Preceded by a rousing rendition of the WI anthem Jerusalem, our annual meeting took place with some members joining via Zoom. The usual business was conducted at a brisk pace; accounts brought to us courtesy of our Treasurer, Sarah, in Spain; Annual report on the year’s activities courtesy of Secretary Angeline; Michele gave a few words as outgoing President; committee/president elected with our WI adviser Yvette conducting the official business efficiently… all so we could move on to…our speaker.
We had been warned. Fun but rude… not for the prude! Sarah Slater, a Guide Lecturer at Historic Royal Palaces and a costumed tour guide at Hampton Court Palace, dressed in a beautiful period costume, Zoom-visited us to talk about the naughty bits of history we definitely didn’t learn at school. Sex, Secrets, Scandal and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court, 1660 to 1830 covered royal mistresses, prostitution, sexual diseases of the time and the methods used to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancies…. all in the space of one hour.
Sarah also took us on a whistle-stop tour of sex toys, contraceptives and aids to abortion that prevailed during the period. We were enthralled! Smelling salts all round as the talk and the meeting came to an end.