16 July 2010

HRH, Prince Arthur, Duke of... WTF???

He was the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, and he died in 1942 as the last living son of Queen Victoria -- but why is he wearing a leopard on his head and shoulders?  A quick web search turns up no related stories, or any history of his having tertiary lues.

Image: For the Love of Queen Vic!, via Fuck Yeah, Victorians!


  1. The leopard I can actually understand. It might be a gift from some African head-man in one of the British colonies in Africa that he was modeling for the photo as a gift to be sent back to them. It is the rest of the outfit that baffles me!

  2. With the tights and tunic, I'm guessing he appeared in some kind of amateur stage revue.

  3. My gut response was the same as Sue's, but I'm waiting to see if anyone knows or can find anything...

  4. It was for just this picture that the adjective "Pythonesque" was coined.

  5. It looks like he's wearing the Victorian interpretation of a 14th century cotehardie.

    IIRC, some Roman legion wore animal skins,and medieval Polish Hussars wore leopard hides.

    Or perhaps it's just a reference to the leopard's ferocity and nobility matching His Highness's?

  6. Doesn't the British Coat of Arms have two leopards on it? Perhaps the explanation for that would help here...


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