One of the 20th Century’s great scandals began at Cliveden Manor
Christine Keeler was born in Uxbridge, but grew up in Wraysbury. Aged 17 she moved to London seeking work. She found a job as a showgirl at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho, where she met Stephen Ward, an artist and successful osteopath. Before long they were living together.
Ward was well-connected, and often attended parties at Cliveden Manor, as a guest of Lord Astor. At one of these parties, in 1961, he introduced Keeler to John Profumo, Minister of War, and a Soviet naval attache, Yevgeny Ivanov. Keeler had affairs with both, and the potential security implications led to the ‘Profumo affair’. Profumo initially denied any impropriety, but eventually admitted the affair and resigned from the government. Keeler was sentence to 9 months in prison for perjury.
Keeler has lived the rest of her life in the shadow of the Profumo affair. She has told her side of the story in several books, and the affair was dramatized in the film ‘Scandal’.
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