Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will forever be known as Prince Charles’ mistress at the time of his marriage to Princess Diana. However, long before Camilla’s scandalous role as a royal mistress, her great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, had already been considered as the perfect royal mistress.

Keppel, the great-grandmother of Camilla, was said to be a woman who “does not value faithfulness to her husband.” Alice was married to the Honorable George Keppel but had affairs with many richer men allegedly as a means to acquire wealth to keep up with the lavish lifestyles.

Alice, a minor socialite, was enjoyed by elite circles due to her talent as a society hostess and for being very discreet. Alice’s accommodating nature and naughty sense of humor may have fascinated Queen Victoria’s eldest son and crowned king, Edward VII. Alice became a long-time mistress of the king. Some sources indicated that Alice was his mistress until his death.

Camilla’s great-grandmother was described as a perfect royal mistress by Raymond Lamont-Brown, author of “Edward VII’s Last Loves: Alice Keppel & Agnes Keyser.” She played the duty of a royal mistress very well. She was understanding and provided the comfort that King Edward VII needed. Alice did not gossip on what she heard within the royal circle. Hence, she was called the royal confidante.

But Alice played a larger role than as a royal mistress. Accounts claimed that she influenced King Edward VII in many aspects of his life. Camilla’s biographer, Christopher Wilson, revealed that Alice served the king better than did the king’s wife, Queen Alexandra.

Alice was one of the few persons who could calm King Edward VII when the king wasn’t in his best mood. Accounts claimed that Queen Alexandra was relieved that Alice was around whenever King Edward VII was angry as Alice was able to calm a furious king down. Their 26-year age gap didn’t hinder the chemistry between Alice and King Edward VII.

Alice’s husband was aware of all the affairs that Alice was having with other men. “As long as she comes back to me,” said George confidently. George didn’t mind Alice’s relationships with other men as he too had affairs of his own.

Alice was able to further her status as an elite, thanks to the elite circle of King Edward, who were all fond of her as a hostess. King Edward VII encouraged his friends, such as Sir Ernest Cassel, to set up a fund for her for her financial security.

Could it be that Alice has inspired Camilla to be a royal mistress? Historians are torn. It seems that Camilla and Prince Charles were tied by love, but royal responsibilities have separated them.

At the end, Camilla married Prince Charles, who had fought the world for her. Alice, once very influential to King Edward VII, was not even allowed to sign the book of condolence of her dead lover. A dying King Edward VII reportedly didn’t recognize Alice and was escorted out of the room as a result of her hysteria.

Camilla Parker Bowles Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visits Jasmine Villa Hospice on March 28, 2019, in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images