Royals and witchcraft: Eleanor Cobham

Eleanor Cobham is perhaps one of the lesser known royal wives of medieval times. As with most women of her time, not much is known of her youth. She was born around 1400, probably at Sterborough Castle in Kent, which didn’t survive the reign of Oliver Cromwell. Her parents were Reginald Cobham, 3rd Baron Sterborough, 3rd Lord Cobham and Eleanor Culpeper. When she was around 22 years old, she…
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Palaces & Buildings

Taking a look at Frankenstein Castle

Frankenstein Castle, or what remains of it, is located in Hesse, Germany, on the outskirts of Darmstadt and 35 kilometres south of Frankfurt. The name of the ruins come from the suspicion that the castle served as the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s famous work…
European RoyalsHistoryPalaces & Buildings

Palace of Russian Tsar to reopen

A Russian imperial residence is to reopen following extensive rehabilitation. This is the Alexander Palace in St Petersburg which over the past three years has been renovated for more than £24 million (or 31 million US dollars or 2 billion Russian rubles). The palace was the last home of Tsar Nicholas II before he was executed along with his family. It was from the Alexander Palace that the Tsar…
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New Marie Antoinette exhibition in Paris celebrates her life

Marie Antoinette died on the guillotine at the hands of French Revolutionaries on 16th October 1793. Upon her death, the de-throned Queen was the most hated woman in France and was used a scapegoat for all that was failing in the country at the time following her husband’s reign. Now 226 years after her execution, a new exhibition Marie-Antoinette: the Metamorphosis of an Image, is opening in…
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State & Ceremonial

What is the Sword of State and Cap of Maintenance?

People all over the world will be familiar with the Imperial State Crown and all that it represents. With almost 3,000 precious stones making up the headpiece, it is only seen at State Openings of Parliament and Coronations of the Monarch. But what about the other two items of royal insignia which are also only present at the most regal of events? The Great Sword of State and the Cap of…
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