William III’s Toilet

When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go, even if you’re a Stuart king in the late 17th Century…

Photo: Andrea Zuvich.

Photo: Andrea Zuvich.

Lovely, isn’t it? Red velvet, brass fittings, this loo is certainly nicer than some I’ve seen in my day. No flush, granted, but still pretty.

Now, William had a hard time with his bottom, as he suffered from hemorrhoids.

Poor chap.

This photo is from William III’s State Apartments at Hampton Court Palace. The King’s Groom of the Stool, which by the end of his life was Arnold Joost Van Keppel, a Dutch courtier, would assist him on this other throne, and this was a very important position. Why? This was the closest position to the King, and therefore, the most powerful, and so, the most coveted position – even if it was stinky! This position was previously held by Hans Bentinck, the king’s former favourite. As King William sat upon the padded velvet seat, the excrement would fall into the chamber pot and then this would be cleaned by the necessary woman!

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