The Most Extravagant Dinner Parties in History

Posted by Ken

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Dude, She's Just Not That Into You

Queen Elizabeth IIt's true that most men don't have a clue how to chase a woman. But it's also true that many men know when it's time to throw in the towel and move on. Not the Earl of Leicester, though.

The Earl -- a.k.a. Robert Dudley -- wanted very badly to marry his life-long friend Queen Elizabeth I. Only two problems stood in his way. First of all, Elizabeth had no interest in marrying anyone. Second of all, Robert was married.

Undeterred, Robert set out to woo his love by throwing her a banquet. In 1560, he spent more than thirty thousand dollars on sheep and a variety of exotic birds for the meal of a lifetime. Dessert was made with eighty-six pounds of sugar -- apparently Liz had something of a sweet tooth. Robert's wife had died in a mysterious accident shortly before the banquet, so that problem had been taken care of as well.

It didn't work, of course, as Elizabeth continued to fend off suitors in order to retain the careful balance of power throughout Europe.

Robert didn't give up, though. Fifteen years later, in 1575, he gave it another shot. This time he built a seventy-foot long bridge to his castle in Kenilworth, and spent over a hundred thousand dollars on a seventeen-day party to honor the Queen. I don't know how much sugar they used, but I bet it was a lot!

These days we've got Joseph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett to retell us Hollywood's version of the story in Elizabeth. Check it out and let me know if they say anything about the sugar.

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