I had such fun writing this character into a novel.
When writing a scene with him, I’d stare for ages at the Rubens portrait and, over time, this flippant, arrogant, charming, suspicious, intriguing (!!) man emerged.
Buckingham’s favourite spy was a young man called Walter Montagu. He was 19 and just out of university when Buckingham employed him and Wat was given such a baptism of fire that I made him (Wat) call his new master “Lucifer Shining.”
Marie de Rohan and George Villiers became close friends and fellow intrigantes. Many a Victorian Historian who wrote biographies of these two said they were lovers but, I disagree. They were two sides of one coin. Made for mischief.
Apparently – Peter Paul Rubens was no better. He was also a spy with access to some very high places.
Buckingham and Charles I Stuart’s factotum, Balthazar Gerbier, collected an enormous number of art pieces for the English King. By fair means and foul. All of which were purloined by Oliver Cromwell and his thugs, then dispersed for cold, hard cash.
Ages, dates, times may change but human nature never does :o)
P.S. Buckingham Was a Very Pretty Man, in my opinion.