CHRISTINE Keeler, who hid out in Bournemouth when her role in the Profumo affair was scandalising the nation, has died at the age of 75.

Her son, Seymour Platt, revealed that she had died on Monday in hospital near Farnborough.

He said: “She earned her place in British history but at a huge personal price. We are all very proud of who she was.”

The former call girl was at the centre of a national scandal in 1963, after a relationship with the then secretary of state for war, John Profumo.

Mr Profumo assured parliament in March that year that he had not had an affair, but was forced to resign weeks later after it emerged that he had lied.

That spring, Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies – the showgirl who was also embroiled in the Profumo scandal – rented a flat in Talbot Woods in an effort to lie low. They became regulars at the Swiss restaurant and El Cabala coffee bar in Bournemouth town centre.

The fact that Keeler had also been in a relationship with Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Russian intelligence officer, raised national security concerns. The scandal rocked Harold Macmillan’s government and was thought to have hastened the end of the Conservative government.