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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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)…
FeaturesHistory

Princess Alix of Hesse's engagement ring?

In a recent life of Queen Victoria, (A. N. Wilson, Victoria: A Life, 2014) I stumbled across an illustration of one of the famous group photographs taken behind the Palais Edinburg in Coburg, showing Queen Victoria surrounded by a whole host of contemporary royalty – mostly members of her own family through blood or marriage, including five of her children and numerous grandchildren &#8211…
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Poetry and the Tsarina?

Included amongst the works read as a young woman by Princess Alix of Hesse, later Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (1872-1918), were – according to letters that she wrote to her eldest sister, Victoria, Princess Louis of Battenberg – Guizot’s Reformation de la Litterature, the Life of Cromwell and Raumer’s nine-volume set, Geschichte der Hohenstaufen(Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden…
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A Brief History of Frogmore Cottage

With the announcement that Frogmore Cottage will become the residence of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor, it is perhaps interesting to briefly review Frogmore Cottage’s history. Contrary to popular imagination, it is not the first time that the building has…
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A Pearl Earring and Imperial Russia

Displayed as part of the London Science Museum’s exhibition on the Russian Imperial Family, The Last Tsar: Blood and Revolution is a pearl earring. This extraordinarily poignant object has its own silent story to tell, concerning the fate of the Romanovs. Believed to have belonged to the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, this single pearl earring is symbolic of the pieces of the Tsarina’s personal…
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