History

Alice in Eastbourne: A Royal Holiday in 1878

In the summer of 1878, Queen Victoria’s second daughter, Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, came to Eastbourne, because she had been ordered rest. The sojourn on the East Sussex coast was the gift of Queen Victoria to her daughter, (David Duff, Hessian Tapestry, 177) and Alice visited the seaside town with her family in what would poignantly prove to be the last holiday that they would…
Read more
FeaturesHistory

Brooches for Pollie: The Tsarina's gifts to her friend

An exquisite gold, sapphire and diamond brooch crafted in St Petersburg was consigned to auction in October 2018. I had first encountered it as a personal gift from Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918) to the friend of her youth, Marion Louisa ‘Pollie’ Delmé-Radcliffe, Baroness Ungern-Sternberg whose touching connection I explored in a short article for my Royal Central blog back in…
Read more
FeaturesHistory

Who was 'Boppy'? Queen Victoria's nurse, Mrs Brock

Whilst researching for a forthcoming academic article on Louisa Louis, the devoted dresser to Princess Charlotte of Wales (1771-1838) who was deeply valued by Queen Victoria, I encountered the name of Mrs Brock. She belongs to that fascinating roll-call of characters that claim a connection with Queen Victoria, who have become all-but historically invisible and are normally banished to the realms…
Read more
FeaturesHistory

'Dear Uncle King': George IV and Princess Victoria

With the forthcoming exhibition of the Royal Collection George IV: Art & Spectacle set to open later this year, I want to take a brief look at the relationship between the future Queen Victoria and her paternal uncle, the Prince Regent, later George IV. The Duke of Kent was deeply concerned that his unborn child should be born on British soil, so that its right to succeed would not be…
Read more