THE REMARKABLE LIFE AND TIMES OF Alice Keppel


"Love is all very well but money is better"

Did you know...

1. Alice Frederica Edmonstone was born on 29 April 1868 in Woolwich Dockyard, Kent, England .

2. Her father was the 4th Baronet Edmonstone and she grew up at Duntreath Castle, which had been her paternal family's home since the 14th century.

3. At the age of 23, she married British soldier the Honourable George Keppel, son of the 7th Earl of Albemarle on June 1, 1891. The Keppels had what would be considered an 'open' marriage with Alice carrying on numerous affairs with rich men that her husband was aware of, so that their family could afford the lifestyle that was beyond their means due to her husband's lack of money. Alice desired to be rich and the only way she could achieve her financial goal was to use her rumoured unquenchable sexual appetite in her favor and sleep with wealthy men who would in turn, fund her family's lifestyle. Her husband was once quoted as saying "I do not mind what she does as long as she comes back to me in the end." She became one of the richest women in Europe and is considered the most famous courtesan of the time. It is rumoured by family members that both of the Keppels daughters, Violet and Sonia were not the biological daughters of George Keppel.

4. In 1898, she met met Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII and the current Queen Elizabeth's great-grandfather) and shortly after, began an affair with him that would last until the King's death in 1910. After the King's passing, the Keppels left Britain under the pretense of educating their daughters but in actuality with the King's death, the family's circumstances in England changed for the worse. The King's widow, Queen Alexandra, who was aware of Alice's relationship with her husband and initially fond of her, made it known that their presence was not welcomed in royal circles anymore.

5. Her daughter Sonia, who went on to marry Roland Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe, was the grandmother of the former Camilla Parker Bowles. Like great-grandmother, like great-granddaughter, Camilla also had an infamous affair with a Prince of Wales. Camilla, with the knowledge of her husband,  carried on a decades-long affair with Prince Charles before, during and after his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales. Upon her marriage to Prince Charles, Camilla became the Duchess of Cornwall and will become the Queen consort when Prince Charles becomes King. It is rumoured that upon first meeting the Prince of Wales, Camilla engaged his attention by saying "My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather — so how about it?"

To learn more about the remarkable life and times of Alice Keppel, we recommend reading 'Mrs. Keppel and Her Daughter' by Diana Souhami



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