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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