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A salacious government scandal hits close to home for Elizabeth and Philip. Elizabeth retreats to Scotland for rest during a difficult pregnancy.[1]

Episode Notes

Historical Events

  • The Profumo affair was a scandal that developed in March 1963. It emerged that John Profumo, Prime Minister Macmillan's Secretary of State for War, was engaged in a sexual affair with a noneteen-year-old would-be actress and model named Christine Keeler. The two met at a house party organized by osteopath Stephen Ward, who rented a cottage on the Cliveden estate. After initially denying any misdeeds to the House of Commons, Profumo eventually admitted the liaison, leading to Macmillan's resignation "on health grounds" in October, 1963.

Historical Figures

The Profumo Affair

  • John Profumo:
  • Christine Keeler: an aspiring model and actress, who attended house parties organized by Stephen Ward. She engaged in a sexual relationship with John Profumo, and may also have been involved with Captain Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché, leading to questions about national security. Coincidentally, Keeler died on December 4, 2017, four days before the release of season 2 of The Crown.
  • Mandy Rice-Davies: Keeler's friend, also an aspiring model, and another attendee at Ward's parties. Davies and Keeler met while they were topless showgirls at Murray's Club in Soho, which drew a distinguished clientele.
  • Stephen Ward:

Historical Notes

  • The Queen was 37 when she became pregnant with Prince Edward. In the 1960s, her pregnancy would have been considered high risk, requiring extended bed rest and close monitoring of the mother. By contrast, her granddaughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge is currently pregnant with her third child at 35, and maintains a full schedule of royal engagements.




  1. Netflix The Crown
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