Friday, April 11, 2014

Opening of Richmond Park

April 11, 1904

King Edward VII has "advantage" of the death of the "old Duke of Cambridge" to open the "whole of Richmond park to the public.   The Marquise de Fontenoy reports that the late duke was "jealous of his rights" as the park's ranger, and King Edward and Queen Alexandra were "too much attached to him" to subject him to any annoyance."

But now that the duke has died,  the king sees no reason to further "delay the fulfillment to open up the park to the people.

Only a small portion of Richmond Park was accessible to the public.  Most of the "picturesque parts" were "shut off for the preservation of game," and the shooting was restricted to the "friends and cronies" of the late duke, as well as to "favored members" of his household. 

During the years when Princess Frederica of Hanover lived at Hampton Court, a "portion of the shooting" was reserved for her husband, Baron Pawel von Rammingen.  He was very "keen" about the "trespass upon his prerogatives in the matter."

King Edward has now ordered that the "preservation of game" has been discontinued and the park "thrown open" to all the people with "as little delay as possible.  Deer will be transferred to Windsor and Balmoral and the birds, if caught, will be sent to "the coverts at Sandringham."

It is expected that Richmond Park will be completely open by August 1.

The late Duke of Cambridge died on March 17.  He was a first cousin of the late Queen Victoria.  The Princess of Wales is his niece, as her mother, the late Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, was his youngest sister.

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