The incredible story of Alice Keppel, Camilla Parker’s great-grandmother who was the lover of a great-great-grandfather of King Charles III

This is Eduardo VII, with whom he had a love affair for several years. They never married, but were together until his death.

When Camilla Parker Bowles met the Prince carlos, in 1970, she already knew in detail the family history that united them. “My great-grandmother was her great-great-grandfather’s mistress.“They say it was the phrase with which the young woman approached the then heir to the British crown when she saw him for the first time on a polo field.

The meeting happened more than 50 years ago. And few of those present at that time -including them- imagined that they would be the ones who would repeat with incredible similarities the love story that their relatives starred in the late 1800s.

Although with a big difference: after half a century as lovers and 17 years of marriage, Camilla and Carlos would become King and Queen consort of the United Kingdom. Titles that they acquired after the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, September 8.

Charles III and Camilla Parker Bowles as King and Queen consort of the United Kingdom.

Charles III and Camilla Parker Bowles as King and Queen consort of the United Kingdom.

Luck was not the same for his ancestors, who met in the late 1880s and, despite the connection that seemed to unite them from the start, They were never able to formalize their relationship.

Edward VII – great-great-grandfather of King Charles III – was also Prince of Wales when he met Alice Keppel, great-grandmother of Camilla Parker.

He was 56 years old and married in a marriage of convenience to Alexandra from Denmark. She was 29 and married to the 7th Earl of Edmonstone, George Keppel.

According to historians, their relationship began very shortly after they met, since Alice had “smitten with her beauty” the heir to the British crown, which was occupied by her mother, Queen Victoria.

In another parallel with the life of the current King Charles, his great-great-grandfather also had to wait long years before assuming the throne due to the longevity of his mother, who died in 1901.

Edward VII had had other mistresses before Camilla Parker’s great-grandmother. However, she was the first who decided not to hide beyond being married.

Historian Theo Aronson wrote in a biography of the man that “Edward VII’s view of Alice was too high to subject her to the indignity of the underground.” At the same time, he claimed that “everyone knew about their bond.”

Alice Keppel, the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles.  Photo Vanity Fair

Alice Keppel, the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles. Photo Vanity Fair

Even Alexandra herself, his wife, say that she even had a certain appreciation for Alice Keppel since she was Eduardo’s only lover who kept a low profile and helped him stay calm in certain situations.

According to the magazine Vanity Fairanother of Alice’s characteristics was that she had “diplomatic skills” and intervened, helped or advised Eduardo in different circumstances related to his work.

When he assumed the crown in 1902, after the death of his mother, Alice was invited to the ceremony and was seated next to the altar “in a prominent place in Westminster Abbey,” detailed the Monarchies page.

The clandestine romance between Carlos III’s great-great-grandfather and Camilla Parker’s great-grandmother lasted several years until the King’s death.

Edward passed away after his frequent bouts of bronchitis turned into pulmonary emphysema that led to his death in 1910. When it happened, then-Queen Alexandra agreed to let Alice Keppel come to the palace so the lovers could say goodbye alone.

After his death, all the privileges that Alice had had due to her relationship with the monarch – who enjoyed almost the same standard of living as the king’s own wife – disappeared.

And although it was the end of the love story, their romance marked a precedent in the British royal family and left several myths that were never confirmed by anyone in the crown. Among them that one of Alice’s children was actually Edward VII’s. If true, Camilla Parker and King Charles III would be related.

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