- The images taken at Cliveden House have been unearthed from the archives
- The royal family made the five-mile journey up the river to Cliveden to meet the Kennedys
- Kennedys were staying with the Astors, the property’s then-owners
- Show the young royals and their glamorous mother enjoying a visit to the stately home
- Also a snap of their entries in the visitor book, which shows their names scrawled beneath their parents’
- Cliveden House is today known as an opulent 5-star hotel and National Trust managed property
- It will become the location for a glamorous Literary Festival next month, where its current owners are recreating the famous literary and royal house parties of history
A young Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret have been captured in charming childhood photos from one of their earliest royal duties.
The images, which were taken at Cliveden House in 1938, and have been unearthed from the archives and shared with MailOnline by the property’s current owner, show the young royals and their glamorous mother enjoying a visit to the stately home.
The royal family made the five-mile journey up the river to Cliveden to meet the Kennedys who were staying with the Astors, the property’s then-owners.
In the grainy snaps, the young royals are pictured during a visit to the hospital at Cliveden in the Second World War; they are joined by their host, Nancy Astor. There’s also a snap of their entries in the house’s visitor book, which shows their names scrawled beneath their parents’.
The royals have been captured in never-before-seen childhood photos at lavish Cliveden estate. This grainy images shows Queen Elizabeth, front row left, Princesses Elizabeth, front row centre, and Margaret, beside her mother, to the hospital at Cliveden in the Second World War. Nancy Astor, who was living at the property at the time, is seated on the right
Nancy Astor, who died age 64 in 1964, was part of the wealthiest family in the US, if not the world.
The glamorous American-born English socialite married Waldorf Astor, who entered the House of Lords and helped her forge a career in politics. She went on to become the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons.
At the height of their influence, the Astors were one of the five great American dynasties with the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Carnegies and Mellons.
In the 1890s William Waldorf sailed for Britain and bought Cliveden, Hever Castle in Kent and the Observer newspaper. His generosity to libraries and art galleries brought him a viscountcy from George V in 1917.
Nancy, glamorous wife of his eldest son, William the 2nd Viscount, was Britain’s first woman MP. Samantha Cameron’s stepfather is Nancy Astor’s grandson.
The archive images shared by the property’s current owner also show the Astors relaxing in the grounds of their lavish home.
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen mother, is pictured in the 1930s, arriving at the stately home in a glamorous ensemble as she’s greeted by adoring fans
There’s also a snap of their entries in the house’s visitor book, which shows the two young girls’ names scrawled beneath their parents’
Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, is also pictured with his wife, American-born English socialite and politician Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, relaxing at their home circa 1938
Lady Nancy Astor, who was one of the most glamorous socialites in her time, is captured serving tea to family members at Cliveden, estate owned by her and Lord William Waldorf Astor
Lady Nancy Astor, (in plaid scarf) is pictured on the terrace of her Cliveden home in 1949 with a party of visiting American farmers’ wives and social organisation leaders from the mid-western states. Lady Astor, 1879-1964, became the first woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons when she won the seat vacated in 1919 by her husband Lord Astor after he had gone to the House of Lords
Waldorf Astor, his wife, and their children are pictured taking a stroll at their home
CLIVEDEN HOUSE: ONE OF THE UK’S MOST ILLUSTRIOUS PROPERTIES
Cliveden House is today known as an opulent 5-star hotel and National Trust managed property with striking gardens and stunning views of the River Thames.
For centuries, Cliveden House has served up lavish entertainment and elite parties attended by a roll-call of Britain’s most elite high society with regular guests including Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill.
In 1961, Cliveden played host to the most heinous of all scandals that nearly brought British parliament to a standstill: the Profumo affair.
Cliveden House is today known as an opulent 5-star hotel and National Trust managed property
In 1961, Cliveden played host to the Profumo affair and countless books have been written about it
But the outraged headlines and lurid scoops of the Profumo Affair – as it came to be known – were nothing new.
During its dawn in the 1660s as much as its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue.
Cliveden sits just five miles upriver from Windsor Castle and fewer than 30 from the Palace of Westminster in London, a privileged location that would be crucial to the lives of its residents.
Its outlines have changed little since the 17th century, and, then as now, Cliveden is one of England’s most breathtaking landmarks.
To the south west, the grounds overlook the Thames from the tall chalk cliffs that give the site its name – over the centuries it has also been spelt Cliefden, Clifden, and Cliffden.
Further north, the cliffs, which are densely planted with oak, beech, ash and chestnut, dip into a hollow, and the gardens trail like skirts down to the water. At the top of these gardens, at the end of a long parterre, and raised to an even more imperious height by an arcaded terrace, stands the house itself, an elaborate Italianate mansion, flanked by two wings and approached by road from the north, down a long gravel drive.
Cliveden House is now owned by historian and author Natalie Livingstone and her husband Ian. Natalie is also getting set to organise the first-ever Cliveden Literary Festival
Cliveden House is now owned by historian and author Natalie Livingstone and her husband Ian. Natalie recently penned a novel, The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue, providing a compelling insight into what really went on behind closed doors at her home.
Inspired by her book, Natalie is also getting set to organise the first-ever Cliveden Literary Festival (www.clivedenliteraryfestival.org/. Heavy-hitters such as Robert Harris, Tina Brown, Sebastian Faulks, Antonia Fraser, Ian McEwan and Michael Gove are among stars of literature, politics and history appearing at England’s most glamorous stately home for one weekend in October.
Speaking about the festival, Natalie said: ‘Cliveden has become notorious in popular imagination for the Profumo Affair. Indeed intrigue, espionage, sex and scandal are integral to Cliveden’s story. Lesser known, is the house’s pedigree as a literary salon. For 350 years Cliveden has served as muse to scribes and scholars from Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Tennyson, George Bernard Shaw, JM Barrie, Rudyard Kipling and many, many others.
‘At the festival our aim is to evoke the spirit of these great writers and to restore Cliveden as a sanctuary for lovers of literature and a forum for lively discussion, innovative ideas and political debate.’
Nancy Astor, who died age 64 in 1964, was part of the wealthiest family in the US
Cliveden House recently beat the likes of Soho Farmhouse and London’s Ham Yard Hotel to win in the Best UK Hotel Category at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2017.
Built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham as a hunting lodge and a venue in which to entertain his mistress, Cliveden House in Berkshire has always offered visitors an impressive dose of glamour and intrigue.
The Grade 1-listed five-star hotel is richly furnished with antiques and has recently undergone a refurbishment, making it more luxurious than ever.
With a night’s stay starting at £445, Cliveden certainly offers guests a sense of exclusivity, offering the sort of activities only found on a vast country estate.
Set in 376 acres of National Trust grounds, Cliveden offers guests beautiful walks through the gardens, swimming in the outdoor pool and the chance to get lost in its famous maze.