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Queen Victoria's King Charles spaniel: Dash

‘Islay [a pet dog] is still plagued by him [Lord Melbourne] every evening—a thing which he much enjoys—and constantly begs for the spectacles. I forgot to tell you that Karl has given me a pretty little Rowley, who likewise lives in the house. The multitude of dogs is really terrible!’ (ed. A. C. Benson & Viscount Esher, The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 1, 1837-1843, 204). So the…
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The children of the last Tsar of Russia

Caught forever in a moment of time, they are the tragic family whose terrible end in World War One still appals and fascinates today. The children of the last Tsar of Russia died alongside their parents in Yekaterinburg one hundred years ago this summer. And yet Olga…
FeaturesHistory

Five royal brides who didn't wear tiaras

Royal weddings bring all kinds of expectations and among them is one filled with sparkle and glitter. For we all assume a royal bride will arrive for her marriage wearing a tiara and when the wedding will result in them becoming a consort or consort in waiting, the…
European RoyalsFeaturesHistory

What happened to Russia's monarchy?

“For centuries the Tsars of Russia have been waging wars simply for the lust of territory and for the glory of Autocracy. The rulers of Russia have sown the wind and they are now beginning to reap the whirlwind.” -Carl Joubert The story of Russia’s last Tsar and his family is perhaps one of the most tragic royal stories to unfold. The Communist uprising led to the death of Tsar Nicholas…
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FeaturesHistory

An Imperial Russian summer at Windsor

The visit of the future Tsar Nicholas II to Queen Victoria in the summer of 1894 has a fabled quality; it took place a mere two months after his engagement to Princess Alix of Hesse in Coburg. This visit has a special poignancy when viewed through later eyes; we know of course, that far from enjoying a period as Tsarevich and Tsarevna of Russia, Nicholas and Alix would, in fact, marry in November…
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History

'Dearest Mary': Letters from the last Tsarina

‘What sorrows this last year brought us, what endless anxieties, what worries and losses – God grant the new year may be a calmer and happier one for the whole of dear Russia. Sleep well and peacefully…’ With these words, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918)…
BelgiumFeaturesHistory

The reign of King Baudouin: The one day he was considered unable to rule

This year marks 25 years since King Baudouin of Belgium unexpectedly died while on holiday in Spain. He was the sixth King of the Belgians and at the same time one of the most popular kings Belgium ever had. King Baudouin reigned from 1951 until his death in 1993. However, there was one day during his reign that the government declared the King unable to rule. In 1990, there was one day in which…
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