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Cadogan Hotel, Knightsbridge

The sixty five room Cadogan Hotel is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in London and is reputedly haunted by the actress and lover of King Edward VII, Lillie Langtry (born 13 October 1853 – died 12 February 1929).

The Cadogan Hotel was built in 1887. From 1892 the Jersey born Lillie Langtry (Emilie Charlotte Le Breton) lived at 21 Pont Street, London. She sold this house and it was absorbed into the Cadogan Hotel by the time it opened in 1895*. Lillie however remained living there, at the hotel, staying in her original bedroom until 1897 and it has been suggested that it is here that she entertained ‘Bertie’, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII (born 9 November 1841 – died 6 May 1910)**. However, her affair with The Prince of Wales spanned from 1877 to June 1880, ending some 12 years before she bought 21 Pont Street. Between 1891 and 1893 Lillie was socializing with the millionaire George Alexander Baird.

Apart from her husband, other men associated with Lillie included the Earl of Shrewsbury, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Frederic Gebhard, Hugo Gerald de Bathe (who she married in 1899) and Arthur Clarence Jones. Lillie Langtry died in Monaco and is buried on Jersey in St. Saviour's Churchyard.

The ghost of Lillie Langtry is said to have been seen in the restaurant area of the hotel, usually at Christmas time and when the hotel is quiet.

* Not long after the hotel opened, in April 1895, the Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde (born 16 October 1854 – died 30 November 1900) was famously arrested in room 118 for sodomy and gross indecency.

** Lillie was just one of many mistresses taken by the Edward VII, which are said to have included Agnes Keyser, Alice Keppel, Lady Randolph Churchill, Sarah Bernhardt, Susan Pelham-Clinton, Hortense Schneider, Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick and Giulia Barucci.

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