FeaturesHistoryInsight

Primroses for her Prime Minister: Benjamin Disraeli and Queen Victoria

A fond tradition arose in the lifetime of Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield, Queen Victoria’s two-time Prime Minister, namely that of his receiving flowers, often primroses from the Queen. To Disraeli, Queen Victoria was the ‘Faery’ – his endearing name for his Sovereign, whatever the intention of Edmund Spenser’s epic poem Faerie Queene. Disraeli told his friend, Lady Bradford, that…
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BelgiumFeaturesInsight

A look at the Belgian line of succession

Today we’re looking at the line of succession to the Belgian throne. Current Monarch: King Philippe, who succeeded his father, King Albert II, on 21 July 2013 after he stepped down for health reasons. Photo: Laura Dekkers King Philippe was considered by many…
FeaturesHistoryInsight

A 'lost' letter from Ella?

In the Western manuscripts collection held at the British Library are what are known as the Boyd Carpenter papers, Vol. V, Add MS 46721: 1884-1917. This remarkable collection of documents contain letters written in English from or on behalf of various crowned heads of Europe…
FeaturesHistoryInsight

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…
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FeaturesHistoryInsight

Knitting with Queen Victoria

A charming photograph taken by Mary Steen in the Queen’s Sitting Room at Windsor on 21 May 1895 shows an elderly Queen Victoria knitting or crocheting, sat with her youngest daughter, Beatrice, Princess Henry of Battenberg, who dutifully reads the newspaper aloud to her…
FeaturesHistoryInsight

Finding the royal faces in the roses: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

In the Queen’s bedroom at Osborne House, may be found a quite extraordinary chintz pattern. Used for the bed hangings of the Queen’s bed, as well as the sofa and curtains, the material has been adopted in a modern context for the room, having originally been for the Royal Yacht Victoria and Albert. The Queen and the Royal Family would often cross the Solent to Osborne in either the yacht…
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FeaturesHistoryInsight

Queen Victoria's sapphire brooch

On the eve of her wedding to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria received a sapphire diamond-bordered brooch. It was an item of personal jewellery to which she would attach intense sentimental importance. It became in a way, a symbol of her marriage to Prince Albert and she valued…
FeaturesHistoryInsight

Queen Victoria's wedding shoes?

Northampton Museums own a pair of flat shoes, believed to be those worn by Queen Victoria on her wedding day, 10 February 1840. Of white satin, they certainly would have complimented the Queen’s own simple wedding dress of finely woven Spitalfields silk satin in her own…
British RoyalsInsightThe Cambridges

Kate behind the camera: Photos taken by the Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge was beaming on Tuesday when she stepped out with youngsters from Action for Children, to attend a photographic workshop held by the Royal Photographic Society. The event was timed to coincide with the announcement from Kensington Palace, that Kate, will take over as royal patron for the organisation, a role previously held, by Her Majesty The Queen, for the last 67…
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