Meghan's eve-of-wedding hotel linked to Profumo scandal

Royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle will spend the night before her wedding at a country hotel that played an integral role in the Profumo affair.

Cliveden House Hotel, on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate in Taplow, Berkshire, boasts of its 350-year history and of hosting "debaucherous parties and scandalous affairs".

Cliveden House Hotel where Meghan Markle will stay (Cliveden House Hotel/PA)
Cliveden House Hotel where Meghan Markle will stay (Cliveden House Hotel/PA)

American star Ms Markle will be with her mother Doria Ragland at the luxury accommodation, where a deluxe suite costs from £1,195 a night and a stay in its three-bedroom Spring Cottage, complete with Aga, is priced from £2,055.

In 1961, then-secretary of state for war John Profumo first spotted 19-year-old Christine Keeler skinny dipping in an outdoor pool at Cliveden House.

Christine Keeler who was first spotted by John Profumo at Cliveden House (PA)
Christine Keeler was first spotted by John Profumo at Cliveden House (PA)

They went on to to have an illicit affair and Profumo was forced to quit his job amid great political scandal following lurid disclosures of high-society sex parties and claims he had shared his mistress with a Soviet defence attache.

The hotel's spa has in the past offered nail polishes named "Scandal" and "Profumo".

Built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a gift to his mistress, the privately owned Grade I-listed stately home is surrounded by 376 acres of National Trust grounds.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in Windsor this Saturday (Chris Jackson/PA)
Harry and Ms Markle will marry in Windsor on Saturday (Chris Jackson/PA)

Prince Harry will spend the night 15 miles away at the Dorchester Collection's Coworth Park in Ascot, with his best man and brother the Duke of Cambridge, Kensington Palace revealed.

The prince and the duke will know the hotel well and play regularly on Coworth Park's world class polo grounds, managed by Guards Polo Club, and last year Ms Markle watched Harry compete.

Prince Harry takes part in the annual Audi Polo Challenge at Coworth Park polo club in Ascot, Berkshire (Steve Parsons/PA)
Harry takes part in the annual Audi Polo Challenge at Coworth Park polo club in Ascot (Steve Parsons/PA)

Coworth Park is owned by the Dorchester Collection hotel group, which is part of the Brunei Investment Agency, which controls some of Brunei's sovereign wealth.

The hotel group faced a boycott in 2014 when the Sultan of Brunei announced a law to punish gay people with death by stoning, with Stephen Fry among those who cancelled a stay at Coworth Park.

The hotel describes itself as the "scenic route to five-star bliss" offering an "oasis of calm", so it would appear Harry could be having a sedate night before his wedding.

The accommodation, where hotel suites cost from £558 per night, once was the setting for an elimination round of popular TV talent show The X Factor.

Imagining summer riding around the estate with the meadow in full bloom ??? #coworthpark#dorchestercollection#dcmomentshttps://t.co/J0ZNAk1vatpic.twitter.com/Zako8fVUuo

-- Coworth Park (@CoworthParkUK) May 12, 2018

With days to go until the royal wedding on Saturday, Kensington Palace also announced the couple's first official engagement as a married couple.

Three days after they marry, the prince and his new bride will honour the Prince of Wales by attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Harry and Meghan's first official engagement as a married couple will be at a Buckingham Palace garden party three days after their wedding (PA)
Harry and Ms Markle's first official engagement as a married couple will be at a Buckingham Palace garden party three days after their wedding (PA)

The event on May 22 - the Prince of Wales's 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration - will be Ms Markle's first royal garden party.

A number of cadets and emergency services personnel who were first responders after the bombing at Manchester Arena on May 22 last year will also attend the garden party.

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