As a young man, the perpetually pleasure-seeking Albert, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was responsible for commissioning arguably one of the most famous pieces of erotic furniture of all time – the love chair.


It took the form of a brocade 'bunk bed' of stacking seats, complete with stirrups to hold the legs of not one, but two different partners.

A threesome chair, if you will, designed for a royal with famously gargantuan sexual appetites.

King Edward VII's love chair, known as the ‘siège d'amour’ in French, epitomised opulence and sensuality. And, possibly more importantly, it allowed the overweight king-to-be to have sex with two women at the same time without crushing them.

Why did Edward VII need his love chair, or siège d’amour?

It was a surprisingly beautiful piece of furniture, manufactured by Louis Soubrier, a famed cabinetmaker of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Clearly there could be nothing but the best for a member of the British royal family.

More like this

It's worth noting at this point that by the time of his coronation in 1902, King Edward VII had an impressive 48-inch waist and was clinically obese, a symptom of a life-long love affair with fine food and even finer alcohol.

According to contemporary reports, the playboy Prince of Wales would regularly sit down to five meals a day, comprising mostly ten-course affairs.

All of this was washed down with large volumes of fine wine and champagne, hence his rapidly expanding waistline. This is where the siège d'amour came in.

Edward VII’s love chair: how did it work?

The famous love chair, kept at the famed Parisian brothel Le Chabanais, allowed the unathletic Bertie to have relations with two women simultaneously, all with the minimum of effort to himself, or risk to them. It also ensured his stomach was kept out of the way.

So, how did it work? Picture, if you will, the hedonistic Prince Albert (referred to as 'Dirtie Bertie' by the tabloids of the time, as well as 'Edward the Caresser') standing upright, while one companion reclined on her back before him, and another lay beneath her.

The women placed their feet into specially made bronze stirrups, intricately carved into the chair's frame, to help them stay in position.

What happened to Edward VII’s love chair?

A replica of the siège d'amour went on show from 2015 to 2016 at the exhibition 'Splendour and Misery: Images Of Prostitution 1850-1910’, at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris. A replica is also exhibited in the Sex Machines Museum in Prague.

The original is believed to have been sold at a private auction – presumably to a very discreet collector – in the 1990s.

Was the love chair Edward VII’s only piece of erotic furniture?

No, the siège d'amour wasn’t the only piece of erotic furniture that the playboy prince kept at Le Chabanais.

Another of the future king's favourite diversions was to carouse with multiple women in a luxurious copper bath decorated with a half-woman, half-swan figurehead, filled to the brim with champagne, in which he splashed and cavorted with his multiple female partners. Sounds chilly, but certainly decadent.


Hilary Mitchell is a journalist with a Masters degree in Classics from Edinburgh University, where she specialised in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age of Greece