“My Dear Paradise in the Highlands”: Balmoral Castle: The haven retreat for the British Royal Family

September 10, 2015 in 2015 Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, The Anne Boleyn Society by Beth von Staats

by James Peacock

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Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle

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If you ask someone to name a residence of the British Royal Family, understandably they tend to say Buckingham Palace.

That iconic Palace is indeed one of the most recognisable buildings in the United Kingdom- if not the world. It’s located in the heart of the City of Westminster, in bustling London. There, every day, thousands of people pass by. Some have their picture taken at the gates,others watch the changing of the guard, or visit the Royal Mews and the state rooms. Some are even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family during Trooping the Colour or the State Opening of Parliament. In this very location some of the most dramatic moments of current Royal history have taken place, from the famous wedding day kiss of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, to the more recent royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. It is where we are most likely to see all the members of the Royal Family gathered together, often on the balcony. But Buckingham Palace is not considered the ‘home’ of the royals, instead it is considered as the ‘office’. It is where The Queen meets with her Prime Ministers, with foreign heads of state, and where the formal functions of the day are held. The actual home of the Royal Family- or one of them at least- is considered to be Balmoral Castle, in the highlands of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. There, the weather may be unpredictable, but the scenery is completely romantic, almost like a dream, far far away from the hectic commotion of central London.

Balmoral and its History

Balmoral Castle is located in Royal Deeside (River Dee), near the villages of Crathie, Ballater, and Braemer. Its link to the Royal Family began in the late 1840’s with Queen Victoria, (although King Robert II of Scotland had a hunting lodge on that very site in the 14th century).

In 1662 the existing estate passed to Charles Farquharson of Inverey, brother of John Farquharson, known as the “Black Colonel”. Ironically, the Farquharsons were Jacobite sympathisers, and James Farquharson of Balmoral was involved in both the 1715 and 1745 rebellions. He was wounded at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746. The Farquharsons’ estates were forfeit, and passed to the Farquharsons of Auchendryne. In 1798, James Duff, 2nd Earl Fife, acquired Balmoral and leased the house. Sir Robert Gordon, younger brother of the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, acquired the lease in 1830.

The acquisition of Balmoral by Victoria and Albert

In 1837, the young Queen Victoria came to the throne. Over the preceding two hundred years, the Monarchs hadn’t cared much to visit Scotland- let alone the Highlands- but little did anyone realise that this young, sheltered Queen was about to assume her own, new direction. Having read the books of Sir Walter Scott as a child, Victoria fell in love with Scotland- declaring her pride in being descended from the Stuart dynasty.

Victoria and Albert visited Scotland three times between 1842 and 1847. It was during the third visit that they came, by chance, across Balmoral. During their trip they encountered rain-soaked weather, which led Sir James Clark, the queen’s physician, to recommend Deeside as a potential home instead for its healthier climate. Balmoral’s owner Sir Robert Gordon died that same year, and Victoria and Albert, having fallen so much in love with the location, acquired the remaining part of the lease on Balmoral (without having even seen the estate first) from Lord Aberdeen- who had inherited it on the death of Sir Robert.

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Victoria and Albert arrive in Aberdeen. 1848

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Victoria and Albert create their Scottish home

On the 8th September 1848, the royal couple arrived with their young family to pay their first visit to the estate. They instantly fell in love with it – Victoria recording in her diary that “All seemed to breathe freedom and peace, and to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils”. To Albert, it reminded him of his homeland. The sale of the estate was finally completed in June 1852; the neighbouring estate of Birkhall was bought at the same time, and the lease on Abergeldie Castle secured as well. It was immediately found that the existing house was too small, and a new one would have to be built. Construction for the new house began in the summer of 1853, with Prince Albert paying close attention to every detail- particularly turrets and windows- and amending designs. On the 28th September 1853, during their annual autumn visit, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of the new house.

Balmoral Castle, painted by Queen Victoria in 1854, during its construction.

The new house was fully completed in 1856- although the Royal Family had been able to start living in it in 1855- and the old house was subsequently pulled down. The new house had been built on a site some 100 yards (91 m) northwest of the original building that was considered to have a better vista. A plaque on the front lawn marks the spot where the entrance to the old house stood. Balmoral Castle is built from granite quarried at Invergelder on the estate. It consists of two main blocks, each arranged around a courtyard. The southwestern block contains the main rooms, while the northeastern contains the service wings. At the southeast is an 80-foot (24 m) tall clock tower topped with turrets.

Living like ordinary folk

Balmoral gave Victoria and Albert a chance to promote their version of Monarchy- a ‘family orientated Monarchy’. In the words of one historian, no longer was the British Monarchy appealing to a select few of the aristocracy. With a clear image of the Royal Family at home in the country, it began to appeal to the entire nation. Victoria and Albert had done what few Monarchs over the previous two hundred years had wanted to do- not only visit Scotland – particularly the Highlands- but they purchased property there. Now they could live as close to an ordinary life as their status allowed. Within days of their arrival, Victoria climbed the mountain of Lochnager- though she was thoroughly unimpressed by the weather. Courtier Charles Greville wrote of how Victoria loved to visit the ordinary folk, sit down at their tables and talk to the women. Tartan, which had been banned by Victoria’s great-great-grandfather King George II in 1745 after the Jacobite uprising, adorned not only the carpets at Balmoral, but also the royal attire.

New plantings and exotic conifers were established on the grounds during the 1850’s. Prince Albert continued to have a significant involvement in these designs. In 1861 (the year of his death), he developed a model dairy farm (which Queen Victoria completed after his death). Albert and Victoria wanted their children to know how to grow their own vegetables, and on another of their private estates, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, each of their children had their own allotments. It was at Balmoral that Prince Frederick of Prussia asked for the hand of their eldest child, Princess Victoria. Not everyone enjoyed visiting Balmoral, many of Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting were left shivering when Victoria-always a lover of cold weather- would throw open the windows of the estate, even on the days when it was absolutely freezing. Lord Clarendon even claimed he had frost bite in his feet from the cold! Many ministers, particularly in the early days whilst work was still going on, complained that their rooms were so small they had to write their dispatches on beds, because there were no desks in the rooms.

Queen Victoria, with her

After Albert

Following the death of Prince Albert in 1861, Victoria largely withdrew from public life for much of the 1860’s. Yet she traveled to Balmoral (as well as Osborne and Windsor), where she sought sanctuary. There are many memorial tributes to Albert throughout Balmoral, including cairns and statues. It was after Albert’s death that Victoria became dependant on her servant John Brown, a local ghillie from Crathie, who became one of her closest companions during her long mourning, earning her the nickname ‘Mrs Brown’. Only a few changes were made on the estate in the years following Albert’s death; those alterations being to mountain paths, the erection of various cairns and monuments, and the addition of some cottages (Karim Cottage and Baile na Coille) built for senior staff.

In 1887, Balmoral Castle was the birthplace of Victoria Eugenie, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She was born to Princess Beatrice, the fifth daughter of Victoria and Albert. Victoria Eugenie would become the queen of Spain. In November 1900, Queen Victoria left Balmoral for the last time, with the parting words “keep well until I come back”. Sadly, she never did, for less than three months later, Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, another of the peaceful retreats she enjoyed with her beloved Albert. She was greatly mourned throughout Deeside, and the entire United Kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth II and her cousin Margaret Rhodes, relaxing on the Balmoral estate.

After Victoria

After Victoria’s death in 1901, the Royal Family continued to stay at Balmoral. Her grandson, King George V, made substantial improvements during the 1910s and 1920s, which notably included formal gardens to the south of the Castle. Balmoral was not visited during the war. Today, though, it is very much a favourite of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom.  The current Monarch Queen Elizabeth II, Victoria’s and Albert’s great-great-granddaughter, continues to use Balmoral as her beloved summer residence, enjoying long walks, and horse riding into the surrounding mountains.

Whilst she is in residence at Balmoral, on the 9th September 2015, she will overtake Queen Victoria to become the longest reigning Monarch of the United Kingdom. She will be surrounded by memories of her great-great-grandparents, whom she holds dear and in high regard. Elizabeth, like Victoria before her, will pass this symbolic milestone in the place which Victoria famously referred to as “My Dear Paradise in the Highlands”.

Additional information

Balmoral will open again to the public on the 25th February 2016. This will include the gardens, exhibitions, ballroom in the Castle, gift shop and coffee shop. It will close at the end of July, when the Royal Family will again take up residence for the summer. However, winter tours of the gardens are being run on selective dates this year. Do check out the Balmoral website for more information, including renting out holiday cottages on the estate.

Sources

My Dear Paradise in the Highlands    documentary presented by Roy Stewart.

Becoming Queen    by Kate Williams

Balmoral Castle Guidebook

Balmoral: The Royal Family    documentary 2010

Elizabeth II, Queen of “The Greatest Generation”

September 9, 2015 in 2015 Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, Queens of World History by Beth von Staats

By Beth von Staats

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Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch God Save the Queen!

Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch

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“I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
– Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, on her 21st Birthday –

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Video Credit: Maestro Stokowski, You Tube

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Aided by ascension to the throne at a young age, the wonders of modern medicine, a culture heralding tradition as a core value, and most pointedly a steadfast call to duty, Queen Elizabeth II today becomes the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch – not just for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined, but also each individually, history heralding back a millennium. Her Majesty, Elizabeth the Second, is not only Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, and Defender of the Faith by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories, but she is also our anointed Queen of “The Greatest Generation” – the beloved Queen a full partner of those men, women and children for whom the rest of us owe our freedom, and for many of us, our very lives.

The then Princess Elizabeth held by her father,  then Prince Albert, Duke of York.

The then Princess Elizabeth held by her father, then Prince Albert, Duke of York.

Born to Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, Duke of York and his delightful Duchess, once the beloved Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Her Majesty the Queen was not born to reign. She and her younger sister Margaret were the children of the “spare to the throne”, not the heir. Initially, this was quite fortunate indeed. Unable to verbally articulate due to a profound stammer, Her Majesty’s father was once ill equipped to reign in a age where one communicated directly to the realm via speeches in large forums and worldwide by radio. Through one of Great Britain’s greatest a twists of fate, however, not only through exhaustive therapy did the Duke of York overcome his demons, but he also overcame the demons of his brother, a man who chose his personal desires over duty. Thus, upon the abdication of King Edward VIII, the Duke of York suddenly became King George VI and Princess Elizabeth, heir presumptive.

The Victoria Cross is awarded for supreme courage, a disregard for danger and complete devotion to duty.

The Victoria Cross is awarded for supreme courage, disregard for danger and complete devotion to duty.

“For Valour.” These two words penned originally to the Victoria Cross appropriately defined the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth II’s father, so much so that Sir Winston Churchill penned them once again upon a note laid with the Government wreath accompanying the King’s casket. King George VI’s reign was short, but through His Majesty’s example of courage and fortitude, along with that of his remarkable wife, Great Britain galvanized with a shared strength of purpose during the dire years of World War II. In a generation where “all gave some, and some gave all”, as everyone did around her, through the example and steadfast support of her parents, the then Princess Elizabeth “rolled up her sleeves” to do the work that needed to be done to win a war so crucial to preserve a nation, to preserve an empire, to preserve a way of life going back a millennium.

Princess Elizabeth (left) and Princess Margaret (right) as Girl Guides

Princess Elizabeth (left) and Princess Margaret (right) as Girl Guides

World War II erupted while the then 13 year old Princess Elizabeth was vacationing at Balmoral, Scotland with her sister and parents on 3 September 1939. Obviously, King George and Queen Elizabeth rushed to London. Their children initially remained in relative safety at Balmoral cared for by their nanny and governess, along with other royal staff. With the war concentrating for the moment on the European mainland, the Royal Family spent the holidays as usual at Sandringham. Once the King and Queen returned to London, however, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret took up residence at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. Members of the Girl Guides, they continued forward with as normal childhoods as their royal status and the war would allow.

British children board a ship on their way to Canada.

British children board a ship on their way to Canada.

It was during the early months of 1940 that discussions took place regarding the safeguarding of the Royal Family, particularly Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Moving the girls to Canada for the duration of the war or at the very least to Wales or Northern Scotland were all options “on the table”. Had King George VI decided to safeguard his daughters and in doing so also safeguard the succession by moving them to a safe haven, no one would have found fault with it. Instead, Queen Elizabeth famously explained to the realm her thoughts on the matter, “… the children could not go without me, and I could not possibly leave the King, and the King will never leave.” With that so pointedly decided, by May 1940, official announcements declared the girls were living in a “house in the country”. Instead, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were safeguarded for the remaining duration of the war within the walls of Windsor Castle, it’s deepest dungeons, as well as caves dug into the hillside by King George III, used as air raid sheltering. How the Princesses felt while holed up in a dungeon or a cave while bombs fell on London can only be imagined.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit Londoners after aircraft bombings of the city.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit Londoners after aircraft bombings of the city.

Sharing Windsor Castle with a Grenadier Guards company, Princess Elizabeth began her now life-long call to service, sharing meals and playing the royal host. Though the castle was gloomy, it’s contents protected from possible bombing damage (including the royal jewels being stored in hat boxes within the castle vaults), the Royal Family made the most of a downright dangerous situation, the King and Queen visiting their children on weekends. Nearly killed themselves during a bombing raid on Buckingham Palace, the King and Queen continued their royal duties, raising morale visiting British subjects displaced by bombing raids, British troops, and munition factories. Following their example, Princess Elizabeth made her first radio broadcast to the children of Great Britain in 1940. Her remarkably composed broadcast is highlighted below.

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Video Credit: British Pathé War Archives, You Tube

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Prince George, Duke of Kent

Prince George, Duke of Kent

War, like illness, is often an inevitable equalizer among classes of people within a society, and the Royal Family did not avoid the heartache of many impacted by World War II Great Britain. Thus, at age 15, Princess Elizabeth mourned the death of her beloved uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent. Killed in a plane crash during active duty, Prince George left his wife and three children, the youngest only seven weeks old. It is within this context of nationally shared heartbreak that Princess Elizabeth began her royal duties in earnest, named by her father Colonel of the very Grenadier Guards she hosted in her wartime home at Windsor Castle. With steeled determination and poise, Princess Elizabeth dutifully inspected her troops.

 

Princess Elizabeth changing a tire while serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service

Princess Elizabeth changing a tire while serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service

At age 16, Princess Elizabeth dutifully registered with the Labour Exchange, a requirement of all British teenagers. Eager like her peers to join the military services, the King finally acquiesced to her desire to contribute more meaningfully to the war effort. Thus, she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) at age 18, becoming to date the only female member of the Royal Family in British history to serve her country in the military. A subaltern, Princess Elizabeth worked alongside her peers, learning how to change tires, dismantle and repair motor vehicle engines, and how to drive heavy military vehicles, ambulances in particular. Beyond Princess Elizabeth’s military service, she became of age to act as Councillor. Within this role, she acted as a Regent when her father was away, most notably when he made a highly top secret trip to Italy.

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(left to right) The then Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, Sir Winston Churchill, King George VI and Princess Margaret celebrate before and with Londoners upon the balcony of Buckingham Palace on V.E. Day, May 8, 1945.

(left to right) The then Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, Sir Winston Churchill, King George VI and Princess Margaret celebrate before and with Londoners upon the balcony of Buckingham Palace on V.E. Day, 8 May 1945.

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Through the shared hardship of people throughout the allied nations, along with the Grace of God, World War II ended throughout Europe on 8 May 1945. After joining her sister, parents and Prime Minister Winston Churchill upon the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet those in celebration, Princess Elizabeth, grown from a child to a woman through the hardship of war alongside all other British children of the “Greatest Generation”, slipped outside with her sister. Together they celebrated unrecognized alongside their London neighbors, cheering their parents on to immortality.

God save the Queen. Long may she reign.

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SOURCES:

Author Unidentified, Rare Pictures of Queen Elizabeth II Serving in World War II, Vintage Everyday: Rare Pictures.

Cohen, Jennie, 8 Things You May Not Know About Queen Elizabeth II, History in the Headlines.

Couzens, Ellen, The Queen’s War, Royal Central.

Wallace, Irving, She Did Her Bit, Collier’s Magazine, March 22, 1947.

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Beth von Staats

Beth von Staats

Beth von Staats a history writer of both fiction and non-fiction short works. A life-long history enthusiast, Beth  is the owner and administrator of Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers website, QueenAnneBoleyn.com.

Beth’s interest in British History grew through the profound influence of her Welsh grandparents, both of whom desired she learn of her family cultural heritage. Her most pronounced interest lies with the men and women who drove the course of events and/or who were most poignantly impacted by the English Henrician and Protestant Reformations, as well as the Tudor Dynasty of English and Welsh History in general.

Beth’s short biography, Thomas Cranmer In a Nutshell, was recently released by MadeGlobal Publishing. A second biography, Thomas More In a Nutshell, and a full length book focusing on Henrican martyrdom are current works in process.

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Thomas Cranmer by Beth von Staats

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Thomas Cranmer “In a Nutshell”

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The Coronation Jewels Worn by Elizabeth II, By Sandi Vasoli

September 9, 2015 in 2015 Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, Guest Writers, Queens of World History by Beth von Staats

by Sandi Vasoli

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Queen Elizabeth II on Her Coronation Day

Queen Elizabeth II on Her Coronation Day

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Early in the morning of 6 February, 1952, this urgent report was broadcast from London by BBC News:

“His Majesty, King George VI, has died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham House. The official announcement from Sandringham, given at 1045 GMT, said the King retired in his usual health, but passed away in his sleep and was found dead in bed at 0730 GMT by a servant. He was 56, and was known to have been suffering from a worsening lung condition.

Princess Elizabeth, who is at the Royal hunting lodge in Kenya, immediately becomes Queen at the age of 25. She has been informed of her father’s death, and is preparing to return to London, but a thunderstorm has delayed the departure of her plane. She is expected back tomorrow afternoon, when she will take the Royal Oath which will seal her accession to the throne.” (1)

Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by Sir Winston Churchill

Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by Sir Winston Churchill upon her arrival from Kenya.

Flying back to London from Kenya with her husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Elizabeth was greeted by a committee of officials headed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The city and the country were in mourning, yet, following ancient tradition, Elizabeth was proclaimed queen on 8 February, 1952. She was 25 years of age.

Protocol required that an appropriate period of official mourning take place prior to the coronation ceremonies for the new queen. So, 16 months after the death of her father, having served that time as the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, the elaborately planned and spectacular event took place. Elizabeth Windsor was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Prior to her coronation, there had been thirty-eight Sovereigns who had acceded the throne in the ancient, stunning Abbey of Westminster.

There are very few, if any, ceremonies or occasions the world over which holds equal significance and pageantry as does the crowning of a new king or queen of the United Kingdom. The fact that most of the ritual is centuries old, and has remained in place as such for close to a thousand years offers a unique and quite spectacular view into the grandeur and durability of the British monarchy. And of course, an extraordinary element of the day, with its visual grandeur and historical significance, are the jewels worn by the new monarch.

The coronation of Elizabeth II was noteworthy in that it was the first such ceremony ever to have been captured on film, and broadcast to millions of viewers the world over. Those viewers were able to marvel at the solemnity of the proceedings, and they were also offered a glimpse of the breathtaking jewels worn by Elizabeth.

Diamond Diadem

Diamond Diadem

Attired in a silk gown designed specifically for the day by the couturier Norman Hartnell, Elizabeth entered Westminster Abbey wearing the Diamond Diadem, also known as the George IV State Diadem. (2) The Diadem was made in 1820. It consists of over 320 carats, and 1,333 diamonds. Its circular base features 169 pearls. The sculpted design represents roses, thistles and shamrocks which are traditional symbols of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Coronation Necklace

Coronation Necklace

Setting off her elegant gown were the Coronation Necklace and Earrings. These pieces were commissioned in 1858 by Queen Victoria. The necklace is set with 26 enormous, perfect diamonds, graduated in size around the actual circlet, with the largest of those weighing over 11 carats. The pendant diamond is the Lahore Diamond: 22.48 carats, which had been culled from the Timur Ruby necklace of India. The earrings are pendant diamonds suspended from double studs – the pendants also taken from the Timur Ruby necklace and remade by Victoria. (3) 

Coronation Ring

Coronation Ring

During the ceremony, a symbolic ring was placed on Elizabeth’s fourth finger by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Known as the Coronation Ring, it has, since the thirteenth century, contained a ruby. Elizabeth’s ring was made in 1831 for the coronation of William IV. Its center stone is a mixed-cut octagonal sapphire, set in gold. The sapphire is overlaid with four rectangular-cut and one square-cut ruby which form a cross. The entire ring is bordered with fourteen diamonds, with a diamond on each corner. The band is gold. (4) 

Coronation Armills

Coronation Armills

At a particular stage in the coronation service, Elizabeth had placed on her arms a pair of armills – cufflike bracelets. They represent sincerity and wisdom. The pair worn by Elizabeth had been specifically commissioned for her investiture. Made of 22 karat gold, they were fashioned by Garrard &Co. and encircle the arm by way of spring clasps, with the hinges designed as Tudor roses. (5)

St. Edward's Crown

St. Edward’s Crown

The moment of crowning is the most significant, most dramatic point in the commencement of the reign of all Sovereigns of England. To signify her accession as an annointed queen, St. Edward’s Crown was placed upon Elizabeth’s head. It is made of solid gold, and was created in 1661. The current St Edward’s Crown was designed after the Restoration of the Monarchy. Legend has it that the lower part may in fact contain part of the original crown of Edward the Confessor. (6)

In the course of the coronation rite, Elizabeth, like other monarchs before her, was presented with the Sovereign’s Orb and the Sceptre with the Cross. The Orb – a gold sphere encircled with diamonds, pearls and other gemstones, and topped with a golden cross, represents the Monarch’s role as Defender of the Faith. The Sceptre, which is intended to indicate that the Monarch has temporal authority under God, is a staff which is set with the second largest diamond in the world: the Great Star of Africa, hewn from the massive Cullinan diamond. (7)

Coronation Septre

Coronation Septre

Finally, and most astonishing of all of the magnificent jewels worn by Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day, and on other state occasions since, is the Imperial Crown. It is stunning, and what’s more, it is rich in history. Many of the stones set in the crown have mysterious and captivating histories. If the gems in this tiara could speak, oh, how legends would come to life! There are pearls reportedly having belonged to Elizabeth I (might they be the pearls which adorned her mother, Anne Boleyn’s, famous necklace?), the Second Star of Africa, the Stuart Sapphire, the Black Prince’s ruby, and St Edward’s Sapphire, which may well be over one thousand years old. Such a piece defies imagination. It is, possibly the best representation of the majesty, the mystery, and the ravishing glamour of the coronation of a new king or queen.

To hear about, and see the Imperial State Crown, watch this charming video in which Elizabeth II describes the treasure. It will leave you breathless! (8)

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Video Credit: Royal Insight (You Tube)
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Source Notes:
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1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/6/newsid_2711000/2711265.stm

2.http://www.royal.gov.uk/LatestNewsandDiary/Pressreleases/2003/50factsaboutTheQueensCoronation.aspx

3.http://www.royal.gov.uk/the%20royal%20collection%20and%20other%20collections/thecrownjewels/overview.aspx

4.  https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/31720/the-sovereigns-ring

5. Ibid

6. http://www.royal.gov.uk/the%20royal%20collection%20and%20other%20collections/thecrownjewels/overview.aspx

7. https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/31712/the-sovereigns-sceptre-with-cross

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Meet The Author

Sandi Vasoli

Sandi Vasoli

Sandra Vasoli, author of Anne Boleyn’s Letter from the Tower, earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and biology from Villanova University before embarking on a thirty-five-year career in human resources for a large international company.

Having written essays, stories, and articles all her life, Vasoli was prompted by her overwhelming fascination with the Tudor dynasty to try her hand at writing both historical fiction and non-fiction. While researching what would eventually become her Je Anne Boleyn series, Vasoli was granted unprecedented access to the Papal Library. There she was able to read the original love letters from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn—an event that contributed greatly to her research and writing.

Vasoli currently lives in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two greyhounds.

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Anne Boleyns Letter From The Tower

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