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Who was Empress Dowager Cixi - one of the most powerful women in China's history?

The Qing dynasty was the last imperial dynasty to rule China, collapsing in 1912 amid rising social and political instability. Ruling for almost three hundred years, the Qing dynasty was one of the largest empires in the world, trebling the amount of land under China’s control. After its fall, modern-day China was established by Sun Yat-sen. While Sun Yat-sen gets all of the credit for being…
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Cards from Queen Victoria's children

Some of the earliest Christmas cards to survive in the Royal Collection date from the first half of Queen Victoria’s reign. These were handmade by Queen Victoria’s children and are typical of the sentimental nineteenth century; although in the case of the Queen’s…
FeaturesHistory

Breakfasting with Queen Victoria

Across the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle is a room, clearly visible, jutting out in a pentagon shape amongst the jigsaw of the Clarence, Queen’s, Augusta, York, and Lancaster Towers and King George IV Gate. Part of the private apartments, it was merely called what it was: The Oak Room or Oak Dining Room. The room is important. It was the room in which Queen Victoria breakfasted on occasion…
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Queen Victoria's baby shoes

With 2019 marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, possibly the most symbolic objects to commemorate this historic date, are the baby shoes thought to have been owned by the Queen, which are preserved in the Royal Collection and kept at the Museum of…
FeaturesHistory

In the footsteps of four royal brides

The Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace has provided the setting for many historical events, most particularly royal weddings and christenings, most recently that of HRH Prince George of Cambridge in 2013; it is only ever open to the public for religious services. To enter the Chapel Royal though is to walk in the footsteps of at least four royal brides and to process up its aisle is to retrace…
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Loving Albert

In Prince & Patron, the Summer Opening Exhibition at Buckingham Palace, a bust of Prince Albert is displayed, labelled simply as ‘William Theed (1804-91) Prince Albert, 1862; marble.’ But it is no ordinary bust, nor is it just one among other memorial busts…
HistoryOpinion

The spymaster who supported a counter-revolution

Philippe d’Auvergne’s life was that of a great adventurer. In his life, he rose through the ranks of the Royal Navy, saw service in the American Revolution, earned the confidence of an ageing duke, led the defence of his homeland against the barbarity of the French Revolution, funded the royalist cause, and marched with his contingent at the Battle of Waterloo. His is a life that is…
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