The English Mistress

Why did the Countess de Beauregard, the owner of a magnificent house and a fortune, leave a large sum of money to young girls who had been the victims of seduction? Who was this mysterious Countess? Perhaps she had a shady past and this was the reason for her bequest?

Elizabeth Howard, born Elizabeth Ann Harriett, did indeed have a nefarious past, which probably didn't make her happy, even though she became wealthy. Her adventures began when she was fifteen and decided to run away with a famous jockey. She lived with him in London, and decided to change her name to Howard. Perhaps she was ashamed or perhaps she just liked the name better. Who knows?

Her next lover was Major Mountjoy Martyn, a wealthy Guards officer. She became his mistress when she was eighteen. Here she had a grand house and servants. She also had a son, which pleased the Major. When she was asked who the son's parents were by the Registrations Office she named her own parents. She quickly stated: 'Plumber', when asked her son's father's occupation. Either Martyn didn't want to appear on the Birth Certificate as the son's father, or Lizzie didn't want him to be named as the father. However, he lavished gifts on Lizzie and liked having a son. Martyn was soon for 'the chop', unfortunately.

Lizzie became an actress at the Haymarket Theatre but even a career wasn't enough for her. This ambitious girl was after better things! Lizzie fell madly in love with Napoleon III at a party held by Lady Blessington in London. The darkly handsome, but short prince, impressed many women. Even Queen Victoria seemed to rather like his looks! The French prince was then in exile in England. Lizzie began living with Napoleon and his two sons. They were the sons of his former laundress. She also hired tutors so that she could befit her new status.

Lizzie's money helped Napoleon stage his return to France where he became President and eventually Emperor. She lived near the Palais Elysee where she was set up as his mistress. She wanted to be Napoleon's Empress, but she was to be disappointed.

Napoleon sent Lizzie on a secret mission to England soon after becoming Emperor. While she was there he sent men to ransack her house and destroy any evidence of their relationship. He had decided to marry the beautiful Eugenie de Montejo instead.

Lizzie was furious. She made him repay the large sum of money that she lent him. He also made her a countess and also gave her son a title. This acquisition probably helped Lizzie finally get married, but she made a bad choice. Lizzie's new husband was Captain Clarence Trelawney, an English horse breeder. The marriage was unhappy, probably because Trelawney used Lizzie's money for his business, and they eventually divorced.

Lizzie died in 1865.Her bequest to the home for girls indicates that she must have had some regrets, in spite of her money and luxurious life.

Magical Enchantments Blog

This blog lives up to its name! It has an enchanting design, and inspiring words. I am very interested in Katherine Swynford so I especially enjoyed this review of Katherine by Anya Seton.

I hope to write a new post today!


There sometimes seems to be a fairy tale which we haven't outgrown. In a fairy tale there are heroes and villains and everyone wants the hero (or the victim princess) to win and the villain to get his/her comeuppance. We're brought up on this idea from the wicked fairy in the Sleeping Beauty, to the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella and the manipulative Rumpelstiltskin (who actually made a fair deal and was cheated out his winnings!). Things are black and white and everyone fits the template.

The danger is that it detracts from the depths and many facets of each person and leads to a complete toppling of them from a pedestal which they had never asked for. In Victorian times, a few people were raised as great heroes: Gordon at Khartoum, Florence Nightingale, Baden-Powell, Lawremce of Arabia, Kitchener and many more whose statues grace the streets of London and elsewhere. As a child, I read of these people as brave heroes and later saw programmes or read articles which aimed to completely destroy the myth about them as some kind of super-human beings (like the shattered Ozymandias in the picture). This is why I so dislike the idea of canonisation. The moment someone is set up as an ideal character, someone attempts to turn them into a plaster cast ideal and along comes someone else to point out their flaws and topple them from that pinnacle.

Recently, after a relatively few years of people admiring the courage and sanctity of Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia, much has been written about her flaws and attention is drawn to that. It's another knocking off a pedestal on which I don't believe she ever wanted to stand and I have never perceived her as a saint or as a sinner - though I greatly admire many aspects of her character, love her hidden warmth and her response to events. The same is undoubtedly going to happen to Karl of Austria; the same is already happening around John Henry Newman. The reason the Tsar and the Imperial Family was murdered was because someone idolised them, and then felt let down by them. They didn't ask to be someone else's excuse for his/her own failure - they were just doing the very best they could and became the scapegoat for the unhappiness of the masses.

I think it's because there is no template of what is 'perfection' or saintly. In a garden there are countless flowers and weeds, all growing as they grow, not trying to fit another plant's pattern; in fields of animals, there are all different and individual versions of that species, and none of them seems to care how they look in comparison to the others. Only among humans do we create heroes and villains and, while we are all quite happy to see ourselves as way above our villains, nothing seems to be more satisfying than to topple a saint/hero from his/her pedestal.

I think all of the people of the past - those I admire, and those I do not like - were doing the best they could in their own circumstances. They didn't ask to be saints or heroes or anything of the sort, any more than the villains intended to be villains. They probably knew their own flaws better than anyone else could, and I think it is better to observe and love and learn from all of them and recognise that they really were paving the way to new ideas and new aspirations. For that, I am very grateful. Pedestals and statues make me smile - it's lovely to see people honouring others' achievements - and it's lovelier to attempt to understand than to idolise or condemn.

religious Wedding of the Hereditary Prince zu Fürstenberg

The religious Wedding of Herediatrys Prince Christian zu Fürstenberg and Jeanette Griesel took place on Saturday 25.09.2010 at the San _Saklavatore Church at Lauro opposide of the Engelsburg at Rome. The couple had alread married in civil Ceremony on 16.09.
The Ceremony was officiated by the former Priest of Donaueschingen Hans-Peter Fischer. The guestes included the entire Families of the bridal Couple and also Fürst Albert of thurn and Taxis, Polf and Maryam Sachs, prince and Prince Erich Lobkowicz, Prince Albrecht of Hohenzollern and the Prince and Princess Ruffo di Calabria.

funeral of Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern

On Thursday 23.09.2010 the Requiem for the late Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern took place at the Hedinger Church at Sigmaringen. After the Service the coffin of the Fürst was brought in the cloister of the Church where he was later buried. The Service started at 11h00 CEST at lasted for about 2 hours. The first guests arrvied at the Church at around 10h00 CESt. Only the siblings and children of the late Fürst and their Families arrvied out of the public at the back of the Church. The Service was broadcasted outside on a big screen where the had build up benches for the population of Sigmaringen to folloew the Serive. After the Service all people could go inside the Church to play their last Respect to the Fürst.
Among the noble Guest who whre present where:
Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia,
Duke Carl, Duke Friedrich and Duke Ferdinand of Württemberg
Margrave Max, Margravine Valerie, Hereditary Prince Bernhard, Hereditary Princess Stephanie, Prince Leopold and Prince Michael of Baden
Landgrave Moritz of Hesse
Fürst Alexander zu Schaumbrug-Lippe
Archduke Joseph, Archduchess Maria and Archduke Michael of Austria
Duke Max and Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria, Prince Leopold, Princess Ursula, Prince Manuel, Prince Adalbert and Princess Sandra of Bavaria
Prince Constantin of Liechtenstein
Prince Michael and Princess Dagmar of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Fürt Kraft and Hereditary Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Oehringen
Hereditary Count Karl-Eugen and Hereditary Coutness Andrea of Neipperg
Hereditary Count Erich and Hereditary Countess Mathilde of Waldburg zu Zeil and Trauchburg
Fürst Albrt of Thurn and Taxis
Fürstin Heinrich and Fürstin Paula zu Fürstenberg
Prince Andreas and Princess Luise zu Hohenlohe-Langenbrug
Count Hans-Veit zu Toerring-Jettenbach
Fürst Mariano Hugo zu Windisch-Graetz
Fürst Johann Friedrich zu Castell-Rüdenhausen and at last one of his brothers
Count Gustav zu Solms-Laubach
Count Alexander of Schönburg-Glauchau
Fürst Philipp zu Stolberg-Wernigerode
Prince Maximilian zu Ysenburg and Büdingen
Count Hans Veit zu Toerring-Jettenbach
Fürst Andreas and Fürstin Alexandra zu Leiningen
Prince Karl-Emich and Prince Isabelle zu Leiningen
Duke Borwin zu Mecklenburg;art372574,4494384;art372574,4494631,-Sechs-Foerster-tragen-den-Fuersten-zur-letzten-Ruhestaette-_arid,4163644.html
Gallery of my Pics

The Little Temple of Temple Newsam

At the top of a slope in the woods at Temple Newsam there is a listed building folly called 'The Little Temple', which is sadly now fenced off due to years of decay and vandalism. Beyond the fences now surrounding it, are a couple of benches from which one can view the House, the trees as they change through the seasons, and the meadow where the Opera takes place each year. It is a most beautiful spot and a place where I often pass the time of day with people who happen to be sitting on those benches. Sometimes there are dog-walkers (for a while, a couple of years ago, I saw a beautiful black poodle named Claude but he and his people no longer seem to come by and I would love to hear where he is now) or families or couples or mothers with prams and push chairs or joggers taking a break or pensive people on their's always so lovely and reminds me often of the beautiful "Bread & Fishes" song about meeting people by chance and meeting angels.

Alas, the Little Temple itself falls daily into a greater state of decay.
Not only does the unpleasant graffiti remain alongside the fences surrounding the folly, but there are signs of rotting timbers and the whole structure being abandoned. Sometimes I imagine all the people who sat there when it was first erected; the vision of the builder, the brilliance of the landscape gardener, Capability Brown, who created such beauty, and the thoughts they thought, the dreams they dreamed....and did they ever know how many people would come to enjoy such loveliness? There is a notice which says it is undergoing restoration, and that same notice has been there for so many years that I wonder how much it will cost to restore it to its original beauty and how to raise the money for that to take place.

The actual stone upon stone, pillar upon pillar is irrelevant really, I suppose. It's just that it's at the perfect spot amid those incredibly beautiful trees and has such an atmosphere of centuries of being attuned to Nature...It's just somewhere I happen to love and, when I reach my fortune, I would like to restore it to its original glory...

The photos here are not recent - I just found them on the net - the first from here (I trust it is alright to take this from your site - thank you!)

and will post my own next time I take my camera....

The Prettiest Summer Bridesmaid Dress For 2010

If you're planning a summer wedding, it's time to get your bridesmaid dress ordered! Each season has its own trends and patterns emerge, and summer 2010 is no exception. Make you look like a dream wedding in beautiful summer dresses and bridesmaid this season.

Finally, there is something else not available in strapless dresses and bridesmaid! Top necklines and this summer is not a spaghetti strap or belt (although there are many still available on both), but the bold and halter necklines and one shoulder. Asymmetry is very popular, as well as fluid fabrics like chiffon, organza and charmeuse. If there is a clear trend for bridesmaid dresses in the summer of 2010 and fresh modernity. This bridesmaid dress for the contemporary stylish woman who just happens to be in the wedding ceremony.

And bridesmaid dresses that have been identified have a big job to do: they need to complete your wedding dress, fit with the style and the wedding season, and flatter your midwives, working within the scope of the price. That is a lot to ask of the dress! No wonder that the choice of bridesmaid dresses to be one of the most challenging tasks in the process of wedding planning as a whole. The best bet to make the process as painless as possible to do your homework: read articles about fashion trends, 2010, and consideration of the images on the Internet, and narrow it down to a few basic shapes and colors. Only then should you begin actively shopping, and when they do, and bring other people and only one or two with you.

If the style of your wedding is an elegant city, and then a silhouette of one shoulder and will be perfect for your party wedding. This design is now offered by most designers, bridesmaid dress, in every price point. To attend a formal evening wedding, opt for one shoulder floor length bridesmaid dress in chiffon that has been collected. In the daytime, and the pattern of knee length to be more summery and light, especially in the popular color for 2010, such as periwinkle blue. Elegance of dress one shoulder as it seems when a beautiful explain the shiny charmeuse silk, but only for weddings in enclosed spaces. Since the neck does not allow for a necklace, and the search for sets of bridesmaid jewelry, with a pair of dangly earrings and two bracelets on a pile.

Halter neckline is one versatile to some extent. Is being proven in the bridesmaid dresses that run the gamut of styles designed to Shantung sexier flowing silk. One of the most intriguing designs is Shantung designed in the design of two-tone. Halter bodice of the dress is one color, part skirt contrasting color. This option is interesting, as it would allow for many of customization in dress, and also adds a graphic punch to your present attire. For weddings, evening, and coal is one of the most popular wedding colors for 2010, although personally, I find it a bit subdued for the summer. It would be fun to choose a bolder color such as bright purple or reddish, which is much vitality, and a great match for wedding flowers festive summer.

Ruffles and very romantic, and a great trend in the various colors of the rainbow dresses fashion this season. Bridesmaid dresses with ruffled necklines are available in all different necklines, V-neck spaghetti strap to strap and one shoulder. This is a romantic style that fits almost any wedding. To attend the wedding day, dare to choose the bridesmaid dress with yellow ruffle of chiffon at the neck. Or determine the color of pale pink and a more subtle, such as Shell and give it more pizazz with radical ruffled bodice. What adds to the natural beauty of the dresses ruffled by groups of jewelry and bridesmaid with romantic or vintage flavor, such as pearl and crystal necklace and earring sets.

There are several available methods of beautiful dresses for summer 2010 and the bridesmaid. Selection of trendy colors such as yellow sector, purple, blue, or charcoal, or select another favorite in the shade. With the flow of the chiffon, cutting edge necklines, ruffles and super-girly among the options, there is sure to be the style that will be perfect with any type of wedding.

Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler

No one can deny that dreadful atrocities have been committed throughout history, and uncovering the truth of the past seems to bring some kind of resolution to terrible situations but I fear there is often a danger of laying crimes at the feet of rulers who had little say in what exactly happened.

An article in the 'Daily Mail' today, describes a new book: "The Kaiser's Holocaust", which relates an appalling story of cruelty and murder in Namibia. The horrendousness of the story needed, perhaps, to be told but I cannot help but feel unsettled by the title or one phrase in the article which speaks of the 'tacit consent' of the Kaiser, while at the same time showing a very large picture of Wilhelm in uniform, looking every inch the German conquering hero.

Willy was, there is no doubt, racist - as were a large majority of Europeans at that time (with a notably exception in Queen Victoria) - but he was not a sadist and to compare him to Hitler, or worse, lay the blame for Hitler's abominable crimes at the feet of such a man is so unjust. Much as he would have hated to admit it, Kaiser Wilhelm was not a great leader but one who was often disregarded by his ministers who had their own agenda and desire for power. The more they took power from him, the more uniforms Willy acquired and the more aggressive poses he adopted on his photos and portraits, but at heart he was not an aggressive man, but simply a patriot in a new country, and one who wanted his country to stand equally alongside the other 'major powers' of Europe. It must be remembered that by the outbreak of WW1, Germany, unlike the other powers, had known 40 years of peace and prosperity. Germany was way ahead of other countries in caring for the unemployed and the aged, and advancing rapidly technologically. Willy simply wanted that to be recognised by the rest of Europe (and especially by Britain) and, alas, his own personal hang-ups, made it impossible for him ever to feel happy in his skin. I very, very much doubt though that he would have willingly accepted this horrendous slaughter in Namibia. During the Boer War, the British were 'inventing' concentration camps in S. Africa and, all that time, Queen Victoria was writing letters to her generals and politicians, urging them to respect the culture, religion and way of life of native peoples. Willy, I think, wanted to be like his grandmother....but never lived up to his own image of what he wanted to be.

A lot is written about the subsequent involvement of some of the German princes, grand dukes etc. with the Nazis. Making it absolutely clear that I utterly, totally and completely reject all forms of racism, control etc. and find the Nazis abhorrent, I have to say we cannot judge it all as it was then from the position of hindsight when we see the full horrific effects of how it played out. Imagine, though, if you knew and had lived through a time when your country prospered; a World War, for which you were not solely responsible, that led not only to shame of defeat and the memory of how many young men had died in vain, but also to the bankruptcy of your great nation, the loss of so many lands, being humiliated and deprived of an army to defend your borders (the Treaty of Versailles was so short-sighted!!*)...and suddenly there appeared a man who promised to restore a sense of pride. I think, before they understood the true manic and perverse nature of this man (Hitler), it is understandable that many believed in him.

None of that, of course, excuses believing in him so much that you would willingly attack your neighbours (literal neighbours - the Jewish people who lived next door; or national neighbours - like invading Poland!) but nothing is ever quite what it appears. No nation has been totally blameless and I think the large picture of the Kaiser in that newspaper, alongside such a headline, merely prolongs the mistaken myth of the Kaiser being an evil war lord and the German nation being behind all the aggression in Europe and beyond.

(And I write this as a full blooded English person!)

* Incidentally, during the Balkan Wars, the nuch-maligned Tsar Nicholas II was one of the very few people who understood the effects of short-sightedness. He knew that humiliating Bulgaria, would lead to resentment in that country and tried to broker a fair deal for everyone. What a pity he wasn't present to offer his wisdom at Versailles!)

Noble Wedding at Alsfeld

On Saturday 18.09.2010 the ltttle hessian town Alsfeld in saw a noble Wedding the first time  since 50 years when Freiin Iris of Dörnberg married Prince Hubertus zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg at the Walpurgis Church there. The couple had already married in a civil Ceremony the day before in the Townhall of Alsfeld. On the Wedding day first Guests at the Church arrived short after 10 a clock, the groom and his Family arrived around 10 min. before the Service startet at 11h00 CEST. One of the last was the bride who arrived together with her father, Freiherr Jürgen of Dörnberg in an old Cadillac.They waited for a few mintues before the Church whre the old historc Veil of the bride was arranged and only they the last guests arrvied at Church including the grooms aunts, Archduchess maria of Austira with her husband Archduek Joseph, Fürstin Lioba zu Oettingen-Wallerstein and Lady Nicholas Windsor with her parents. After they where inside also the bride and her father entered the Church. The oecumenical Service (the bride is protestant, the groom catholic) was conducted by the brides cousin Pfarrer Dr. Burkhard von Dörnbeg and Deklan Stefan Reuffurth a good friend of the groom. The Service lasted for about one hour then the birdal Couple came out of the Church followed by their parents and other guests. After they had said Goodbye to the Pfarrer and the Dekan the entered the Cadeillac (from whom the had put back the roof so that it became an Cabriolet) together with the flower children.  Then they drove away to the Burg Herzberg the ancestral home of the brides Family where an Reception took place.
Among the guests who attended the Wedding where Archduke Joseph and Archduchess Maria of Austria, Archduke Michael and Archduchess Christiane of Austria, Fürstin Lioba zu Oettingen-Oettingen and Oettingen-Wallerstein,  Lady Nicholas Windsor with her son Leopold and Albert,  Fürst Ludwig zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia, Prince Friedrich Franz and Princess Susan of Prussia, the Fürst and Fürstin zu Ysenburg and Büdingen and many more.


Saints and Such

It bothers me a bit when institutions beatify or canonise someone because it often seems they strip that person of their true humanity, their true light, and use them for some political or religious end.

I spent my childhood among saints - studying, labelling, listing every one I could find, trying to learn everything about them, who was patron of this or that (ask me now and I can still tell you at once the patron saint of just about anything from cab drivers to charcoal burners or from heart conditions to haemorrhoids!!) - and attempted to imitate their impossible virtues, most of which involved a great deal of unnecessary suffering. Suffering, martyrdom and all kinds of self-abasement went with the territory of being a saint, unless you were one of the wacky Irish saints who sailed across oceans on cabbage leaves, or my 'patroness' the Roman martyr, Christina, who was noted above all for being unable to bear nasty smells to the extent that she rose out of the stink of her own coffin! Saints are such a strange lot! In the olden days, the wackier the better but since the Reformation, politics moved in and people were canonised or hailed as heroes by different denominations to suit the politics of the institution at the time. The idea is then that they are 'worthy of imitation'...and it all smacks of something unpleasant nowadays. How can anyone be 'worthy of imitation' if everyone is unique and beautifully brought into being by a beyond beautiful Divinity who has infinite variety? Imitation is folly and unworthy of anyone.

Karl of Austria is a man I hugely admire. I admire his humanity, his singular presence at the funeral of his uncle, Franz Ferdinand, and his offer to take care of Franz Ferdinand's children. I admire his devotion to his own children and his love of his wife; his opposition to the use of gas and the killing of civilians in WW1 and his attempts, as soon as he came to power, to broker peace. I fear that, as the Catholic Church has beatified and may soon canonise him, he will be transformed from a flesh and blood man into another plaster cast saint to suit political purposes.

The same is true of John Henry Newman, whose writings I first read when I was about 12 years old, and which moved me immensely. His understanding of Nature was beautiful (though typically Victorian verbose) and the final lines of 'Lead Kindly Light', regarding life beyond this earthly life, are so beautiful:

"The night is gone
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile."

I loved that man's sensibility but, while I understand it - he was a Victorian after all! - did not like his dogmatism. He wrote:

From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery.

He seemed like a free spirit but one so bound up in the intellectualism of his age. I loved his Englishness and, as an English Catholic at that time, growing up in quite a world of Irish Catholicism, I loved the way he bridged that gap, but found his need to adhere to some 'system' so stifling. What was worse, and this I think is the major theme of the Victorian age, was the idea that somehow everything that is good and 'holy' involves suffering, was the idea of some kind of need for martyrdom. His conversion to Catholicism was painful because it cost him the respect of his peers and the love of at least one member of his family, but the idea that that makes him holy is abhorrent to me and dominates much of his writing.

Later in life, once he had regained acceptance by being made a Cardinal, he seems to have mellowed. He wrote:

Let us take things as we find them: let us not attempt to distort them into what they are not... We cannot make facts. All our wishing cannot change them. We must use them.
And that, I think, is what is being done - that distorting of facts - when making someone into a saint. Newman, like dear Karl of Austria, is a man whom I admire and yet his humanity (including his love of his friend) is in danger of being distorted.


The Pope's visit to England seems to be bringing up all kinds of responses and reactions. There are several things which I fail to understand, and several more thoughts about it which probably have no meaning but I shall write them anyway.

I was raised a Catholic and remained so (with misgivings) for over 4 decades but no longer adhere to that way of life. As a Catholic, I encountered, for the most part, only beautiful people, a few of whom felt a great allegiance to Rome and all that came from the Vatican, but most of whom went their own way in that faith, according to their own lights. There were saintly priests and there were arrogant priests. There were saintly nuns and there were severe nuns. There were the movers and shakers, the ones who went along for the ride, the individualists, the rebels, the dogmatists, the holier-than-thou (all of whom were interesting and these labels were only my judgement)and the kinds of people like you meet in any other group of people...and they were people like everyone of any other faith or no faith at all.

I don't understand why those who have no interest in the Church, feel a need to make a massive protest against this Papal visit. I was a part of the Church once and am no longer so, but don't object to other people doing what they or believing what they believe and don't come away needing to hate it and have meetings about it. Why have a meeting about something that has no meaning for you? It rather reminds me of those thugs who go hammering on the side of police vans taking murderers or child abusers to court. Were I the relative of a victim of such a crime, I would find it horrific to think people who did not know the victim, were using my relative's experience to express their own insecurity. The same is true of those who turn out to protest at this visit. It is true, I think, that there is much bigotry from Rome, but, if you don't like it, it makes no difference in your life. Why bother to turn up and protest against something that doesn't affect you and need not affect anyone else that you know? Make it an irrelevance and it no longer has any power over you.

Obviously the child abuse crimes are appalling and I will say no more about that because it is too appalling for words.

What was always and ultimately disturbing to me - apart from the massive disparity between the Gospel message and the Church hierarchy - was the sense of control: the arrogance of an institution, whose infamous history of murdered popes, nepotism, plunder, ambition, could then come up with the idea that a man was infallible. Far more disturbing, though, was the sense of having been robbed of my immediate connection to the Divine. For some reason, it had to pass through and be validated by this institution of men in the Vatican, and those whom they chose to ordain, before anything could be taken as Truth. This is the real difficulty I have with this visit: the condemnation of what they call relativism.

Relativism basically, I think, states that there is no 'one' truth. Churches and institutions are terrified of that idea because, claiming that they alone have the truth, it removes control from their hands. In the fear of that, it shows that they basically believe in original sin - people are pretty bad and without some kind of control, we will all become wicked. In fact, if you believe in any form of Divinity, the opposite must be true. If the Divine/God/Source of All is good and holy, then S/He surely brings forth only what is good. Within that goodness, there is infinite variety (look at Nature and the countless species) and how can any part of that brilliant expression of the Divine claim to hold some kind of singular truth or superior knowledge?

Among those who adhere to religions, there are those who find their way through drugs, alcohol, promiscuity (things which the Pope warned young people against) just as much are there those who do not adhere to religion and find their way along those paths. Among those who do not adhere to religions, there are those who adopt quite different paths...basically, everyone finds his/her own way in the end.

I just don't understand why there is the need for anyone to claim, "This way is right....mine is the only way...." - why the protests against this visit? Some people find it helpful and that is good. And why the need for this visit to spread the message of having to 'restore faith' when we don't need any outside influence to intermediate between us and our Source?

I have faith in the Truth of the Reality of each person, each part of creation as an expression of the Divine/Life. Relativism isn't a crime or a sin or anything of the sort - to my mind it is valid and, after studying many paths for many years, I don't understand why this has become the new enemy...except that it seems to be the fear of loss of control.

Muse Board: Blue & Green

The Emperor and the Actress

Emperor Franz Joseph and Katharina Schratt had a long relationship: The Emperor and the Actress

Muse Board: Sunny Countryside

Muse Board: Gold Rush

Muse Board: Blushing Pink

Muse Board: Cowboy Take Me Away

Muse Board: Mornings in Maine

Muse Board: Robin'ss Eggs

civil Wedding of the Hereditary Prince zu Fürstenberg

The civil Weddin of Hereditary Prince Christian zu Fürstenberg and Jeannette Griesel took place today at noon in the Park of Donaueschingen Castle. The marriage was conducted by the mayor of Donauschingen Thorsten Frei. The religious Wedding will take place on 25.09. in Rome.
Present at the Ceremony where Fürstin Heinrich, Fürstin Maximiliane, Fürstin Paula, Count Hubertus of Hardenberg and Atnoinette Bagusat, née Princess zu Fürtenberg. The witnesses where the grooms brother, Prince Antonius and a good friend of the bride. After the ceremony there was a dinner at Donaueschingen Castle. 
Later the new married Couple drove in the historc "Kaiserwagen" at the top of the Reitturnir-Festzug

Muse Board: Iced Tangerine

Muse Board: A Modern Fairytale Wedding

Muse Board: Grey & White

Muse Board: Pretty Pretty Picnic

Muse Board: Jadeite and Lawn

Muse Board: Wild, Retro West

Muse Board: Marry-Go-Round

Happy Hour: Sangrita

The Sangrita consists of two shots back to back, the first of tequila and the second a mixture of chiles, onion, orange and tomato juices, lime and salt, which adds up to something like a Mexican Bloody Mary. Strictly hardcore!


  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh green hot chili pepper (such as jalapeño or serrano; adjust amount according to ­taste)
  • 9 ounces orange ­juice
  • 3 ounces tomato ­juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 medium ­lime)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white ­onion
  • 1 teaspoon ­salt
  • 12 ounces high­-­quality aged ­tequila


Place the minced pepper, orange juice, tomato juice, lime juice, onion, and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain the liquid into shot glasses. Serve alongside 1 1/2­-­ to 2­-­ounce shots of ­tequila.

Source: Colin Cowie

Muse Board: Elegant Evergreens

{Source: Peach & Pearls}

Muse Board: Red & White

† Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern

Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern died in the in the morning of 16.09.2010 at the age of 86 at Umkirch. He had already since a few years health-problems.
He was borin on 03.02.1924 as oldest son and 4th child of Fürst Friedrich of Hohenzollern and his wife Margarethe, née Princess of Saxony. After his studies in Freiburg and Genf he took over the adiminstration of the Family posessions.
In 1951 he married Princess Margarita zu Leiningen wo died in 1996. They had 3 sons together and the oldest Karl Friedrisch succeeds now als new Fürst.,-Friedrich-Wilhelm-Fuerst-von-Hohenzollern-ist-tot-_arid,4159670.html

Muse Board: Backyard Maryland Crab Feast

Muse Board: Country Fair Wedding

Muse Board: Garden Hydrangea

Muse Board: Madly in Love

Madly in Love
Source: The Inspired Bride

Inspiration Board Credits:
Invitation, Mika78
Mad Men Promo Still, AMC
Cake, Cake Girls
Wedding Dress, Alice Hu for Dolly Couture via Style Me Pretty
Place Setting, Martha Stewart Weddings
Groom’s Suit and Tie (Edited), Martha Stewart Weddings
Hair Piece and Birdcage Veil, Alice Hu for Dolly Couture via Style Me Pretty

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

The first time I came across the practicalities of death, I was a a student nurse and had to sort out, list and sign for the effects of a ninety-year-old gentleman who had died. He had, in his locker, one penny and one plastic comb. They were correctly labelled and signed for, for his relations to collect. It seemed so small a thing, so sad a legacy, in a way, for 90 years. It didn't seem to capture the man himself at all. I felt sad.

Recent events of working through the effects of an elderly relative who died, brought that gentleman to mind. Among the effects of my relative are tea sets and antique spoons, all still in their original wrappings, never used...saved 'for best'. Saved, unused for some fabulous date or some major event that would merit bringing them out. That date, obviously, didn't come in this lifetime and so they remain, still in their perfect boxes, unused and now unwanted by anyone really, but too 'precious' to the person who owned them, to throw them away.

That's the thing about stuff - the stuff we accumulate and value and 'save for best', unaware that every day perhaps we could be enjoying the best. It is a thing, it seems, of a past generation to have things that are beautiful to the eye but have to be put aside because one day someone might be impressed by them or there might be something really worth celebrating....a mythical day that never comes unless we see that it happens everyday.

I know another lady whose house is filled with gorgeous antique furniture surrounded by junk. She grows plants in expensive cups alongside those growing in plastic and lets her grandchildren play in antique chests until they become scuffed and scratched and she doesn't care as long as everyone is happily enjoying that beauty. It used to seem such a waste to have scuff marks on beautifully carved chests until I saw the fun of having children playing amid beautiful objects and using them in ways that their creator undoubtedly intended. Seeing the stuff stored in cabinets and thinking of how people always 'save it for best' it just seems such a pointless waste to postpone enjoying anything that is beautiful. The fact is, I think, things only become beautiful when we love them and enjoy them as they come to us.

It will sound very harsh but clearing the effects of the old man who died with nothing but a plastic comb and one penny, was no different to clearing the effects of someone surrounded by fine bone china, beautiful table cloths (all unopened) etc. etc.. We surround ourselves with stuff that has meaning to us, but, at the end of the day, it's all just stuff....and only has meaning if we lived it and enjoyed other people living it with us. Saving something for best is the silliest idea I ever heard!

Sic transit gloria mundi...unless we put meaning into the glories/loveliness we possess...then they could come down through generations with memories of laughter and fun, scratches, scuff marks and all, rather than being nothing but unwanted museum pieces.

2011 Wedding Gown Trends

It may seem elusive, but the designers wedding gown already hard at work creating beautiful patterns of brides next year will all be coveting. Set for the first time in a few months, and decorated the first crop of 2011 gowns with details of many dimensions, and a lot of crystals handstitched, and decorated with large flowers. Take a sneak peek into the pattern of trends romantic wedding dress another.

For the last few seasons, Ruffles was one of the biggest ways in which the designers chose to add the size and visual interest of their own gowns. From wedding dresses to be held for the first time soon move away from the ruffle, but not from the idea of using a pet to add size and femininity. Instead of ruffles, and the search for gowns with hundreds of three-dimensional flowers sewn small in each. Soft petals and other decoration favorite romantic gowns in 2011. Oversized groups are from Venus "Corsage" There is another big trend, and we are in the first place they used to accents and the waist or shoulders.

One thing will not be seeing a lot of plain clothes or those with simple lines. Variation is still in, whether in the form of dress and one in the shoulder, wedding dresses with asymmetrical tweaking to repel. Waist very low in abundance, and most of ruched bodices, pool, or bodices banners that hug the figure (fabric wrap to carry out a range of homogeneity, more than any character flaws in this tight bodices). Strapless wedding dresses certainly still basic, the style of one's shoulder is still in style. A new addition to the necklines of dresses 2011 is the tip of the shoulder design, which is very low in the upper part and the wounds just barely on the verge of carrying the bride. Neckline is very positive for many women, and nice alternative to the strapless wedding dress more typical.

With all the romance and clear in the next gowns in 2011, do not worry that all the petals of flowers means less sparkle. You will see the Swarovski crystals decorated with stitching in the middle of the flowers are small, as well as the largest crystals used to beautify the entire dress, from neck to hem. The difference is the way in which it is used in sparkly details: more organically and crystal clear, instead of the silver ice crystals, mirror-backed rhinestones or used to create a specific pattern. This tie in the bracelets with a beautiful Swarovski crystal, which is one of the top trends for each of the years 2010 and 2011 brides. Package of Swarovski crystal are not identical and bracelets of pearls a contemporary design to the completion of the romantic dress.

It seems as if all of the designers wedding will be crazy for fabric in 2011. Will not only gowns soon gliding down the runway embellished with crystals and decorated with oversized floral, but the designers are using even more interesting accents to create cloaks with dimension. Use search for multiple sizes of paillettes to create a shiny, faceted appearance of the gowns. (Paillettes be larger basis, the most beautiful versions of sequins, and often are drilled at the top instead of the position so that they can move and relax). Feathers until you take the statement as a wedding gown modern beauty. Is added to these details is fantastic fabrics very soft and romantic, such as net, lace and organza to create such gowns that are something of a myth. Lucky brides!

Summer 2010 Wedding Dress Trends

Wedding Dress current trends are extremely diverse, and there is the style for all tastes on the basis of almost every afternoon of fashion, it seems.

One of the biggest trends is the style of fiction slinky wedding dress, embracing a very personal decision to be around for many seasons to come this is the dress for women and very confident.

Patterns Ballgown always in fashion and this summer is no exception, ballgown style dresses provide an ideal way to hide where the largest bottom half. Many of these techniques also come with built-in corsets that would help create the ideal shape for your day perfect.

Wedding Dresses Style fifties to achieve a breakthrough this year. Fifties style dresses add a bit of sparkle, patterns of waste has become tied more and more popular and wedding dresses can have a significant impact on how you look in your big day.

Mermaid style dresses also take the items if the fifties in mind, and pick up the old school charm of Audrey Hepburn. Must dress in this style to look nice in the pictures after a long period of your day has been.

To look like more casual about tea length dresses that are perfect if you want to emphasize the long legs, again this is the original style of the fifties.

Grecian style dress is also a good option for in a dress trend. If you thin this is a style that can look very delicate and feminine.

When looking for the perfect wedding dress consider the fact that fashion trends come and go, and that instead it might be wise to choose a dress based on your figure and what suits you best. Make the right decision can take a long time so be sure to try a lot of clothes before selection day.

Ducal Wedding at Eutin

On Saturday 11.09.2010 the citiy of Eutin saw a noble Wedding. Duchess Tatiana of Oldenburg married her french finacee, Comte Axel de Chavagnac at the Castlechurch. The bride is the younger daughter of Duke Johann and Duchess Ilka of Oldenburg and a great-granddaughter of the Oldenbrugs last ereigning Grand Duke Friedrich August. She was previously engaged in 2001 to prince Jean of France, duke of Vendôme but the engemengemnt wasd broken some time before the planned Wedding.  Her engagement to Comte Axel de Chavagnac was announced in Janaury 2010. 
The oecumenical Wedding took place at the Castlechurch of Wutin. As the bridal Couple had wished for a private Wedding the Area of the Castle was closed to the Public and only invited guests where led in. The SErvioce was lead by the former Propst of Eutin Dr. Horst Dreyer and Kaplan Oliver Maik who took over the catholic part of the Serice (the religion of the groom).
Among the guests where the brides sister Ardchduchess Eilika and her husband Archduke Georg of Austria wither her 3 children, Zsofia, Ildiko and Karl-Konstantin, who ehere flower-children, Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, Duke Friedrich August and Duchess Donata of Oldenburg, Count Konstantin of Schönborn and many more,

Albert Cottage and other Hotels

Sometimes, when things have been stressful or challenging or seasons change so quickly that you find you've missed out on summer, I think there are few things more invigorating than browsing a kind of mental photo album of favourite scenes, people and places. My first port of call in such circumstances is always the view across the Solent from Osborne House, or the gardens around the Swiss Cottage. Only 2 minutes of thinking of that image and everything else, no matter how difficult it had appeared, seems to become quite simple and beautifully easily resolved.

While thinking of 'dear Osborne' a few days ago, quite by chance I came across this website of a hotel and must hasten to add that I have no connection with the hotel nor have I ever stayed there yet, but it sounded wonderful to think it is now possible to stay actually within the grounds of Osborne and in a place so connected to Prince Albert. What a delightful stay in a place so closely connected to the family!

Some years ago, I and my business partner began compiling a collection of hotels around Britain which are in some way connected with Queen Victoria's family, and which now accommodate the public. A lot of work has been done on that project and many hotel owners have been exceptionally helpful but circumstances left the project on hold for a little while. I hope to take it further soon and would be very happy to hear from any hoteliers or publicans who have stories to tell about visits from Queen Victoria and her family or other European royalties. So many former stately homes have become hotels and while, in some ways, it seems like the passing of an era, in other ways it is just wonderful to think that now so many brilliant people have restored places to their former glory and so many aficionados of people of the past can actually stay in places they once loved.

Marie Mancini's Pearls

During their courtship, Louis XIV probably gave Marie a pair of lustrious drop-shaped pearl earrings. You can read all about them here: Marie Mancini's Pearls.

Perfect Look in Short Wedding Dresses

Short wedding dresses are in great demand in the market these days. They have just the right elegant stylish look with a touch of modernity proper. Miniskirt is extremely comfortable and suitable for all types of wedding ceremonies if you are having them on the beach or if the wedding is ideal romance. Fulfilled all purposes.

Miniskirt is very suitable for brides because they are small complement her body. Long robes and more uncomfortable than this for short-gowns, but can really up your day and a comfortable one. Long dresses are not appropriate for weddings, the beach as they get dirty with dirt and the dirt on this beach, but a short wedding dresses that can meet all the requirements. Have now given them short dresses long. These dresses are easily available in the market at the moment. Many of the salons, designers and provide services and accessories for these clothes.

Accessories can be worn with the brides dress to enhance her beauty. Wreaths can wear necklaces or just make you look fabulous. One can go too for sashes accessories for wedding dresses.

For a dress that you want, brides can contact professional tailors. You can get dress boutiques, according to personal taste. Brides can also look at the World Wide Web. There are many sites that give you the opportunity to obtain short wedding dress that may be appropriate for you. Brides can see the images on the Internet, and can choose one they like more. This provides a lot of expenses as well. Short wedding dresses are in fact much cheaper compared with the bridal term. And increased use because it is not the only one in this direction, but also make you feel comfortable. They do not impede or create obstacles while dancing and who attended a large wedding party. Every bride wants only to live large on their wedding day to the fullest extent.

You can also contact the designers who can dress your account with your appearance and fitness. They have more experience on what will look good on you. One must choose the style that looks great, and also gives comfort required. Many types of wedding dresses available in the market short.

There are many types of clothing, such as those short-sleeved gowns or halters with straps and elegant. Tea Length wedding dress short fits almost all shapes and sizes. One can look fabulous and eye catching by choosing short dresses that show skinny legs.

It is, therefore, that the bride should choose the appropriate dress and appropriate from the available options for a great day.