Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace 3

Evening gown, probably Norman Hartnell, early 1950s. Lent by kind permission of HM the Queen. Photos: Melanie Clegg. Although there’s a distinctly Georgian theme going on at Kensington Palace at the moment, there’s still plenty of nods towards the palace’s other famous residents to enjoy when you pay a visit with displays devoted to the […]



The Glorious Georges at Kensington Palace 3

‘In 1727, King George II succeeded to the British throne: a German born, military man with a penchant for punctuality and a glamorous succession of mistresses. He and his wife, Queen Caroline – a witty, intellectually curious and highly educated woman – cultivated a sparkling court at Kensington Palace, which became the talk of Georgian […]

The Glorious Georges at Hampton Court Palace 8

‘In 1714, King George I arrived in London: an obscure German prince who spoke little English, spectacularly elevated to the British throne. Selected by the British parliament as a Protestant with an illustrious royal lineage, after the successive childlessness of the Stuart monarchs, here was a King who came with a ready-made Prince of Wales […]


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Lucile Desmoulins – a revolutionary romance 5

Lucile Desmoulins, Boilly, c1791. Photo: Musée Carnavalet/Melanie Clegg. Anne Lucile Philippa Laridon-Duplessis was born in Paris in 1771 to a rich financier Étienne-Claude Duplessis-Laridon and his wife Anne-Françoise-Marie Boisdeveix. She had one elder sister, Adèle, who was widowed at an early age and then returned home to live with her parents. Lucile is known to […]

Hortense de Beauharnais 5

La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains, Duclaux, 1813. Photo:Napoleonmuseum, Thurgau, Switzerland. I’ve always had THE most immense soft spot for Hortense de Beauharnais and have long harboured an ambition to one day write about her as she had such an interesting, albeit rather sad life. I don’t know if I’ll ever get around […]


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The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760 10

A Musical Tea Party, Laroon, 1740. Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014. In 1714 George I ascended the throne as the first British monarch of the German House of Hanover. With the dawn of a new dynastic age came a silent revolution – one of the most dramatic periods of change across all […]

Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses 7

On 17 July 1918, four young women walked down twenty-three steps into the cellar of a house in Ekaterinburg. The eldest was twenty-two, the youngest only seventeen. Together with their parents and their thirteen-year-old brother, they were all brutally murdered. Their crime: to be the daughters of the last Tsar and Tsaritsa of All the […]



Packing for a Georgian Sleepover… 10

Frederick, Prince of Wales and his sisters at Kew Palace, Mercier, 1733. Photo: National Portrait Gallery. There’s just under a month to go until the next Hampton Court Palace sleepover event and I’m already massively over excited about the whole thing and have been thinking about what to take with me. I was pretty unprepared […]

Jane Digby 9

Jane Digby, Stieler, 1831. Photo: Schloss Nymphenburg. What a beauty. I had SUCH a girl crush on Jane Digby when I was a child, after reading about her life in a guide book to one of the Digby family piles, Sherborne Castle in Dorset. We were living on the estate of the Earl of Cottenham […]



Elisabeth de Valois, Queen of Spain 7

Élisabeth de Valois, de la Cruz, 1605. Photo: Prado, Madrid. I love this portrait, it’s so stately and yet melancholy at the same time, isn’t it. Which I suppose is hardly surprising as the subject didn’t exactly have the most cheery of lives when all is said and done. Élisabeth de Valois was born at […]

Crown of Thistles 8

Despite having made the point several times on this blog that I am not exactly a fan of Mary Queen of Scots, I have recently started to wonder if I am not in fact her BIGGEST fan due to the fact that I am helplessly drawn like a moth towards a flame to the mere […]

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Hampton Court Sleepover – Georgian frolics 8

Long term readers of this blog may well recall my ENORMOUS over excitement about attending the Elizabethan themed Hampton Court Sleepover last September. It was a night of Tudor dancing, wine, strange sixteenth century food, angry Elizabeth I and all manner of hilarity before we bedded down for the night in the Cartoon Gallery overlooking […]

March – My Month

My amazing new Bloody Mary Metal sword earrings/graffiti in Bristol/poorly five year old/Viking exhibition preview. I can’t believe that March is already over – especially as February seemed to drag on and on and on. It’s been a mostly good one though, with a trip to London for the press review of the epic Vikings […]

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Mariana Victoria of Spain 2

Infanta Mariana Victoria of Spain, Belle, c1725. Photo: Château de Versailles. Today, we’re going to take a step back to the eighteenth century and the awkward tale of a royal marriage that didn’t happen. Now, about ten years ago, I was actually unceremoniously dumped two weeks before I was due to get married, which was […]

From Whitechapel GIN necklace giveaway! 35

Morning world. Well, the launch week of From Whitechapel is drawing to a close now and I have to say that I am so staggered and touched by the kind reception that it received. You’re all brilliant and I really hope that those of you who bought copies have enjoyed reading it. To say thank […]

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Caroline Bonaparte 2

Caroline Bonaparte Murat, Wicar, 1809. Photo: National Gallery of Umbria, Perugia. Difficult and mean though Caroline may well have been, I absolutely adore this portrait. It’s been a while since we had a bit of Bonaparte history on this blog, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to post about Maria Annunziata Caroline Bonaparte (always […]

From Whitechapel 8

There was a pain, a terrible empty, lonely ache of sorrow and loss, within my ribcage while my heart felt like it had turned to ashes. This then was the end of my journey, this then was the answer that I had sought for so long, this then was the secret that Whitechapel had been […]