The Herberts & the Duke of Powis

Last summer I drove the lush green valleys of eastern Wales, in the region that was once the ancient Kingdom of Powys, ruled in the early Middle Ages by the Gwerthrynion dynasty until the 850s, then as divided principalities. As we passed by the market town of Welshpool, one of the former princely capitals, weContinue reading “The Herberts & the Duke of Powis”

Princes of Battenberg

In a dramatic intimate moment of the first episode of the new season of ‘The Crown’, Prince Philip says to his daughter Princess Anne, “A Battenberg refuses to give in”. Who were the Battenbergs and why did this sentiment apply to recent members of the House of Windsor? More than just the namesake of aContinue reading “Princes of Battenberg”

Dukes of Westminster

What do rural Cheshire and the most fashionable neighbourhoods in West London have in common? Both have been part of the extensive portfolio of the Grosvenor family for centuries. The dukedom of Westminster may be relatively new (1874), but their development of Mayfair and Belgravia stretches back to the early 18th century, and their controlContinue reading “Dukes of Westminster”

Dukes of Bridgewater

When it comes to name swapping within the British aristocracy, the Egertons are champions. At various times their surname has been Malpas or Grey or Tatton, or more recently Leveson-Gore or Grosvenor. In fact, the dynasty’s founders used the name Le Belward before marrying the heiress of the barony of Malpas in the southwestern cornerContinue reading “Dukes of Bridgewater”

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”