This education was of a wider and more solid nature than that typically administered to girls at that time.Although their father held the respectable positition of Dean of Jersey, he nevertheless earned an unsavoury reputation as a 'ladies man' fathering illegitimate children by various of his parishioners.Then Mr Miles came and begged me to sit for my portrait.I consented, and when the portrait was finished he sold it to Prince Leopold.I learned afterwards that he saw me one evening at the theatre, and tried in vain to discover who I was.He went to his clubs and among his artist friends declaring he had seen a beauty, and he described me to everybody he knew, until one day one of his friends met me and he was duly introduced.She also sat for Sir Edward Poynter and is depicted in works by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
The nickname was popularised by Millais' portrait, entitled A Jersey Lily.
Her looks and personality attracted interest, commentary, and invitations from artists and society hostesses, and she was was celebrated as a young woman of great beauty and charm.
By 1881, she had become an actress and starred in many plays in the UK and the United States, including She Stoops to Conquer, The Lady of Lyons, and As You Like It, eventually running her own stage production company.
Princess Alexandra was generous in never displaying any jealousy about her husband's infidelities and accepted and acknowledged Lillie.
Lillie's liaison with the Prince lasted from late 1877 to June 1880.