What is a prince? What is a duke?

When reading about someone who is the prince of this or the duchess of that, most people immediately conjure up an image of someone who is very grand, an elite part of the old aristocracy of Europe. But I am very often struck by how frequently historians, including professional academic historians, regularly use noble titlesContinue reading “What is a prince? What is a duke?”

Double Duchess—William & Mary Choir Tour, Summer 1993

What technique do you use to get a duchess to offer you tea and biscuits? In this travel account, this will be revealed as we follow the Choir of the College of William & Mary in its European tour of May and June 1993 as part of the celebration of the College’s tercentenary. I willContinue reading “Double Duchess—William & Mary Choir Tour, Summer 1993”

Dukes of Mecklenburg

Lovers of British royal history are familiar with the period when royal brides were regularly imported to England from small German principalities with intriguing names: Ansbach, Saxe-Gotha, Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The last of these was the native land of Queen Charlotte, consort of George III—she is probably the most familiar of these consorts, in part due toContinue reading “Dukes of Mecklenburg”

The Dukes of Guise

The dukes of Guise are famous primarily as leaders of the ultra-Catholic side in the French Wars of Religion of the late 16th century. One of the most famous political assassinations in European history is undoubtedly the double murder of the third duke of Guise—with the dramatic nickname ‘scarface’ (‘le Balafré’)—and his brother the CardinalContinue reading “The Dukes of Guise”