3rd DECEMBER 2023
Christmas is coming soon and everything has been decorated this weekend
Traditionally, the Christmas tree is put up and decorated on the weekend of the first Advent and the home is decorated for Christmas.
22nd NOVEMBER 2023
Artists' commemorative objects in honour of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Earlier this year I ordered from Artist and Sculptor Tom Murphy from Liverpool Sculptures, this wonderful bust of Queen Elizabeth II. We were very pleased that this artistically very well-made bust had arrived here safely. I was happy to inform the artist of this. This work of art fits in very well with our other royal memorabilia in our collection and is a beautiful tribute to the Queen who passed away in 2022.
Tom Murphy wrote me the following very friendly and interesting reply:
"Your Lordship, thank you for letting me know that your statue of the late Queen Elizabeth arrived safely. I appreciate your kind words. I presented HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (formerly Earl of Wessex) with a statue of his Mother after he formally unveiled The Liverpool Pals Memorial at Liverpool Lime Street Railway Station on August 31, 2014. It is one of my largest works and is a tribute to the thousands of Men who left for WW1 and never returned there are lots of pictures and news stories about it. My website is liverpoolsculptures.com I will be honoured if you were to add the picture I sent you to your website. Many thanks Tom"
20th November 2023
29th OCTOBER 2023
Our Heraldry: A Collection of Heraldic Shields & Regalia of Knighthood
Many years ago we commissioned '1066 Heraldic Shields' to paint shields and coasters of our own coat of arms for us. Over the years they have hand painted many heraldry shields for the nobility, lords, ladies and gentlemen.
Unfortunately, they closed their business this summer. That is why we are pleased and proud to have these excellently and professionally crafted shields in our possession. We have commissioned '1066 Heraldic Shields' with the greatest pleasure and confidence.
2nd OCTOBER 2023
Short break at Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg (Bensberg Castle Hotel)
Lady Regina and I had a short holiday and wellness at the wonderful Grand Hotel Schloss Bensberg. It is always great to enjoy the excellent service and facilities of this hotel near us.
You can spend a wellness weekend there and the hotel has several restaurants where you can eat very well. It's always an experience there, and we've also had the 'Royal Tea Time' there several times.
We are particularly pleased that they have Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet grooming products in the bathrooms and guest facilities. Very luxurious and very British!
23rd SEPTEMBER 2023
The English Counties where we hold our Barony and Lordships
Our collection of English county heraldry plaques and maps from the counties where we hold our barony and lordships, inclusive that of England and our own family coat of arms wall plaque :
Somerset with the Somerset Dragon: The Barony of North Cadbury
Devon: The Lordship of Blakewell
Cornwall: The Lordship of Codiford Farleigh
8th SEPTEMBER 2023
In Memoriam: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926 - 2022)
A life dedicated to Royal duty
When the news that the Queen had died was announced a year ago this evening, many people around the world were shocked and saddened. For a moment, it seemed as if the world had stopped. Queen Elizabeth II had reigned for 70 years, seven months and two days when she died aged 96 on 8 September 2022. The Queen ruled for such a long time and accompanied our lives and those of millions of others and with her death an era ended. Today we remember this great Monarch, Head of State and Lady who marked the second Elizabethan age. Whoever thought of Britain immediately thought of the Queen. She was Britain. She shaped Britain and influenced the whole world with her dignity, her discipline and her sense of duty as a constitutional monarch. Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will remain unforgotten.
We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in the reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace.
God save the King!
2nd SEPTEMBER 2023
A Royal Tea Time
We have a wonderful 'Royal Tea Time' at our nearby Bensberg Castle. We also enjoy Darjeeling tea, also the favourite tea of King Charles III, especially on the occasion of His Majesty's Coronation this year.
21st AUGUST 2023
Mail from Buckingham Palace
Today we received a thank-you card from His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla for our congratulations sent on the occasion of Their Majesties' Coronation on 6 May 2023. The card was signed by both.
Lady Regina and I are very delighted and honoured to get such a thank-you card from Their Majesties The King and Queen.
God save The King!
21st JULY 2023
The Rubens at the Palace, London
A wonderful very traditional English Hotel with a view to the entrance of the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. Overlooking the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace, the unofficial entrance used by members of the Royal family. The Rubens has a royal history dating back to 1700. Over the years it has been used as a tailor's shop, pharmacy and artificial flower shop. Since 1997 it has been a family business.
The Rubens has always been popular with debutantes attending royal functions at Buckingham Palace. The Royal Mews, which the hotel overlooks, is the entrance to the palace used by the Royal family. The daily changing of the guard is also just a few minutes' walk away.
The hotel also maintains the largest Living Wall in London and has its own beehives on the roof. The hotel's own honey is offered for breakfast.
Since 1st May to 1st August, the hotel offers a Coronation Afternoon Tea in the Palace Lounge in honour of the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. A very Royal afternoon tea with a magnificent bright panoramic view of the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace - the King's stables.
9th JULY 2023
A London Institution: Rules Restaurant
The famous Rules in Covent Garden was founded in 1798 by Thomas Rule, and describes itself as London's oldest restaurant. Rules was opened in 1798 by Thomas Rule and served primarily as an oyster bar, but also served traditional British cuisine and still does today. Rules specialises in game and owns its own estate, the Lartington Estate in Teesdale. Thomas Rule was later committed to a mental hospital for the murder of his wife Isabella and daughter Elsie Rule.
The restaurant remained in the Rule family until the First World War, when Charles Rule swapped the business with Thomas Bell. Bell's daughter sold the restaurant to current owner John Mayhew in 1984
Efforts have been made to carefully preserve the original features in the main restaurant and cocktail bar. The walls are adorned with a series of sketches, oil paintings and caricatures collected throughout the restaurant's history. Some of the artwork depicts the history of the theatre. Rules has been visited by Henry Irving and Laurence Olivier, among others.
The restaurant appears in novels by Graham Greene, Dick Francis, Dorothy L. Sayers and Evelyn Waugh. Sir John Betjeman complained to the Greater London Council in 1971 when the restaurant was threatened with demolition.
Rules made an appearance in the James Bond film Spectre and several appearances in the historical drama Downton Abbey.
This summer we booked a table at the Rules and were absolutely delighted by their excellent traditional English cuisine, the fantastic wines and service they offer. The ambience is classy, simply unique. Rules is truly an English institution.
11th JUNE 2023
Old adverts of some British brands that are still famous today
There are so many great brands that still exist successfully. With this small selection of old advertisements, we like to remember times gone by. There are many more that we like to remember.
Of course, some companies had to move with the times and develop and change their products. Some have hardly changed in appearance but are equipped with the technology of today. Many companies have died out, but today they continue as brands of other companies, in the past as well as today with their traditional and distinctive products which are still in demand today. But somehow we still like to hang on to these beautiful things.
1st MAY 2023
Preparations for the King's Coronation
Next Saturday, 6th May 2023, the coronation of King Charles III will take place. Preparations for the celebrations are going ahead. We have also prepared our home for the coronation and have already hung up Union Jack flags and buntings. There is plenty of Champagne to raise a toast to Their Majesties.
In London, extensive preparations are in full swing to ensure that everything goes perfectly. Among many others, the heavy, jewelled crowns were prepared and adjusted some time ago. The coronation robes, the Robes of State and Robes of Estate, have also been embroidered with the symbols of the new King and Queen. In the meantime, the Stone of Destiny has also arrived in Westminster Abbey from Scotland.
No fewer than three crowns will be used at the coronation: the St. Edward's Crown, the Imperial State Crown and, for Camilla's coronation, the Queen Mary's Crown. King Charles will be crowned with the St Edward's Crown. On leaving Westminster Abbey, during the Coronation Proccession in the Gold State Coach and on the balcony of Buckingham Palace he wears the Imperial State Crown. The Coronation will be a spectacular and glorious event - traditional and very British. This is how the coronation of a new monarch is celebrated in Britain. Like many people in the UK and around the world, we will be watching the event and celebrating the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla.
Here we extend our heartfelt Congratulations and Tribute in honour of the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla.
God save the King!
8th APRIL 2023
A new official photograph of The King and The Queen
A new photograph of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort, taken last month in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, released last Tuesday 4 April. The photograph was taken by Hugo Burnand.
Source Photos & Text: The Royal Family/Buckingham Palace
Alongside the photograph, Buckingham Palace is pleased to share the invitation for the Coronation, which will be issued in due course to over 2,000 guests who will form the congregation in Westminster Abbey. It is also announced that eight Pages of Honour have been chosen to attend Their Majesties during the Coronation Service.
The invitation for the Coronation has been designed by Andrew Jamieson, a heraldic artist and manuscript illuminator whose work is inspired by the chivalric themes of Arthurian legend. Mr Jamieson is a Brother of the Art Workers’ Guild, of which The King is an Honorary Member.
The original artwork for the invitation was hand-painted in watercolour and gouache, and the design will be reproduced and printed on recycled card, with gold foil detailing. Central to the design is the motif of the Green Man, an ancient figure from British folklore, symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign. The shape of the Green Man, crowned in natural foliage, is formed of leaves of oak, ivy and hawthorn, and the emblematic flowers of the United Kingdom.
It is a very beautiful photo of Their Majesties just before the Coronation. The symbolism depicted on the invitation card is a great reflection of the British nation and the new Sovereign and Queen. It is an excellent reflection of the King's commitment and dedication to the protection of nature and the environment. More important today than ever. A great reign is about to begin.
We are pleased to share these new publications from Buckingham Palace on the occasion of the upcoming Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla, here on our news blog as well. It is a great honour to pay our respects to The King and The Queen in this public way.
More about the Coronation will follow here in the near future.
God save the King! God save the Queen!
17th FEBRUARY 2023
Tips for the Royal Table Etiquette
If you are invited to a Royal dinner or even if you have a royal visitor, the following codes of etiquette are highly recommended. These etiquette protocols should be followed at Royal dinners, but they can also be applied to fine dining. Here are the most important etiquette rules of Royal Dinners:
1. We start with the napkins
We cannot just throw our napkins anywhere on the table as we please. Members of the royal family place their napkins on their laps just after they have been seated, and fold them in half so that the fold faces away from them. When they have finished eating, the napkin is placed in a neat pile on the left side of the place setting. We believe that we should all follow this no matter where we eat.
2. Take care to follow the cues of the King
No one should start their meal before the King starts eating, and everyone should finish their meal as soon as the King has finished his. This is a formal courtesy to the King.
3. How to hold the cutlery correctly
This is no surprise, as almost all of us know this rule. Traditionally, cutlery is held with the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left, a rule that dates back to when men carried their swords and daggers in their right hands.
4. Avoid noise when using the eating utensil
One must eat one's meal properly without making noise with cutlery, plates or glasses. In Western formal dining culture, we don't want noise, whether it's unpleasant chewing sounds or the scraping of a fork and knife on an almost empty plate.
5. How to signal that you are finished eating
When a member of the royal family has finished eating, they put their cutlery together. The correct procedure is to treat the cutlery like needles on a clock and place it on the plate at 6:30, with the tines of the fork pointing upwards. Read more about this here.
6. Chatter with right and left table neighbours
Once you’re seated for a formal meal, you should only direct your conversation to the people directly to your left or your right. You should not attempt to conduct chatter with the person opposite you.
With regard to the conversation itself, you need to balance it with both questions and answers to ensure the discussion flows. Try not to give single word answers, but instead expand your answers a little to make them interesting. Though don’t hog all the chat for yourself!
7. Always drink tea from the same place
It is important to always drink tea from the same spot you started. Royals can't turn their cups upside down when drinking, especially if they're wearing lipstick. This is to help avoid lipstick stains on the rim of the cup.
8. How to hold the cup properly
And yes, there is also a specific way you should hold your teacup. Members of the royal family usually hold the teacup in such a way that they pinch their thumb and forefinger between the handle and rest their other fingers against the shape of the handle.
9. Dress appropriate for the occasion
Deciding on the right attire is never easy, but there are certain standards that must be adhered to at a royal dinner. Remember that it is less about fashion and more about elegance. For formal occasions, ladies should ensure that their shoulders are covered and their dress is floor-length. They should also wear their hair up.
Gentlemen should put on their black woollen tails and complement them with a wing-collar shirt and a white bow tie.
10. A polite word on posture
Posture at royal events is very important. Women must ensure that their knees and feet are together when seated and they should not cross their legs, although it is permitted to bend the legs. Men, on the other hand, should sit slightly forward in their chair to ensure that they sit with a straight back.
11. Do not chew the cud
And of course, the way you eat your food is also very important. If you are eating at a formal occasion, prepare a bite that only needs to be chewed four or five times before you swallow it. This will ensure that your conversation partner never has to wait more than a few seconds to hear what you have to say. Because, of course, you should never speak with your mouth full!
12. Eating with your fingers
If finger food is offered, e.g. a roll, you should hold your food with three fingers. And remember: don't cut your roll in half, but break it into bite-sized pieces - one at a time as you eat your roll - and coat each piece individually before putting it in your mouth.
That way everything should go well!
29th JANUARY 2023
Two Heraldic Beasts of Somerset
... both very similar and still different, but firmly linked to the county of Somerset.
The arms of the county of Somerset shows a dragon originally from the attributed arms of the Kingdom of Wessex, also called the Wessex dragon. The Wessex dragon is also the heraldic symbol of the neighbouring counties of Dorset, Avon and Wiltshire. To distinguish this one from the others, this dragon holds in his claws a civic mace. Thus the arms shows that this is a local council in Wessex.
The Motto is 'Sumorsaete Ealle' meaning 'All the people of Somerset' as mentioned in this extract from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which is also the first written reference to the county of Somerset:
A.D. 878. This year about mid-winter, after twelfth-night, the Danish army stole out to Chippenham, and rode over the land of the West-Saxons; where they settled, and drove many of the people over sea; and of the rest the greatest part they rode down, and subdued to their will; -- ALL BUT ALFRED THE KING. He, with a little band, uneasily sought the woods and fastnesses of the moors. And in the winter of this same year the brother of Ingwar and Healfden landed in Wessex, in Devonshire, with three and twenty ships, and there was he slain, and eight hundred men with him, and forty of his army. There also was taken the war- flag, which they called the RAVEN. In the Easter of this year King Alfred with his little force raised a work at Athelney; from which he assailed the army, assisted by that part of Somersetshire which was nighest to it. Then, in the seventh week after Easter, he rode to Brixton by the eastern side of Selwood; and there came out to meet him all the people of Somersetshire, and Wiltshire, and that part of Hampshire which is on this side of the sea; and they rejoiced to see him. Then within one night he went from this retreat to Hey; and within one night after he proceeded to Heddington; and there fought with all the army, and put them to flight, riding after them as far as the fortress, where he remained a fortnight. Then the army gave him hostages with many oaths, that they would go out of his kingdom. They told him also, that their king would receive baptism. And they acted accordingly; for in the course of three weeks after, King Guthrum, attended by some thirty of the worthiest men that were in the army, came to him at Aller, which is near Athelney, and there the king became his sponsor in baptism; and his crisom-leasing was at Wedmor. He was there twelve nights with the king, who honoured him and his attendants with many presents.
The crest of our family coat of arms shows a very similar heraldic symbol. This depicted heraldic beast - called the St. George's dragon - is actually a wywern as it has only two clawed feet and is characterised by a throat pierced by a lance.
The Motto is 'Nil Desperandum' meaning 'Never despair'. Our family motto for as long as we can remember and has always been a guiding light for us.
In addition, our coat of arms features King Arthur's sword Excalibur, symbolising our connection to North (and South) Cadbury in Somerset. Cadbury Castle in South Cadbury is the most probable site of King Arthur's principle court 'Camelot'. The historical map of Somerset from 1766 shows the feudal barony of North Cadbury (marked with an arrow).
Map Somersetshire 1766, Joseph Ellis © The Baron de Newmarch Collection
17th JANUARY 2023
Links to our manorial Lordships
Last year we have launched separate websites for our two other manorial Lordships. These can be visited by clicking on the images.