With the rise to power of Charles III after the death of Elizabeth II, many stories from the past are back in the news. One such story is the affair between Edward VII, the great-great-grandfather of the King of England, and Alice Keppel, who was the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker, the current Queen consort.
Many years before the current monarchs met and married, their two relatives had one of the most passionate and incredible romances of the day. Indeed, the story of Charles III and Camilla Parker has certain parallels with that of Edward VII and Alice Keppel.
The ancestors of the son of Elizabeth II and the current Queen consort met when Edward VII was still Prince of Wales in the late 1880s. The reason was none other than the heir’s marriage of convenience to Alexandra of Denmark.
At the time, Edward VII was 56 years old and Alice Keppel was only 29. Of course, Camilla Parker’s great-grandmother was also in a marriage, in her case to George Keppel.
Alice Keppel was special to Edward VII
Both went behind their partners’ backs to have their affairs, which grew over time. Edward VII had other women in his life, but Alice Keppel was special to him, as he made no secret of his love for her despite his marriage to Alexandra of Denmark.
Their respective situations, unlike Charles III and Camilla Parker, who eventually had the ending they wanted, prevented them from ever marrying.
In 1901, Queen Victoria died and it was then that Edward VII assumed the throne. Alice Keppel’s role did not wane and, indeed, Royal records show that she was present at her lover’s coronation ceremony and his mother’s final farewell, in a prominent place in Westminster Abbey.
In fact, it was rumoured at the time that even Alexandra of Denmark herself held her husband’s mistress in high esteem, as she was reportedly the only one who had stood aside and helped Edward VII with some diplomatic matters, as Vanity Fair claimed.
Only death separated them
The romance never waned and only Edward VII’s death in 1910 prevented them from continuing their love. The monarch died after several bouts of bronchitis that led to pulmonary emphysema.
Alice Kepper was invited by Alexandra of Denmark herself so that she could say goodbye to her lover in the palace. After Edward VII’s farewell, however, Alice Kepper’s privileged position remained, although rumour had it that one of her children was born of her lover and not of her husband, George Keppel.