Categories: British Notables.
Lillie Langtry was an actress who starred in many plays, including She Stoops to Conquer, The Lady of Lyons, and As You Like It, later she ran her own stage production company. She was also known for her relationships with noblemen, including the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and Prince Louis of Battenberg. Lillie Langtry was considered as one of the most beautiful women of her time
Lillie Langtry was born  Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, on October 13, 1853 in Jersey,her parents were Rev. William Corbet Le Breton and Emilie Davis (née Martin).Lillie was taught by a French governess but she was unable to manage her, so Lillie was educated by her brothers tutor. This gave Lillie a much better education than that of most women of her day.William, Lillie's father father was the Dean of Jersey, but had a unpleasant reputation because of several affairs he had. His wife Emilie finally left him in 1880,then he left Jersey.
When Lillie was 20 years old she married Edward Langtry, he was a 30 year old Irish landowner on 6 March 1874. They rented an apartment in Eaton Place, Belgravia, London than moved to 17 Norfolk Street off Park Lane.
In an interview published in several newspapers in 1882 , Lillie Langtry said
|Lillie Langtry by George Frank Miles, 1884|
It was through Lord Raneleigh and the painter Frank Miles that I was first introduced to London society... I went to London and was brought out by my friends. Among the most enthusiastic of these was  Frank Miles, the artist. I learned afterwards that he saw me one evening at the theatre, and tried in vain to discover who I was. He went to his clubs and among his artist friends declaring he had seen a beauty, and he described me to everybody he knew, until one day one of his friends met me and he was duly introduced. Then Mr Miles came and begged me to sit for my portrait. I consented, and when the portrait was finished he sold it to Prince Leopold. From that time I was invited everywhere and made a great deal of by many members of the royal family and nobility. After Frank Miles I sat for portraits to Millais and Burne-Jones and now Frith is putting my face in one of his great pictures
Lillie became very popular in London society, and she received a great number of invitations. The Prince of Wales, Albert Edward "Bertie", arranged to sit next to Lillie Langtry at a dinner party given by Sir Allen Young on May 24, 1877.Edward Langtry was seated at the other end of the table. The Prince was married to Princess Alexandra and had six children. He became infatuated with Lillie, and she soon became his semi official mistress. The affair lasted from late  1877 to June 1880. Some accounts say The Prince of Wales shifted his attention to French actress, Sarah Bernhardt, who came to London in June 1879.
|A Jersey Lily by Millais|
In 1881, Lillie started her stage career at the suggestion of her close friend Oscar Wilde. In December 1881, she made her debut playing Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer at the Haymarket Theatre . Opinions was mixed, but Lillie was a success with the public. She next performed in Ours at the same theatre. Although her affair with the Prince of Wales was over, he attended several of her performances which helped attract an audience.In 1882, Lillie Langtry quit the production team at the Haymarket and started her own company, touring the UK with various plays.She toured the United States in October 1882.And was a was an enormous success.
Lillie Langtry became an American citizen in 1897, during one of her tours in the United States. She divorced her husband Edward Langtry the same year. He died a few months later following an accident.A letter of condolence later written by Lillie to another widow reads in part, I too have lost a husband, but alas! it was no great loss.Lillie Langtry became the lessee and manager of London's Imperial Theatre,from 1900 to 1903, opening on the 21 April 1901.Lillie Langtry died 12 February 1929,in Monaco,of a heart attack. She wanted to be buried in her parents tomb at St. Saviour's Church in Jersey.She was finally buried on the 23 February 1929.
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Emilie is 31 degrees from Rosa Parks, 24 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 12 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.