Saturday, 29 October 2016

Royal Travelling Entourages with 70 / 90 Attendants

In the episode ‘Victoria & Albert’s Highland Fling’ in the ‘Walking Through History’ series, Tony Robinson stopped at Blair Castle. He revealed the 1844 visitors’ book that listed the names and positions of the seventy attendants in Queen Victoria’s entourage during their stay in Scotland.

One of the names on the list was Victoria’s personal upholsterer. What did he have to repair?

On September 22nd, 1844 a few days before leaving Blair Castle, Prince Albert wrote to the Dowager Duchess of Coburg “… We are all well, and live a somewhat primitive, yet romantic, mountain life …”

Aerial View and Panorama (below) of Blair Castle, Scotland




Photograph (below) of Blair Castle’s Entrance Hall


In Natalie Livingstone’s ‘The Mistresses of Cliveden’ in May 1866, Queen Victoria asked the Duchess of Sutherland for a favor to stay at Harriet’s Cliveden House as she needed a ‘change of air’. Victoria was accompanied by an entourage of 90 attendants for the ten days.

Aerial (below) of Cliveden House, England


The numbers are staggering to read. It reminds one of the progressions to private estates by Queen Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great which would bankrupt their hosts.

It would be interesting to see the list of persons who accompanied the Russian Imperial family during their travels.

On Thursday, October 17th, 1896 Nicholas II and Alexandra left Darmstadt. He wrote “… Although the mix of our group in the train changed, the number was the same …”

On Friday, September 17th, 1897 Nicholas II wrote “… morning, and after coffee, we watched how people were leaving with their baggage. At 9 AM we left dear Spala [to Darmstadt] …”

I have a list of presents taken by Empress Marie on her trip to Denmark and the amount that was returned to the Court Ministry after the trip but not of the people attending her.

An interesting side note is one of the mistresses of Cliveden was Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the ancestress of Victoria and Albert. 

She grew up in Schloss Friedenstein where Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna lived from 1893 to 1900.

Augusta arrived in England in 1736 to marry Frederick, the Prince of Wales. The only companion she had from Gotha was a jointed doll, the favorite plaything of her childhood. At the same age, Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna arrived with her dolls in Athens to marry King George.  

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