Lady Elizabeth Spencer (1737-1831), later the Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery, was born the child of a duke and a baron's daughter.
She married at 19 to noted cavalry officer and nobleman Henry Herbert, the 10th Earl of Pembroke and the 7th Earl of Montgomery, and had two children by him. Only the firstborn, a son, survived childhood.
Her husband's numerous affairs tested her patience. At one point, Henry actually eloped with his mistress: a woman named Kitty Hunter with whom he had a son. Although he and Elizabeth reconciled in the following year, he became infamous for yet another affair in 1768. In this instance, he carried off a Venetian bride on the night of her wedding. This one gave him a daughter.
"Husbands are dreadfull and powerful Animals," wrote Elizabeth after her reconciliation with Henry in 1763. She and Henry started occupying different floors of the house. Later, in 1788, they would not even occupy the same building, with the 51-year-old Elizabeth retiring to an estate that George III maintained for her use.
King George was a lifelong and sometimes obnoxious admirer of Elizabeth. In the 1760s, Elizabeth and Henry were appointed Lady and Lord of the Bedchamber to the Queen and King, respectively, and George disciplined his ardor. When illness mangled his wits for the first time in 1788, however, he lost control, and Elizabeth had to suffer his humiliating attentions until his (temporary) recovery in 1805.
Lady Elizabeth Herbert Countess of Pembroke is 7 Degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms
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