The Queen's House: A Social History of Buckingham Palace
A biography of the world’s most famous house and the story of its vital role in the history of a nation.
In this social history of Buckingham Palace, Edna Healey mines the royal archives to take the reader into its moonlit gardens, up the grand staircase, and inside its tapestried walls. Dr. Johnson again holds forth in the library, Queen Victoria encores Mendelssohn in the music room, and in the royal chambers Fanny Burney wrestles once more with protocol.
Written with the assistance of the royal family, this lively and colorful biography of a house reveals not only the changing façade of the palace but also the changing face of a nation’s culture, morals, fashions, and tastes.
16 pages of color photographs; 8 pages of black & white photographs
she is also proud of her ancestry, which goes back beyond the Hanoverians to the sister of Charles II and the Stuarts. The Queen also hosts working dinners at the Palace. For example, a large dinner party was given for the G7* Summit in the State Dining Room. It was followed by a firework and laser display in the courtyard, watched by guests through the Green Drawing Room windows. On this occasion James Galway played the flute: did he remember the Gainsborough portrait of George Ill’s miraculous
magnificent Carlton House and the wedding breakfast was held there in his extravagant style. Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold settled most happily after the honeymoon at the charming country house, Claremont, near Esher in Surrey, where Prince Leopold enjoyed replanning the garden and estate. With them at Claremont was his friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar. Stockmar was the son of a Coburg lawyer. His mother, a woman of great sense and intelligence, was a great influence in his life. His
displaying statues and paintings, privy gardens where men and women of rank could walk unchallenged. Politically incompetent and uncomprehending though Charles I was, he had excellent artistic taste and during the first decade of his reign assembled a most spectacular collection of paintings. He owed some of his talent to the example of his mother, the shadowy Anne of Denmark, who was said to have cared more for paintings than for men, and who took great pleasure in the acquisitions of her
half his age. In October 1811 he had parted from Mrs Jordan, making an allowance for her and her children, stipulating that it would be reduced if she went back on the stage. He took care of the children, but she kept in close touch with them all. Swindled by a son-in-law, harassed by creditors, she finally fled to France. She went back on the stage. On 5 July 1816 she died alone and in poverty, in cold, bleak rented rooms in the village of St Cloud. After his marriage he still kept her
did, ‘the limitation of the Queen’s patronage’; he saw in them a sameness, ‘a staid Germanic, bourgeois quality, a lack of humour, a liking for the second rate’. In this there is some truth. However, as Sir Oliver Millar has written, ‘of all the motives that urged her to buy or commission pictures, the most powerful and pervasive was, simply, love’.36 As she wrote to her daughter, ‘how wrong it is not to paint things as they really are’.37 More daunting, however, than the organization of the