Features

The Tsarina and her English governess, Miss Jackson

“For dear Miss Jackson, with loving Xmas wishes from Alix, 1900”. With these words, inscribed as a dedication in pencil and today preserved in a frame of its own, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia (1872-1918) sent her Christmas gift of 1900 to Miss Margaret Hardcastle Jackson, her former governess from her days as a Princess of Hesse in Darmstadt. The gift came in a box, with its…
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Music for the Elector: Mozart in Munich

Mozart’s musical debut, anticipating his journey to the imperial court at Vienna by seven months, took place, somewhat predictably, before royalty. This was, had he known it, the beginning of what would prove to be many performance-based trips throughout Europe, spectacular in their struggle for due reward and recognition. The first of these was a ‘Grand Tour’ of the German states, which…
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Louisa, the British-born Queen of Denmark

Louisa, fifth and youngest daughter of George II and Queen Caroline, was Queen of Denmark and Norway from 1746 until her premature death five years later, in Copenhagen in 1751. Today in Great Britain, Louisa is a virtually forgotten figure – overshadowed by her mother…
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Snow and Royalty

Snow has provided enjoyment for countless generations of children and adults alike; royalty, of course, is no exception to this time-honoured rule. English monarchs have wintered at Windsor since the twelfth century. Windsor Castle was the preferred royal residence in…
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The King's daughter in Oxfordshire: Charlotte Fitzroy

Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, was – as her name suggests – the daughter of a King, but not by his queen. Charles II’s queen, the Portuguese-born Catherine of Braganza, was apparently barren and miscarried after six years of childless marriage in 1688. This is something which would have been made more painful by the knowledge of the King’s illegitimate children, for example, those by Barbara…
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A little-known royal plaque in Portsmouth

A plaque can be found in the garrison walls at Portsmouth at the location of the old ‘Sally Port’. Its patriotic inscription proclaimsthat “from this place naval heroes innumerable were embarked to fight their country’s battles” but that also, “near this…
Features

A Somerset church and the lost Palace of Whitehall

A fourteenth-century Anglican church in the Somerset parish of Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge is not perhaps the place where you might expect to find several remnants from the lost Palace of Whitehall, the main London residence of England’s monarchs until 1698. A second fire destroyed most of Whitehall, with the exception of Inigo Jones’s magnificent neo-classical Palladian-style Banqueting…
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