Author Topic: Piercings and Tattoos or Inked Royals  (Read 31117 times)

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Elizabeth_Leona

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Piercings and Tattoos or Inked Royals
« on: January 27, 2006, 04:21:53 PM »
I have read that several members of the royal family have had either tattoos or piercings and since I have always been fascinated with both I thought it would be interesting to hear others views and who you have heard was pierced and/or tattooed!


 :D
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 11:34:05 PM by Alixz »

nelly

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2006, 11:14:34 PM »
Most, if not all the women had their ears pierced--Cousin Georgie (George V) had tattoos on his arms.  Leftovers from his life in the Royal Navy, I suppose. . . :) :) :)

Elizabeth_Leona

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2006, 11:34:11 AM »
I found this article from http://www.etoile.co.uk/Columns/RoyalScribe/040503.html

Monday 3 May 2004

The Illustrated Royal Family
The last Anglo-Saxon king of England lay dead on a battlefield near Hastings, an arrow through his eye. William the Bastard of Normandy was now William the Conqueror of England. His next, most immediate problem was to positively confirm that the corpse before him did indeed belong to his vanquished rival, Harold II – a task made difficult by the dead man’s disfigured face.  

The solution came in the shape of Edith Swan Neck, King Harold’s long-time mistress, who identified her dead lover by the words “Edith and England” tattooed on his chest, just one of several such illustrations on his body.

While not all stories of royal tattoos are quite so dramatic, just the concept of “royal tattoos” can seem incongruous to our modern perceptions of royalty. After all, wasn’t it only six years ago that Zara Phillips, Princess Anne’s daughter, caused a media sensation simply for having her tongue pierced?  Personally, I was much more surprised when I learned that the Victorian era was high season for tattooing among royalty and the aristocracy.  

Edward VII helped pioneer the fashion in Britain when, as Prince of Wales, he had a Jerusalem Cross tattooed on his arm during a visit to Jerusalem in 1862. Twenty years later, his sons – Prince Eddy, Duke of Clarence, the ill-fated heir to the throne, and Prince George, the future George V – both had dragons tattooed on their arms during a visit to Japan. Before returning home, they stopped in Jerusalem to be further illustrated by the same artist who had tattooed their father.

Queen Victoria may or may not have been amused upon learning about her grandsons’ new body art, but their mother, Alexandra, Princess of Wales, reportedly was most certainly not amused when she was told that the tattoos were on their faces, not their arms.  Despite her undoubted horror at imagining the tattooed faces of her sons, Alexandra probably had nothing against more “discreet” tattoos, even among the women of her set.

Lady Randolph Spencer Churchill (née Jennie Jerome), the American heiress, society beauty, and mother of Winston Churchill, circulated quite freely among the Wales’ social circle sporting a tattoo of a snake around her left wrist. A well-placed bracelet hid the tattoo when it didn’t tickle her fancy. Her son Winston followed suit and had an anchor tattooed on his forearm,   la Popeye. Even Alexandra’s sister-in-law, Queen Olga of Greece (1851-1926) – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s paternal grandmother – was also reported to have a tattoo.

Still more royals outside Britain were getting “inked” around the same time. Another of Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, had a tattoo, as did George V’s cousin, Czar Nicholas II of Russia. Actually, royal tattoos were common in Russia long before Britain caught on – it seems Peter the Great (1689-1725) and Catherine the Great (1729-1796) both had tattoos.  

Moving out of the Victorian era, royalty continued to be tattooed. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in 1914 sparked World War I, had a “lucky” snake tattooed on his right hip – reportedly the exact place where the deadly bullet hit him. In Spain, King Alfonso XIII and his son, the Count of Barcelona, (grandfather and father of the present king of Spain, respectively) both had tattoos. King Frederik IX of Denmark (1899-1972) was heavily tattooed, including a Chinese dragon on his chest, various anchors and even the family crest elsewhere on his body. His grandson and our contemporary, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, has two tattoos of his own.

Other modern royals with tattoos include Princess Stephanie of Monaco, who has several, and Juliana Guillermo, the daughter of Princess Christina of the Netherlands, who bears a small one on her ankle. Back to Britain, Zara Phillips is also rumored to have a tattoo. There is even speculation that the Prince of Wales – that’s right, Prince Charles – has a tattoo. Whether or not the sources are simply misunderstanding the frequent connection of Charles’s name with the term “military tattoo” – which is, in fact, a military parade – or are perhaps confusing him with his great-great grandfather is open to question.  

Perhaps most interesting of all are the theories that Queen Victoria herself had an “intimately placed” tattoo and Prince Albert had a very intimate piercing that is now named after him. True or not, Victoria and Albert are two of the last royals I want to imagine with highly intimate body art.

While the appearance of tattoos on royalty may have sparked greater social acceptance of the practice in Britain, the real credit for the trend actually belonged to two explorers – William Dampier and Captain James Cook. On his return to London in 1691, Dampier brought with him a heavily tattooed South Sea Islander who was introduced at the court of William and Mary and would become known as “Giolo, the Famous Painted Prince.” Famous, perhaps, but it was Omai, the tattooed Polynesian warrior Captain Cook brought to London and presented to George III in 1774, that helped start the trend among fashionable society. Cook’s voyages also helped perpetuate the idea of tattooed sailors, as many of his crewmen returned home with tattoos of their own.

On a broader level, however, the overall popularity of tattoos in Britain and around Europe was really just one of the high points in the vastly fluctuating history of tattoos, which dates back to at least the Neolithic period (8500 to 4000 B.C.). The ancient Egyptians are known to have used the art of tattooing for ritualistic practices – on women in particular – as early as 2000 B.C.  By 1000 B.C., tattooing had spread to Japan, India, China and the Pacific Islands. Tattooing in Japan was first used to ward off evil spirits, although by 300 A.D. it had become the mark of criminals. Ancient Greek spies used tattoos to communicate their rank and status to one another, while the Romans tattooed criminals and slaves.  

Pretty much every part of the known world was tattooing by the time of Christ. Despite a passage in the Bible expressly forbidding tattoos – Leviticus 19:28 reads: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you..." – early Christians still tattooed small crosses on their arms to mark their faith. In 787, Pope Hadrian banned tattooing, but the practice continued nonetheless. In particular, the Danes, Norse and Saxons, regularly tattooed themselves with family symbols and crests, and the early Britons used tattoos in ceremonies.  

All of which brings us back to poor Harold II, lying dead on that battlefield in 1066, his mistress and his kingdom tattooed on his chest, and William the Conqueror wondering how to identify the body. But while a tattoo may have helped verify William’s victory, it seems the Normans didn’t like tattoos and the practice largely died along with Harold – that is, until exploration and the Victorian Age once again illustrated the royal family.


Elizabeth_Leona

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2006, 11:37:24 AM »
I just read on another site that Peter the Great and Catherine the Great both had tattoos, I have read before that Catherine had tattoos

Elizabeth_Leona

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2006, 11:45:00 AM »
http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/tattooed_royalty.htm

King Edward VII followed King George V's lead in getting tattooed; King Frederik IX of Denmark, the King of Romania, King Alexandar of Yugoslavia and even Czar Nicholas of Russia, all sported tattoos, many of them elaborate and ornate renditions of the Royal Coat of Arms or the Royal Family Crest! King Alfonso of modern Spain also has a tattoo.
For one of the best-known men in high European circles, the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, is most elaborately tattooed. And Prince and Princess Waldemar of Denmark, Queen Olga of Greece, King Oscar of Sweden, the Duke of York, the Grand Duke Constantine, Lady Randolph Churchill, with many others of royal and distinguished rank, have submitted themselves to the tickling, but painless and albeit pleasant, sensation afforded by the improved tattooing needle, which is nowadays worked on a simple plan, aided by the galvanic current, the genius of the artist supplying the rest of the operation.

The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, like his cousin Alexis of Russia is another elaborately – tattooed man; but even his decorations, and those of other profusely-tattooed men, fall short in point of quantity when compared with those marks upon the body of that Greek gentleman who was exhibited not long ago at the Royal Aquarium, whose body was completely covered with fine tattoo work, every square inch of it.

We are able to give facsimilies of the designs which have been tattooed on the Duke of York, Prince Francis of Teck, Prince George of Greece, together with other examples of the art.

Elizabeth_Leona

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2006, 11:49:51 AM »
http://www.tattoojohnny.com/celebrity-tattoo-designs.asp

Royalty and Heads of State
Despite the past’s unkind view of tattooing and body modification, some of the names that appear on the following list may be a little surprising, especially when you consider how far back the history goes.

Winston Churchill, famous World War II figure of England, had a tattoo of an anchor on his arm.
Franklin D. Roosevelt proudly bore a tattoo image of his family crest.
Thomas Alva Edison, genius inventor, was tattooed with five dots on his left forearm that were arranged in the fashion of a “5” dice.
King Alexander of Yugoslavia was inked with a large eagle tattoo design on his chest.
King Alfonso of Spain was also tattooed.
King Edward VII of England bore a tattoo of the Jerusalem Cross.
King Frederik IX of Denmark was tattooed with a dragon and his family crest.
King George II of Greece bore tattoo designs.
King George V was decorated with a dragon design.
King Harold II of England was the first documented royal to wear a tattoo. He lived from 1022 to 1066.
King Henry IV was also among the ranks of royalty boasting body art.
Other famous royalty bearing tattoos include Prince Charles, Prince Rudolph, Prince Frederik, Prince Waldermar, and Richard the Lion Hearted, King of England (1189-99 A.D.) who was also branded with the Jerusalem Cross.

Offline Azarias

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2006, 12:01:27 AM »
WOW Elizabeth!

That is really a wealth of information on royals and tattoos!

It's rather interesting as to how people can react at times to tattoos. Of course those who think it's just for criminals and sailors would be shocked to see so many royals among the devotees.

It seems that all 3 Abrahamic faiths would have tattoo- taboo. But as I also pointed out on the N II thread it is a rather common practice among Coptic Christians as well. Generally they place a cross on the inner right wrist.


ferngully

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2006, 05:23:39 AM »
judaism and i think islam forbids tattoes, it is considered ruining and disrespecting your body i think
selina                   xxxxxxx

Mie

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2006, 10:25:56 AM »
 :o I knew that peoples hade made such things like forever but always though that it was not that much allow to royal to do. Well if we think about it even nowdays very fair royal laydi have more than one pare earring and if they have tattoo they just cannot take any tattoo -it msut be beautiful and etc. I suppose that this thing is more stricer for femail than mail..  ;D

Did they bac then have more than one pair of ear punch.. ? I have 5 punch in my ear but i had 7.. now i am thinkig to get a new one.. it would be pretty exiting if they had but I have red that OTMA did not have pierceings.. that Catharina I had hert but did not believe ... now i think I have to.. :P

Offline Ortino

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2006, 05:03:49 PM »
Quote
judaism and i think islam forbids tattoes, it is considered ruining and disrespecting your body i think
selina                   xxxxxxx


Conservative and Orthodox Judaism forbid both tattoos and piercings (most).  This probably doesn't extend to Reform or Reconstructionist Judaism. The first, because it is seen as decorating the body "forever" and therefore attempting to "improve" G-d's original design for human beings. Body piercings are forbidden in places where they interfere with personal hygiene and can therefore threaten our health. We are not permitted to imperil our good health for the benefits of fashion. Earrings are permitted. You're not supposed to be buried in a Jewish cemetery if you have tattoos or forbidden body piercings, but with the widespread interest in them in modern times this rule has been bent somewhat.

I'm surprised that so many royals would have tattoos. With so much emphasis placed on propriety and conservative dress, one would think that something like tattoos would have been taboo.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Ortino »

nelly

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2006, 12:05:15 AM »
Back to pierced ears. . .am I correct in that it seem that in the 19th century the ears were pierced lower on the lobe than today?  Looking at the pictures, it seems so.

Elizabeth_Leona

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2006, 09:43:55 AM »
Quote
I'm surprised that so many royals would have tattoos. With so much emphasis placed on propriety and conservative dress, one would think that something like tattoos would have been taboo.


You will find that even today many tattoo artists will say that they get a lot of professional people like judges, doctors, lawyers even people from the church getting tattoos and they just cover them up with clothing and I think this is what the royals did this too

Offline Romanov_fan

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2006, 11:23:33 AM »
I think many women had pierced ears, and some of the men seemed to have had Tattoos. It was easy back then to hide them under clothes, as they were very covered up back then, even the men. Today, of course if you want to hide a tattoo you can as well. And some people might want to. But some want to flaunt it, and some of the sailer royals perhaps wanted to do this. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by romanov_fan »

emeraldeyes1969

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2006, 12:46:34 PM »
FYI, there was a short thread on this subject in the Windsor section entitled 'Inked Royals'.   :)

Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Piercings and Tattoos
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2006, 04:36:08 AM »
Quote
Back to pierced ears. . .am I correct in that it seem that in the 19th century the ears were pierced lower on the lobe than today?  Looking at the pictures, it seems so.

Yes, actually, I have noticed that. But up until now, I always assumed it was not done on purpose, but more of a consequence to the heavy earrings that people like the Empress might wear.
Gravity is a great yet terrible thing.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Russian_Duchess_#5 »