King Harold II of England had a number of tattoos. After his death at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, his tattoos were used to identify his body.
Many other royals throughout history have been tattooed. In 1862 the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, had a Jerusalem Cross tattooed on his arm on a visit to the Holy Land. When his sons, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York (later King George V) visited Japan in 1882 they both had dragons tattooed on their arms. Amongst the Russian royal family, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Nicholas II all bore tattoos. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination sparked the First World War, was also tattooed. Today royal tattoos are less common.
Winston Churchill's mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, had a snake tattooed on her wrist.
It became fashionable in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for aristocrats, including women, to be tattooed. At the time, tattooing was very expensive and people paid large sums for their designs. Later, as the costs were reduced, tattooing was adopted by the lower classes and the practice fell out of favour with the social elite.
The strategic positioning of Lady Churchill's tattoo meant that she could choose not to display it by wearing a bracelet to cover it.