The courtroom thriller, Anatomy of a Scandal starring Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott, Michelle Dockery, and Sienna Miller follows parliament minister James Whitehead. When his past lover accuses him of rape, his illicit affair comes to light and he has to stand trial with his career at stake.
The narrative was arresting enough to captivate the viewers and keep them glued to their screens. However, what has piqued fans’ interest is this line – “Omerta to the Libertines”. We will tell you the origin of this line and the inspiration behind Sarah Vaughan’s Libertine Club.
Does the Libertine Club exist in real life?
In Anatomy of a Scandal, James Whitehead and Prime Minister Tom Southern are a part of an exclusive Oxford dining club – Libertine Club. You’d think that like the rest of the story, it’s all fiction. But in reality, such a club does exist. The Bullingdon Club is famous for its exclusivity. Only meant for the high-class nobility, the club doesn’t permit membership to everyone. An article in New York Times in 1913 reported that “its membership represents the “young blood” of the university“. Then in 1927’s news piece reports of the club members smashing Christ Church windows drunk were published.
Ever since then the club has had a notorious reputation. It represented “the culture of excess”. “Champagne-swilling, restaurant-trashing, ‘pleb’-taunting elitism” were the characteristics of the club. The club members were a bunch of rich spoilt brats who liked intimidating people around them.
The club was used as a reference in other projects as well apart from Anatomy of a Scandal
This isn’t the first time that the club had been a part of the narrative. Many before Sarah Vaughan have used the club as a subject to create fictional stories. One of them includes Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall (1928) novel. The 2014 Riot Club is yet another fictional account of the club and its members. Interestingly, despite its notoriety, it housed members of the royalty as well. Edward Windsor, Denmark’s King Frederick IX, and UK’s King Edward VIII were all a part of it. The club also counts Prime Minister, Borish Johnson, and ex-PM, David Cameron as past members.