Married 19th Duke of Somerset, 66, enjoys three-year affair with 45-year-old socialite divorcee after bonding over a pheasant shoot on a Devon estate
- John Seymour, 66, has been in a three-year romance with Eliza Dugdale, 45
- The affair is said to have begun after they bonded over a pheasant shoot
- The 19th Duke of Somerset is married to his wife of over forty years Judith-Rose
- Ms Dugdale said the affair started because his wife spent plenty of time in Rome
Thanks to the highly sexed Marquess of Bath and his ‘wifelets’, the Longleat estate has become known as a hotbed of sin.
Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal how another aristocrat has become mired in scandal at the country pile in Wiltshire – after conducting an affair there with a socialite 21 years his junior.
John Seymour, the 19th Duke of Somerset, has enjoyed a three-year romance with divorcee Eliza Dugdale despite being married to wife Judith-Rose for more than 40 years.
The father-of-four was a regular visitor to the lavish farmhouse where Ms Dugdale lived at Longleat.
John Seymour, the 19th Duke of Somerset (left), 66, has been in a three-year romance with socialite divorcee Eliza Dugdale (right), 45. The affair is said to have begun after the pair bonded over a pheasant shoot on an estate in Devon
However, after the affair became so well known in the area, Ms Dugdale, 45, was forced to leave the six-bedroom property and move to Spain.
Last night she confirmed the relationship – and said it had started because the Duke’s wife, a staunch Catholic, would often spend time in Rome, leaving her husband to fend for himself.
The affair is said to have begun after the pair bonded over a pheasant shoot on an estate in Devon.
Speaking from her home in Spain, Ms Dugdale said: ‘I love John and he loves me – we have had some great times together. His wife knows everything because he has confessed to her. He is a man of honour so I now realise that he will never leave his wife.
‘He can’t follow his heart to be with me full-time because of his commitments and historic status as a Duke. It’s very sad.
‘It’s her [his wife’s] fault for being away so much… Poor John was sitting at home in moth-eaten jumpers eating a ready meal for one. I’ve looked after him and bought him Gucci shoes from a second-hand shop in Chelsea.’
Last night Ms Dugdale confirmed the relationship – and said it had started because the Duke’s wife, a staunch Catholic, would often spend time in Rome, leaving her husband to fend for himself
Ms Dugdale said: ‘I love John and he loves me – we have had some great times together. His wife knows everything because he has confessed to her. He is a man of honour so I now realise that he will never leave his wife’ (Pictured: John with his wife Judith-Rose)
For his part, the Old Etonian Duke, 66, issued a statement saying he and his wife ‘pursue our own and joint lives’.
It is almost eight years since the eccentric Marquess of Bath’s own extra-marital affairs were highlighted when a Sunday luncheon at the 10,000-acre Longleat estate degenerated into an orgy of drunken and lewd behaviour.
It ended with the aristocrat making a midnight emergency dash to hospital.
The Duke of Somerset – who sits in the Lords as a crossbencher – is highly regarded as a pillar of the establishment and is descended from Edward Seymour, the 1st Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector of England – and brother of Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour.
The Duke, who is a father-of-four, was a regular visitor to the lavish farmhouse where Ms Dugdale lived at Longleat (pictured) before she was forced to Spain when their after became well known in the area
The Duke’s home, Bradley House in Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire, sits on a fabulous estate bestowed to the family by Henry VIII.
Three-times-divorced Ms Dugdale – who has received no payment for this story – is no stranger to the grand life. Her father, James Grenville Dugdale, was a Royal Navy commander and an equerry to the Duke of Windsor.
Last night the Duke of Somerset issued a statement saying: ‘I gather you have spoken with my old friend Mrs Dugdale… My wife and I live happily together, have our own and joint friends and pursue our own and joint lives.’