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How Queen Charlotte and Queen Victoria & Albert introduced the Christmas Tree to Britain

Prince Albert is generally credited with introducing the Christmas tree to Britain, but in fact, it was the work of his wife’s grandmother, Queen Charlotte. Like Prince Albert, Charlotte was born and raised in Germany, where the tradition of bringing a tree inside at Christmas time, decorated with lights and sweets, is believed to date back to the 16th century. As a child, Charlotte’s family…
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The christening of Queen Victoria

Unlike the christenings of Queen Victoria’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the christening of the future Queen is an event about which far less is known. It was not the subject of a painting, nor was much written about it as the ceremony itself was a…
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The Fitness-Empress

The spectacular beauty of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1837-1898) was a reputation which, once created, had to be determinedly maintained. This was only achieved through rigorous beauty and exercise regimes, which she adopted as her personal discipline. The Empress, who…
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The beauty regime of a beautiful Empress

Empress Elisabeth of Austria was one of the most beautiful women of nineteenth-century Europe, yet this beauty was the determined result of intensive labour, at considerable cost. The cult of that beauty which astonished her contemporaries became Elisabeth’s personal myth when, past the age of thirty, she refused to be photographed – thereby establishing her own enigma. Her reputation…
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Queen Victoria's Saloon

Queen Victoria’s relationship with the railway began on 13 June 1842, when she drove from Windsor to Slough with Prince Albert, to make the historic first royal journey by train to Paddington. This relationship would continue throughout her life and endure, even beyond her…
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Taking a look at Queen Victoria's Tea House

Queen Victoria wrote in 1867 of the peace at Frogmore, in Windsor Great Park, in ‘this dear lovely garden’.  By this point, she was six years into the widowhood, which would last until the end of her life. The gardens at Frogmore had a particularly sacred meaning for her, as they were the location of the mausoleums of her mother, the Duchess of Kent and her beloved husband, Albert, the Prince…
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Taking a look at Queen Victoria's Gothic Ruin

In the northern end of the gardens at Frogmore is a small building, the so-called Gothic Ruin. We know that Queen Victoria used her brick and tiled Tea House in which to breakfast, write, sit and take tea. She often worked outdoors on her papers in a tent set up close to the…
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Queen Victoria's Royal Waiting Rooms

Queen Victoria’s last journey by train took place on Saturday 2 February 1901. The Great Western Railway produced a beautifully illuminated train plan for the ‘Funeral of Her Late Most Gracious Majesty The Queen. Arrangement of Royal Train. Paddington to Windsor. 1.32…
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Alix and Countess ‘Juju’ Rantzau: An Imperial Friendship

“She was a rare flower, too delicate for this world, but rejoicing others with her fragrance and cheering them on the way…” With these words, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia described the death of her friend, Julia, Countess Rantzau in a letter of 1901 to Princess Marie Bariatinsky, who had become her lady-in-waiting in 1896 and who became a friend in her own right, after the…
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