Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Revisiting "A Feudal Foundation" (Part Two)

Photo Credit: The Mad Monarchist
Feudalism was not always a system, and it wasn’t even called feudal until well after its extinction in Western Europe. At one point it was just a series of laws and customs governing the use and ownership of land. It is said that after Charlemagne's death in 814, his descendants fought over the land, and Europe disintegrated into thousands of seignories (independent kingdoms run by sovereign lords). In my discussion of the Black Prince’s Ruby, you can read how Spain was fraught with feuding for land amongst several of these seigneurs.

Throughout Western Europe, these lords independently governed tracts of land. After awhile, the knights in military service to these lords began to make demands for rights to land, especially in France. Realizing the importance of garnering fealty from their military force, the lords set up a system of legal agreements to grant these requests for land.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Under these new laws, a knight (and later peasants) could make a pledge to provide military, political, or financial services to a lord by means of an oath of allegiance. In return, the lord acknowledged the agreement with an act of homage. After this feudal bond was created, the knight then became a legal vassal of the lord. The lord granted him tenure (ownership) of a specified portion of the lord’s land. In return, the vassal agreed to provide protection, political or military aid, profit-sharing, and/or rental payments to the lord.

These legal agreements were called fiefs, and a seigneur’s group of said agreements was termed a fiefdom. I suppose you could compare a seigneur to a modern-day mortgage lender, in that he maintained a form of ownership over the land even though the vassal was able to pass the agreement down to his heirs.

Duke of Normandy
Photo Credit: People Quiz
Though it is not agreed upon by historians, there is a theory that feudalism did not reach the island of England until the Norman Conquest. In 1066, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded the island from the continent and established a powerful monarchy which resulted in the intricate system of sovereignty that remains a fundamental part of the fabric of England’s government even today.

It is supposed that the feudalism that was inherent in the French customs of that day spread rampantly across the conquered island. Regardless of whether feudalism was brought to England by the invasion or whether it was already there, it is clear that the relationships between lords and vassals were foundational in constructing England’s strict social class system in the late 1700s and early 1800s.


Revisiting "A Feudal Foundation" (Part One)

Photo Credit: Sensibility
Today I want to continue our investigation of England’s class system during the Regency Era. Think of these discussions as the setting in which we will place our most prized gems, the men and women who shaped the early life of the beloved Queen Victoria. I wish to remind you that we’re learning all of this so that we can understand the powerful forces governing the actions of those who were most influential in Victoria’s life.

If we are to learn to master the lessons we face as we attempt to dig out the roots of our past and become the vivid queens we were meant to become rather than queens dressed in mourning garb, we will also need to probe the foundations of our own lives. It is my hope that digging into the history of this one Queen will aid you in digging into your own history.

High Society Banquet Table
Photo Credit: English Heritage

It was this rigid class system which was in large part responsible for the environment in which the Royal Duke of Kent found himself in debt and out of the graces of his brother, King George IV. Had he been in good graces with the King, or had the King’s opinion of his brother impacted the man’s circumstances less, it is highly likely that he would never have contracted the pneumonia that led to his demise eight short months after the birth of his daughter. If he had not died, he likely would have continued working toward producing a more secure offspring in the form of a male child. If this male child had been born, we would not have the illustrious Victorian Era to study at all.

Furthermore, I believe it was this rigid social class system that bears a great portion of the responsibility for shaping the life of our Queen’s mother and closest advisers, and I intend to make sure we learn everything we can about it without growing weary or bored.

Medieval Life
Photo Credit: UNCP
Through the Regency Era and into the early part of the Victorian Era, England’s class system consisted of the Royals, the Nobles, and the peasants, with the Royals and Nobles, as well as the peasants and Nobles, in various forms and types of feudal relationships. The rules governing the formal code of the Nobles and Royals were stringent and taught from birth to only those fortunate enough to have been born into high-society families. These upper class citizens learned an entirely different vocabulary for everyday items, and they followed a strict formal code which allowed for a distinct separation between upper and lower classes.

If you were born in the lower class, not only would it have been daunting to learn all the rules, you would have been excluded from all the social opportunities in which you could have learned them. This exclusion was the intended result of this strict code, and any attempt to deviate from traditional class roles was discouraged. The question I pose in part two is: How did the feudal system of the Middle Ages set the stage for this strict class system to form in England?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bad Poker Hand

Sometimes you have to know when to hold 'em, and sometimes you have to know when to fold 'em. I'm folding this round. Stay tuned next week for my entry on the Imperial State Crown. Apparently, I needed a week off from writing!

See you next Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Revisiting "A Royal Undertaking"

English Royal Party
Photo Credit: Old-Print
As you’ve probably surmised by now, I’m loathe to misrepresent this beautiful country or any of its illustrious and noble people. The more I delve into this topic, the more I realize I have so much to learn, so I beg your patience. I would hate for my naivete to cloud your judgments about the value of this system, which is very different from my native American capitalist system, or about the value of these richly complex people that can only be known history's representation and our own lenses. That being said, I will share what I’ve learned so far.

The Regency Period (1811-1820) was a tumultuous time in England’s grand history. Just as the Duke and Duchess of Kent are transitional figures in Queen Victoria’s life, so the Prince Regent (George IV) was a transitional figure for the greater society of England. The traditions of a nation, seemingly as old as time (unified as a state in AD 927), changed radically due to the newly manifesting effects of the industrial revolution, which began to make an impact on English society in the early 1800s. Of course, the Prince Regent did not have much personal effect on the economic structure of England; however, he did play a role in preparing the country for said changes.

George IV Coronation Procession
Photo used  courtesy of UK Parliament

Leading into the Regency Period, England’s high society was governed by what was called, after 1801, the Peerage of the United Kingdom. (Again, I give a caveat that I am very new to the ins and outs of this type of system. Therefore, I reserve the right to correct and amend my virginal thoughts about this subject in later posts.) In the 1800s, this order of Peerage staunchly set the tone for honor, dignity, and deference between the peasant class and the aristocracy.

To my decisively American sensibilities, this type of system seems distasteful. However, a dear friend reminded me today that I am wont to judge too quickly. She pointed out that there resides a dignity and sense of protection and honor within a feudal system, which I simply need more time to understand before I can discuss it fairly. I beseech all of you who are unfamiliar to this system of governance to also keep an open mind as we further explore this system.

George IV Coronation Banquet
Photo used courtesy of UK Parliament

As I was reviewing my notes today about the Peerage, I had a vivid recollection of the day I graduated from high school. The tradition in my school was to proceed to the stage to collect our diplomas at the alphabetical calling of our names. I then remembered that at my college graduation the decorum was a little more sophisticated, resembling more closely the Peerage, in that Masters graduates were announced first before the general graduating class. The Peerage laws similarly govern the order in which royalty and nobility are announced at society events, allowed to present at public events, called to proceed at court, and seated at table for banquets, balls, and other social events. Because I do not want to take us on a rabbit trail down the complex path of this topic of Peerage and Precedence, I have included a link to my resources for this topic alone.

In our particular chapter of history, our dear Duke, Prince Edward, was born the fourth son of King George III and Sophia Charlotte. Upon his father’s death, his class rank rose to second in the nation (since his eldest brother, George IV, did not have any sons), and his individual rank rose to fourth (behind King George IV; Prince Frederick; and Prince William, who would later become king). For a detailed list of rank (precedence), take a look at the Table of Precedence for Men on Laura Chinet’s website. It was the Duke's position of precedence, coupled with the failure of those higher in rank to produce a qualifying heir that afforded him the opportunity to sire the future Queen of England.Image Credits

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Revisiting "Transition"

Romance Reading
Photo Credit: Carla's Media Meanderings
Being lost in research is almost as good as reading a great novel, only I’m reading about real people and real customs. I’ve long been a fan of historical fiction, though I rarely read them these days. My research extravaganza is still under construction. It took some serious searching, which I learned to do when I was a medical transcriptionist, but I finally struck gold with this site, Jane Austen’s World.

Here I hope to find everything I've ever needed to know about the Regency Period. I love to read, and I will be doing a lot of it in the weeks to come as I attempt to wrap my head around all the different aspects of British royal customs and expectations. I hope you will enjoy this new turn I’m taking in including you in my writing process in tandem with the journeys of our queen. As I promised before, I will include an expose of a piece of jewelry each week, as well. I look forward to this new format and the freedom it will allow me to give as much time as I need to research my subjects thoroughly.

Walking & Full Dress
Photo Credit: Flaming Angel Story
For this week, I’d like to lay some groundwork for us. As we all know by now, no one becomes anything great (or otherwise) without the influence of influential people along their path. Psychologists say that our world views and coping mechanisms are firmly set in place by the age of five or six. This doesn’t mean that we are stuck; not in the least. It just means that these first years of our lives are very important, and depending on whether our life experiences were healthy or unhealthy, we may have a little bit or a lot to overcome in our adult years to enable us to function well in life and love.

And isn’t this the very essence of a transformed life? I was blind in the way I saw my actions as separate from the rest of the world, but now I see that everything I do causes a ripple effect for at least three other people, if not hundreds. I was lost in self-pity, but now I have found that taking responsibility for my actions is a far more joyful way to live. I was lame, stuck in the muck of my insecurities and weaknesses, but now I walk in freedom from the childish ways of my past.

Regency Period
Photo Credit: Regency WebQuest
Please don’t misinterpret the direction I’m taking here. I don’t believe there is any benefit in blaming our parents for all our problems, but it is important to understand the mindsets, motivations, world views, and coping mechanisms of those who are most prominent in our formative years. Of course, this includes our mothers and fathers, but also other adults or even children who impacted us during the first years of our lives.

Queen Victoria’s mother and father were definitely the most important people in Victoria’s young life. In addition to these two, there was also her uncle, William IV; her uncle, King Leopold of Belgium; her uncle, George IV; and her mother’s comptroller, Sir John Conroy. Every single one of these people served as a transitional figure between the Georgian Era and the Victorian Era. Combined with the social climate, the laws of court, and the political climate of her day, these figures formed the psychological fabric of our queen.

See you next Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Revisiting "Research, Research, Research"

Photo Credit: Fuel Your Writing

In the coming weeks you will notice some changes around here. Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law, Esther, of Seattle Moms Deal Finder, I’ve learned some new blogging tricks that I’ll be integrating into both new and old posts. If you have more tips or tricks for me, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave me a comment or post on my Facebook page, A Word in Season. I’m open to both positive and constructive criticism, as both are foundational to growth and expansion.

Though eager to get back into my flow, I’ve been finding it so difficult to write again. I discovered one reason while writing this several days ago and another reason while nursing my head cold with a good book this afternoon. The first reason boils down to research. I researched for over a month before I wrote my first lines about Queen Sophia Charlotte, and the truth is that her life was far less complicated than Queen Victoria’s.

Writer's Block
Photo Credit: Alexandra Sheppard

The second reason is more perplexing and possibly even a bit cliché. It’s that disturbing foe, writer’s block. Of course, I'm hopeful that continued research will help get the flow moving, but the fear that it won't is lurking beneath the surface even as I write these words.

I found a perfect description of the bane of every writer’s existence, and I was both encouraged and further terrified. In his novel, The Zahir, Paulo Coelho writes, “I notice that I go through the same process as I did when writing my first book: I wake up at nine o’clock in the morning, ready to sit down at my computer immediately after breakfast; then I read the newspapers, go for a walk, visit the nearest bar for a chat, come home, look at the computer, discover that I need to make several phone calls, look at the computer again, by which time lunch is ready, and I sit eating and thinking that I really ought to have started writing at eleven o’clock, but now I need a nap, I wake up at five in the afternoon, finally turn on the computer, go to check my e-mails, then remember that I’ve destroyed my Internet connection; I could go to a place ten minutes away where I can get online, but couldn’t I, just to free my conscience from these feelings of guilt, couldn’t I at least write for half an hour?”

Phoenix Rising
Photo Credit: Unique Visions

He goes on to describe what happens once his muse strikes, and my favorite writing quote of all time is found several paragraphs later, “When I used to read biographies of writers, I always thought they were simply trying to make their profession seem more interesting when they said that ‘the book writes itself, the writer is just the typist.’ Now I know that this is absolutely true…”

I trust that the more I force myself to face my enemy today, the less I will have to face him in the future. Unfortunately, this writer is far more experienced than I am, and it seems that he has only made friends with this adversary rather than vanquishing it. I will do my best to do the same and have patience with myself in the process. Meanwhile, I beg you to also have patience with me in the process.

Until next Wednesday, I hope this Thanksgiving you find at least ten things to be thankful for. One thing I’m thankful for is you, my first few faithful readers who keep me writing when I’d rather be taking a nap.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Revisiting "Born To Be Queen"

Queen Victoria as a Child
Photo Credit: James Smith Noel Collection

Her parents married primarily for the sake of producing an heir to the throne. Her young childhood was fraught with manipulation and conniving. It seems as though she was appreciated only for the power she might one day imbue to those in her charge. Power hungry, mal-intentioned, manipulative adults filled only with eros love sheltered Victoria, not to protect her but to protect their own self-interests. My heart burns with anger as I write these descriptive words of Victoria’s parental figures.

It has been my hunch that her parents schemed right from the start to use her as a pawn in their plot to dominate the throne of a growing empire. I found evidence of this in the account written by Elizabeth Longford, "Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed." She relates the story of how Leopold of Saxe-Coburg arrived in Great Britain in hopes of marrying the Prince Regent’s daughter, Princess Charlotte. Though her father protested the match vehemently, Prince Edward (Victoria's father) allowed the two lovers to use his stable boy to pass letters back and forth. Three short months later, they were married.

Prince Edward
Photo Credit: Blupete

It seems that in payment for this service, the two lovers set up a “blind date” of sorts between Leopold’s sister, Princess Victoria, and Prince Edward. He visited with her for the first time in fall of 1816, and seeing a quick way to pay off his debts and return to England, he promptly asked for her hand in marriage.

Nearing the time of Charlotte’s due date, it seems there was a leak about Prince Edward’s affair with his French lady, and he grew antsy for a response from Princess Victoria. He sent a letter to a friend asking him to urge Prince Leopold to request a response from his sister as soon as the baby was safely born.

Victoria, Duchess of Kent
Photo Credit: James Smith Noel Collection

On the heels of this letter, tragedy struck. Leopold’s wife and the heir apparent did not survive labor and delivery, leaving the entire country of Britain despondent. This was a crisis of great proportions, and parliament required that the four living Dukes (including Prince Edward) return to Britain at once to get to work on producing an heir. Can you imagine??

Prince Edward and Princess Victoria were officially married on May 27, 1818, and they celebrated another official ceremony in England on July 11, 1818, in a double ceremony with Edward’s brother William and Princess Adelaide. Their marriage of convenience was not very convenient for either one of them. She did not speak English, and his expectation of 25,000 pounds extra per month was realized at only 6,000 pounds, not nearly enough to pay down his debts. After squatting in Kensington Palace under the disdainful eyes of the Prince Regent and constant reminders of the grim loss of Princess Charlotte, Prince Edward finally relocated his wife to Germany, where it was clear that she was indeed pregnant.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Revisiting "Parallel Lives"

Photo Credit: Insects(dot)org

I must say that I’m amazed at the parallels I’m finding between Queen Victoria’s life and my own. I have been knee-deep in research about her formative years, and as I’ve read about the circumstances surrounding her conception, the death of her father when she was an infant, and the machinations and manipulations she was subjected to by her own mother, my emotions have run the gamut of anger, empathy, pity, and sorrow.

Reading farther into her life, I have found myself swinging between paragraphs filled with understanding and paragraphs filled with disenchantment at her sometimes childish behavior. I've been surprised sometimes at my own sharpness in some of the things I wrote.

Photo Credit: Unresolved Abandonment

Since I don’t believe in coincidence, it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Victoria appears to have had a severe and sometimes debilitating case of codependency. Her life was vastly different from mine, yet there is a silver cord of similarity running between the lines of her life that I cannot help but recognize as my very own struggle with depression, self-pity, and codependency.

Though she is lauded as one of the most prominent figures in world history, I can see that despite the popular perspective of greatness, she actually died a shell of a woman. She did not fully live her life, and that is not how I want my story to end. I will try so very carefully to address these issues with love and compassion, but there will be times when I know I won’t be able to be as gentle as I would like to be.

Faberge Egg
Photo Credit: Weston Jewelry

It is vital that you and I go farther than she did in her life. We may not find ourselves queen of an empire, but we owe it to our children and those who look up to us to push past the bitterness and resentments in our life and learn what it means to live life to the fullest. It is my job to push and prod and poke at the weak spots in her life to ferret out every last nugget we can learn from her.

Research Credits:
1. The World of Royalty
2. Joyce Gidel

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Revisiting "Victoriana"

Asian Motif Brooch
Photo courtesy of Weston Jewelry

During the Romantic Period, jewelry reflected the sentimental nature of the times with mementoes, love tokens, and souvenirs from foreign travel. Italian cameos were brought back to Britain as souvenirs of the "Grand Tours" of the upper class to Italy and Greece. Victoria’s love for all things Scottish popularized many Highlander influences in jewelry and fashion, particularly brooches with a grouse foot set in gold or silver and tartan clothing. These trends lasted well into the 1860s. This was a time when culture and travel were extremely important to British culture, and throughout the era we see an influx of imported jewelry from many parts of the world. [Read more...]

[Insert a link to The Jewelry Annals.]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Revisiting "Piety or Peace?" (parts one and two)

Photo courtesy of Spokane Community College
Excerpt from original post (part one):

Queen Sophia Charlotte had what I consider to be a serious character flaw, and if I’m not careful this discussion about my shift in priorities could leave you thinking that I’m prone to the same serious flaw. In fact, the truth is that I am, and you very likely are, too. I hope that by bringing this issue into the light we will diminish its power and see a clear path to take in detour toward true freedom....

Sophia Charlotte with Her Children
Photo courtesy of NCGenWeb
Lest I become guilty of the very thing I’m highlighting, I must say that I am so very grateful my radius of people for which to set an example is far smaller than hers was. In case you aren’t tracking with me here, the character flaw I’m speaking of is critical judgment based on a high moral standard. To put it into modern language, she looked down her nose at others who did not think or act the same as she did. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have been struggling with a bit of writer’s block approaching this post. I think I’m beginning to understand a bit more why....
Sophia with Child
Photo courtesy of Forgotten Founders Exhibit
So the source of my writer’s block is this duel between judgment and affability, stinginess and generosity, public and personal life. Hmmm…and here we find our link to the “perfection disease” I posted about on Monday. 
Tiara and Combs
Photo courtesy of Jane Austen World

Truthfully, I sincerely wish we had more women in high position making domestic duties fashionable. Though it has become more fashionable to be a mother, most of us stay-at-home moms still search for our identities in what we do instead of who we are. Herein lies the problem with the mother of a nation, or any such role model, setting such high standards. I will not repeat the article I posted before, but I draw attention to the disease of perfection here. None of us are perfect and by setting any kind of standard of perfection without allowing for grace and mercy for ourselves as well as for others, we set ourselves up for living for other peoples’ approval, ever striving for more and better, looking down on others for what we think is going on in their lives, and looking down on ourselves because we will always offend ourselves if we are offended by others....

Photo courtesy of Motivate Thyself
(part two, originally published 10/06/10)

Today, I know that my tiara is sparkling firmly upon my head not because of what I have or haven’t done, but because I’m happy to be me doing what I’m doing right here and now. Instead of bracing himself for my hasty exit, my husband smiles when he walks in the door because he knows I’m going to be happy to see him because I missed him and not because I’m eager for him to take over with the kids so I can escape. My kids are happy, and they fill the air with far more joyful noises and dancing than angry words and fighting. I no longer find myself counting down the minutes so I can leave them and do something for myself....

Despite its negative overtones, I think this is the most important lesson I’ve learned from Sophia in these past couple of months. It is clear that she was firmly grounded in her life as a mother and a wife. She did not look to her public life or image to make her happy. Certainly she took her public role seriously, but she drew her strength from being with her husband and family. I want to take this lesson of drawing my strength from serving my family first, but without the excessive piety, judgment, and stinginess that marked her life. By putting first things first, I’m certain I will be free to be myself everywhere I am, thereby transferring this joy and strength to others far more effectively than when I was serving others as a means of escape.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Timely Inspiration

Stay tuned this Wednesday, as we will be wrapping up our study of Queen Sophia Charlotte. To be honest, I've been facing down fear once again. I've had a serious case of writer's block this week and have been turning around and around in my mind the different approaches I could take to discuss this week's topic. Up until just a few minutes, I was wasting time trying to come up with a way to bring all my thoughts together to say what it is that I really want to say to all of you this week. Thankfully, as usual, inspiration has come just in the nick of time. It came in the form of a blog post my aunt shared on Facebook. She advised that everyone take time to read this, and I took her advice. I'm so very glad that I did.

I've posted the article below because it is a must-read for every American, male and female, and I know that you, my faithful readers, will take it to heart and pass it along. I must warn you that it is at times heart-wrenching, but I assure you that this is a perfect lead-in to my coming blog post on Wednesday. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in a couple of days!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Revisiting "Has Anyone Seen My Tiara?"

Amethyst Afterglow

Excerpt from original post:
This weekend I lost my tiara. It seems like it all started when my best girls and I decided to do a yard sale this past Saturday. We spent all of last week sorting and compiling our stuff. With oodles of things and three very busy ladies, we pulled it together by the skin of our teeth. We broke many yard sale rules, and needless to say we made very little money....

As though that weren't enough, I further complicated my weekend by starting a new job. I have to admit that this was the worst possible weekend for me to tackle this very flexible, could-have-waited-until-next-weekend job. I have enjoyed it thoroughly, but I have learned another valuable lesson. Even though I can do a lot in one weekend, it's not wise for me to do so much....

Ruby Red Dogwood

A true queen envisions her day and makes a plan. She recruits the help she needs and makes sure that she doesn't overbook her calendar. A true queen knows in her heart that she sets an example for those around her. Sure, she could be super woman and do it all herself, but she wouldn't want those around her to feel like they had to succumb to the pressure and stress that being super woman entails. I want to be a true queen, so I am determined to learn from my mistakes rather than beat myself up over them.

Ruby Couture

So the topic of today's blog is not a queen of old, but the lessons I've learned this week about overbooking and overworking yourself and how to recover without laying in bed for a week. Even though I have momentarily lost sight of my tiara and I very much did trade my ball gown in for armor this week, I have learned some very important lessons about being a queen. Here is what I've learned from my weekend:

1. Stick to your plan.
2. Know your limits.
3. Conserve energy.
4. Put first things first.

Roberto Coin Montage

I am very grateful that I'm seeing the sparkle of my tiara once again, and I'm making lemonade out of the lemons of my weekend. I'm enjoying hearing my children play and sing, and I'm about to go make them dinner. Before I do, though, I wanted to highlight the photos in my blog this week. This is part of my new job. Once a month I will be making several of these collages with inventory from my brother's website and from Polyvore's database. Besides some amazing moments with my kids, working on these collages was the highlight of a very stressful week. Creativity really is an outlet for stress. How blessed I am that it has become such a large part of the working segment of my life.

Gucci Azure

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Revisiting "George's Gems"

King George III
Photo found at The Telegraph

The Georgian Era was a time when men took great pains with their appearances. Toward the beginning of this period, embroidery and lace were the most common adornment on men’s clothing. However, toward the end of this era, the embroidery and lace were omitted from the casual clothing of the day and reserved solely for the highly elaborate outfits worn to court and public appearance. Of course our king had many occasions to wear such outstanding apparel, being the king and all.

[Read More About Georgian Jewelry...]
[Add link to The Jewelry Annals]

Lover's Eye Locket
Photo found at Georgian Index

Now that we’ve covered his actual gems, I want to turn to some of the jeweled moments in his public life. We know that George III was a devoted father and husband, and he does not disappoint in matters of state, either. Following are a series of public accounts that have endeared him to me even more than ever. I hope you see the same picture I do. As this will be our last look at his life, I want the impression I leave of him to be the esteemed one that I hold of him.

I begin with a portion of one of his first speeches in parliament: “Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Briton; and the peculiar happiness of my life will ever consist in promoting the welfare of a people whose loyalty and warm affection for me I consider as the greatest and most permanent security of my throne; and I doubt not but their steadiness in those principles will equal the firmness of my invariable resolution to adhere to and strengthen this excellent constitution in church and state, and to maintain toleration inviolable. {1}”

Doesn’t it just sound poetic? I love the way they talked back then, although I did have to look up the word ‘inviolable.’ It’s an adjective that means “must be kept sacred; that cannot be transgressed or dishonored; able to withstand attack; not capable of being violated or infringed. {2}” 

Can I just say; I love that word!?!?! Here we see a man who understood the very sanctity of his position. He worked hard his entire life, regardless of his popularity or even his sanity at any given time, to fulfill his promise to keep the welfare of his people front and center during his entire reign. It’s clear that there were times when some did not agree with his decisions, but throughout his life he maintained his integrity and devotion despite opposition.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Revisiting "A Face in the Crown"

George III
Photo courtesy of English Monarchs

I continue the transformation of the archives of Vintage Betrothal. They have become a gallery of photos with excerpts from my original posts. Here is today's excerpt:

As I’ve said before, I love King George III. Here’s the account I’ve thought about most often this week. Who wouldn't love a man who said of his future bride: “This is the lady whom I shall select for my consort [bride]: here are lasting beauties, on which the man who has any mind may feast and not be satiated. If the disposition of the princess but equals her intellect, I shall be the happiest man, as I hope, with my people’s concurrence, to be the greatest monarch, in Europe.”

George III & Sophia Charlotte
Photo courtesy of Stockphoto

I swoon every time I read these words. I want my ‘king’ to say such things to me, and perhaps he will when he finally gets a chance to sit down and read these words of mine.

From his very own words, it’s clear that George III prized pleasant and intelligent company. Having never met Sophia Charlotte, she stole his heart with a letter she boldly wrote to a different king, the one who ransacked her country. It was a very passionate letter and not only did it change the course of history for her countrymen, but it turned the heart of our king and led her to become queen of the greatest nation of her time.

Photo courtesy of Horse Hints
This would be yet another lesson we learn from her. Passionately be yourself. Speak your heart and mind. Expect that you can make a mark in your world when you stand up for what matters to you.

It isn’t necessarily about speaking out or speaking up. Not everyone is called to a national forum as she was. This can translate to doing whatever it is that you do with passion, purpose, and intellect; being a mom, being a wife, working in a corporation, working in a grocery store or gas station.

If you are passionate about what you do and set your mind to doing your best, not in competition but in commitment to giving as much as you have to give at any one moment, you will stand out. It may take awhile, but you will find yourself promoted, listened to, honored, and adored.

Princess Amelia
Photo courtesy of Chest of Books

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Revisiting "Royal Couture"

Sophia Charlotte Collage
Photo courtesy of Polyvore

I hope you enjoy these images as reminders of Vintage Betrothal's history, a time when posts were longer and about UK Queens. In this post, I introduced our first woman of the hour, Queen Sophia Charlotte. Here is an excerpt from that post:

In that vein, I want to introduce to you Sophia Charlotte, queen consort to King George the Third. She was born a princess in Germany in 1744, and she reigned as Queen over England from September 8, 1761, until her death on November, 17, 1818. King George the Third chose Sophia Charlotte as his wife based solely on a letter she wrote in her youth to the King of Prussia on behalf of her people.

Upon reading the entirety of this letter, King George was smitten. He said of her, “This is the lady whom I shall select for my consort: here are lasting beauties, on which the man who has any mind may feast and not be satiated. If the disposition of the princess but equals her intellect, I shall be the happiest man, as I hope, with my people’s concurrence, to be the greatest monarch, in Europe. [2]” Be still, my heart! I think I’m a bit smitten with King George.

Anyway, as you will discover, I’m madly in love with Queen Sophia Charlotte, as well. Her depths of character astound me, and I’m eager to learn all I can from her about how to become royalty.