ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Scandal: Lady Diana Spencer's Illegitimate Baby

Updated on October 21, 2015
BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida loves to track down historical stories, especially scandals and mysteries from the UK.

Lady Diana Spencer's Illegitimate Baby
Lady Diana Spencer's Illegitimate Baby | Source

An unhappy life

Lady Diana - or Lady Di as she was more commonly known to friends and family - did not enjoy a happy life. This is the little-known story of the birth of an illegitimate baby that she was forced to conceal.

Like many girls of her age and upbringing, she thought that marriage was her goal in life and that it would bring her lasting happiness. But the man she married was notoriously unfaithful.

She was a sensitive, attractive and artistic girl - probably with too many ideals - and she became the envy of many but her marriage was a bitter disappointment. As often happens, this led Diana to have her own affairs.

This led to a scandalous divorce after which she tried to make a life with her new lover but that too was a disappointment as her new man seemed to have no role in life other than that of a social butterfly.

All the images you see on this page are from Wikimedia Commons and are copyright-free.

Source

Expectations of marriage

Lady Di was from a good family. Her marriage elevated her even further in the ranks.

It all seemed too good to be true at first. But then she realised that her husband really had no intentions of giving up his bachelor life. She realised that he maintained a string of mistresses and a stable of sporting horses and all were closer to his heart than she was.

Resentment soon set in.

Her family, she thought, were from the top drawer. (And the Spencers are - when Prince Charles announced his engagement to another Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, he famously remarked that she was more English than he was). Resentment set in rapidly.

  • With them both now indulging in their own extramarital relationships, could the marriage survive?
  • It would be a scandal certainly, but would divorce be possible?
  • If so, who should instigate it?

This was such a tricky and delicate situation.

Source

So, who was Lady Diana Spencer?

She was the lady you see on the left. She was born in 1734. She married a bloke called Frederick St John, who was also the 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke. It seemed like a good marriage, despite the fact that Lady Di was aware of her husband's lifestyle.

It's not unusual - then or now - for new wives to believe that they can reform errant husbands.

A year after her marriage, Diana became part of Queen Charlotte's retinue - Charlotte had just married King George lll - and being part of the royal household may have assuaged her unhappiness temporarily. Another diversion was the wedding of her brother, Charles, but her husband did not change his ways.

Nevertheless, Diana did her duty and provided her husband with two sons.

Source

A secret baby

Diana became more and more dissatisfied with her life and her husband. (Pictured on the right). It will come as no surprise that,knowing about her husband's infidelities, she took a lover.

He was the rather colourfully named Topham Beauclerk, a handsome man who loved society life.

Rather astonishingly, he was descended from King Charles ll (on the wrong side of the blanket) as was the twentieth century Diana Spencer.

Although still married to her husband, she had his daughter, Anne. How she explained this daughter is unclear as versions vary. Maybe, shall we say, her relationship with her husband hadn't deteriorated too much and she was able to claim that the baby was his. But it was undoubtedly Beauclerk's child.

Two years later, she had another daughter, also by Beauclerk.

Source

Deception in childbirth.

In those days, women went to extraordinary lengths to conceal their illicit pregnancies in order to alter the dates. For example, a woman would give birth in secret and then pad herself to appear to be still pregnant.

Then when the dates were right, she would 'give birth' again to a child who could be two or three months old. In the interim, the child would be in the care of exceptionally well paid wet nurses; their high pay being a guarantee of their discretion and silence. Surprisingly, this worked well.

The birth of Diana's second illicit daughter was well-documented. There was a well-known physician by the name of William Hunter whose speciality was to attend the birth of babies that resulted from illicit aristocratic liaisons. He attended the confinement with the utmost discretion .... at first.

Source

Divorce

Now that Diana had given birth to two children by her lover, it had obviously become clear that her marriage could no longer continue.

She left the marital home.

The couple decided to divorce and that in itself was a scandalous occurrence in those days. Her husband declared to his friends that he truly loved Diana and that he was heartbroken by her infidelity and the fact that she had abandoned him.

Diana and Topham however, were determined that the divorce should go through successfully. With this intent, they insisted that the doctor who had delivered their second child - who had been sworn to secrecy - should tell about the relationship and the babies in court, thus leaving no doubt that the divorce would be granted.

The couple were married just two days after the divorce was finalised.

Not a happy ending

Although the couple went onto have two more children, it was not the fairytale marriage that Diana had hoped for.

Her consolation was her painting and artwork which was widely lauded by society.

Source

Lady Diana Spencer's scandalous children

Lady Di led a scandalous life.

But that was nothing compared to two of her children - their actions shocked society to the core.

Find out more.

Learn more

Improper Pursuits: The Scandalous Life of an Earlier Lady Diana Spencer
Improper Pursuits: The Scandalous Life of an Earlier Lady Diana Spencer

Some of the information you have read here comes from this book.The author is an art historian and has made a lengthy and careful study of Diana and her artworks.Recommended.

 

Comments?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      I will.There's so much great material!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 

      4 years ago

      Even a couple hundred years later, an upper-crust scandal is still so very entertaining. I'm sure the royals and their kin have plenty of stories left to keep you going a good while yet - keep 'em coming, please!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SusanDeppner: Thank you so much Susan! There are plenty more. The aristocrats in times gone by probably thought they could get away with all sorts of things but little did they know :)

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Nancy Hardin: Thank you Nancy! Believe it or not,I've found another one too. It seems that 'our' Diana was named after the one I've just discovered.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Brite-Ideas: I hope so ;) It's amazing how many more stories there are!

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 

      4 years ago

      I hadn't heard of this Lady Di... it amazing me how her life parallels that of the late Princess Diana.... Great series you're writing. ;)

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Love this scandal series!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Another winner! Love your stories! Isn't it funny that there was another Lady Diana Spencer?

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      oh my! another very interesting story about the royals - it really is a house of cards? I feel for her as well - and your title will draw in a few readers as well, clever!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)