Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II & her Diamond Jubilee

Today is the last day of celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II's
Diamond Jubilee!!
The Diamond Jubilee is the 60 year anniversary of a monarch's reign & has only
happened once before in England's history when Queen Victoria
celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

As I sit here watching CNN in preparation for the Queen & her family to come out
onto the balcony, I think of the history that had to happened in order to get 
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary to this moment.

She was an unlikely monarch.
Her father, King George VI, was the 2nd son of King George V,
who's eldest son Edward, was groomed to become the next King of England.

After the death of his father, Edward became King Edward VIII, but his reign
was to be short lived. He ruled England from January to December of 1936,
at which time he abdicated the throne for his American,
divorcee mistress, Wallis Simpson.

And of course as you know, that's a whole other story.  ;)
So, due to an unforeseen set of circumstances,
Elizabeth's father became King George VI.

Look at all the crowns in this picture...Yummmmy!!!
So the princess who would be Queen, started her royal journey to the monarchy.
Something I've always thought must be so heartbreaking, is the fact that in order
to become a King or Queen, your parent must die. During a time of great
sorrow, you must take on the tremendous responsibility of a nation.

But Queen Elizabeth II did it magnificently!!

She was quite a beauty at the time she took the throne...

& exudes graciousness, confidence & elegance.

The Diamond Jubilee crown made for Queen Victoria...

One of her clothing ensembles designed by Angela Kelly for her Diamond Jubilee,
it took a year to design & create.

A few of the many festivities in Queen Elizabeth's honor...

a flotilla on the Thames in the Royal barge...

the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace...
{she wore earplugs, how cute...}

& a Royal Carriage Ride...all of it, fit for a Queen!

Here's the moment I was waiting for, HRH The Queen, surrounded by her royal heirs.
Having had Diana as his mother, Prince William will make a wonderful King of
the People, just as Diana was the People's Princess.

Queen Elizabeth II
on your Diamond Jubilee!!!
What a magnificent achievement!

And YES...I've already ordered my Diamond Jubilee souvenirs!!!
I got the mug & the tea towel above & it was in pounds,
so God only knows how much I really spent!!! LOL


Friday, June 1, 2012

Musing on Marie, Antoinette That Is...

It's a gorgeous morning here in our mountain HOME!!! :)))
We've been making some plans for the future of things we've wanted to do
here for a while, but haven't felt we could. The first big thing on the long list of
home remodeling to get done is going to be....
Drum Roll Please...

Yes, I have coveted & longed for French Doors here forever & finally I will have One!
Now, since my house is no bigger then a cracker box, my door will not be as
magnificent as those seen here at the Palace of Versailles, but I will love
them just the same!!!

So...in honor of the occasion, I am watching Sofia Coppola's amazing 2006 vision of
Maria Antoinette!

For the past 6 years, I think there has been no doubt that this movie has some of the BEST
costuming & set design in movie history. Milena Canonero won an Academy Award for his
inspired designs & the magical world he creates for our beautiful young Queen.
Simply Scrumptious!!! 

This movie production was the first time ever that any film crew was allowed
to film a movie in it's entirety, at the Palace of Versailles...how cool is that!!

I haven't been to France yet, but it is at the top of my To Do List!!
Watching this movie gives you such a wonderful glimpse into the Palace
of Versailles & the glory & the decadence of the period...it's divine!

So, what are some of my musings as I watch this fabulous movie & dream
about the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette?? 

Is it possible that Marie, could have been any where near as stunningly,
beautiful as Kirsten Dunst is in every single scene of the movie??

Who's shoes were actually more exquisite...

Those that belonged to a Queen...

or the Manolo Blahnik's that were designed & created especially
for Sophia Coppola's film??

I think it's a toss up for me!!!

Were Maria Antoinette's gown's as opulent & extravagant &
over the top as history implies??

Looking at this portrait of Marie in her coronation gown & at the exquisite
fabric & style of gown below, I'd have to give that thought a BIG, YES!!!

Do you think Maria ever made wreaths of flowers for her & all her maids to wear...


I just LOVE the idea of that!

Do you really think that Marie, during a period of time when her country was starving,
when they didn't even have bread, said in such a pompous, cruel & uncaring way...

"Let them eat cake!"???

It appears now, after a few hundred years, that there is absolutely no evidence
of her ever having said this. It was included in a book that was written by Rousseau 
in 1767 & refers to a 'great princess' saying...
'Qu'ils mangent de la brioche'.

The common opinion is that, "he invented it altogether."

From all accounts, historical & imagined, Marie Antoinette was a doting mother who
adored her children. It took her seven years to become pregnant, she had at least
two miscarriage & when her eldest son, the Dauphin of France died at the age of
seven, she was inconsolable. At the time when the French Revolution began to
truly escalate, Marie was in deep mourning over the loss of her son.

Marie changed many of the customs of the court, much to the dismay of the older generation.
She abandoned the use of heavy makeup & the wide hoops of the day that were so
popular, for a softer, simpler look using lighter, plainer fabrics like muslin.

During the American Revolution, the French were our allies & if it had not
been for their help, I wonder how it could have been possible for a colonial
state to fight & win a war against the most powerful nation on earth.

France was incurring debt partially from the resources that it used to help in
America's independence & who was responsible for this union between our
fledgling nation & a supreme power like France??
King Louis XVI & his Queen, Antoinette.

{Benjamin Franklin being received in the court of Louis XVI & Marie}

So, in the course of my musings, I've come to realize how much I have to be grateful
for to the court of Louis & Marie. I want to remember our sweet Marie Antoinette
as she was in some of the opening scenes of the movie, full of joy & innocence.

Because to think of her any other way is just too tragic.

{Marie at the age of thirteen}

She was the naive, young Princess of Austria when she first arrived in Paris.
She was all of fifteen when she married the future King of France.
She could never have known where this new life would take her.

She is forever fascinating & forever young.
Oh, & by the way, I know the music is a bit crazy,
but I LOVE this movie!!!  ;)