Revealed: Britain's first celebrity stalker

Wed Feb 2, 2011 10:04am EST
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By Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A 19th Century intruder sat on Queen Victoria's throne, slept in one of her servant's beds, hid under her sofa, read her private letters and even stole a pair of her voluminous silk knickers.

Yet he was just an ordinary 14-year-old boy -- one of Britain's first celebrity stalkers.

The story of Edward Jones, known to London's Victorian police as "Boy Jones," has been pieced together using contemporary newspaper reports of the monarch's early reign.

According to Jan Bondeson of Cardiff University, who spent five years writing a book on the lad's fascination with the Royal Family, he broke into Buckingham Palace at least three times between 1838 and 1841.

Jones, who, according to Bondeson's book "Queen Victoria and the Stalker," managed to get within a few feet of the young monarch, alarmed authorities who tried to keep accounts of his break-ins secret.

On one occasion he was caught red-handed with a pair of the young monarch's knickers stuffed down his trousers, said a spokeswoman for the book's publisher Amberley Publishing.

"If he had come into my bedroom, how frightened I would have been," Victoria wrote in her journal after the boy was hauled out from underneath a sofa in her dressing room.

The incidents echo the feat more recently of drifter Michael Fagan, who broke into Buckingham Palace in 1982 and walked into the bedroom of the present Queen Elizabeth.   Continued...

<p>A copy of a cartoon shows "Boy Jones", the stalker of Britain's Queen Victoria spying on her in this illustration, published in 19th century newspapers and released in London February 2, 2011. REUTERS/Amberley Publishing/Jan Bondeson/Handout</p>