If like us, you are gripped by the BBC One drama “The Trial of Christine Keeler” currently airing on Sunday nights, you might want to add a touch of scandal to your weekends and visit some of the famous associated London haunts in your very own private taxi, and indulge in the secrets of the famous Profumo affair that rocked 1960s London.
The Profumo affair is probably the most famous political scandal to shake the British government. It originated with a brief relationship between John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government, and Christine Keeler, a 19-year old would-be model. The ‘did they, didn’t they’ rumourmongering was further fuelled by reports that Keeler may have been simultaneously involved with a Russian spy, this was particularly controversial as Britain were gripped in the Cuban Missile Crisis at the time. The scandal, along with its numerous players, captured the attention of the 1960s British public and was pivotal in Harold Macmillan’s downfall and the defeat of the Conservative government by the Labour Party.
If you’re needing ideas to fill your time in London, why not embark on our Scandal Tour of London. Visit the heart of British politics, the imposing Houses of Parliament alongside the river Thames. This is where the Parliament of England has been meeting since the 13th century, so it has witnessed many a political scandal in its time.
Maybe stop for lunch at Byron Burger on Soho’s Beak Street. At the time of the scandal this was where the infamous Murray’s Cabaret Club stood, the place where Keeler and her friend Mandy Rice-Davies (who also became famously tangled in the web of shame) worked. It’s where they met each other, and where they met another key player in the ordeal, Stephen Ward – the man who introduced Keeler to John Profumo and who continued to orchestrate meetings between Keeler, Profumo and Yevgeny Ivanov (the Russian Spy masquerading as a businessman).
Then hop into your cab and head on over to Marylebone and visit Wimpole Mews, the famous home owned by Stephen Ward who also acted as landlord to Keeler. It is also the site where Johnny Edgecome (Keeler’s maddened ex) shot at the lock of 17 Wimpole Mews using a handgun that Keeler had given him, triggering events the beginning of the Profumo affair and the events that led to the scandal.
End the day with a well-earned drink at ‘The Bar’ in The Courthouse Hotel on Great Marlborough Street. Not only is this a beautiful Grade-11 listed building, but it was formerly Marlborough Street Magistrates Court where many significant cases in history were heard including that of Christine Keeler. ‘The Bar’s’ private tables are actually inside three of the original prison cells and ‘Silk’, the hotel’s destination restaurant, is the old Number One court where the Judges bench, witness stand and dock took centre stage.
More information on our London Scandal Tour and our other Guided Tours can be found on our website. Whatever spare time you have, whatever you would like to see, we can tailor a tour to suit your needs. Enquire with us today.