Published: December 9, Christine Keeler, shown in a file photo from the early '60s, was a central figure in Britian's 'Profumo scandal', which brought about the resignation of John Profumo, the secretary of war in Harold Macmillan's Conservative government. The picture is iconic.
She became famous for an affair she had with Tory cabinet minister John Profumo which forced him to resign in However, Keeler was rumoured to be having an affair with a Soviet diplomat at the same time, raising fears of an intelligence leak as it was the height of the cold war. He later admitted to lying to the house and resigned.
An iconic nude has just gone on view at the National Portrait Gallery. Lewis Morley's photograph of Christine Keeler is included in a display to mark the 50th anniversary of the Profumo affairthe Tory sex scandal that rocked — or perhaps it is fairer to say delighted — Britain. The display reveals that Morley photographed Keeler as publicity and screen-testing for a film about the events that led to the resignation of John Profumosecretary of state for war in Harold Macmillan's government.
The model died on Monday at hospital in Farnborough after suffering from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for several months. While working at a dance club, she met society osteopath Stephen Ward who introduced her into fashionable circles and the world of parties and banquets. At the height of the Cold War, the then year-old model had an affair with a married politician John Profumo, who was then the Secretary of State for War.
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Museum no. The urban myth that the photograph of Christine Keeler astride an Arne Jacobsen chair was taken when she was a model is false in more senses than one. First, the chair used in the photo turns out to be a copy of the original.
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In many ways, the photograph even manufactured her fame, capitalising on the reluctant celebrity of the call-girl who brought down a British Government. Pictured naked and straddling a fake Arne Jacobsen chair in a pose that is both modest and provocative, the image is a simultaneous study of the nude and of celebrity. Morley, an anti-establishment celebrity photographer, was a likely choice to make such an image.
She was a forbidden fruit too tempting for a powerful Tory. Call girl Christine Keeler's notorious affair with war secretary John Profumo toppled a Conservative government - and these revealing, never-before-seen pics are about to stir old memories. The sex scandal rocked the nation in but the topless snaps are to be exhibited for the first time with the rest of her personal collection.
Christine Margaret Keeler 22 February — 4 December was an English model and topless showgirl. Her meeting at a dance-club with society osteopath Stephen Ward drew her into fashionable circles. At the height of the Cold Warshe became sexually involved with a married government minister, John Profumoas well as with a Soviet diplomat. A shooting incident between two of her other lovers caused the press to investigate her, revealing that her affairs could be threatening national security.