History

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 beginning proper of those childhood travels he would make on his path towards musical maturity. Over the fifteen months that…
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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…
History

'For my darling Nicky': A gift for the Tsarevich

On 29 May 1894, Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia wrote to his mother, Empress Marie Feodorovna, that he could see the sea from the room in which he was writing, in the imperial palace of Peterhof and that he had ‘such a longing for the yacht and want to fly there to join my…
History

Imperial Operetta: Princess Alix of Hesse and Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia

During the time they were at Coburg, Princess Alix of Hesse and Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia became engaged, a date they would treasure for the rest of their lives – 8 April 1894. Whilst they were in Coburg, visited the theatre and saw an operetta of which they would become affectionately fond, Carl Zeller’s popular piece in three acts, Der Vogelhändler [The Birdseller]. Both recorded…
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History

Finding a 'lost' photograph of Princess Alix of Hesse

Princess Alix of Hesse, later Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, visited the Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate in 1894 to take a cure for sciatica, during which time she became godmother to the Allen twins, born in the house where she was staying, to her landlady, Mrs Allen. These twins were the recipient of christening gifts and presents from Princess Alix even after she became Tsarina, with presents…
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History

Finding the grave of Queen Victoria's childhood nurse

Mrs Brock was the future Queen Victoria’s nurse. Called by her ‘dear Boppy’ (op. cit., Christopher Hibbert, Queen Victoria, A Personal History, 21), she remained Princess Victoria’s nurse until the age of five, after which she passed into the better-known hands of her governess, Baroness Lehzen. ‘Boppy’ was a periphery character in that childhood which Queen Victoria later decided had…
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