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Showing posts from August, 2018

Boris III, Bulgaria’s King of Mercy

At the height of Nazi regime, Adolph Hitler wanted the annihilation of the Jews. In Bulgaria, the Prime Minister Bogdan Filov and Interior Minister Petur Gabrovski, who were staunch Nazi supporters, worked hard to pass the law that curbed Jewish rights, imposed new taxes, and limited the Jews’ professional opportunities. This was signed into law by Tsar Boris III in January 1941. In return for this allegiance to Hitler, the country's territories that Bulgaria had lost after World War I were restored, earning Boris the moniker as the "The Unifier" king. However, this was the only full support that Boris gave to the Nazis as he played the cat-at-mouse game with Hitler. He refused to send Bulgarian troops to fight against Soviet Russia and further refused the dispatch of unofficial volunteers to the Eastern Front.
News of the imminent deportations of Bulgarian Jews to Poland and Germany met strong protests throughout Bulgaria Boris quietly worked to rescue her Jewish subj…

9 Facts About Neuschwanstein Castle [Plus 11 Lovely Pictures]

Neuschwanstein Castle is perhaps the poster image of what a romantic castle should look like. Perched on top of a hill and overlooking stunning views, it’s hard to miss this castle when you’re visiting Bavaria! Here are some facts about this lavish, fairy tale castle.
1. King Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the construction of the castle in 1869 to serve as his retreat house and to pay homage to his great friend, German composer and conductor Richard Wagner, whose operas Lohengrin and Tannhäuser left a lasting impression on the king. Ludwig wanted to build “a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world,” he wrote in an 1868 letter to Wagner.
2.Other stories reveal that King Ludwig built the castle in order to reaffirm his royal status after losing his sovereign power to the Prussian Empire just two years into his regime, leaving Bavaria without any choice but to accept a defensive and offensive alliance.
3. The king never got to see th…

The Duchess of Sussex and Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara

One of the many highlights of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was the surprise appearance of Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau Tiara. From a distance, it doesn't look as eye popping as other tiaras in Her Majesty's collection, but a closer look will reveal that it is actually a stunner!
Meghan Markle selected this little-known piece to wear on her wedding day. It features a brilliant floral-shaped suspended brooch in the center made of a large round diamond surrounded by nine smaller circular diamonds.
The tiara was commissioned by Queen Mary in 1932 to fit the detachable brooch, which was given to her in 1893 as a gift by Lincoln County. According to the Order of Sartorial Splendor, this English-made jewel was “crafted from large and small brilliant diamonds pavé-set in platinum, in a design pierced with interlaced ovals. There are 11 different sections to the structure, giving the bandeau flexibility.” There are also clusters of seven larger diamonds to each side…

13 Facts About Edinburgh Castle

No other structure in Edinburgh, Scotland, commands much attention, than Edinburgh Castle. Grand and breathtaking, it is perched on top of a volcanic plug and has been watching over the old city for over a millennium.
1. The castle sits upon the lava neck or the plug—known as the Castle Rock, which rises 135 meters/433 feet above sea level—of an extinct volcano that is believed by archaeologists to have formed back in the Carboniferous period (some 350 million years ago).
2. Earliest records of human activity on the Castle Rock go as far back as 3,000 years ago. Around 600 CE, a Celtic tribe that called themselves Votadini or Gododdin erected Eidyn’s Hill on the very site of the Edinburgh Castle.
3. Malcolm III Canmore, who reigned from 1058-1093, was the first Scottish king who lived on the Castle Rock.
4. The castle’s St. Margaret’s Chapel was in constructed in honor of Queen Margaret, King Malcolm III’s wife, who died in 1093 and who was later canonized as St. Margaret of Scotland. Th…

8 Shockingly Crazy Conspiracy Theories Involving the British Royal Family

1. Queen Elizabeth I may not be a real, biological lady after all! Stories reveal that she was sent to a small village by her father, King Henry VIII, in the 16th century to ensure her safety amidst the plague. Despite that she eventually succumbed to the disease. Before the king could learn about the unfortunate news, the governess, who was massively terrified, searched the whole village for a girl of Elizabeth’s age that could replace the royal, but they failed to find one. Having left with no choice, she asked a farm boy named Neville to act out as the Tudor scion, a plan that turned out perfectly well. This identity swap is said to be the reason why Queen Elizabeth I never married.
2. Jack the Ripper could be Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, more popularly known as Prince Eddy, grandson of Queen Victoria. The royal has been suspected to be the notorious serial killer, who often victimized prostitutes, killing them by slitting their throats and inflicting them gruesome abdo…

Visit Audley End House and Saffron Walden: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Built on the site of a Benedictine abbey, Audley End House was at one time the home of the first Earl of Suffolk. The original house, with the two large courtyards, was reputed to be comparable to Hampton Court in its splendor and magnitude. Although much of the building was demolished due to the lack of resources of subsequent earls, it remains one of the most impressive Jacobean mansions in England. The palatial interiors of the state rooms which remain are particularly magnificent. These include the alcove room, saloon and drawing room, and the exquisite state bed to be found in the Neville Room is still hung with the original embroidered drapes. The house also has a large collection of stuffed birds.
In the rolling parkland grounds are several elegant outbuildings, some of which were designed by Robert Adam. Amongst these are an icehouse, a circular temple and the Springwood Column. A miniature railway runs in the grounds and over the river Cam.
How to Reach Audley End House?

Clara Ward, Princess de Caraman Chimay, Gilded Age's Poor Little Rich Girl

Clara Ward, Princess de Caraman Chimay, was the epitome of wealth, beauty, and excess. She conquered Europe and was hailed as one of Gilded Age's most lasting figures. Some called her “poor little rich girl,” others criticized her for the many scandals she was embroiled. Towards the end of her life, she defied convention and lived according to her own rules. Here are some facts about Clara Ward, Princess de Caraman Chimay.

She was born on June 17, 1873 into a wealthy family in Detroit, Michigan. Her father was shipbuilder and manufacturer Captain Eber Brock Ward, who was known as the “first of the iron kings” and “steamship king of the Great Lakes”.  Making enormous fortune in lumbering, silver mining, and iron and steel manufacturing, he was the richest man in Michigan at the time as well as the state’s first millionaire. On the one hand, her mother, Catherine Lyon, was the niece of Senator Benjamin Wade.

Captain Ward died of brain hemorrhage before Clara turned two and the fami…

In Pictures: Queen Elizabeth II on Active Duty during World War II

Read: Queen Elizabeth II during World War II

Despite being told to send off her daughters to Canada, Queen Elizabeth remained adamant that her children shall remain in Britain. At an early age, Princess Elizabeth displayed her courage and showed her dedication to her service to the nation right when the nation needed her the most.

1943. Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret starring in a Windsor Castle wartime production of the pantomime Aladdin. Princess Elizabeth played Principal Boy while Princess Margaret played Princess of China. Image: 

1944. Princess Elizabeth joins her parents during their visit to HMS King George V. Image: Imperial War Museum.

1944. Princess Elizabeth joins King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during their farewell visit before the battleship left to join Britain's East Indies Fleet. The twin and quadruple 14 inch gun turrets can be seen in the background. Source: Imperial War Museum

1944. The Queen and Princess Elizabeth talk to a camouflaged sniper during a tour …

Queen Elizabeth II during World War II

From September 1939 until 1945, Great Britain was plunged in World War II. Many of London's children were sent away to the countryside for their safety. London and the suburbs were heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe, thus, many of the children were sent away to the countryside. The place was no longer safe for everyone, more so for the Royal Family. It was suggested that Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret  be evacuated to Canada, but Queen Elizabeth rejected the idea. "The children won't go without me. I won't leave without the King. And the King will never leave," she said. While they never left the British soil, they lived for most of the war years (1940-45) at Windsor Castle. Here, they staged pantomimes at Christmas to help the Queen's Wool Fund, which bought yarn to knit into military garments.
A 14-year-old Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast during the BBC's Children's Hour, calling out other children who were evacuated from the cities to …

Food for the Royals: What's on the Windsors Dinner Table?

1. Prince William prefers his steak medium rare for he wants it “quite alive”, he confessed at a charity event the previous year. Roast chicken is also a top favorite of his!

2. No Royal family member is ever allowed to eat shellfish as it poses a high risk of food poisoning.
3. The Queen has a penchant for chocolate and her favorite dessert of all time is chocolate biscuit cake, revealed Her Majesty’s former personal chef Darren McGrady.

4. Prince Charles loves organic stuff, and, interestingly, some of his favorite edibles are fresh produce that can be found in his own garden.
5. Prince Philip “lives to eat”, McGrady said in a previous interview, adding that the prince “loves to cook on the grill”.

6. Diana, Princess of Wales, does not have a sweet tooth, said former Royal chef Carolyn Robb. She would eat almost anything, but would usually skip the desserts.
7. The Royals are prohibited from drinking tap water each time they travel abroad.
8. The Queen observes the no-starch rule …

Prince John, England’s Lost Prince

Prince John, the youngest of the six children of George Frederick, Prince of Wales (later King George V) and his wife, Princess Mary of Teck (later Queen Mary), was born on July 12, 1905 in the family's home on the Sandringham Estate,York Cottage. About four years later, it was found that he was suffering from epilepsy, after falling on the floor in a fit. 

As a child, he may have been a little stubborn. George once confided to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt that all his children were obedient “except John”.

Princess Alexander of Teck described John as "very quaint and one evening when Uncle George returned from stalking he bent over Aunt May and kissed her, and they heard Johnny soliloquize, 'She kissed Papa, ugly old man!'"

John was four when he suffered from his first seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy. He was now described as "winsome" and "painfully slow." Initially, the Royal family had high hopes about his condition since his …
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