Royalty is never far from the news and Britain’s rich regal history can offer up tales to thrill on even the wettest Wednesday in February. The past seven days have seen a slew of stories all about the past so here’s a round up of the week just gone in royal history.
The Princess Royal came face to face with part of her own history when she visited York. Anne stopped off at the National Railway Museum where she was given a tour of its royal train carriages including one used by the Queen in the early part of her reign and which the princess herself has travelled in. The star of this railway show, though, was a carriage used by Queen Victoria built 150 years ago. Anne unveiled a plaque celebrating the recent restoration work on the carriage which was used by her great, great, great grandmother to travel to Balmoral.
Maybe it’s the warm weather softening up the earth, but the desire to dig for the past has been prevalent in the past seven days. A project is underway in Northamptonshire to find the remains of a palace belonging to Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII and one of the most important power players of the Middle Ages. Geophysical surveys are taking place at Collyweston for the ruins of her home in the village. Experts hope to find enough evidence to start digging later this year.
And Margaret’s grandson is also keeping archaeologists busy this week. Henry VIII ordered a blockhouse to be built in Hull in the 1540s as part of the area’s defences and now work is under way to find out more about it. A dig begins this month to uncover the foundations of the blockhouse, one of Henry’s final military manoeuvres as his reign wound to an end.
His daughter and eventual successor, Elizabeth I, also featured in the news this week. Her coronation gloves will be part of a new exhibition at Bath’s Fashion Museum which was announced this week. They will star alongside gloves worn by the Queen when she was crowned in 1953. Also on show will be a pair of gloves used by the Duke of Edinburgh for carriage driving. The display starts on March 2nd 2019 although the coronation gloves don’t go on show untill July.
There were more awards this week for British film The Favourite, telling the story of rivalries at the court of Queen Anne. Olivia Colman who plays the last Stuart monarch was named Best Actress at the BAFTAs while Rachel Weisz took home Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough in the film. Overall, the movie won seven awards at the ceremony in London which was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The story of another queen is about to be brought to life on the small screen and the trailers for The Spanish Princess are now winging their way around social media. The Starz series is about the early life of Catherine of Aragon and the simmering relationship she had with the man who would become Henry VIII while they were still both teenagers. This spotlight on the royal romance between Catherine and Henry starts this spring. Meaning there will be plenty more royal history to hit the news in the weeks and months to come.