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by Michael Scott

This is the true story of the great baccarat scandal of 1890 which rocked the throne of England.  For two nights, at a house party at Tranby Croft, the residence of one of the richest men in England, a card game is played, instigated by the Prince of Wales.  One of the players, Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Gordon-Cumming Bt, Scots Guards, is accused of cheating. 

A classic Victorian melodrama; vast amounts of money, illegal gambling, the Royal Family, mistresses, bed-hopping, an American orphaned heiress, cover-up, deception, blackmail and motives for half-truths and deceit. 

The saga ranges from the wind-swept remoteness of Gordonstoun in Scotland, big game hunting in Africa and India, to life in the Guards in London and action in the Zulu Wars and Egyptian Campaign of 1882. 

For the first time, the Gordon-Cumming family papers are brought to light, including many of Sir William’s diaries and letters.  The Royal Archives at Windsor Castle show the anxieties amongst the Royal Family.  After Queen Victoria’s death, her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice destroyed many of her mother’s letters.  The Queen’s journals make no mention of the case at all.  Was there something there that would have been an embarrassment?  There is deliberate cover-up by the courtiers, which has been unchallenged until today.  Was Daisy Warwick, lover of the Prince and Gordon-Cumming, really the ‘Babbling Brooke’ who disclosed the secret?  Did the Prince betray his old friend? 

Previously undiscovered, there are more than mere coincidental connections between Gordon-Cumming and the Intelligence community. What was he really up to and why didn’t the Prince, his close confidant and friend, bail him out?  Views of present-day descendants of those involved are revealed for the first time.  Was Gordon-Cumming a cheat or not?  Or was he the scapegoat for something which is shrouded in even more mystery?’

‘This gripping account of one of the great Victorian scandals, involving gambling, royalty and deeply ingrained class prejudice, sheds new light on an affair that transfixed society and the press in the 1890s. Michael Scott has turned it into a detective story, with a colourful cast-list and a dramatic conclusion. I was riveted from beginning to end.’
Magnus Linklater

‘Michael Scott’s spellbinding book provides the definitive account of the Tranby Croft gambling scandal which rocked the monarchy over a century ago. Scott has unearthed new evidence and his forensic analysis makes this an unputdownable read. Downton Abbey meets Flashman in this gripping story of the playboy Prince of Wales and the arch-cad Sir William Gordon-Cumming. Did Gordon-Cumming cheat at baccarat with the Prince? Read this book to find the answer.’
Jane Ridley

‘This book gives us a fascinating glimpse of those golden years before the first world war when officers could buy promotion to the higher ranks and still have time enough to hunt tigers. It takes us back to a time when honour was something worth fighting for. For the military today, it still is. 
Joshua Rozenberg        
Published by Endeavour Press. www.endeavourpress.com

Royal Betrayal is now available as an eBook on Amazon

© Crown Copyright