One of the most well-known of the English Queens, Alexandrina Victoria was born on 24th May, 1819, at Kensington Palace, London, at 4.15 in the morning. Her father was Prince Edward, the 4th son of King George III, and her mother was the Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The little princess was christened on 24th June, 1819, in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton. Alexandrina Victoria was fifth in line to the throne.
Maria was seven years old and living in her native country Russia. Rebecca delighted to have Peter’s little niece in the Palace, she loved Maria, looking forward to having her own children. Peter and Rebecca had been married for two years and were just about ready for their own children. The Tsar, of course, gave them permission to stay in the Palace and work started on extending the Palace, with a whole floor just for Peter and Rebecca. The aged Tsar did not feel the fifteen bedrooms, three drawing-rooms, two dining-rooms and music room was big enough to house his family and his new son-in-law’s family. After all, Rebecca’s three brothers still lived at home and they were lively young men. And there was always a head-of-state visiting the Tsar. So Rebecca busied herself in designing her new home. She wanted five bed-rooms, a big nursery, a dining-room and drawing-room, and a spare suit of rooms for guests. How all of this would fit on one floor, Peter had no idea. But his wife was happy and that made him happy.
A Suffragette was a member of militant women’s organizations in the early 20th century who, under the banner “Votes for Women”. Fought for the right to vote in public elections, known as women’s suffrage. The term refers in particular to members of the British ‘Women’s Social and Political Union’ (WSPU), a women-only movement founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, which engaged in direct action and civil disobedience. In 1906 a reporter writing in the Daily Mail coined the term ‘Suffragist,’ in an attempt to belittle the women advocating women’s suffrage. The militants embraced the new name, even adopting it for use as the title of the newspaper published by the WSPU.
Many of us have seen “Upstairs Downstairs,” “Gosford Park” and, more recently, “Downton Abbey,” and do we not ‘wonder’ at how life was back then, in the Edwardian Era. To be a Servant or “In Service” was looked at as a decent job, with a possibility of promotion (after many years), especially if you worked “in the big house.” My own grandmother was a maid in service before getting married, and the photo of her in her maid’ uniform, is quite an heirloom. I remember her trying to teach me ‘Silver Service’ (serving in the dining room) and how ‘strange’ it all seemed to me personally.
Helen Keller is one of the most “Inspirational” women I have ever read about. This woman had every reason to ‘give up’ but refused to let her difficulties to stop her in anything that she wanted to do.
The Edwardian Era is my favourite Era in English history. It was a time when the old crossed over into the new and “life” started to change into the modern world in which we live today. Photography was in its infant stage but we still have these amazing pictures of the old and new, the horse and cart with the motor car (for example) in the one photograph. These old, sepia photographs have opened the door to the Edwardian Era, helping us to understand the importance of this “part” of English history, and giving us “living” pictures of how people lived back then. The pictures of the dresses are exquisite and yet, just as interesting is how these photographs showed the difference in how these “classes” lives, what they wore and where they worked.