FeaturesHistory

When Mozart met Marie Antoinette?

The ‘meeting’ between Marie Antoinette and the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has a fabled quality, not least because of the oft-repeated folklore that has grown around it. From the point of view of posterity, it is a fascinating moment to contemplate, when two legendary (Austrian) figures were in the same room, their biographical futures lying still before them. I want to explore the facts…
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History

London’s Royal Statues: Queen Charlotte

London has many plaques and memorials with royal connections but in fact, rather fewer statues. Some of these statues have interesting hidden histories of their own, of how they were made, how they came to be in the places that they are and why. Some of these statues may be…
FeaturesHistory

Welcoming a Royal Bride to England

It was not simply the wedding but also the welcome attending the arrival of a future royal bride in England which came to be the subject of public interest; it provided after all, the first glimpse of her in the country in which she would be princess and of which in some cases, she would be Queen, and therefore, the supposed mother of the continuing or new, royal dynasty. Catherine of Aragon…
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FeaturesHistory

The Chapel Royal, St James's Palace

The Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace first and foremost is the name of the Chapel Royal, that establishment of the Royal Household intended to meet the spiritual needs of the Sovereign; the secondary term refers to the building itself – a royal peculiar – in which…
Features

All the Queen's lockets

Lockets form an important part in Queen Victoria’s personal jewellery. The first of these lockets was given to the baby Princess Victoria and the last mentions of them occur at the end of her life. Like any object, therefore, they tell a life story in a new way. In briefly exploring their story of Queen Victoria through original research, I hope to bring fresh understanding to the Queen’s…
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Features

All the Queen's rings

We know that rings were important to Queen Victoria because of the numerous references to them which she made in her journal and the fact that they feature so strongly in her photographic legacy. Her hands are literally covered with them. We must assume then, that they…
Features

Queen Victoria and Claridge's

Sometimes known as ‘the annexe to Buckingham Palace’, the classic hotel in London’s Mayfair has time-honoured connections with royalty that exist into the present day. From the earlier single building run by William and Marianne Claridge at 51 Brook Street…
FeaturesHistoryRoyal Weddings

Queen Victoria's wedding wreath

Queen Victoria’s exquisitely woven wedding dress of Spitalfields silk satin survives. Her wedding veil was placed over her face as her body was dressed and prepared for burial at Windsor. Fascinatingly as I found out during research, the wedding veil and one of the Queen’s famous white caps were both placed on her head after death, a fitting analogy of Queen Victoria’s personal identities…
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