24 May 1819: The Birth of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, born Alexandrina Victoria, was born 199 years ago today. She was the daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent and Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Edward was the fourth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. She became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. On 1 May 1876, Queen … Continue reading 24 May 1819: The Birth of Queen Victoria

Windsor is Royal Wedding Ready!

Royal Wedding fever has officially hit! We are 5 days away from watching Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle walk down the aisle of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is resplendent in the sunshine today and, not surprisingly, is teeming with tourists and TV crews. People are dodging cameramen, royal reporters, news anchors and the ubiquitous selfie-sticks, and others are photobombing perfectly … Continue reading Windsor is Royal Wedding Ready!

Hampton Court Palace: Young Henry VIII’s Story

I recently visited Hampton Court Palace. It is cared for by Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that looks after HCP and 5 other royal residences in Britain: Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, Banqueting House and Hillsborough Castle. I’m lucky enough to live a short drive from Hampton Court Palace, in fact I volunteered there four years ago for a few months after … Continue reading Hampton Court Palace: Young Henry VIII’s Story

The Replacement Kings

Kings Henry VIII, Charles I and George V ruled over England and Wales, and later Scotland and Ireland, during times of momentous change for the country. But they were all second sons and not trained for kingship from birth. Their elder brothers had predeceased their fathers, Kings Henry VII, James I and VI and Edward VII, meaning they replaced their brothers in the royal line … Continue reading The Replacement Kings

The Royal Double Wedding

Almost 200 years ago there was a very different royal wedding. It was not held in the grand and historically significant Westminster Abbey, like the 2011 marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, but in the relatively small summer palace in the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Kew Palace, originally ‘the White House’, was the home of Frederick, the Prince of Wales and his wife … Continue reading The Royal Double Wedding

Diana: Her Fashion Story – the Kensington Palace Exhibition

  Today I write this from Kensington Palace. It sounds grander than it actually is; I’m in the bustling cafe and trying to ignore the general cacophony of families and friends enjoying a day out. I am hugely excited to be using this space to share my enjoyment of the historic surroundings and an exhibition showcasing one of the palace’s erstwhile residents. I specifically visited … Continue reading Diana: Her Fashion Story – the Kensington Palace Exhibition

Actress, Mistress of a Royal Duke: Dora Jordan, Leading Lady of the Late Eighteenth Century

Dora Jordan was one of the most celebrated actresses of the late eighteenth century. She delighted theatre goers with her repertoire of comedic performances, was a spellbinding tragedian and was renowned for her classic Shakespearean drama, with roles such as Rosalind in As You Like It and Viola in Twelfth Night. She was also one of the women who pushed eighteenth century boundaries for daring … Continue reading Actress, Mistress of a Royal Duke: Dora Jordan, Leading Lady of the Late Eighteenth Century

Remember, Remember the Sixth of November: Commemorating Princess Charlotte 200 Years After her Death

‘Alas, that England’s hope – her greatest pride, Should thou in youthful loveliness have died!’ The Morning Post, 7 November 1817 Monday 6 November 2017 is the 200th anniversary of the death of Princess Charlotte, the granddaughter of King George III. She died at Claremont in Surrey after a protracted fifty-hour labour during which she delivered a stillborn son. Charlotte Augusta of Wales was born … Continue reading Remember, Remember the Sixth of November: Commemorating Princess Charlotte 200 Years After her Death