Wednesday, April 13, 2011
A story in today's Slate about Prince William's college and an ancestor who was a member of the BBWCC - Beggar's Benison and Wig Club College, is so much better than the typical royal wedding coverage about William, Kate, her dress and fra-la-la-la.
The BBWCC was an all-boys sex club that historians think no longer exists, but when it did, boy did those guys do some crazy stuff, well, OK, compared to today's sex clubs, it seems rather British, boring and fra-la-la-la:
To the hordes of journalists and tourists who have lately made the pilgrimage to the hallowed campus 55 miles north of Edinburgh, St. Andrews appears stately, dignified, and predictably dull, as manicured as the ancient Scottish golf courses that surround it. But hidden away in one of the more modern university buildings, near the police station, is a cache of erotic relics from Britain's longest-running and most perverse sex club, which boasted as a member none other than one of Prince William's royal ancestors.
Few visitors to the Museum of the University of St. Andrews know to inquire about the BBWCC, the "Beggar's Benison and Wig Club Collection," although it is notorious with curators and a small group of scholars. But if you make a formal application (and the serious academic purpose of your research is accepted), staff members will take you to a clinical room, don latex gloves, and slowly unpack several archival boxes of rare historical artifacts.
There are drinking glasses in the shape of giant phalluses. Lewd platters are engraved with surreal pornographic images, including erections shaped as lighthouses and roosters with human penis heads. One prize exhibit is a snuff box filled with female pubic hair that was plucked by one of William's most debauched and lecherous royal relatives, King George IV, the prince's fourth great-granduncle, who ruled from 1820 to 1830. And a timeworn case contains a ghoulish wooden mannequin's head whose peculiar erotic purpose can be traced back to another randy royal forebear, King Charles II. (The bloodline of the Merry Monarch, who ruled from 1660 to 1685,,runs to Prince William through his mother, Lady Diana, via several of Charles II's illegitimate sons.)