Genes Reunited Blog
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Last Thursday saw the last in the series of Find My Past, and what an episode it was.
In 1870 the Prince of Wales was involved in a scandalous affair that rocked the Royal Family. This led English country gentleman Sir Charles Mordaunt, to file for a divorce from his wife Harriet on the grounds of adultery.
This is the story of The Royal Scandal…
The story starts with Sir Charles purchasing the beautiful Walton Hall for him and his beautiful wife Harriet to live in when they got married. Harriet was a party animal who liked to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. She attracted admirers everywhere she went and poor Charles was left at home only to hear rumours of his wife’s partying antics. But he never suspected she’d be unfaithful, not when have such links to Royalty.
It was only until a hunting trip was cut short did Charles return home earlier than expected to find Harriet in their family home with the Prince of Wales. As he cowardly fled the scene, Charles in anger, shot both Harriet’s ponies in front of her to show how upset he was.
The truth was out! She admitted to sleeping with a number of people, including Lord Cole, Sir Frederick Johnstone and the Prince of Wales. Not only did she confess to a string of affairs, but she also told Charles he was not the father of the baby he thought was his.
Charles filed for divorce!
But the divorce wasn’t as straight forward as Charles would have hoped. To save the family reputation Harriet’s family made out she was mentally unstable and that her acts of adultery were not intentional. She wouldn’t have done this if she knew exactly what she was doing. Really?
Poor Harriet is declared insane and sent to live the rest of her life at Chiswick asylum. She dies aged 59 and Sir Charles finally gets his divorce. A past opened up for 3 people that never knew they'd be linked to the Royal Scandal.
It just shows you never know what skeletons are hidden in your ancestor's closets.