Christmas at Windsor Castle

Lighted Christmas Tree - Octagon Dining Room at Windsor Castle

In 1844, long after the events in Notorious Vow and Notorious Match, Diana and Vivien attended the young Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, at Windsor Castle.  The countess and marchioness were astonished to see a tree suspended from the ceiling of the Octagon Dining Room, where the chandelier is normally hung.

A Christmas tree, the Prince Consort explained.

This is from the Royal Collection’s website at :

In the German tradition, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve and presents were laid out on tables, each of which had a Christmas tree at its centre.  Two gift tables will be recreated with presents exchanged by Victoria and Albert.  Among the highlights is a painting by Sir Charles Eastlake commissioned by Victoria in 1844 as a gift for Albert, and a sculpture of Princess Beatrice as a baby lying in a shell, given to the Queen by Prince Albert for Christmas 1858.

In the Castle’s State Dining Room, the table will be laid for a Victorian Christmas feast with a magnificent porcelain dessert service by Minton of Staffordshire.  Known as the Victoria Service, the set was purchased by the Queen at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and includes four porcelain figures of the four seasons, ice pails, cream and bon-bon dishes, and a pair of silver-gilt sauceboats shaped like sleighs.

This special display has been recreated for the public’s viewing and ends on January 8th.

Porcelain Dessert Service - State Dining Room at Windsor Castle

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The Windsors aka Saxe-Coburg-Gothas

Prince Leopold

Regency’s beloved Princess Charlotte married Prince Leopold, formally Leopold Georg Christian FriedrichPrince of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.  Saalfeld was switched out for Gotha.

You pronounce Georg GEE-org.

And here I was thinking Baroness Schrader was mangling the captain’s Christian name in The Sound of Music. The one with the smoky voice.  Sultry.  Cigarettes in long holders.  Glad to get that cleared up.

Prince William

Hmmm, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha:

Leopold was not fated to give his surname to a new English dynasty.  But later his nephew Albert did.

The Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty of England became known as the Windsors.  It’s all of a piece.  And all in the family.

A year after the events in Notorious Vow, Diana announced her preference to stroll rather than ride with Vivien along Hyde Park’s Rotten Row.  She blamed Garnet’s pregnancy to justify this deviation.  Vivien was glad for the chance to walk with her friend for she had heard the Princess Charlotte had declared a preference for one of her suitors.

“I hear Her Royal Highness has fixed on some minor prince in the Emperor of Russia’s train,” Vivien remarked as they entered the Grosvenor gate of the park.

“I’ve heard that as well.  But Her Royal Highness may be fixed on the Emperor’s pet monkey for all Prinny cares.” Diana shook out the folds of her short pelisse.  It had just been made up by her modiste and featured the latest craze for Spanish buttons.  “The Regent is set on her marrying the Young Frog of Orange.”

“But why should he?” Vivien wondered aloud.  “Is he all that keen on a Dutch alliance now that Napoleon is defeated?”

Diana linked her arm through Vivien’s.  “The dutchman is willing to take Princess Charlotte out of the country.  Prinny has always been quite jealous of her popularity with the people.”

They walked in silence for awhile, broken only by various acquaintances that hailed them from time to time.

“Do you know his name?” Vivien presently asked.  “The German prince?”

“Prince Leopold of Saxon Schloss von something or other.”

“Oh, that cannot be his name.”  Vivien giggled.  “Be serious.”

“Does it matter?  Prinny is not going to let anyone have her that won’t take her away from England.  And Leopold hasn’t a feather to fly with.”