Burglars steal jewellery in raid on Cotswold castle where Liz Hurley got married

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Burglars have raided the Cotswolds castle where Liz Hurley married and Henry VIII's final wife Catherine Parr died with police investigating if it is linked the theft with Blenheim Palace's golden toilet, MailOnline can reveal today. 

A £10,000 reward has been offered for the return of precious items snatched from the historic Alice Keppel collection held at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire. 

Four burglars smashed their way into display cases with a sledgehammer and then filled a large bag with the items before making off in a 4x4 vehicle parked nearby. 

The stolen artefacts include a Cartier watch monogrammed AK - believed to be a gift for Alice Keppel, the mistress of King Edward VII, from her royal lover before he died in 1910.

The raid on Sunday September 15 took place just 30 miles from Blenheim Palace, where a solid gold toilet worth £4.8million was stolen within 48 hours of going on display. 

Asked if there is a link a Gloucestershire Police spokesman told MailOnline: 'We remain open minded about who may be involved and links to other high value burglaries'.  

A £10,000 reward has been offered for the return of precious items snatched from the historic Alice Keppel collection held at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire (pictured)

A £10,000 reward has been offered for the return of precious items snatched from the historic Alice Keppel collection held at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire (pictured)

A presentation gold and enamel box with the Prince of Wales feathers (bottom) set in diamonds and a circular three-colour gold snuff-box (above, centre) have been stolen

A presentation gold and enamel box with the Prince of Wales feathers (bottom) set in diamonds and a circular three-colour gold snuff-box (above, centre) have been stolen

Four burglars smashed their way into display cases at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire with a sledgehammer and then filled a large bag with the items before making off in a 4x4 vehicle parked nearby

Four burglars smashed their way into display cases at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire with a sledgehammer and then filled a large bag with the items before making off in a 4x4 vehicle parked nearby

Who was Edward VII's secret love Alice Keppel?

Alice Keppel, who was the mistress of Edward VII

Alice Keppel, who was the mistress of Edward VII

Alice Keppel became Edward VII's mistress in 1898, when she was aged just 29 and he was 57, and remained the favourite of Queen Victoria's son until his death 12 years later.

Throughout the king's reign, which began in 1901, Keppel liked to say she was the real Queen of England, and that his wife Alexandra was not his soulmate — she was.

The Royal Family did all they could, after his death in 1910, to destroy evidence of Edward VII’s long affair with Alice.

His private secretary, Sir Francis Knollys, is said to have destroyed mountains of letters and private papers in a bonfire that lasted days.

Keppel married the Honourable George Keppel in 1891, when she was aged 23, and the couple had two children, but her husband's lack of money led her to engage in affairs with richer men.

Her association with the king did much to help her family's financial affairs. He gave her shares in a rubber company, which gained her around £50,000 - the equivalent of £7.5million today - and he allowed her to use his own bankers and financial advisers.

King Edward VII was also instrumental in securing well-paid jobs for her husband and brother, Archie.

Extraordinarily, the monarch asked for Keppel to be at his side during his last hours, much to the dismay of his wife.

Keppel died in 1947.

A Faberge gold cigarette case set with diamonds, a Faberge silver caviar box and silver mounted vodka glasses, a gold snuffbox made in Paris in 1783 and a 1908 silver cigarette case by Marshak in Kiev were also stolen from Sudeley.  

A presentation gold and enamel box with the Prince of Wales feathers set in diamonds has also gone. 

Sudeley Castle, near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, is the current home of American-born Lady Ashcombe who was left distraught by the burglary. 

Police would not say if Lady Ashcombe, the mother of socialites Henry and Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, was at home during the burglary but she has a number of other properties.

She said: 'We are all saddened to learn of this burglary. There were beautiful artefacts on display for everyone to enjoy and were very precious to me personally'. 

Her 16th century castle was previously the home of Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, who survived him and is buried there after her death in 1548.  

In 2007 the castle was the venue for the of film star and model Liz Hurley and her husband Arun Nayar. 

Gloucestershire Constabulary revealed today that the burglary was committed at the magnificent Castle earlier this month.

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A spokesman said: 'In the early hours of Sunday September 8 offenders forced their way into the exhibition area of the stately home in Winchombe, smashed a display case

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