Latest Post

Villa Edelweiss, Queen Victoria’s Home in Cannes

  In April 1887, Queen Victoria set about on her holiday pilgrimage to the French Riviera. This time, she went to Cannes where she visited V...

Villa Edelweiss, Queen Victoria’s Home in Cannes

 In April 1887, Queen Victoria set about on her holiday pilgrimage to the French Riviera. This time, she went to Cannes where she visited Villa Nevada, where her youngest  son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, died in 1884. She also visited the Church of St. George, the construction of which was dedicated to him.

Queen Victoria in Grasse: Recollections from Constance Flower, Baroness Battersea

 We follow Queen Victoria as she frequent the south of France for her annual holiday. In her memoirs, Reminiscences, published in 1922 by McMillan & Co.,  society hostess, philanthropist, and feminist activist –but also formidable Rothschild heiress—Constance Flower, Baroness Battersea recollects her many encounters with Queen Victoria, her family, and the Royal Household, while in Grasse. She writes:

Queen Victoria in Menton

On March 16, 1882, Queen Victoria arrived in the frontier town of Menton on the French Riviera for the very first time. At that moment, she fell in love with the place, which she called “paradise of nature”. Since then until 1899, she would decamp to this part of France more or less a dozen more times. In fact, from 1896 until 1899, her French holidays were the only overseas trips she ever made. The eruption of the second Boer War in October 1899 and her declining health forever prevented her from returning to her French retreats. Undoubtedly, Queen Victoria was happiest on these escapades. In fact, as she neared her death, she wrote: "Oh, if only I were at Nice, I should recover."

Queen Alexandra and her "bewildering lots of things"

Queen Alexandra had a penchant for collecting stuff and her London residence, Marlborough House, and country retreat, Sandringham, became cluttered with trinkets and knickknacks acquired through the years. An interesting account about Queen Alexandra's hoards is recounted by Queen Mary's biographer, James Pope-Hennessy: 

The tenancy of Queen Alexandra at the Big House [Sandringham] had lasted longer than King Edward had imagined that it would. The fact that the Queen Dowager, with her daughter Princess Victoria and a small suite, occupied only a few of the rooms of the house, leaving the rest to decay, had been a long standing source of secret grievance to the inhabitants of York cottage. Queen Alexandra's death in November 1925 meant that York Cottage could at long last be vacated and that the King and Queen of England with their family and the Court could take up their residence in a country-house of reasonable size. In January 1926 the King and Queen began to take stock of the contents of the Big House: "Such a bewildering lot of things & pictures," Queen Mary noted. They retrieved those Crown Jewels which Queen Alexandra had retained for her own use, as well as dividing her personal jewellery amongst the members of the family. "Fine," Queen Mary noted for Saturday, 9 January. "At 11 to S. where Toria & Maud with G. & me divided dear Mama's jewels — it was interesting but sad."

On the return of the Court to London, Queen Mary turned her attention to Marlborough House, which had of course also fallen vacant with Queen Alexandra's death. "My time," she wrote in February 1926, "is kept fairly occupied looking over the things from Marl. Hse & helping George to place them in suitable positions. You never saw such a mass of things of all kinds as there are, a motley collection of good and bad things - A warning to one not to keep too much for nothing was ever thrown away in those 60 years!"

Going through the accumulations at Marlborough House - discovering a Berlin tea-service, wedding out the less valuable kind, sorting and arranging - formed for Queen Mary an ideal pastime.... 

Source: Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessy, 1959.

Princess Victoria, the "Sweet-Natured" Royal

Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom ( 6 July 1868 – 3 December 1935) was the fourth child and second daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. A younger sister of King George V, she, together with her two sisters, Louise and Maud, led a very sheltered and isolated childhood. Their mother, the then-Princess of Wales, was overly protective of her daughters that she was reluctant to marry them off.

Prince and princess Michael to retire from public life

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Image from Royal Family website

 Prince and Princess Michael is reportedly set to retire from public life, royal correspondent Camilla Tominey reports for The Telegraph

All the royals who will attend Princess Ingrid Alexandra's 18th birthday gala

 On Friday June 17, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway will host a spectacular gala dinner on the occasion of Princess Ingrid Alexandra's 18th birthday, at the Royal Palace in Oslo. It is expected to be a grand and glittering affair with a long list of royal guests, including 3 kings, 3 queens, and 12 crown princes and princess, as well as those from the government, Norwegian organizations and diplomatic corps, who will join Norway's royal house in this spectacular celebration. Scroll down below for the complete list of guests.