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Showing posts from May, 2019

Carisbrooke Castle, the Isle of Wight’s Most Historic Castle

The motte-and-bailey Carisbrooke Castle can be found in the village of Crisbrooke in Isle of Wight, England. The First occupation on the site has been suggested, but never proven, to go as far back as the pre-Roman times.The earliest definite use of the site was for a pagan Anglo-Saxon cemetery dating back to the 6th century. Three graves were unearthed during excavations.
Around 1000, the site, a prominent hilltop located at the center of the island, became an Anglo-Saxon burh or fortress, serving as refuge against the Vikings. Following the Norman conquest, the burh was converted into a castle. They dug deep ditches within the fortress and built a defended closure.
A Norman Fortification
In 1100, The Isle of Wight came under the lordship created by Henry I for Baldwin de Redvers. It is assumed that Baldwin built the current motte-and-bailey castle. Following Henry I’s death, Baldwin supported the king’s daughter, Matilda, in her claim to the throne, which was challenged by the king…

Marlborough House – From Royal Residence to Commonwealth Headquarters

Marlborough House, situated in St James's in Westminster, Inner London, has been in existence for over 300 years. For more than a century, it was a favored royal residence, which, for a certain period, served as a venue for London’s high society.

Originally built in the 1700s, Marlborough House was built for Queen Anne’s favorite confidante, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, who wanted a house that was "strong, plain and convenient and good". In 1709, Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most revered English architects of all time, and his son were commissioned to design the Marlborough House. The brick building with rusticated stone quoins was completed in 1711. For more than a century, it serves as the London residence of the Dukes of Marlborough.

Royal Residence 

In 1817, Marlborough House reacquired by the Crown and became the residence of Princess Charlotte of Wales and her husband, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the future King Leopold I of the Belgians. Unfortu…

In Pictures: Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada

Elizabeth II does not only reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but also of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

She has visited Canada many times more than any other country in the world. Her first official visit was as Duchess of Edinburgh in 1951. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the heiress presumptive to the throne toured Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Alberta in 1951, on behalf of her ailing father.  The National Film Board of Canada documented this  five-week journey and released it in December 1951.

In February 1952, Elizabeth succeeded her father and reigned as Elizabeth II. In  November 1953, accompanied by Prince Philip, she embarked the World Commonwealth Tour, her longest and most extensive, which took…

The Crown Estate, the Sovereign’s Public Estate

Perhaps, one of the most incorrectly assumed information regarding the fortune of the British Royal Family is that they own the Crown Estate. No, they do not, and neither does the government. Discussing its ownership could be pretty complicated, but to keep it simple, the Crown Estate is a property portfolio owned by British monarch as a corporation sole. It is the "Sovereign's public estate" but is it not the personal property of the monarch.

So, who owns the Crown Estate?

The Crown Estate is owned by the reigning monarch in right of The Crown. Thus, the Crown Estate is tied to the crown and to the monarch himself. Properties owned by the Crown Estate cannot be disposed and not even its revenues are owned monarch.

The Crown Estate’s operation is run by an independent-body called the Crown Estate Commissioners. The Estate’s surplus revenue is remitted every year to the Treasury for the benefit of the nation's finances, thus, the monarch does not directly benefit fro…

Mary Goelet, Duchess of Roxburghe, and her Happily Ever After

Mary Goelet was born on October 6, 1878 in New York City, U.S.A., the daughter and first of two children of Ogden Goelet and Mary Rita Wilson. Her father was a yachtsman, landlord, businessman, and a prominent heir from New York City. He was the grandson of Peter Goelet, heir to one of the largest fortunes during the Gilded Age. Her mother, on the one hand, was one of the renowned “marrying Wilsons” who married into the wealthiest and most prominent families of the day.

The Goelets descended from the French Huguenots who fled France and sought for religious freedom in the Americas, amassing large fortunes as traders and merchants. The family went on to purchase huge Manhattan estates, earning money through building and renting out houses.


In 1897, Mary was rumored to be engaged to the 20-year-old William Montagu, 9th Duke of Manchester, who eventually married another American heiress, Helena Zimmerman. One story reveals that William only said he was engaged to Mary in order t…

The Royal Lodge: A Private Home for the British Royals

The Royal Lodge  is one of the private residences of the British Royal Familyand, many times in the past, by various officers of the Royal Household.   It is located within the Windsor Great Park in Berkshire, England, half a mile north of Cumberland Lodge and three miles south of Windsor Castle.

History of the House

There appears to have been a house situated on the site as far back as 1662. By 1750, the small brick house was used in conjunction with the adjacent dairy. Around such time, it was known as Lower Lodge, Great Lodge, and Dairy Lodge.

In the mid-18th century, the house was called the Deputy Ranger’s House after it became home to military topographer and artist Thomas Sandby, then the Deputy Ranger of the Windsor Great Park. It was enlarged in 1792 and was occupied by the Park Bailiff, Joseph Frost, and then by the General Superintendent of Farms.

In 1812, the future King George IV used the house as temporary lodging while rebuilding his intended residence, the nearby Cumbe…

It’s a boy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex! But no Royal Title (at least for now)

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was safely delivered of a son at 5.26 AM (local time), Buckingham Palace announced.  The baby weighs 7lbs 3oz.

The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer were informed of the birth and were delighted with the news.

“The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage,” the announcement said.

Prince Harry is overjoyed!

In a video shared on the Sussex Instagram handle, Prince Harry could not contain his excitement over the birth of his first child. He said he was “just over the moon” on the birth “this little thing,” which he said is “absolutely to die for.”

Prince Harry also aired his feelings for his wife: “I’m so incredibly proud of my wife,” he said. “It’s been the most amazing experience…

The Last Vicereine: The Adventurous Edwina Ashley, Countess Mountbatten of Burma

Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley was born on November 28, 1900 in Broadlands, Romsey Extra, Hampshire, England. She was the elder daughter of Wilfred William Ashley, later 1st Baron Mount Temple, and his first wife Amalia Mary Maud Cassel, whose father Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel was an international magnate considered to be one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Europe at the time.


Edwina was sent away to boarding schools—first to Eastbourne’s Links then to Suffolk’s Alde House—after her father remarried in 1914. Seeing his granddaughter’s unwillingness in neither of the institutions, Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel invited Edwina to live with her. She eventually acted as hostess at his London residence, Brook House, as well as at his other mansions, Moulton Paddocks and Branksome Dene. From him she inherited a considerable fortune--£ 2 million, as well, as the lush Brook House after Sir Ernest’s death in 1921.

Marriage and Family

Edwina, then a leading member of London society, …

Queen Geraldine of Albania, the White Rose of Hungary

Born Countess Géraldine Margit Virginia Olga Mária Apponyi de Nagy-Appony on August 6, 1915 in Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary, Geraldine was the daughter of the impoverished Hungarian noble, Count Gyula Apponyi de Nagy-Appony, and his wife, American heiress Gladys Virginia Steuart.

Birth and Early Years

She spent an idyllic childhood between Hungary, in their family castle at Nagy Appony, and Vienna, where she and her sisters attended the Catholic Sacred Heart boarding school. Geraldine and her family also lived for a time at their chateau Oponice in Slovakia. Geraldine’s family fortune, however, was all spent by the time she was a teenager, which compelled her to take on numerous jobs. She became a shorthand typist and also worked in the gift shop of the Budapest National Museum, where her uncle was then the director. She grew up to be a bookish and intelligent lady who developed a profound interest in Egyptology after securing a stint as librarian at the National Museum.


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