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Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope was born in Chevening, Kent, England, in 12 March 1776. She quickly established a reputation for being fearless, bright, bold, and lively. Early in her life she found herself in the position of Chief of Household, for her Uncle William Pitt the Younger, who was as it happens British Prime Minister at the time. Her duties were to sit at the head of the dining table, greet guests and entertain. Her beauty and conversation skills made her well received and popular with many. Lady Hester was also rather skilled and talented in business and financial matters, and so frequently acted as Pitt's personal secretary. When Pitt was in his last years, ill, and near death, he worried for her future, but due to her services and position in his cabinet, Lady Hester was to be paid annually in pension, such pay, being enough for her to live the rest of her years comfortably.
After the death of her brother, Lady Hester left England and travelled to Wales. A rumored romantic dispute lead her to decide to travel on a lengthly voyage by sea primarily, where she met various persons who would play significant roles in her life. At one point during this travel, the ship she was aboard even shipwrecked, forcing her and her fellow travelers to adopt the garb of locals when they eventually came across some. (Turkish costumes) refusing to wear the traditional female Turkish outfits, Lady Hester opted instead to dress as a male. In foreign lands, Lady Hester found the adventures that she was looking for which she felt she could have never experienced in England. Not all her ventures were entirely successful, but her reputation grew to an extent she acquired the nickname Queen of the Desert. Lady Hester contributed in many significant ways, from founding a hospital in Lebanon and working with and give safety to refugees.
One of the people she had met early in her life and known for many years, Charles Meryon honored her after her death, with writings detailing some of her more interesting and extraordinary moments as well as just how interesting and extraordinary a person she had been.