Ruthin Castle and its castle mansion gained most notoriety when owned by the Cornwallis-West family (which had evolved from the Myddleton family) and became ‘the centre of dangerous romantic intrigue at the highest level’. Colonel Cornwallis-West’s wife ‘Patsy’ is said to have become embroiled in a long love affair with Edward, Prince of Wales (later becoming King Edward VII).
Beautiful Patsy was just 16 years old when she married and was at the height of society, notorious as a flirt, and full of the joys of life. Patsy frequently entertained the very height of Edwardian Society at Ruthin Castle including the Prince of Wales, politicians, famous entertainers (such as the actress Lillie Langtry) and Jenny Jerome( also known as Lady Randolph Churchill (mother of Sir Winston Churchill and later the wife of her son, George Cornwallis-West). George was 20 years younger than Jenny, and owner of the castle at that time. Patsy also had two notable daughters, Shelagh, who married the powerful Duke of Westminster to become the Duchess of Westminster, and Daisy, who fell in love with her own Prince, Hans Heinrich of Pless, part of a family owning enormous estates in south-eastern Germany and considered ‘fabulously wealthy’. Hers was a fairytale wedding attended by world royalty, nobility, statesmen and members of high society. When she arrived at her new home the streets were lined with crowds for miles and she developed a reputation similar to that more recently of Diana, Princess of Wales. Tragically the events of World War I turned Princess Daisy’s world upside down and resulted in divorce, bad health and death in poverty.