The Coronations of 1902 and 1911


Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Let me just make a note of that for your file, Ernie. 'Envious of people who move in illustrious circles.' You're digging your own grave, you know! :)

Actually my grandfather knew them all - Royalty, great statesmen, leaders of industry. He moved in their company and where he led, they followed. He was a chauffeur.
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Well. I'm not so sure that anybody's knitting will be safe with Bob. I have it on reasonable authority (Bob himself) that his noble ancestors may have come over with the Conqueror, which only goes to show how so many of us are the scions of ancient toffs, but are now just happy enough contemporary proles. My granny on the other side of my family once told me,
"We go back to the Conqueror!"
"What, William himself?"
"Nah. 'course not. Some geezer wot came over wiv him for the money, but he 'ad a title, they do say."
"But no money left then, Gran?"
"Naaaah. You got a job yet?"

You're straining my literary memory here, Martin. But I don't think I'll be turning the gun on myself, even if Bob does out me in front of the Committee. Let the ******* do their own dirty work, I say.
 

Bob Godfrey

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I'm luckier than you, Mon. The wealth of my Mediaeval ancestors has been preserved intact and passed on down through the generations. I have it now. Not much use though. What can you get for a groat these days?
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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>>>'Envious of people who move in illustrious circles.' You're digging your own grave, you know! :) <<<

No!! Just envious of Martin meeting Lady Gabriella, although he does not seem so keen about it now.

Sashka, I was only joking about being even remotely involved with the Royals but I think you gathered that. Mind you, my wife did visit Windsor Castle two weeks ago - sadly, she had to pay to get in.
 
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Gabriella's innate good breeding shows, though she is privately thinking that Bob really ought to be able to hold a groat's worth of grog better than this ...
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"Mind you, my wife did visit Windsor Castle two weeks ago - sadly, she had to pay to get in."

She should count herself lucky, Ernie. So many of the Board's illustrious forbears had to pay to get out.
 
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sashka pozzetti

Guest
You're Ok Ernie, I did realise, but with your wife's direct funding of the extravagances of the Aristocracy, you are in dangerous territory.

Well my relatives may have been less than rich, and of commoner blood, but they would NEVER have behaved like the gruesome twosome above. I think their 'breeding' must have gone in the trash with their dignity. !
 

Ernie Luck

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Nov 24, 2004
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>>>Well my relatives may have been less than rich, and of commoner blood, but they would NEVER have behaved like the gruesome twosome above.<<<

I agree, Sashka - Bob and Monica should know better.
 
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Not me, Guv. I only took the picture. Then I made an excuse and left. The Tatler tells me that if only I'd got Bob's face in, it could have been worth a thousand groats.
 
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These irreverent attitudes towards the Royal House of Windsor are causing me no small consternation! By way of comparison, here is what 'Vogue' had to say about the Duchess of Kent (Lady Gabriella's super-chic paternal grandmother) in the mid-1930s. The magazine saw Marina as the natural inheritor of Queen Alexandra's crown as royal glamour-puss:

'There is the same classic purity of line; the same air of aloof elegance; the same charming, vague, rather wry smile; the same coiffure is topped by an identical hat...women scan the papers for the Duchess's confirmation of fashion's newest trends...'

And that crown is certainly being passed down the generations - by any standards, Ella Windsor has the most sensational looks and is never less than beautifully turned out. She is actually the only girl who has ever stopped me in my tracks when seen from the other side of the room.
 
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In an endeavour to get this thread back on track after the deviations of the past week, here is how peers and dignitaries received their summons to the Coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in Westminster Abbey in the summer of 1902:

Right Trusty and Well Beloved Cousin

We greet you well. Whereas the sixth day of June next is appointed for the solemnity of our Royal Coronation. These are to will and command you (all excuses set apart) to make your personal attendance on Us at the time above mentioned, furnished and appointed to your Rank and Quality appertaineth, there to do and perform all such services as shall be required and belong unto you. Whereof you are not to fail.

We bid you most heartily farewell.

Given at Our Court of St James's this second day of June in the second year of our Reign.

By His Majesty's Command

Norfolk

'Norfolk' was, of course, the Duke of Norfolk, the most senior-ranking peer of the realm who, in his hereditary capacity as Earl Marshal, was responsible for organising the coronation ceremony. Ironically, the Norfolk dynasty (with an extremely complex and troubled history) is famously Catholic!

Shortly before his crowning, Edward VII succumbed to an acute attack of appendicitus and almost died. The ceremony planned for 6th June did not actually take place until 9th August, when the king was fully recovered.
 
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Blast, Martin! Bob & I had a wager that, if you ignored the picture of Ella above, then 10-1 it was you she was so nobly supporting
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I like her mother, though. Anyone who can allegedly scandalize the Duke of Edinburgh by saying
"We'll go anywhere for a hot meal.."
is on the right track.

Dentistry, Martin, that's the defining thing in these otherwise lovely Royal women. Alexandra was, apparently a pretty girl who suffered from slight lameness, progressive deafness, and rather poor teeth - hence the enigmatic smile. She also, it's said, liked a smoke - well, who wouldn't, married to Bertie?
 
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You are quite correct in what you say - Lady Diana Cooper was NOT impressed by Queen Alexandra's much-vaunted beauty. She particularly drew attention to the bad teeth! Then again...did ANYBODY back then have a good set of knashers? I've always been faintly disturbed by the peg-like stumps on display in photographs of famous Edwardian beauties like Zena Dare and Lily Elsie.

It was not generally known that Queen Mary smoked heavily throughout her life - even Queen Victoria had a puff now and then, when trying to ward off the midges during her picnics in the Highlands.
 
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Duff Cooper, married to Diana Manners.

My grandmother was his nursery maid, living in the household of his father, a knighted doctor, and Duff (aged about 10) loved her quite a bit it seems. She used to visit after they were married occasionally. But Granny doesn't seem to have approved of either their lifestyle or their politics really, though from WW2 onwards she was supportive of them, for patriotic reasons.

"Diana ... hmmmph! Oh well ... "
 
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Lady Diana has elicited much the same response from me since I first became acquainted with her story. Although I don't think her at all the legendary beauty so many people raved about during her lifetime, and although she seems to have behaved maddeningly from time to time, she was undoubtedly Society's favourite 'It Girl' in the years immediately prior to the Great War. She knocked around with the even more flamboyant Nancy Cunard around this time - I've seen a photograph of them together at the races in 1914, looking exceedingly chic.
 
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sashka pozzetti

Guest
Well I did know that Queen Mary was hiding a heavy smoking habit (maybe she didn't wan't to look common?)!!! :)

That is only because I just browsed some basic facts about her. It seems the smoking caused her death from lung cancer. In the process, I found out various things about her. Visiting dying soldiers in hospital (though she may have been made to do this for PR reasons as she apparently hated it) keeping detailed photographic records of her childrens progress, her husband was apparently devoted to her, and she instigated economy measures at the palace during WWI. On the down side , one of her sons wrote a derogatory letter about her failures as a mother, she was rather obsessed with posessions, particularly ostentatious jewellery, and drove a gigantic chisel into the rift with Edward VIII by refusing to even see or speak with Wallis.

I get the picture of a dogmatic woman, who stood by her principles (mainly a belief in the importance of Royalty) and was so inflexible and unpragmatic that she failed to realise the harm she was causing, as well as the good.

Martin may have already mentioned this, but I also read that she was the first Consort Queen to attend the Coronation of the successor to her husband, as she wished to devote her support to George VI.

So as I suspected, a long varied life, with many shades of grey none of which excite me in any way. The only slight exceptions being the zeal with which she tried to get back family possessions by researching historic Royal loans, so she could then ask for them back! Now that is funny!! :)
 

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