Smokin’ Hot Royals for Valentine’s Day


Photo by Hulton Archive on Getty Images

This is possibly the sexiest photo of a royal smoking ever taken! King George V.

Wow! Sizzle!

For Valentine’s Day I thought I’d play a bit of a prank on you! Smokin’ hot royals–all photos of Royalty smoking cigarettes, pipes or cigars!

Royals of the Past

King Edward VII

It is always my intent to give FULL CREDIT for any photo used here.

King Edward VII–as King and, earlier as Victoria’s heir and Prince of Wales, shown smoking.

It’s is King Edward VII, as Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who graced cans of Prince Albert Tobacco–the brand my late grandfather loved. A later-in-life image of him graced the boxes of King Edward cigars!

King George V

It is always my intent to give FULL CREDIT for any photo used here.

George’s wife, Queen Mary, was known to smoke small cigars. Their two eldest sons, King Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor) and George VI (the present Queen’s father) both died of smoking-related illnesses.

The bottom photo shows the two future kings (left, with their sister Princess Mary) and George smoking while holding the hand of his then youngest son (ultimately his 3rd son) Prince Henry (Duke of Gloucester)

All four of George and Mary’s four surviving sons (Prince John died at age 13) would become heavy smokers. Their son Prince George, Duke of Kent, would become a heroin addict–he recovered thanks to his brother, David. Harry, the toddler holding George’s hand in the last photo, was thought by many, including brother David, to be an alcoholic.

Tzar Nicholas II

It is always my intent to give FULL CREDIT for any photo used here.

George V’s Double First Cousin, Tzar Nicholas II, smoked. It’s easy to forget just how wide-spread smoking way in the days before anti-anxiety medications. Did you know that his wife, Tzarina Alexandra was a maternal Aunt of Prince Philip?

Kaiser Wilhelm II


George V, Nicholas II and Wilhelm II were all grandsons of Queen Victoria–first cousins. Here is the Kaiser, late in life and in exile, smoking. His left arms was damaged at birth and withered.

King Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor

It is always my intent to give FULL CREDIT for any photo used here.Top right and bottom right, I believe, are from LIFE magazine.

Smoking was a big part of the image of Britain’s most popular Prince of Wales and it’s first young bachelor King in centuries–Edward VIII. As Duke of Windsor it continued to add to his sophisticated style. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes–he smoked them all. Ultimately, throat cancer killed him. I would imagine, given the times, that the Duchess probably smoked in private.  Did you know he was always known by the last of his 7 names–David?

King George VI

It is always my intent to give FULL CREDIT for any photo used here.

The present Queen’s father, known as Prince Albert, Duke of York, before becoming King and renaming himself George V, was a very heavy smoker. His wife, known to us as Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, even changed the way formal dinners were “run” so that he could smoke between courses. Not surprisingly, 65 years ago last week George VI died of lung cancer. Like his brother David he smoked tobacco in any form, but favored cigarettes above all.

Princess Margaret

Cigarette holder photo: found at nadinejolie.com  Coat photo: Getty via Daily Mail.com

Like FDR, Princess Margaret was known for her long cigarette holder–a device she used long after it became an affectation, long after the rest of the world had jettisoned them. Cigarettes and alcohol were mainstays of the Queen’s sister’s troubled life. She, too, died of smoking related causes. Like her Uncle Harry (Duke of Gloucester) she suffered strokes and like her father she had to have part of a lung removed due to cancer.

Royals Today

Prince Philip


NO, Philip no longer smokes. His bachelor party in November of 1947 was supposedly the last time he smoked. He quit at his bride-to-be’s request. Might explain his incredible longevity! His Uncle, Earl Mountbatten (pictured with cigar looking away), loved cigars. Philip’s mother (Mountbatten’s sister) and his Mountbatten Grandmother (sister of the Last Tzarina–Alexandra) were chain smokers. When Philip’s mother spent her last few years at Buckingham Palace, people knew where she was by the clouds of smoke and the thunderous coughing.

His Royal Hotness, Prince Harry

Photo credits Rex via DailyMail.com and  unknown found via flickr

I couldn’t find a smoking picture of Prince Harry that was anywhere near as smoldering as the one of his Great-Great-Grandpa, George V that began this post. But, the hipster Royal is a fairly heavy smoker. His father, Prince Charles, is strongly opposed. Somehow, I’m sure (pardon the pun) that Papa’s objections likely fuel the fire! A real lad’s lad, our Harry. Most of his gals have been smokers too. Sadly, young women today still fall for the myth that smoking keeps you slim. Both Prince William and Catherine (Kate) smoked as students. They have either given it up for the children now or hide it very well. Did you know that Prince Harry’s real name is Henry? Like his late, great-great Uncle, the late Duke of Gloucester, he is always known as Harry.

Princess Eugenie of York


 Photo source: talkinsmokingculture.boards.net

Prince Andrew’s younger daughter has frequently been seen smoking. It’s very fashionable again, sadly. Eugenie says you pronounce her name as in “Use your knees.” Cute. Did you know she had to have surgery to correct a curvature in her spine? She is now a patron of spinal disorder charities.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

Riding photo: datalounge.com  Poolside–Rex via Dailymail.com

Some sources say she gave up smoking, but in her pre-royal days she smoked like a factory. Very ironic given Prince Charles is such a rabid anti-smoking fiend that he had a “No Smoking” sign in the Kensington Palace home he shared with Diana.

Other Royals

Denmark: Queen Margarethe of Denmark, aka “The Great Dane”

It is always my intent to give FULL CREDIT for any photo used here. The Top Left is likely from Getty Images but found via talkinsmokingculture.boards.net  The bottom is from Tim Roake of Rex Shuttlestock. I will update this to reflect other credit as I am able.

Since childhood (upper left) Margarethe has wielded a mean lighter–in this photo she is lighting for her mother, Queen Ingrid. The cute, pre-Pinterest photo of Her Majesty and her now husband, Prince Henrik is an adorable one for Valentine’s Day. Did you know Her Majesty is a cousin of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip?

Nearly the entire Royal Family of Monaco smokes! Possibly not Albert and Charlene–she was an Olympic athlete after all, but the rest of them are frequently seen smoking. I’m not sure about anyone else.

Happy Valentine’s Day cough, cough, cough

8 thoughts on “Smokin’ Hot Royals for Valentine’s Day

  1. What an interesting post. It is amazing to see how times have changed and that cigarette smoking is no longer glamorous. I enjoyed all your photos. Thanks for taking the time to put together this fun post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting to see how, as the photos get nearer to us in time, these people stopped posing for photos with cigarettes/cigars/pipes. All the newer photos are casual snapshots. It’s an unusual but effective way to trace how smoking became uncool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi there,
    I was wondering where you got the photos of George VI smoking from, specifically the one with him and Roosevelt in a car and the one with him at his desk? I work for a documentary production company and we are keen to use them, and so will need to clear them with the owner. It would be great if you could point me in the right direction as can’t seem to find them anywhere else on the internet.


      1. Sorry just saw this reply and didn’t get a notification via email – must have been filtered. Thanks for looking into this for me, really appreciate it! I will enquire with the Royal Archives as have been in touch with them for some other stuff.


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