11 November – A rather stressed George Boleyn and a move for Catherine Howard

Nov11,2020 #George Boleyn

On this day in Tudor history, 11th November 1534, Philippe de Chabot, Seigneur De Brion and Admiral of France, landed on English soil. The purpose of the diplomatic mission he was leading was to renew Anglo-French relations.

George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, brother of Queen Anne Boleyn, had been put in charge of meeting the admiral and escorting him on his journey from the south coast to London, but it was no easy task. The admiral did not make things easy at all, and George was rather stressed about the situation.

Find out what happened, and how and why the ambassador’s visit was bad news all round for the Boleyns, in today’s “on this day in Tudor history” video.

The video is based on an article I wrote for the Anne Boleyn Files, so if you prefer reading articles to watching videos, you can click here.

Book recommendation – George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat by Clare Cherry and Claire Ridgway.

Also on this day in Tudor history, 11th November 1541, the feast of Martinmas, King Henry VIII’s council sent Archbishop Thomas Cranmer a letter containing instructions to move Queen Catherine Howard from Hampton Court Palace to Syon House, formerly Syon Abbey.

Find out more about the instructions that Cranmer was given, what the queen was sent for her time at Syon, what else happened on this day in 1541, and hear some trivia about the people in charge of Catherine’s household at Syon, in last year’s video:

Today, many countries are marking Armistice Day, and you can click here to read more about it.

Today is also Martinmas, a feast day marked in medieval and Tudor times, and you can click here to find out more about it.

Related Post

19 thoughts on “11 November – A rather stressed George Boleyn and a move for Catherine Howard”
  1. Henry probably should have sent someone more senior to meet the French but this was probably set up to fail and it seems they were just bidding their time so as to give Henry the bad news. Elizabeth wasn’t considered legitimate abroad and as Mary was the senior and Catholic Princess it made better sense for her to be married first. The fact that the Princess was banished, unwilling to accept Anne and illegitimate in Henry’s eyes didn’t matter to Francis. The Pope had excommunicated Henry and that turned Catholic Europe against him. Elizabeth to Henry and Anne might have been the legitimate Princess and heir until her brother was born, but few people in England or Europe agreed with them. It was Mary to everyone else who was the mistreated heir and they looked to her for leadership and for an alliance.

  2. It was really Henry V111 Anne Boleyn and little Elizabeth against the Catholic world, Henry could do what he wished in his own kingdom, but he could cot swerve the minds of the Pope or Francois however much he was on good terms with him, he might say Mary was a bastard and Elizabeth the legitimate heir, and Anne really wished her daughter to be engaged to the French kings son and heir , but Francois was a servant of the Pope and he must have believed deep down that Mary was the legitimate heir, he possibly never intended his son the Dauphin for Elizabeth, he did not want a baby of dubious birth whose parents had defied the Pope to be engaged to his son, and the evangelical movement put a spanner in the works by scuppering both Anne and Henry’s hopes, the air must have been blue when Anne and Henry were alone, actions like these must have carried weight with both poor Mary and her mother, how many times had this young woman had promises of marriage made to her only for them to come to nothing ? Catholic Europe saw Elizabeth as a bastard nothing more, and although she was the King of England’s legitimate heir it was Mary who was the favoured choice amongst Europe monarchy, only when Elizabeth did become queen many years later was she seen as a good catch, Anne loved France it had after all been her second home it had moulded her into the charming sophisticate she became, to see her daughter queen consort of that country would have made her burst with pride, the second offer they made to the French kings other son was also rejected, Dauphin or no he was still the blood royal of France, Anne was bitterly disappointed and Henry must have tried his best to soothe her, whilst being so upset himself, it was possibly the king who advised Anne to entertain the ambassador with a lavish ball so he would not leave with any ill feeling, disappointed or not, Anne could not afford to act like a fishwife and hurl insults at him, though she must have felt like doing so, diplomacy was the key here, the ambassador left but Anne must have still hoped that one day Francois may change his mind, I think I will put your book about George Boleyn on my Christmas wish list Claire, it does sound very interesting, George was so much more than Ann Boleyn’s brother, thank you.

  3. Also this same day Henry’s fifth wife was taken from her luxurious lodgings in Hampton Court and rowed to Syon House down the river, she was technically still a queen but without all the trappings, her jewels had been confiscated and she had some servants to wait on her women of her own choosing, this was a mark of Henry V111’s generosity as Anne Boleyn in the Tower had no choice with those sent to wait on her, her husband had out of I think spitefulness sent her women she did not like, as she herself bewailed after, we can see the marked difference in his treatment between his second and fifth wife, whilst investigations were ongoing the king merely had Catherine confined to her apartments, whilst Anne had been sent to that formidable fortress straight away, Anne he had become heartily tired of but he was still in love with Catherine, the long investigation was the correct procedure for slander or any other wrongdoing against the queen, that was why the affair with Anne Boleyn rankled, she was treated appallingly from the beginning. that is why people at the time and those today believe she was framed, her detractors like Chapyus was suspicious and many others, Catherine had the luxury Anne did not, her husband was still besotted with her and hoped the tales would prove to be false, with Anne he used it as a very convenient excuse to rid himself of her and she was hastily tried convicted and beheaded at frightening speed, when his fifth queen arrived at Syon she found she did not have her chair of estate to dine under, another act that she was no serving queen but according to one source, she continued to act like she was, imperiously giving orders and yet her heart must have sunk, she must have taken walks in the gardens with a heavy heart, she must have felt as gloomy as the November weather, meanwhile her beau Thomas Culpeper was being interrogated by the kings council where he denied any wrongdoing with the queen, but oh my he laid his head on the block by foolishly declaring he and Catherine both intended to consummate their feelings for each other, any other king in history might have spared the queen, King John was serially unfaithful throughout his two marriages and his consort Isabella in revenge took lovers herself, the king had them hung over her bed as a warning, but he never shed her blood, King Llewelyn of Wales had John de Braose hung for carrying on an affair with his wife Joan who was John’s illegitimate daughter, but he loved her dearly and forgave her, they enjoyed a long and happy marriage afterwards, she to never lost her life, neither did Duchess Eleanor the imprisoned consort of Henry 11 lose her life, she rebelled against her husband with her sons but no drop of her blood was shed, a powerful woman in her own right her position maybe had a lot to do with it, but these three kings, hardened warriors as they were except of course the ineffectual John, never shed their wives blood, the lovers were punished but they still lived, with King Henry V111 he was completely different from his distant ancestors, he showed no mercy to both of his queens, Catherine in her apartments at Syon House, felt doom closing in on her like the fog from the banks of the river.

  4. Yes, King John liked doing stuff like that and its a famous story but it was written by Matthew Paris many years later. However, it is something John was known for, his sinister forms of revenge. Have you heard of Maria of Brabant? She was the daughter of Henry iii of Swabia and her mother came from Brabant. In the 1250s she married Louis ii of Bavaria who after two years of marriage and no children left her in charge at home while he went to war. He came back and accused her of adultery. The charges were spurious and she was beheaded. Louis was said to have gone mad with paranoid delusions and he was very sorrowful afterwards. As a sign of his repentance he went on a pilgrimage, built a monastery and did public penance. Henry Viii of course killed both wife and accused lovers and didn’t repent afterwards.

    The most terrible case of killing a wife was Hsrod the Great who was insanely jealous of his royal wife Mirimani or Mirium. She was the daughter of the priestly royal family who had ruled Judea and Israel for about 150 years and Herod worked his way through them all. He killed her grandfather, probably her father, at least two of her brothers and uncles, then killed her. He used to leave orders every time he left Jerusalem to go to war for her death if he didn’t return. He thought she was sleeping with everyone. On his return from Rome where he had just sucked up to Octavian having sided with Mark Anthony, Herod thought Mirium was having an affair with his brother Joseph. He had her killed without a trial and her body pickled in a wine barrel which he used to visit every night to speak to her for ten years. He later thought her sons were plotting against him and killed them as well. He made the children of Doris his first wife his heirs but he killed the oldest of them. He also killed his wife’s mother. In the end he died completely insane and his grandsons divided his kingdom between them.

    Kathryn Howard was lucky in one sense as Henry sent her to Syon in relative luxury while an investigation took place. However, it wasn’t looking good for Thomas Culpeper or poor Jane Rochford. Everyone knew what a goods inventory meant, even though no confiscation could take place until after a conviction. It was an ominous sign.

    1. Hi Bq, yes I have heard of poor Maria, it was thought Louis wanted rid of her as she didn’t produce him with any sons and, shades of Anne Boleyn here, had her duly beheaded, apparently she had written a letter to a knight in her husbands absence and this was taken as proof of her adultery, but it was a murky affair and there was no actual proof of infidelity by the queen, it was the Pope who decreed he should found a monastery by way of penance, however compared to Herod he sounds pretty tame, obviously Herod was insane and it’s a wonder he wasn’t overthrown, King John although he never had his wife executed was capable of sending women to their deaths, one of the marcher lords of the De Braose family whom I already mentioned, had a wife who proclaimed that John had murdered his young nephew Arthur of Brittany, she was arrested thrown in prison and left to starve to death, a horrible ending I think her name was Maud, regarding that old tyrant Henry V111, I have never understood why he had to execute Catherine, was it because she made him look a fool, surely he could have taken into account her youth, Cranmer must have reported back to him her tears and hysteria but nothing softened him, the execution of two wives really earn’t this king his place in history, as for the inventories yes it did not bode well, it was rather like having your coffin measured up, and there were the courtiers who began hastily clamouring for the condemned man and woman’s titles and riches, the term vultures really must have had its origin in Tudor England!

  5. Great that’s the third post vanished into the black hole of cyber space while I am typing it. I don’t know why I bother. I will try tomorrow when the weather calms down.

  6. William de Braose saw his mother and his wife and brother locked up for calling John a murderer and his mother and brother starved to death. His wife somehow lived and in rebellion against John he saw her eventually freed. In legend de Braose doesn’t do very well, as in Ivanhoe he is a bit of a rogue but in reality he was a tough Norman Knight yes, but he was also honourable. In the Devil’s Crown made in the 1980s by the BBC which told the story of Henry ii and his sons John imprisoned his wife and three young sons and starved them, but that was dramatic licence. He still starved two people to death because William de Braose would not do his dirty work. The barons of course ended up forcing the Magna Carta on John and inviting Prince Louis of France to invade. William Marshall had to save his backside yet again. After John died he also persuaded the rest of the barons to make peace and see off Prince Louis.

    Unfortunately, we don’t really know what happened to Prince Arthur of Brittany. His father, Geoffrey was the middle brother between Richard and John and Constance, Countess of Brittany. She helped him to raise an army against John as he had been Richard’s heir until Richard changed his mind on his death bed. John locked him up and the story is that his body appeared trapped in the ice under the castle drains when the water froze. De Braose bore witness to it. He openly accused John of murder and was banished. He refused to submit and his family were held hostage. No body was actually produced and the teenager vanished. The chronicles blamed John but again it was never proved. However, I certainly would not put it passed him and he was capable of that and far worse. John died in ignominy in Newark Castle in 1216 after contracting a fever and losing his jewellery, the crown and his plate in the Wash. His itinerary is extraordinary as he personally kept a daily record of his activities and his journey. His reign is very well documented because he was obsessed with paperwork. He wrote an exceptional amount of letters and memos and bribery lists. We even have his hand written will in the archives of Worcester Cathedral where he is buried. His tomb is in good condition. His nine years old son, Henry iii succeeded him and his mother, Isabella was his regent as was the Marshall who died a couple of years later. He reissued Magna Carter as John had it annulled by the Pope. However, Henry himself revoked it but it was again reissued and improved by Edward I. He was the first King to actually take it seriously. The Tudors just ignored it. Most of its precepts have gone now, absorbed into legislation or deemed irrelevant. One remains supreme. Nobody can be denied or delayed justice or held captive without trial or by the law of the land. Two others govern how Parliament Acts and are enshrined in law. Parliament cannot go to war without the consent of the House or raise taxes save by the consent of the House.

    The latter was enshrined in law by Richard iii but Thomas Wolsey tried to circumvent it with his Amicable Grant. He tried to force the landowners and business people and tenants of most of the Southern Countries pay a levy for Henry’s War in 1524. The counties of Norfolk and Suffolk rebelled and their Dukes were sent to deal with them. The people said they had no money and the levy was unlawful. Wolsey moaned, Henry growled but the Dukes took their case to him and it was scrapped and the rebels pardoned. New laws have replaced these clauses but they still give the same protection. The rest was abolished as irrelevant.

  7. Hi.Bq, I read in Wikipedia that Williams wife was starved to death, but I know that website is not always a reliable source, or maybe I made an error, thank you for the info anyway.

    1. Hi, yes it was his wife, silly me, I know that but I was getting confused by another tale. Maud or Matilda and her eldest son, another William, an adult though not a child, were forced to flee to Ireland and then captured and held at Windsor, but later at Corfe. She was found after eleven days, being given no food, for they had bread but no meat at first, with her son dead between her legs. It’s believed she had bitten him to try to stay alive after he died. As they were held in a dungeon, rather than a room or proper cell, their conditions would have been awful. They would have been exposed to disease and other horrible things. They didn’t stand a chance.

      Before all of this and Maud’s refusal to send her son as a hostage, her younger son, because John was accused of murder, her husband was the King’s friend. He rebuked his wife but she wasn’t able to remain quiet and her accusations were public. De Braose wasn’t quiet either. He was forced to flee after this, then the barons rebelled. He had also held Duke Arthur as his prisoner. The falling out with John was initially over money and crown debts. After his own escape De Braose fought with Llewellyn the Great and then fled to France. He had been a great landowner, soldier, had carried out the massacre of Welsh Princes, had considerable influence and estates in Wales and Ireland and was a royal favourite. John’s persecution was as much about jealousy and the destruction of a great name as money and the accusations of murder, but the story grew into a greater legend. John himself grew with that legend.

      1. It’s possibly because of his treachery that no other heir to the throne was called John, we have never had another King John, plenty of Edward and Henry’s, when Charles becomes king he will be Charles 111, when William becomes king he will be William 111; the first being as we all know, the conqueror and the second Dutch William, who ruled as joint sovereign alongside his wife Mary, we have had quite a few George’s from the House of Hanover, it is said that the queen will never abdicate although she is very old now, but she has a strong sense of duty and although many young people prefer the idea of William becoming king, Charles is next in line and his whole life has been in preparing for this role, the queen has reduced some of her engagements but really for her age, she is marvellous and could possibly live as long as her mother, who died when she was one hundred and one.

  8. Yes, its very odd, although we have had other Prince Johns, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the third son of King Edward iii, the forebear of the Tudors, and whose daughter Joan Beaufort was the maternal grandmother of Kings Edward iv and Richard iii and Prince John, the disabled son of George V, who died young. With a massive twist of fate, either one of them could have ruled, even briefly, that’s the fragility of life. Of course their parents had a number of sons and grandchildren so of course so it was unlikely they would have succeeded. Nobody seems to have called an older son John, such was the bad association with the name. I mean, the guy almost lost the Kingdom, got himself and the country excommunicated for three years and lost the crown jewels and treasury, taxed the place to the hilt, saw not one but at least two rebellions by his barons, caused a feud with his wife’s future husband, nearly got the place invaded and lost a good deal of France, was meant to have killed his nephew and rival and starved people to death. Why wouldn’t one call their sons after him, he was certainly a great role model? Of course I am being sarcastic.

    The Queen is marvellous for her great age and she is a dedicated lady, she served the country well over the years, and, although not a royalist, I most certainly do admire her. Now she is well into her 90s and she has reduced her business hours, hopefully she has far more leisure time. I am sure Charles or William will make a decent King, but to be honest, the country would be better without the money we waste on royalty. Not that I would want a President to have the powers of the U.S.A. but some kind of none political figure head always has a role. We have had six George’s, seven Edwards, no sorry eight, three Williams (the son of William the Conqueror) eight Henrys, if he succeeded three Charles, despite the fact one caused a civil war, yet no one has been a John since. I would actually like to see a future King John, to get rid of the superstition behind the name, especially as other countries have had leaders called John.

  9. I agree with you about the cost of the monarchy especially the minor members of the queens family who we don’t really need, the costs of security are enormous not to say the rest of the queens staff and the upkeep of Buckingham palace, the amount spent on banquets when she entertains visitors from overseas and visiting royalty, the cost of the royal carriages and all the other pomp and finery that goes with royalty, and her children who apart from the heir apparent Charles, serve no actual purpose and are merely kept by us in the lap of luxury, Andrew for one is said to be obnoxious and pompous and his whole life like his other siblings, has been one big joy ride, then there’s Edward whose silly wife was caught out by that undercover sheikh trying to use her royal connections to publicise her company, Andrews daft ex wife Sarah who won’t keep quiet and seems to delight in getting her name in the papers with yet another hair brained scheme, Anne I have always admired she is the most down to earth member of the queens family, she refused titles for her children and is unpretentious and hardworking, in fact I have always thought she would make an excellent queen, the queen isn’t a reigning monarch anymore she’s merely a figurehead, but I must say I cannot fault her, she has served this country well, but it could not have been easy, thrust into the line of succession when her father suddenly became king overnight, she was ill prepared as the next in line as was her father with his momentous role, she was said to be shy as a child and had to suddenly learn how to stand still for a long time, greet dignitaries and ambassadors and to smile and not fidget or cry, it could not have been easy for her, one minute they were just a family of four, albeit an important one, living in their cosy little existence then overnight her father was proclaimed king and they had to move from their home to Buckingham Palace, her sister I have never had any time for, she was selfish and used to keep her staff up late till she retired to bed, as they were not allowed to go to bed before her, then whilst she was sleeping in till when she wanted, they had to be up much earlier, Margaret was simply a waste of tax payers money, but then the same could be said of all of them, that said they do bring a lot of tourism into the country and I suppose we do need a head of state or something, it’s as you say the cost is ginormous, the monarchy has endured for well over a thousand years and I have often wondered who the original king of old Britain was, in Anglo Saxon times there were a number of kings all vying for power, it is interesting how the monarchy actually originated, and how the monarchy originated in other countries, in ancient times a leader must have been chosen, there must have been battles to see who was the strongest and that person became head of the community, and maybe his son became the leader after he died and so forth, but how did the idea of a crown originate from, possibly they wore a headdress of some sort to set them apart from lesser mortals, and it became smaller over time till it became a crown, and those other trappings of power – the orb and the sceptre, How did they originate and what was the meaning behind them?, so many questions we will sadly never know the answer to.

    1. The original King of Britain we don’t know but there are legends and many Kings are named as are Queens from 200B.C or so up to 500, although we cannot be really sure as the records are from much later. The first English King was Athelstan, a grandson of Alfred the Great. As with the Anglo Saxon Kings it is mkre likely that most places including Britain had regional Kings ruled over by local warlords and a High King to whom they all gave tribute. Arthur was possibly a High King, a war lord who had the aid of magic and the sword and who united the kingdom and to whom the others paid tribute. Just when he was around is an open question but some kind of Arthur person arose in the last days of the Roman Empire. His name was Artoris Emperor of the Britains. At Hadrians Wall an inscription was found to a commander of cavalry called Artoris. Other than Anglo Saxon and then German and Medieval chronicles no evidence of his existence has been found but an “Arthur type” person has been identified from Hill fort remains. What fascinates me is how widely known and how many places claimed association with Arthur or Merlin. His legacy is universal from the Grail Cycle that has origins in pre Christian Germanic and Celtic mythology and heritage to the writers in the tenth, eleventh and fifteenth centuries who emblemished the story into the Hollywood version. Arthur or Merlin are named in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Germany as well as in the Ukraine. In England and Cornwall a thousand sites are named for them. Nor are the legends all the same and the name varies according to language as well. A real man with a holy blade and knights in shinning armour might not have ruled from the glorious shinning city of Camelot but someone inspired such tales. The seven swords of Weyland the Smyth named Albion and Excalibor as two of them. Water was sacred to the Celts and many rituals surrounded it, including bending swords and returning them to the river once a warrior died. The very forging of a blade and encasing it inside two stones which were ritually broken may be the original Sword in the Stone. The great hill fort on the site of Camelot in Cornwall pre dated the castle and would have been there at the time of a man like Arthur. It was used to defend against invasion at the end of the Roman period. New Kings arose all over Europe, the Visigoths and the Ostiogoths, the Vandals, the Franks, they all replaced Rome. It makes sense that war lords here did the same and that they were sophisticated. The Angles, Jutes and Saxons were not mere invaders, they fought yes, but then they settled out of economic necessities. They brought over their families. The native Celts were not driven out to Wales. The Welsh in fact were powerful and invading Britain. The Northern Kingdoms still had Celtic rulers and the DNA evidence shows they mixed and became one people. Even after 200 years of fighting, the Vikings became part of the landscape and the national DNA. The British were very mixed to begin with, having DNA links to central Europe, Africa, Asia and the Germanic tribes. The Romans were a mixture of many different races and a number remained. Whoever Arthur was and he may have been a mixture of several people, his native origins may have been from the other side of the Roman empire or native born. However, it is clear that he identified with his country here and he became a national hero. The Mediaeval and Tudor Kings linked themselves genetically and through imitation with King Arthur, building castles and tournament grounds to act out his imagined life. Windsor Castle to Edward iii became the new Camelot and here the Grail Knights became the Knights of the Garter with the monarch as their head. Henry Vii had his first born son born in Winchester because it was the old capital of England and Wessex and it was thought to represent Camelot and the boy was named in his honour, a new Arthur. It was Prince Henry, however, who took on the mantal of Arthur and became absolutely obsessed as King Henry Viii.

      I do admire the Queen because she is dedicated and hard working. She has never failed in her duty. I remember years ago we went out and saw the golden State Coach, the real one on display in the shopping centre as part of a nationwide tour to raise money to restore it. I thought, yes, I can see me in that, riding through the streets, waving. Its very impressive but apparently its not very comfortable. The suspension is wonderful but the seats are a bit hard.

  10. Thank you Bq very interesting, I should imagine the seats in the coach are quite uncomfortable, it does looks plush and beautiful, but that does not necessarily mean it’s comfortable, it is a cheek expecting the public to raise money to restore it though, since we never get a chance to sit in it ourselves ha !

    1. That would have been fun, paying to have a photo inside the Golden Coach . However, its far too precious. I think we saw it at the palace when we went in 2009, yes, we did and it was restored then. It was taken out of use for a bit. That’s because of the expense. I hate to think how much it cost to restore Windsor Castle after the fire, although I am glad that it was restored as its not only the home of the monarch but a national treasure. At least it is open to the public. The entire archive of George iii and iv is now available online and the Royal collections are there. The tomb of King Henry Viii and Jane Seymour and the others are there. If you haven’t been its worth it. I enjoyed it. It also has full disabled access with a lift. You ask at reception on entrance to the main castle and a lovely officer takes you to the main floor and then down to the Holbein drawings and you can get help in the Keep as well. Of course its a living royal residence and if the standard flies the Queen is home. In 1977 there was low key security, now its airport security. We were advised not to take too much metal and split up, one got the tickets while I took the belongings through security and even then he still bleeped. We still don’t have any idea as to why because he did not have anything. I said he had just had surgery and they adjusted the machine. He didn’t bleep. It was actually very quick and easy because it was quiet. We had someone meet us to take me to the lift and I got this beautiful book with 500 objects in it. The Queen Mary Doll House was on display. The Henry Viii Gate is still my favourite. We had parked in the town itself and we finished a fabulous day with fish and chips and a London souvenir shop. We had a walk in the park and down by the river. I loved it. I can honestly say it was much better in 2009 than 1977 as the world was there then for the Silver Anniversary of the Queen. The Queen wasn’t there. We saw her flash past in a car a few days later in Liverpool. The best view we got was accidentally seeing her on her way back from Horse Guard to the palace on a weekend early morning visit. I saw her open the Crown Court here as well. Princess Margaret visited where I worked and stopped to talk to me. I actually preferred her to the Queen. I accidentally met Maggie in the House of Commons. We had access all areas as special guests on a petition day out and somehow got invited to the posh banqueting place on the Thames for afternoon tea. We were in the shop when the PM came back through the corridor from the House to her apartment. Nobody was allowed to leave until she had gone by so there was a little group waiting for the PM to pass and she broke protocol to ask us why we were there. We told her and she said she would help. To our surprise she did. She saved the hospital. Everyone hated Maggie here in Liverpool, I didn’t. My gran loved her. Our local MP came in for tea after an election canvas and my nan thought it was Mrs Thatcher. She told everyone she had met Mrs Thatcher. I didn’t contradict her. I have always believed that if we hadn’t met her that day, the hospital would have been closed. However, some people blamed her for the ills of the world. She was a woman in power, that in itself was a great achievement, even if one did not agree with her.

      I am watching the Tracy Borman on Anne’s fall, it really was excellent.

  11. I adored Margaret Thatcher she was feisty and brave and very self controlled for a woman, you are privileged to have met her, after the Brighton bombing she was interviewed and she still appeared very calm and collected, amazing demeanour for any person who had just narrowly escaped death, I thought the way she was treated later was disgusting, she really was the victim of a political coup, just like Anne Boleyn was, but politics is a dirty game and she knew that, I watched her funeral which I thought was marvellous and the queen herself attended, she made history by being the first woman to become prime minister of this country and she was admired in other countries to, about Windsor Castle it is truly delightful, the little town is also charming with cobbled streets and gift shops and tea rooms, when I visited there was a Nell Gwyn tea shop but it had gone when I revisited some years later, when I went to Windsor Castle we visited Frogmore and saw the memorial to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, and we did see Queen Mary’s dolls house, a giant in miniature architecture, it was exquisite and my mother later bought me the book for Christmas, we thought it was a cheek though because we had to pay an extra £2 to see the house, the grounds are like a picture book, there was a little meandering stream with swans and you could see the turrets peeping out from the trees, i felt like Alice In Wonderland, expecting to see the white rabbit suddenly appear, I recall the fire I think it was on a Sunday, and on the evening news it showed dozens of fire engines and the smoke was dreadful, and there was Prince Andrew jumping about and yelling his head of, he had probably never worked so hard in his life, apparently it had started when one of the curtains had caught alight and it went up like an inferno, the fire at Hampton Court was equally disastrous, these things should not happen in these sacred old buildings and unfortunately human error is often to blame, a very valuable painting of Napoleon was completely destroyed at Windsor Castle, and I know specialist bricks had to be used to match perfectly the old brickwork at Hampton Court, which was no mean feat, but fortunately these magnificent old buildings are now back to their pristine self, just hope they stay that way, as they are after all, the countries treasures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *