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A 'lost' letter from Ella?

In the Western manuscripts collection held at the British Library are what are known as the Boyd Carpenter papers, Vol. V, Add MS 46721: 1884-1917. This remarkable collection of documents contain letters written in English from or on behalf of various crowned heads of Europe or their consorts, as well as other members of Europe’s ruling families. These letters were written to William Boyd…
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When Russia came to Sandringham

In the summer of 1894, the Tsarevich Nicholas came to England as a guest of Queen Victoria, first staying for a brief few days with his fiancée, Princess Alix of Hesse, at Walton-on-Thames before continuing to Windsor Castle. This was a blissful period for a young couple…
History

Battenberg-on-Thames: Walton and Imperial Russia

In the summer of 1894, Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia came to stay at Walton-on-Thames, in the house which his fiancée, Princess Alix of Hesse’s eldest sister, Victoria, Princess Louis of Battenberg and her husband, Prince Louis of Battenberg had rented. They would stay in the house for several days before continuing to Windsor Castle, where the Tsarevich came as a guest of his fiancée’s…
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'For my darling Nicky': A gift for the Tsarevich

On 29 May 1894, Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia wrote to his mother, Empress Marie Feodorovna, that he could see the sea from the room in which he was writing, in the imperial palace of Peterhof and that he had ‘such a longing for the yacht and want to fly there to join my…
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Gifts from an imperial godmother: The Allen twins of Harrogate

In May 1894, Princess Alix of Hesse undertook a cure in the fashionable Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate for sciatica. She had become engaged to Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia at Coburg the previous month. Whilst she stayed at Harrogate, she regularly corresponded with her fiancé, who would later join her at the house her eldest sister, Victoria, Princess Louis of Battenberg had rented at…
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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…
History

Alice in Eastbourne: A Royal Holiday in 1878

In the summer of 1878, Queen Victoria’s second daughter, Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, came to Eastbourne, because she had been ordered rest. The sojourn on the East Sussex coast was the gift of Queen Victoria to her daughter, (David Duff, Hessian Tapestry, 177) and Alice visited the seaside town with her family in what would poignantly prove to be the last holiday that they would…
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