Nellie Clifden

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Nellie Clifden was an Irish actress who engaged in a sexual relationship with the 19-year old Edward, Prince of Wales, prior to his marriage to Alexandra of Denmark. They met when Prince Edward was spending ten weeks at Curragh Camp in Ireland with the Grenadier Guards in summer 1861. Prince Edward had previously been a sexual novice, so his fellow officers arranged for Nellie to bed the Prince.

Information about the incident reached the Prince's parents. His father Prince Albert later visited his son at Cambridge, where Prince Edward was a student, and they took a long walk in the rain, presumably to discuss the Prince's personal life. Albert died soon after, and Queen Victoria blamed her husband's death on worry over Prince Edward's conduct. He had been "killed by that dreadful business", she said.[1]

The Prince of Wales's affair with Nellie soon ended. He married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863, but continued to have affairs with other women.[2]


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^