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The Queen's Footman

by Charles Lacey

Chapter 2

My first employment in the Queen's service was in Kensington Palace. The situation there was strange and rather strained. As Princess, the Queen had been a dutiful daughter to the Duchess of York. She had been brought up, I learned, according to the "Kensington System" designed by Sir John Conroy and the Duchess, which in effect meant Sir John Conroy. Conroy and I took an instant dislike to each other. The moment I first clapped eyes upon him I thought, here's a nasty slyboots, if ever I saw one. He was a masterly manipulator of people; the Duchess was completely under his spell. The Queen, however, had long seen through him, and now that she was monarch she lost no time in ridding herself of such a nuisance. I endeared myself to the Queen by addressing him with thinly veiled insolence; before long, he was gone.

Baroness Lehzen, on the other hand, was a very different prospect. She was devoted to the Queen and the feeling, and the esteem, were mutual. But I deferred to the Baroness, and even asked her advice, which got me into her good books. She could be fierce when defending her beloved Victoria but was otherwise quite pleasant. There was some anti-German feeling around the Court: no wonder, since the House of Hanover had ruled for over a century and for the most part pretty disastrously. We all wondered how the new Queen would get on, with so uninspiring an ancestry. As it turned out, we need not have worried.

The Queen's household at Kensington was quite small. A single manservant, a cook, four maids plus the Queen's own personal maid, and I completed the indoor staff. There were of course gardeners, and a Boots. He was a character, was the Boots. His name was Billy; I never learned that he had any other. He was the real old London stock: eagle-eyed, keen-eared, quick-witted and with a rich vein of ironic humour that all but defeated me at first. He could have been the original of Mr Dickens's Sam Weller. But I took the opportunity to learn from him.

Before long we moved to Buckingham Palace. Now there was a house to call a Palace! And a Household, too! Instead of a mere Cook, there was a Chef, who had his own staff under him. The Groom of the Chambers, the Groom of the Back Stairs… there seemed to be no end to the list of servants, indoor and outdoor, upper and lower, and people of even greater consequence: Secretaries, Equerries and the like. There were even special servants to clean and light the fires; they were called Fender-Smiths, but there were other servants to carry fuel. Actually it was a ridiculously wasteful and inefficient system.

I spent a good part of my first few weeks there just finding my way around. It was a good thing I did, because the Queen herself got lost on a couple of occasions and needed me to guide her. I also got to know some of my fellow servants. The upper servants, who mostly called themselves the "Groom of" this or that, looked down their noses at the smaller fry. But that didn't worry me unduly. I made a few friends among my equals and learned a good many of the things that make for a valuable servant.

The following year, the Queen was crowned. The coronation itself took place, of course, in Westminster Abbey. Already the Queen was a force to be reckoned with; she was happy to be instructed by the Archbishop and the Prime Minister as to the forms and ceremonies of the service, but in other matters she insisted upon having her own way. One such matter concerned myself. I've never been certain how she really viewed me, but I think she thought me too young to be an adult man, and therefore not a threat to her virtue or reputation; on the other hand, she knew that I was strong in the shoulder and arm and sure-footed; she therefore liked me to be near her in case she needed support. The Archbishop, of course, knew me of old and I think by now rather took some credit to himself for my position at Court. At any rate, I was permitted to remain just below the platform, provided I stood still and did not draw attention to myself.

And, indeed, I made myself useful. A good many of the noblemen who came to pay homage to Her Majesty were elderly and a little infirm; one of them, Lord Rolle, had the misfortune to fall and hurt himself quite badly. I stepped forward and assisted His Lordship to rise, gaining a smile from the Queen and, later on, a generous gift of ten sovereigns from His Lordship. The Archbishop was furious with Lord Rolle; I knew him well enough to recognize the signs. But he contained his wrath, and the ceremony proceeded. Following Lord Rolle's misadventure the Queen motioned me to remain by the steps in order to forestall further accidents.

It was a great and glorious day, that day that ushered in the mighty Victorian age. The weather was wonderfully fine and sunny. In the evening there were the most marvellous rejoicings in London. I had been granted a ticket to see the firework display in Green Park. It was very splendid indeed; I stood open-mouthed at the sights and sounds. I had changed out of my uniform which I was meant to wear only when in attendance upon Her Majesty, and was wearing ordinary, but quite neat, garments. Part way through the display I became aware of a young man standing close to me. I caught his eye, whereupon he smiled. It was a very sweet smile. Oho! I thought; I like you, my friend. He and I watched the rest of the display, and as the last rocket went up and exploded above us in a mighty shower of green, red and golden stars he turned to me and said, "would you care to have supper with me, in my lodgings?"

I'd been given the evening off to enjoy myself, and he seemed to be a good-natured, well-bred sort of chap, so I said, "thank you, sir, that would be a pleasant end to a splendid day."

He told me his name, Septimus ("but my close friends call me 'Sept'") and we walked along to what he had referred to as 'my Lodgings' but was actually the Cavendish Hotel. Clearly he was a scion of a well-to-do house. My training had, of course, accustomed me to magnificent surroundings and I think my not being over-awed by the hotel gave him the idea that I was of something approaching his own rank.

He had a bedroom and a sitting room. He led me into the latter room, then rang the bell and ordered a cold supper and a bottle of wine for us. The meal was very good, too, though I thought Mr Francatelli could have done better. However, I wasn't complaining and did the food full justice.

"It's very hot in here," said Septimus, as we neared the end of the meal. "Do take off your jacket. I shall remove mine, too." Having done so, I sat with my profile to him, legs crossed to show them off to best advantage. "Do make yourself quite comfortable," he said, after a few moments of admiring (as I could see) my face and figure. "Certainly, if you do not object," I replied, removing my breeches and stockings. I was now dressed in only shirt and under-drawers. Septimus undressed himself until he was in much the same condition.

"I think it might be a little cooler in the other room," was his next remark. By this time I knew what was going to happen. The only question was exactly what form it was going to take. Septimus was a very attractive young fellow, as I could see once he had removed most of his clothing, and the swelling in the front of his drawers gave the clearest possible indication of his interest in me.

I could see no point in any further make-believe so as I went through to his bedroom I took off what remained of my clothing and lay naked and expectant, face up on the bed. Septimus also removed the rest of his garments, throwing them onto a convenient chair, and then came slowly across to where I was lying, his yard-arm waving from left to right as he walked.

He began by stroking my chest and belly, each time stopping just above the place where I was beginning to grow a little tuft of soft fur. Then he knelt by the side of the bed and started on my legs. I'd never had the inside of my thighs stroked before and I have to admit that it gave me great pleasure. My staff was as hard as steel; Septimus was, although I judged no more than twenty-five, an expert in the ars masculinum amorem. He later told me that he had found his first sexual experiences at the age of twelve at his Public School, where he had been loved by, and loved in return, an older boy who is now a well known man about town.

However, I had the benefit of his experience, as he made love (in the truest sense) to my whole body, repeatedly bringing me close to a climax but each time drawing back. Finally I could bear it no longer and literally begged him to bring me to a finish. He rose to his feet, then lay beside me, so that we were belly to belly. He then enclosed both his cock and mine in one hand, the other being engaged in probing between my bum cheeks, and rubbed them together.

My climax was shattering. Between us we produced a good deal of sticky liquid, though I suspect most of it was his. We lay there, face to face, and his arms came around me. It was not surprising that I gradually relaxed into sleep. When I woke, needing to piddle, I found that Septimus had drawn the upper sheet and blanket over us, and somehow, without waking me, mopped up most of the mess we had made.

I slid out, as quietly as possible, and felt about under the bed for the pot. The candle on the bedside table was still alight so I had no difficulty in finding it, but I was so much in need that it was impossible to perform silently. After only a second or two I became aware that Septimus was watching me. When I finished, he looked into my eyes and gave me a lazy, beautiful smile, then stretched out his hands to draw me back into bed. "You can watch me, if you like," he whispered.

I was shocked to start with, but then thought, why not? It's as natural as... eating or drinking. And I found the thought, if I am honest, most exciting. Septimus obviously understood this, as he moved across the bed, stood up – still stark naked, as was I – walked around to my side and stood still for a few moments, letting me look at him. His chest was hairless, and there was just a light sprinkling of fair hair on his arms, a little more on his shins. His cock was larger than mine, of course, though not quite as much as Jimmy's. But this was the second one I'd been able to have a good look at. He bent down, picked up the chamber pot, aimed and let go.

Watching Septimus pissing was just the most exciting thing I'd ever seen. My stave instantly went as hard as Sheffield steel and if I'd just touched it with my hand it would have overflowed. At length the flow diminished and stopped, and Septimus made something of a business of squeezing out the last drops before putting the pot back under the bed. He then lay by my side, one arm drawing me close while the other manipulated alternately his cock and mine. Eventually I could bear it no longer. I put my hand on his cock and we brought each other to climax in just a few short strokes.

But I noticed daylight starting to come through the window and realized that I would have to be back on duty in a few short hours. With the greatest reluctance, I explained this and put on my discarded clothing. "Can I see you again?" I asked.

"Oh, my love, I wish you could," he replied, "but I have to go back home today. The train leaves at half past ten and Papa will be waiting."

"Oh," I said, "Where do you live?"

He told me. It was a long distance, a full day's journey by train, way up in the North Country. I'd worked out who he was by now... a younger son of one of the most noble houses in the land. He had been at the Coronation, representing his father who was indisposed. Well, I'd had a lovely time with him, but my everyday life had to be resumed. The saddest thing, for me, was that if I were to encounter him again, at Court, we would be unable even to acknowledge one another, such was the distance between nobility and servants. I privately determined that one day I would enable myself to mix on equal terms with the upper classes. At that time I couldn't see how, but I was determined, none the less.

Her Majesty liked to keep her personal servants near her at all times. Miss Scott, who was her Dresser, Lord Melbourne whom she trusted implicitly; even I in my own small way, we all kept close to her. This pattern was to repeat itself after the death of the Prince Consort; though her confidential servants then were of a very different pattern. I except Sir Henry Ponsonby, for many years her Private Secretary and Sir James Reid, her doughty Scottish medical attendant, who were devoted to Her Majesty and gave her long and loyal service, but there were others far less dependable, notably John Brown who was the rudest man I have ever met and Abdul Karim, a thoroughly bad lot.

One duty which fell to me quite soon after our move to Buckingham Palace was to take a message from the Queen to Sir John Conroy. It was written by her but I knew perfectly well what was in it as it had not been sealed, and Her Majesty had given me some additional instructions.

I approached Sir John and handed him the message on a salver. He took it, read it and flushed with anger. Then he said, "Boy (he had never troubled even to learn servants' names, which did him no good with us), tell Princess Victoria that she should expect me in her rooms in five minutes' time."

"Pardon me, Sir John," I replied; "Her Majesty the Queen (I emphasized this slightly) has already instructed me that you are not to be admitted to her rooms at any time from now onwards."

I bowed and walked away, leaving him fuming. Exactly five minutes later, there was a loud knocking at the door of the Queen's sitting room, where she did most of her work. I opened it and there, of course, was Conroy. "Pardon me, Sir John," I said again, "Her Majesty has given instructions that we are not to admit you to her rooms." I allowed him to see a slight curl of my lip, just enough to sting, then bowed slightly and closed the door in his face. Hours later, he had departed, never to return.

My duties for the Queen and her Household kept me pretty busy. But I managed to find time to myself, and for the first time in my life I had a room of my own. It was in the attics, of course, and was small, but comfortable enough, especially when I had added a few personal touches. For I entertained there, after my own fashion. My guest was always the same: it was Lord Rednal. He was younger than I, but only by a few weeks, and the second son of a noble statesman who frequently accompanied Lord Melbourne to the Palace. I had grown, and was a little taller. My being constantly on the move kept me from getting overweight, but I had kept my boy's looks, with a head of fair curls on top of (I had to admit it to myself) a very pretty face.

James, or Jimmy, had taught me well, and I found that the ways I had learned from him of pleasing another male served me equally well with Lord Rednal. He was a good looking youth, too, dark haired and with soft brown eyes, gentle hands and silken skin. It was he who I first permitted to fill my own bottle; he was not excessively large and once the initial slight soreness had eased I found that I could enjoy either position. "Call me Christopher," said his young Lordship, "It seems silly to call me My Lord when we are like this together." And dear Christopher was indeed a kind and generous friend to me. I think he rather enjoyed the feeling that he was misbehaving behind his father's back with a playmate of his own choosing. Be that as it may, we certainly were very friendly together and I was grievously disappointed when the Whig government fell and Lord Melbourne, and therefore his colleague, and therefore my Christopher, ceased to call at the Palace.

But when Lord Melbourne's Government fell, it was replaced by that of Sir Robert Peel, whom the Queen detested. I couldn't really understand why; he was perfectly pleasant and as competent a man as ever held office. I have always suspected that it was simply that she didn't like not having Lord Melbourne, whom she idolized, to advise her.

Sir Robert arrived at the palace, attended by his page boy. I announced "Sir Robert Peel, your Majesty" and showed him in, and then his page and I waited outside the door. He was rather taller than I, slim - all page boys need to be slim, and if we're not the running about all day soon gets the pounds off – with dark, curly hair.

We looked each other up and down, and each liked what the other saw. He was the first to break his pose and smiled impishly at me. "What ho," I said softly, how do you do?"

"Hullo," he replied, on a questioning note.

"Hullo to you. My name's Thomas, Tom to my friends. I'm the Queen's page."

"My name's Freddie. Well, Frederick Bullen really, but my friends call me Freddie. I've been nearly three years with Sir Robert."

"What sort of a place do you have?

"Not too bad," he replied. "Old Peel is not too bad, but there's precious little fun in his household."

"And what sort of fun might you be looking for?"

He looked up and down the corridor, and then ran his eyes up and down me, and then looked down at his own breeches, where I could now see just a small swelling in the front. Then he looked back at me and smiled again. I half-turned so that he could see my arse; my jacket was only a short one, what we used to call a 'bum-freezer'. He gave himself a quick rub and the swelling in his breeches got a bit more obvious.

Just then a couple of Fender-Smiths came trotting along the corridor with their pails of kindling and tinder-boxes to light fires, so we both had to look very demure and proper, and just as they disappeared round the corner the bell rang (I always had to listen for the bell outside her drawing room so that she could call me in when she wanted to have someone shown out) and so Freddie and I had to go in to escort Sir Robert to his carriage.

But I'd made a friend and so had he. And though Lord Melbourne was out of power, and therefore Christopher – Lord Rednal – would not have occasion to visit me, I rather fancied that Freddie might be fun to spend some time with. The problem was that while Sir Robert would be visiting the palace from time to time, though much less frequently than Lord Melbourne had, as the Queen disliked him and would invite him only when necessary, both Freddie and I would almost certainly be on duty when he came.

However, Sir Robert, who was definitely the friend of the working man, was behind several pieces of sensible and humane legislation. The first one was the Mines Act which banned the employment of women and children underground in mines. I'd not really been aware of this until Freddie told me about it, but apparently children as young as six or seven, and both young and old women had been employed as mine workers, working long shifts in total darkness, pulling carts loaded with coal and operating the huge gates that regulated the air flow through the mine. Later on in my life I met a number of boys who had been compelled to follow the most appalling trades in order to survive, but I don't believe I ever met one whose whole working life was spent in complete darkness, with not even a tallow candle.

Well, Freddie and I found our own way to celebrate the passing of the Mines Act. I'd been sent to Number Ten, Downing Street with a note from Her Majesty to Sir Robert. My luck was in; the door was opened by Freddie. I gave him the note, which he put on a silver dish and took to Sir Robert's study which was on the first floor. He then looked around in case anyone else was there, and then beckoned me upstairs and led me silently to a doorway behind which was a servants' staircase. Freddie's room – though it was more like a cupboard – was on the top floor, under the roof, but it contained a bed which was the main thing.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone strip quite as fast as Freddie did. I was still unbuttoning my breeches by the time he was naked. However, he came over and helped me with my stockings, and then his mouth glued itself to mine, and I felt his tongue exploring, and then his teeth nibbling my lower lip, and then his hand feeling my cock.

We were lusty young fellows and took full advantage of the small amount of time which we had. Freddie was actually a year or two older than I, and when we finished – which didn't take long! – he was sitting astride my legs, his long, thin cock pointed towards me. What I wasn't expecting was the jet of fluid that came from it – or rather the sheer volume which emerged and the pressure under which it was emitted. The first spurt hit the wall, the second one my chin, and the remained went down my chest. He sat back a little, which pressed his bum-crack against my cock, and as he rocked a little I climaxed too, though my own contribution to the general mess was a much smaller one.

As luck would have it, that was the end of our amusement as the bell rang and Freddie had to hurry into his clothes and downstairs. I waited a short time, and then made my way discreetly down the servants' stairs and out through the rear. Fortunately only a rather bemused housemaid saw me, and by the time she had registered that I was a stranger, I was on my way through the door into the area.

I only saw Freddie once after that, and it was several years later. But all of my amours, even those that didn't last more than one or two meetings, have left pleasant memories, and my best memory of Freddie was running my hands through his hair, which was abundant and curly. He lad lovely soft skin, too, and even when I saw him again, by which time he was beginning to shave, I still thought him most desirable.

To be sure, there were two other page boys at the Palace, both younger than I, who looked to me for leadership. I did consider finding out whether either or both of them might be interested in filling the vacancy left in my life by the departure of Christopher, but they seemed so… well, so innocent. And I thought it best to use discretion. What Christopher and I had been doing was, of course, technically illegal. Besides, I was in an enviable position. I was an onlooker at great affairs; indeed, my place of employment was at the centre of the government of one of the greatest powers in the world, if not the greatest. Every day I saw important ministers of state; I took their hats, coats and walking sticks, poured their wine, overheard their private conversations. And again I rejoiced in being a boy, a person of no account before whom anything might be said. If it had occurred to me to try a little genteel blackmail, I could have made a fortune. The drawback would have been the near certainty of a knife between my ribs one dark night. So I kept what I knew to myself, behaved respectfully to nearly everyone, and pocketed the many and generous tips that I received.

And regarding those tips I sought advice from no less a person than the Comptroller of Her Majesty's Household, and the Keeper of the Privy Purse. Each month I would take my accumulated bounty to the Comptroller, who would invest it for me. He was a shrewd and knowledgeable man, and before long my small investments began to produce a little income of their own to add to my other resources. My salary was very small, of course, but I was provided with food and drink, a room of my own, my uniforms and all other necessities, so had little to spend it upon.

And my daily round took me into contact with all sorts of interesting people, not all of them statesmen. One of the first was Sir James Clark, her Majesty's Physician in Ordinary. Most medical men in those days had some obsession about health; Sir James's was Fresh Air. All through her life her Majesty hated closed windows and frowsty rooms. Indeed, I have known men go to great lengths to avoid staying at the Palace, since their rooms would have been both draughty and cold. It was even worse, I was told, after their Majesties bought Balmoral Castle which was not only cold and draughty but also damp.

But to Her Majesty, I represented the Common People of England, and she would often ask my advice – mine! – about how ordinary people thought and felt. But she was in a strange position, for which her upbringing had not prepared her in the least. On the one hand, she was freed from the malign influence of Sir John Conroy. He had manipulated her mother, the Duchess of York, and while Victoria was a girl he had overborne her. On the other hand, now she was the Queen, and had sent him packing. She had replaced him with sage and sensible advisers: Lord Melbourne and his Cabinet, some of the Privy Council, even Sir James Clark, and last and least, myself. But she was far from being able to do as she chose. There was every day a box filled with State business which she must needs work through. And she was thorough; she read every document in full and never signed anything until she was sure she had understood it.

Of course she was being put under considerable pressure to choose a husband. Most of the young men of Royal rank paraded for her inspection had no appeal for her whatever; having seen a good many of them I was hardly surprised. But she did seem to have formed a liking for the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha brothers, the Princes Ernst and Albert. Though all of us at Court, from the Comptroller down to myself, were mistaken in one thing: it was not the lighter-hearted (and, to be brutally frank, better looking) Ernst, but Prince Albert whom she favoured.

Being Royalty, especially British Royalty, brings with it great wealth, position and influence. But it also brings a heavy burden of duties. To be fair to the Queen, she never shirked her obligations to the Nation and her Government. One of these obligations was to marry a suitable man of Royal lineage, and have children. So she proposed to Prince Albert (she being senior in rank to him, it had to be that way round) and he accepted.

The Wedding was a wonderful occasion. Her Majesty wore a dress of white satin and lace and had no fewer than twelve bridesmaids to carry her train. The lace was specially made in Honiton in Devonshire and sent up to London by train. I was sent to Paddington station to collect it; I'd never been to a railway station before and was fascinated by the great locomotives, belching smoke and sparks. I promised myself that one day I should ride in one.

I was disappointed that I would not be able to serve Her Majesty during the ceremony, which took place at the Chapel Royal in St James's. But she was kind enough to instruct the Lord Chamberlain that I was to be allowed a seat. It was odd, seeing my former employer, Archbishop Howley, assisted by the Bishop of London, conducting the ceremony. He did see me, and gave me a slight smile to show that he recognized me.

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