Marguerite Alibert's story is one of gritty survival followed by a lucrative life of sex work. She pulled herself up from a world of poverty to mingle among France's elite, and accomplished her goal of turning affairs into large sums of money.
She is commonly remembered as Maggie Meller, a surname she took from the man she claimed was her husband at 17. It was only one of four different surnames she would use throughout her exotic and exciting life.
She saw love not from a romantic's point of view, but as a way to survive and thrive. Maggie Meller was even one of Prince Edward VIII's mistresses, and went on to marry an Egyptian Prince. However, that monumental moment is where her story takes a murderous turn. Marguerite would go down in infamy as the princess who got away with murder.
Maggie Was Born Into A Poor French Family, And Her Childhood Took A Tragic Turn
Marguerite Alibert was born in 1890 into a poor French family - her father worked as a cab driver and her mother was a maid. When her younger brother was four years old, he was hit by a lorry in the street and killed. Sadly, Maggie's parents blamed her for his death since she was supposed to be minding him. They shipped her off to the Sisters of Mary boarding school. At age 15, the nuns placed her in a home where she most likely worked as a domestic servant. At age sixteen, she was thrown out for getting pregnant by an unknown man. She is pictured above with her daughter, Raymonde, who was sent away to be raised on a farm in rural France.
She Was Taken In By A Prominent Brothel Owner, And Taught To Be A High-Class Lady Of The Night
It was after being turned out onto the street and sending her daughter away that Marguerite turned to prostitution to make a living. She had seen that - in those days - there was good money to be made by the upper-class sex workers, known as courtesans. A brothel owner, Madame Denart, discovered Marguerite and took her under her wing. She described young Maggie as "the mistress of nearly all my best clients, gentleman of wealth and position in France, England, America and other countries . . . It was me that made a sort of lady of her."
She Met Her First "Husband" At 17 - She Took His Last Name, But He Was Already Married
In 1907, Marguerite met a man named Andre Meller. She was 17, he was 40. He was wealthy, and owned a stable full of horses - since Marguerite loved horses, that may very well have played a part in their romance. He bought her an apartment so they could conduct their relationship in private, and she took his last name. She claimed that they were married, but in reality Andre was still technically married to his first wife. Her lack of faithfulness ended the relationship in 1913.
The Prince Of Wales Was Referred To Her For A Sexual Education
In 1917, Marguerite was introduced to her next grand love affair - Prince Edward VIII. He was serving with British troops in France during WWI, and had lost his virginity to a courtesan "borrowed" from a friend. His friends decided that 23-year-old Edward needed to have a more thorough sexual experience - "a full education from an experienced woman." Since a friend already knew of Marguerite, it was arranged that they would meet. Her years of training in the bedroom certainly provided Edward with a first-rate education. They had a passionate affair for about a year, before Edward lost interest.