If there's one thing we've learned from season 2 of The Crown, it's that everyone was having an affair (or affairs, in the case of Matthew Goode's Tony Armstrong-Jones, that tireless lothario). Even the somewhat grandmotherly-seeming wife of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (Anton Lesser) was getting some action on the side. Viewers: You don't know the half of it.
Macmillan, who served as Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963, was married to Lady Dorothy Cavendish, a titled socialite who did indeed embark on a lengthy affair with Conservative politician Robert "Bob" Boothby. In The Crown, Baron Boothby is a mysterious, shadowy figure whose face isn't shown as he accompanies Lady Macmillan (played by Sylvestra Le Touzel) to the theater and more or less makes her husband's life a living hell.
In real life, Boothby was never far from the limelight thanks to his political aspirations, work as a commentator, and colourful social life. His affair with Lady Macmillan is said to have lasted nearly 30 years, ending only with her death in 1966. During that time, he was married briefly to Diana Cavendish, while the birth of Sarah Macmillan in 1930 sparked rumours that she was the biological daughter of Boothby, not Harold Macmillan. Sarah died in 1970 aged just 40.
Boothby was reportedly openly bisexual, and took part in raucous sex parties attended by notorious London gangster Ronnie Kray, according to MI5 files. Kray wasn't his only connection to crime. The relationship between Boothby and Lady Macmillan is said to have deterred police from investigating the death of her brother, Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire, who died at age 55 in 1950, on the grounds that the matter would expose their extramarital affair.
The Duke of Devonshire reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack in the presence of his doctor, Dr. John Bodkin Adams. Adams attributed the death to natural causes, which was later questioned when it eventually emerged that the doctor was a suspected serial killer linked to more than 100 suspicious deaths.
Shockingly, none of that made the cut on The Crown. What else aren't those royals telling us?
Read These Stories Next:
This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!