The Profumo Affair

Relais & Chateaux - Cliveden is a new member in 2013

The Profumo Affair at Cliveden

The Profumo Affair: 50 Years Later

Set foot on the grounds of Cliveden House for the first time, and you're forgiven for being instantly overawed by the 5-star hotel's great opulence and striking National Trust managed scenery, but there's much more to the grand estate than what initially meets the eye.

For the stately home has played host to centuries of lavish entertainment and elite parties, frequented by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill, eventually becoming a place where the upper echelons of Britain's high society pursued their discrepancies behind firmly closed doors.

Known for its history speckled with unapologetic debauchery, the Grade 1 listed estate has a truly captivating past. The most heinous of all scandals that nearly brought British parliament to its knees played out within the very grounds of Cliveden House.

The year was 1961. While the Cold War was slowly chilling British politics, Cliveden House was consumed in a sultry summer of sweltering heat. Cooling off in the now famous outdoor pool, was Christine Keeler, a nineteen year old rumoured mistress of a suspected Russian spy.

Attending a hot mid summer's party hosted by the then owner Lord Astor, the young woman was one of a few exclusive guests enjoying the luxurious celebrations held within Cliveden House's magnificent gardens.

Also in attendance was John Profumo, an up-and-coming Conservative Secretary of State for War and husband of well-known actress, Valerie Hobson.

Profumo and Keeler embarked on an illicit affair following their chance meeting at Cliveden House; an affair which was to force his resignation, irrevocably damage the Prime Minister's reputation, and impact on the course of British politics forever.

50 years has passed since that fateful meeting which was to alter Britain's political landscape. Discover the scurrilous secrets of the times on our Profumo Affair Break at Cliveden House, and find out all about how the political establishment finally thawed out.


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