History

The Tower of London celebrates as baby ravens make their debut

It’s said that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London then the building, and the kingdom it protects, will fall. So there’s no surprise that there are celebrations all round at the famous royal landmark as four chicks have been born within its ancient walls – the first to arrive there in thirty years. To make the arrival even more patriotic the chicks actually hatched on…
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History

Queen Victoria's presents to her grandchildren

As the ‘Grandmother of Europe’, as Queen Victoria was popularly termed, her very numerous grandchildren could, of course, expect to receive a variety of charming presents for their birthdays, just as we might treasure things sent to us by our grandmothers. These presents are in themselves interesting because they lend insight into the kind of gifts the Queen considered would give pleasure to…
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History

A German Princess's memories of Queen Victoria

To Queen Victoria, she was ‘dear Marie Erbach’. That was what the Queen called Princess Marie of Battenberg, later Princess zu Erbach-Schönberg, whose memoirs first appeared in English in 1925, printed by London publishers George Allen & Unwin. Princess Marie…
HistoryInsight

Finding Queen Victoria's perfume

Queen Victoria’s use of perfume is a subject of interest because of what it reveals about both her personal toilette and tastes. An equivalent in scent perhaps, of that distinctive signature we know so well on paper, adding an ‘I’ for ‘Imperatrix’ after she was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. This perfume would have been part of the Queen’s daily dressing process. At Osborne, the…
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History

A gift from Imperial Russia?

In the German spa town of Bad Nauheim in Hesse, hangs a present – by tradition – from Imperial Russia. It is to be found within the solemnly beautiful church, the Reinhardskirche, in the old town quarter, built between 1732/33. Like many baroque churches whose…
History

Royal Windowpanes

The regal tradition of scratching signatures in windowpanes is long established and well known. The windows – particularly when in rooms of royal residences – formed a kind of living ‘guestbook’, often accompanied by the date the visit or signature, was made. These windowpanes are silent witnesses to vanished royal gatherings on long ago summers or essential occasions, represented today by…
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