Friday, April 29, 2016

Prince Victor Napoleon stricken

April 29, 1926

Prince Victor Napoleon is said to be "seriously ill" in Brussels, according to the New York Times.  The Bonapartist pretender to the French throne suffered a stroke last night.  Friends fear for his life.

Prince Victor is 64 years old.  He was born at Meudon, near Paris, in 1862.  He is a descendant of Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, a younger brother of the "great Emperor."   In 1910, he married Princess Clementine, the youngest daughter, of King Leopold II of the Belgians.   They have two children, Princess Marie Clothilde, 14 and 12-year-old Prince Louis.

Following the passage of a French law in 1888 that forbids members of the former ruling dynasties to live in France,  Prince Victor has lived in exile.  He succeeded his father as the Bonapartist heir in 1891.

Boom! Bring on the Invictus Games

A little trash talk from both sides of the Pond.   Brilliantly funny!  Staring the Queen, Prince Harry and President and Michelle Obama.  Boom!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cousins have lunch with Queen Ena

April 28, 1931

The Prince of Wales and Prince George visited Fontainebleau earlier today for luncheon with the newly exiled Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, who is their father's first cousin.  They apparently had an enjoyable afternoon, and returned to Paris too late to fly back to London as planned, reported the New York Times.  The two princes, sons of George V, plan to "finish their 18,000 mile trip from South America to London tomorrow."

Just before noon, the two princes paid a courtesy call to French President Doumergue. Afterward, they "motored" to Fontainebleau where they "passed several hours" with Queen Victoria Eugenia and her family.

Back in London, a crowd had gathered in Windsor Park to welcome the Prince of Wales and Prince George back to England.  There was much disappointment when it was announced that the flight had been postponed until tomorrow.

The Duke of York had planned to be on hand to welcome his brothers "as soon as they landed," but canceled his plans. The Prince of Wales' cairn terrier was among those waiting at the park for his return.  He "amused the crowd by dashing among officials who tried to control him."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

And right next door to Agecroft Hall is Virginia House, a real English manor house

Seriously ... right next door to Agecroft Hall is Virginia House, an English manor house, once a part of the Warwick Priory.  This house was also dismantled and brought to Richmond and rebuilt on property on the James River in Windsor Farms.

The house and estate is now owned by the Virginia Historical Society.  The house was closed on Saturday, but there are no fences between Agecroft Hall and Virginia House.  So what does a girl with a camera do?  She nonchalantly strolls through the garden, climbs over a bench, and starts taking pictures. 

Agecroft Hall: a Tudor Gem in Richmond, Virginia

On April 23rd, I took the train from Alexandria, Virginia, to Richmond to visit Agecroft Hall.  (Taxi from Staple Mills train station was about $20.00)  Agecroft Hall is a Tudor mansion (yes, a Tudor mansion) on the James River in Richmond, Virginia.  The original house was built in Lancashire, England, and was the home of the Langley family.

It is somewhat appropriate that the house is on a river named for King James I.  The last occupant left the house in 1904, and it remained unoccupied until the mid-1920s.  The house was deteriorating, and the owners could not find anyone in England (even in Parliament) to save such a historic home.   The house was put up for auction, and a very wealthy Richmond businessman T.C. Williams, Jr., purchased the house.  He had it dismantled and shipped to Richmond, where he had it rebuilt on property he owned.  It took two years to bring the house back to life.

The house, which sits on 23 acres, is a part of the "fashionable Windsor Farms Housing development.  The land was once the Williams' family farm.  In Mr. Williams' will, he stipulated that following the death of his widow the house would become a museum.    Williams died in 1929, and his wife, Elizabeth, remained in the home until the 1960s.  She and her second husband spent many years acquiring original period pieces that are now on display in the house.

Here is my favorite: the portrait of the Countess of Lincoln.

This house is older than the United States.  Older than the colonial period.  Visiting Agecroft Hall is a step back in time to another country.  It is being in England ... without having to take a plane.  My tour guide, Hester, was awesome and knowledgeable.   Thanks, too, to the kind retired teacher who drove me to Carytown, saving me a 25-minute walk, where I had a nice meal and beer at Home, Sweet Home, before calling a cab back to the train station.   I had a fontina and bacon sandwich on toasted wheat bread.  Yummy.

and right next door to Agecroft is Virginia House  

John of Gaunt window

Selfies with Shakespeare

Sword fighting

Shakespeare interpretations 


William Shakespeare

Celebrating the 452nd birthday of the Bard of Avon