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02 February 2011
After her coronation in 1838, Queen Victoria was a frightened young woman.
She was pursued by a strange teenager, Edward, ‘the Boy’ Jones, who had an uncanny ability to sneak into Buckingham Palace without being detected. Once he broke into her bedroom and stole her underwear, and at least twice he sat on the throne.
Once, after the Boy Jones had been hauled out from underneath a sofa in her dressing room, the Queen wrote in her journal: "If he had come into my bedroom, how frightened I would have been."
Now, a new book by Dr Jan Bondeson has put together the full story of the Boy Jones, one of the first celebrity stalkers in history.
Dr Bondeson, a rheumatologist and lecturer at the School of Medicine, has published books on a variety of non-fiction topics, including medical anomalies and unsolved murder mysteries.
The new book, Queen Victoria and the Stalker, follows the Boy Jones through his heady days as a media celebrity, and into his long and bitter years in the galleys, imprisoned without charge or trial.
Dr Bondeson said: "The Boy Jones had a remarkable ability to get into the palace. They just couldn’t keep him out. The amazing thing is really how close he was able to get to the Queen, and the extraordinary lengths the authorities went to to get rid of him. They were worried about what the Boy Jones might tell people, and what he might do."
Dr Bondeson tracks the Boy Jones’s story to Western Australia, where he was transported and died an alcoholic, after falling off a bridge.
Dr Bondeson added: "The Boy Jones was the first known celebrity stalker in history. But he was a strange kind of stalker. He didn’t follow the Queen everywhere, but had a fascination with Buckingham Palace itself."Queen Victoria's Stalker: The Strange Story of the Boy Jones by Jan Bondeson is available from Amberley Publishing.
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