Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Queen Victoria's Knitting Bag Sold!

I have been away recently and I am going to find it a bit difficult to write often because of travelling between two places. I will do the best that I can to make my posts as frequent as possible.

A knitting bag of Queen Victoria's was sold recently. Apparently the Queen was a keen knitter. This surprised me because I've read that she didn't like sewing. Here is the article: Queen Victoria's Knitting Bag I will try to find a picture now! Here is another link with a picture: The Lichfield Blog

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Duchess of Marlborough Faberge Egg

Beautiful nineteen-year old Consuelo Vanderbilt, granddaughter of the great Cornelius, could hardly stop crying on her wedding day. She was in love with Winthrop Rutherford, but her mother had made her marry the Duke of Marlborough. This meant that she'd have to leave her own country and live with someone she hardly knew and didn't find impressive.

She found success as a Duchess and grew to love England, but not her husband! She visited Russia and dined with the Tsar himself at the Bal des Palmiers. Although Princess Alexandra's Faberge collection didn't impress her very much, she must have liked Grand Duchess Vladimir's and the Dowager Empress's collections. The former Empress's collection included a Blue Serpent Clock Egg.

Soon afterwards the Duchess commissioned a large egg from Faberge. She was the only American to commission a large egg from them. It is believed to have cost over 5000 rubles.

This beautiful ornament, a clock in the shape of an Easter egg, was crafted by Michael Perchin, who was inspired by a Louis XVI clock. The egg is coloured in translucent pink, white and gold with a diamond-encrusted serpent surrounding it. It features the diamond-set monogram of Consuelo - the initials CM under a ducal crown.

After her divorce from the Duke Consuelo gave this to a charity auction in 1926 where it was bought by the Polish soprano, Ganna Walska. This was the first Faberge Easter egg that Malcolm Forbes bought. In 2004 it was sold to Vekselberg.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Empress Elizabeth Helps Refugee Children

Empress Elizabeth of Austria is helping refugee children more than 100 years after she was killed in Switzerland: Empress Elizabeth Gives Hope To Young Refugees

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Wild Princess

The young girl ran out onto the street and stood there bewildered. Luckily a kindly man watching from an upstairs window saw that she was lost and helped her by hailing a cab for her.

She was Princess Charlotte Augusta, the daughter of George IV and Charlotte of Brunswick, but the taxi driver didn't know this. He thought that she was a fine lady's maid!

Torn between her drunken and dissolute father and her promiscuous mother, Charlotte was often left with her rather stern grandmother and her strange aunts. She took after her mother and grew up to be rather rebellious. This was not surprising because her father was very jealous of her popularity and often tried to keep her in seclusion.

When she went to her mother's in the cab, Princess Charlotte was distraught because her father had found out that she wanted to break off her engagement to the Prince of Orange who had been drunk at a social occasion. Charlotte was not impressed!

The Princess was in love with Prince Augustus of Prussia at this time, but he was already married. She had also had a relationship with the handsome and flirtatious Captain Hesse but he didn't intend to marry her.

Eventually she married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, who was also young and handsome. He was penniless but very ambitious and the Tsar of Russia was very impressed with the young man. He first visited England in the Tsar's entourage but Charlotte took no notice of him because she loved someone else.

Sophisticated Prince Leopold had excellent manners so Princess Charlotte's boisterous and impulsive ways shocked him at first. But the young couple fell in love quite quickly.

Charlotte died tragically in 1817 after a year of happiness with Leopold at their country house, Claremont, after having a still-born baby. She was only 23. The nation's grief was so great that it resembled the mourning after Princess Diana died.

Soon afterwards Princess Victoria was born.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Marie Antoinette's Jewels

Here is a lovely post from Cupid's Charm about Marie Antoinette's many beautiful jewels: The Jewellery of Queen Marie-Antoinette
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