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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2006, 16:17 GMT
Ex-premier's affairs in spotlight
David Lloyd George
Known as the man who won the war, Lloyd George also won hearts
As Liberal Democrats absorb a turbulent few weeks, an Aberystwyth audience has been reminded how the wife of one political elder statesman "learned to live" with his less than private life.

The National Library of Wales' Graham Jones looked at the impact of WWI Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George's affairs on his first marriage.

In a lecture on Saturday, he examined how Dame Margaret Lloyd George coped.

The archivist has studied the ex-Caernarfon MP for 30 years.

Lloyd George's 30-year affair with his secretary Frances Stevenson alsoe featured in the lecture by Mr Jones, who is director of the library's Welsh politics archive in Aberystwyth.

Mr Jones has has written several articles about Lloyd George, but his lecture focused more on the former prime minister's long-suffering wife, as the statesman's infidelity had been well documented.

She learned to live with it
Graham Jones

Describing Dame Margaret as "squeaky clean", Mr Jones said: "Lloyd George's affairs were known within his family.

"She had her own life in Cricieth (in Gwynedd) and was involved with the Women's Institute, the local chapel and the temperance movement.

"There was never any question that she was anything other than squeaky clean."

She was made a dame in 1920 after raising millions of pounds for charity during World War I and became Wales' first woman JP in 1928.

She also helped raise, with her husband, their five children and acted the loyal wife in public life.


She eventually "learned to live" with her husband's womanising, said Mr Jones.

Mr Jones added: "From 1923 onwards, Lloyd George lived in Surrey with his mistress and secretary Frances Stevenson, and would only visit Cricieth for three weeks during the summer.

During his 50-year career as an MP, Lloyd George led the country during the Great War and is credited with helping to found the welfare state. He also became a peer shortly before he died in 1945.

He eventually married Frances Stevenson in 1943, two years after Dame Margaret's death.

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