Features

Queen Victoria's granddaughters: Princess Irene of Hesse

It is fitting that this Hessian granddaughter of Queen Victoria was christened ‘Irene’ – a name meaning “peace” – an appropriate choice in more ways than one, as her character and the circumstances of her birth would prove. Perhaps one of Princess Alice’s surviving daughters about which least is known, she was destined to outlive all her immediate family, dying in 1953. Princess…
Read more
Features

The hair of Marie Antoinette?

In the British Museum, there is a locket containing hair traditionally said to be that of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Navarre. Donated to the museum as part of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere, Charlotte; Rudoe, Judy; Tait, Hugh; Wilson, The Art of the Jeweller, A…
History

Princess Charlotte: a historic royal wedding dress

In the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection at Kensington Palace is preserved one of the most important wedding dresses in British history. Worn by Princess Charlotte (1796-1817) for her wedding on 2 May 1816 in the magnificent Crimson Drawing Room at Carlton House to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. It was a wedding dress to celebrate not only the personal happiness of the popular Princess…
Read more
Features

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…
Features

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, the brilliant Queen Caroline, a woman of high culture, sophistication and outstanding intellect, rightly recognised now as…
Read more
Features

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…
Features

The Royal Closet at St George's Chapel, Windsor

At St George’s Chapel, Windsor is a remarkable Oriel Window which has a fascinating history of its own and a unique connection with royal weddings. The high, wooden Oriel Window on the north side of the altar was added in the 1510s when Henry VIII made the Edward IV Chantry into a royal pew for the use of his first queen, Catherine of Aragon, who watched Garter ceremonies in the Quire…
Read more