Cliveden House: Tour the Scene of a Political Scandal

Travel News — By Ben Van Loon on July 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm

People call it the biggest political sex-scandal of the 20th century, even bigger than the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. And most Americans have never heard of it.

Regardless, it was the political scandal that could have possibly helped upturn Harold Macmillan’s then-Conservative U.K. government, thus changing the political climate in the country, and leaving a deep mark on British history. It was the Profumo-Keeler scandal.

It started with a party at the Cliveden House (well, more “mansion” than “house,” really) in Buckinghamshire, England. John Profumo, British War Minister, was at the party at Cliveden, which was then owned by Viscount Astor. There, Profumo met 19 year-old Christine Keeler:¬†model, beauty, and magnet for controversy. While bedding Profumo, she was also bedding Yevgeni Ivanov, an attache at the Soviet embassy. Word got out – as it always does – and fiery words ensued.

The rest, as they say, is history. And now, you can stay at the Cliveden House yourself and enjoy a specially catered, one-night stay with the new scandal tour. The stay costs around ¬£497.50 per person, and offers food, tea, a buffet lunch, a three-course dinner, full access to the Cliveden facilities (which oversees 376 acres of beautiful and lush National Trust Grounds), and a scandal tour with expert Rupert Gavin. You can see where it all happened – all while enjoying a fairly inexpensive stay at one of England’s premier mansions.

Cliveden is part of the von Essen Hotels collection, which has hotels all over the U.K. Watch a video walkthrough of Cliveden here, and see for yourself what kind of energy was in the air. Though the hotel won’t necessarily encourage any such illicit behavior, the tour is still bound to be a memorable experience.

[Image: stonemole]

Tags: astor, christine keeler, cliveden, hotels, john profumo, scandal, sex, United Kingdom, von essen

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