We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Lillie Langtry?

Niki Acker
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Lillie Langtry was a British actress and artist's model renowned for her beauty. Nicknamed "The Jersey Lily," she became an overnight sensation simply because of her looks and commanded record prices for her theatrical performances. Lillie Langtry was also well known for her scandalous affairs with powerful men, including Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VII.

Lillie Langtry was born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton on 13 October 1853 to the Dean of Jersey and his wife Emilie. The only daughter in a family of seven sons, Lillie inherited her mother's looks and was called by the nickname Lillie, a reference to her perfect complexion, since childhood.

Lillie married her brother-in-law, widower Edward Langtry, in 1874, and the two moved to London two years later. For the most part, their first year there was uneventful, although Edward began drinking heavily. A chance meeting with artists John Millais and Frank Miles at an 1877 party made Lillie's beauty the talk of the town. Millais' celebrated portrait of her, entitled A Jersey Lily, cemented her fame, and her image was soon all over London.

Lillie Langtry met the Prince of Wales in 1877, and the two began an affair soon after. Though both were married, their relationship was no secret. Lillie Langtry also gained an introduction to queen Victoria and became friends with celebrities Oscar Wilde and James McNeill Whistler.

Lillie's relationship with the Prince was short lived, ending after she drank too much and made a fool of herself at a party. However, the two remained friends, and Lillie later became attached to his cousin, Prince Louis of Battenberg. When Lillie Langtry became pregnant in 1880, however, Prince Louis returned to the navy on his family's insistence, and the Prince of Wales arranged for Lillie to stay in Paris until the birth.

At this time in her life, Lillie Langtry was in a state of crisis. In addition to the illegitimate pregnancy, her husband was declared bankrupt, and her fame was being supplanted in London by that of newcomer Sarah Bernhardt. When her daughter was born in 1881, Lillie sent her to live with her grandparents and began a new career as an actress.

In 1882, Lillie Langtry began a tour of America that grew into a five-year endeavor. She was once again a beloved celebrity and began a relationship with millionaire Freddie Gebhard. At the end of her American theatrical tour, Lillie obtained American citizenship and a divorce from her husband.

Lillie Langtry returned to England, where she continued acting and developed an interest in horse racing. In 1899, she married the much younger Hugo de Bathe and purchased a home in Jersey. Around this time, she also became estranged from her daughter when the latter learned the truth about her parentage.

In her 50s, Lillie Langtry tried on a lot of different hats, performing vaudeville in New York, writing creatively, and appearing in film. She spent her later years in Monaco, setting her husband up in a nearby house and spending much of her time with her butler's widow Mathilda Peat. Lillie Langtry published an autobiography in 1925 and died of influenza on 12 February 1929. She is buried in Jersey.

Lillie Langtry's exceptional beauty and colorful life continued to fascinate people long after her death. She has been portrayed in many films, books, and television shows, notably the 1978 miniseries Lillie, starring Francesca Annis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By anon208862 — On Aug 24, 2011

she is my great-great-great aunt/

By anon4212 — On Oct 08, 2007

Edward Langtry ws not Lillie Langtry's brother in law. Edward was Lillie's brother William's brother in law.

Edward Langtry's first wife (Jane Price) was Mrs. William Langtry's sister.

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.