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Lady Flora Hastings (1806 – 1839.)

She was born into privilege and became a Lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Kent. The duchess is said to have had an affair with John Conroy (a British army officer and comptroller to the Duchess and her daughter.) so her daughter, Queen Victoria, naturally, detested the man (from what I can tell, it seems there wasn’t much to like about this lying, thieving, cheating pig.)

In 1830, Flora visited her family in Scotland and returned with John Conroy in a private carriage- Scandalous! Within a few weeks, Flora was complaining of pain in her abdomen and her stomach looked suspiciously swollen. Because of this, and Flora’s refusal to be examined,  Queen Victoria believed the gossip and publicly ridiculed Flora for her affair and her so-called “pregnancy.”

Turns out- Flora was still a virgin and had an enlarged Liver. The mistreatment of the very ill Lady Flora did not sit well with public and the Queen was hissed at and criticized for her mistreatment of the dying woman. Later in life, the Queen conceded that she had handled the entire situation poorly, but at the time her hatred for Conroy had led her to treat a sick, innocent woman with cruelty.

Gossip sucks.

Flora was also a poet. The book “Poems by the Lady Flora Hastings” was published posthumously by her sister, Sophia.

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