Nellie Clifden

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Nellie Clifden was an actress who engaged in a brief sexual relationship with the 19-year old Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, prior to his marriage to Alexandra of Denmark. She met him at a party in England and again when the Prince was spending 10 weeks at Curragh Camp in Ireland with the Grenadier Guards in the late summer of 1861.

The Prince had previously been a sexual novice. While they were at Cambridge Charles Carrington arranged for a liaison with Nellie. Guards officers later brought her to Ireland from England for the same purpose, and coded notes in the Prince's appointment book refer to trysts with "NC" on 6, 9, and 11 September 1861.[1] The relationship may have lasted longer.[2][3][4]

Information about the events reached the Prince's parents. His father Prince Albert duly visited his son at Cambridge, and they took a long walk in the rain, presumably to discuss the Prince's behaviour. Prince Albert's biographer Jules Stewart, says that Albert had lost faith in his son.[5]

Prince Albert died soon after, and Queen Victoria attributed her husband's death to his worry over his son's conduct, particularly Bertie's "fall" at Curragh Camp; Albert had died of a broken heart, she incorrectly believed (he died of typhoid fever).[6][7][8][9] She was also quoted as saying that Albert had been "killed by that dreadful business".[10]

The Prince of Wales's affair with Nellie soon ended. He married Alexandra of Denmark in 1863, continuing to have affairs with women.[11]


  1. ^ Quinn, Tom (20 September 2016). "Mrs Keppel: Mistress to the King". Biteback Publishing – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Arnold, Catharine (25 July 2017). "Edward VII: The Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved". St. Martin's Press – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Weintraub, Stanley (1 April 2000). "Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert". Simon and Schuster – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Matson, John (29 February 2012). "Sandringham Days: The Domestic Life of the Royal Family in Norfolk, 1862-1952". The History Press – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Stewart, Jules (30 October 2011). "Albert: A Life". I.B.Tauris – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Hubbard, Kate (1 June 2017). "Queen Victoria: The woman who ruled the world". Short Books – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Kiste, John Van der (1 January 1980). "Edward VII's Children". The History Press – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Longford, Elizabeth (26 August 2011). "Queen Victoria". The History Press – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Matson, John (29 February 2012). "Sandringham Days: The Domestic Life of the Royal Family in Norfolk, 1862-1952". The History Press – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Hibbert, Christopher (2000) Queen Victoria: A Personal History, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-638843-4, p. 299
    * St Aubyn, Giles (1991) Queen Victoria: A Portrait, London: Sinclair-Stevenson, ISBN 1-85619-086-2, p. 346
  11. ^ "A love seat fit for a king: The antique chair that gives an eye-popping insight into Edward VII's debauched youth". Mail Online. 21 March 2010.