Alice Keppell, Violet Trufusis, and Camilla Parker Bowles

See also: which has been used as the source of much of this material.

The history of Kilsyth is inextricably linked to the fortunes of the Edmonstone family, and perhaps the most famous member of that family has a very intriguing royal connection which survived several generations of infidelity to lead to the Camilla Parker Bowles scandal and eventually, to marriage into the royal family.

Charles and Camilla family ties

Keppel was born Alice Frederica Edmonstone, to William and Mary Elizabeth Edmonstone, née Parsons, at Duntreath Castle in the Blane Valley, near the village of Strathblane, north of Glasgow, the scion of a distinguished family. Her father was the 4th Baronet Edmonstone and a retired Admiral in the Royal Navy; her grandfather had been Governor of the Ionian Islands,"

Sir Willliam died in 1888 and was succeeded by his son Sir Archibald Edmonstone, 15th of Duntreath and 5th Bt.C.V.O. D.L., Groom in Waiting to H.M. King Edward VII 1907-10. He accompanied the King on his state visit to Leningrad in 1908.

Even early on, Alice Keppel had a reputation for adultery, and it was rumoured that her eldest daughter was not fathered by her husband George, but in fact was the daughter of the future Lord Grimthorpe, one of her lovers.

Alice Keppel had the "sexual morals of an alley cat", says historian Victoria Glendinning. "Sexual faithfulness to her husband wasn't a value to her."

Pretty, articulate, and discreet, Keppel quickly climbed the society ladder through affairs with prominent men of the day. [4] Known as a very attractive woman, her extra-marital affairs were usually initiated by her desire to gain a better social status. She became so successful as a courtesan, that it has eclipsed any accomplishments of her husband George. Most of her affairs were with his full knowledge, and Edward VII even visited her house on a regular basis, her husband conveniently leaving during the visits. "

In 1995, an image of Keppel was placed on a British postage stamp with her then-infant daughter, Violet.

Violet was the daughter of  Alice  but it is all but certain that George Keppel was not her biological father. A banker by the name of William Becket seems the more probable choice, but her mother had taken several lovers during that time, and there are several candidates. Throughout her childhood Trefusis was witness to her mother's numerous lovers, all prominent powerful men of the day.

Violet lived her early youth in London, where the Keppel family had a house in Portman Square. When she was four years old, a new figure appeared in her life: Albert Edward (Bertie), the Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VII on January 22, 1901. Although both Albert and Keppell were married, Alice Keppel had become one of Bertie's favorites, and one of his two final mistresses, the other being humanitarian Agnes Keyser. He paid visits to the Keppel household in the afternoon around tea-time (while her husband, who was aware of the affair, was conveniently absent), on a regular basis till the end of his life in 1910. Discretion was a hallmark of Alice Keppel.

In 1900 Violet's sister, Sonia, was born (this time in all probability a real Keppel).

From early in the new century on, Easter holidays were spent in Biarritz in "Kingy's" train.

When Edward VII died in 1910, Alice Keppel found that the considerable influence she had enjoyed for 12 years was stopped with the beating of the king's heart. A woman seen by some as a power behind the throne was not even permitted to sign the book of condolence for her dead lover.

Violet Trefusis affair with Vita Sackville-West

Violet Trefusis was involved with other women of the time, and may be best remembered today for her lesbian love affair with the wealthy Vita Sackville-West, having figured in Virginia Woolf's novel Orlando. A romanticised biography of Vita, Violet appears in it as the Slavic Princess Sasha, under a seductive layer of fantasy and irony.

Camilla Parker-Bowles affair with Prince Charles

Camilla Parker-Bowles, was Keppel's great-granddaughter who became the long-term mistress and, later, following the death of Diana, the second wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, decades after Keppel's death.