A Pittsburgh Story: The Adventures of Officer Charles Augustus Grimes

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From associating with Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales to rugged street orphans, one city cop did it all in the 19th century.

When Queen Victoria died at the age of 81 on 22 January 1901, newspapers around the world paid a tribute and speculated about what kind of King her son Edward would be. Pittsburgh papers overflowed with praise for the late Queen, but expressed cautious regard for her son. After all, Edward — fka Bertie, aka the Playboy Prince — had pretty much spent his adult life waiting for a job and passing the time as a serial adulterer.

His wife and mother of his legitimate children, the Danish-born Alexandra, soothed over the scandals with her beauty, grace and long-suffering patience…or at least that’s how this bit about Edward in the Pittsburg Post could be interpreted:

At one time it was known that he was not an ideal family man. But as he gradually approached the age of 60, people began to realize that he was settling down. His earlier indiscretions were condoned. And as he always appeared in public with the Princess of Wales, it was realized that the proprieties were observed, at least in a formal way. Perhaps it was felt that the Prince of Wales had only followed precedent in “living his own life.” …The court under his rule will be as sedate as it was under his mother. Queen Alexandra is as strict in the matter of propriety as was the late sovereign.

-Pittsburgh Post front page the day after Queen Victoria’s death

Having reassured readers that the new Queen would maintain social order by imposing discretion upon the new King, the Post got down to the serious business of making a Pittsburgh connection to royalty.  The paper…

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