It's one of those gay-historical things! there isn't quite enough evidence to say with scholarly integrity and certainty that Lord Rosebery, Prime Minister 1894-1895, Foreign Secretary at other points, leader of the opposition at others, was gay. And yet, pretty much everyone thinks he was and was having some kind of affair with Francis Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig. Unfortunately, Francis Douglas had a very gay brother, Alfred, aka Bosie, lover of Oscar Wilde and countless other men. Bosie and Francis's father, the mad bad Marquess of Queensbury pursued both Wilde and Rosebery and it is thought by many that only enormous pressure from the establishment kept Rosebery's name out of the Wilde trial and kept a serving British Prime Minister from ending up in the dock himself, a trial which would have eclipsed even the three trials of Oscar Wilde.
Why am I bring this up now, you might reasonably ask, if not just to display this fetchingly camp portrait of Rosebery I found on Wiki from a cigar box label? Well, at the time of Wilde's trials the speculation and innuendo about Rosebery was rampant but I came across an unusual example of it in, of all places, the boys' paper Chums. Every week there was a column entitled 'Five Minutes with the Famous' and it is very noticeable that Rosebery appears often in the first few months of 1895 (Wilde's trials started in April), and there is, I think you will agree, a very definite 'painting' going on in the anecdotes they chose to represent him.
"Lord Rosebery, though very ambitious, was considered rather a girlish schoolboy by his Eton friends, and was accordingly dubbed "Miss Prim," a contraction of his family name, Primrose" Chums, Vol III No 129, February 27, 1895, p,422
"Lord Rosebery is said to have been the very pink of neatness and propriety at Eton; he always walked very erect, and always had a smile on his face. He used to read a good deal of history, and was fond of newspapers and Parliamentary reports; but did not distinguish himself either in sports of scholarship." Chums, Vol III No 131, March, 1895, p.455
"Lord Rosebery was very proud as a boy, but showed hauteur in an inoffensive fashion. He used generally to appear blissfully deaf and unconscious when addressed too familiarly by his social inferiors." Chums, Vol III No 154, April 3, 1895, p.507