” he cried.

Sir Francis was loathsome in many ways, yet his pranks and talent for troublemaking fascinated me. More than once I went round to the Bow Street jail to ransom him when he had been plucked from the gutter by a bobby. Even in death he was fantastic. He died at the age of 26 after drinking too much yellow chartreuse. His Will stated that he left “to my friend Tallulah Bankhead, all my motor cars”


It was a posthumous prank. He never had a car to his name.

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 8:05 am  Comments (34)  
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34 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. And you tag this under ‘royalty’, really!

    I think I’ll leave you one of the Bentleys in my will.

    The King

    • Will it already be embalmed or will I have to do it myself? Actually I thought The Queen would want to keep them both for herself, so it’s a mighty generous offer.

      • I think you’re confusing Bentleys with Brynners my dear!

        The former gets you where you want to go, the latter goes to where you want to get. See the difference?

        The King

      • I’m just seeing a photo of you in a bath….

  2. I’d leave Nursey an old banger ….. just sayin’

    • It’ll have to be an automatic…..

  3. it must have been a severe lisp, if he lisped in writing as well as the spoken word…

  4. I love a mischief maker, and I don’t know if it gets anymore mischievous than passing pimp notes to people – wicked boy

  5. When did artificial insemination become possible? That long ago?! I’m surprised. I thought it was invented around 1967.

    • In 1884, the first recorded sperm donor allowed a couple to have a child. Other milestones include the idea of in vitro fertilization being proposed in a New England medical journal in 1937, reports of donor sperm being used in England in 1945 and four pregnancies being reported through the use of donor sperm in 1955.

      Read more: Who Invented Artificial Insemination for Humans? |

      • Was this around the same time as the invention of the turkey baster by any chance?

  6. Funny today “you’re a pimp” is considered a compliment.

  7. Oh Yes! Those were the days! Slumming it up in the old Bourbon and Beefsteak! Alas, the roof fell in and poor Yorick goes elsewhere!

    • I miss the old B & B

  8. I guess he took a Laking to her…

  9. I always wanted to be called Tullulah! *sigh*

    • Never too late Tallulah

  10. Another candidate for DNA testing. Those people in the old days were more lively than I realized.

    • “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

  11. Maybe he was suggesting that Tony pimp Tallulah’s ride?

    • you managed to get it all in there didn’t you kyk?

  12. Yellow CHartreuse? I didn’t think it was physically possible to drink more than a small glass of the stuff

    • It’s not. Damned hyperbole

  13. Prince Andrew? Prince Harry? Not their father’s sons by any stretch of the imagination. And I bet they didn’t use articial insemination.

    • Who’s your candidate for Prince Andrew’s father then?

  14. I want to go back in time . .

    • Me too….. 2001 was a good year for me

  15. This guy is fun and went out on his terms. The bit with the car….priceless!

    • It makes me want to put something silly in my Will too. I’ve thought of leaving money so the part of my skin that has a tattoo can be made into a cover for a notebook or a photograph album…. somehow I don’t think my eldest son would want such a memento but the youngest one might.

  16. Sir Guy Francis looks like he’s ready to party and prank. Great image.

  17. Artificial insemination is older than I thought. We used to tease a guy in college and call him a test tube baby. The only thing that made it funny was the fact that it made him very sensitive.

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