Harriet Mordaunt Moncreiffe (1848 – 1906)
Harriet Lady Mordaunt was the very young wife of baron Sir Charles Mordaunt, MP.
One unlucky day, her husband came home unexpectedly to find her alone with the Prince of Wales, playing with two ponies the prince had gifted her. Sir Charles immediately kicked HRH off his estate and has the ponies shot on the spot. He forced Harriet to watch.
In February 1869 she had a baby girl. Straight after giving birth, she confessed to a string of lovers, including the father of the child, as well as the prince. Instead of looking the other way – adultery was pretty much a way of life in their social circles – Sir Charles filed for divorce and called to the stand the Prince of Wales. Who of course denied any wrongdoings with Harriet, ever.
Meanwhile, her husband and her relatives had her declared insane and put her in an asylum. She spent the remaining thirty-six years of her life there. The question whether or not she really was mad has never been answered – not by her contemporaries, nor by her biographers.
Markoesa Hamer is Harriet.