Who doesn’t love a good story about how a high-ranking British official’s affair with the mistress of an alleged Soviet spy grew into a massive scandal that destroyed the reputation of an entire government, shocked a generation of postwar Brits, and at one point entailed the lady in the middle of the whole thing — Christine Keeler — posing for now-infamous photos that were meant to promote a film about the whole mess?
That’s why Richard Davenport-Hines’ An English Affair is such an enjoyable book: it tells the story of the still-whispered-about Profumo Affair, which rocked the establishment in the early days of Swinging London, in vivid detail. It’s a heavily researched piece of messy British history, all wrapped up in one neat package.
And then there are the photos that illustrate the story, filled with well-dressed politicians of yesteryear, in their silk hats and bespoke pinstripe suits. Sure, many of the people pictured were probably evil schemers and double-crossers, but it’s impossible to deny that British politicians and royalty have always been naturally stylish. Click through to meet some of the aristocracy’s most fashionable representatives, past and present.