Who is Queen Paola of Belgium?

Donna Paola Margherita Maria Antonia Consiglia Ruffo di Calabria was born on 11 September 1937 at Villa Claudia in Forte dei Marmi, Italy, as the seventh and youngest child of Prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, a First World War flying ace, and Countess Luisa Gazelli, a descendant of the Marquis de Lafayette, a hero of the American Revolution. Her grandmother on her father’s side, Laure…
Read more
The Gloucesters

Who is the Duke of Gloucester?

The Queen’s cousin celebrates his 75th birthday Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester was born on the 26 August 1944; the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary, and the younger of two brothers born to Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and his wife, Princess Alice. Shortly after his birth, he went to Australia for three years whilst his father was Governor-General there before…
Read more

Could The Queen be made Empress of Great Britain?

On1 May 1876, Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress Of India after discussion with Prime Minister of the day, Benjamin Disraeli led to Queen Victoria wanting a title boost after her daughter became Empress Of Germany. From 1876 until the Empire Of India was disbanded…

A King's last journey

Frederick II, accorded the epithet ‘the Great’ already during his own lifetime, had in fact, a whole other life after death, aside from his legacy. The great King’s legend stalks the eighteenth century like a gigantic historic shadow, much as the oversize silhouette of…

The Tsarina's letters to William Boyd Carpenter, Bishop of Ripon

In the British Library five letters from Princess Alix of Hesse, later Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia (1872-1918) are preserved. Initially, I thought there were seven letters of hers at the British Library, but further research has enabled me to establish that these are instead, two postcards in Russian, to her only son, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich (1904-1918). These letters are…
Read more

Music for a Queen: Mozart and Queen Charlotte

The first and only time that the boy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart visited London occurred between 1764-5, at about the half-way point of the Mozart family’s monumental European Grand Tour, which was to prove pivotal in Wolfgang’s developmental process as a composer, the…

The History of The Royals at Ascot

As Royal Ascot approaches, horse racing fans begin to anticipate the winners and losers of the event. But one of the main features of Royal Ascot is, of course, the attendance of the Queen and members of the Royal family. As the name suggests, this competition has a rich royal history, but it’s only actually called Royal Ascot when the Queen attends – here’s how Ascot’s heritage ties in…
Read more