Sunday, 9 December 2018

Teenage daughter of the Marquess of Queensberry, 18, died at Notting Hill house party after two-day heroin and cocaine binge /John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry / Wilde's sex life exposed in explicit court files / He betrayed Wilde. But that wasn't the worst thing Bosie did.





Teenage daughter of the Marquess of Queensberry, 18, died at Notting Hill house party after two-day heroin and cocaine binge, inquest hears
Lady Beth Douglas, 18, was found dead in March with needle marks in her arm
Her death is the latest ‘Queensberry Curse’ tragedy to befall aristocratic family
Family members have endured suicide and violent deaths, married into Osama bin laden's family and 9th marquess was instrumental in Oscar Wilde's downfall
By CHRIS GREENWOOD CHIEF CRIME CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 22:02 GMT, 9 November 2018 | UPDATED: 02:41 GMT, 10 November 2018

The teenage daughter of the Marquess of Queensberry died at a house party after a two-day drug and alcohol binge, an inquest heard.

Lady Beth Douglas, 18, the youngest child of David Douglas, the 88-year-old 12th marquess, was found with needle marks in her arm.

Her boyfriend thought she had fallen asleep on a sofa but dialled 999 when he was later unable to revive her at the flat in Notting Hill, west London.

The teenage daughter of the Marquess of Queensbury died at a house party after a two day drug and alcohol binge. Lady Beth Douglas, 18, the youngest child of Lord David, the 12th Marquess of Queensbury, was found with needle marks in her arm             +5
The teenage daughter of the Marquess of Queensbury died at a house party after a two day drug and alcohol binge. Lady Beth Douglas, 18, the youngest child of Lord David, the 12th Marquess of Queensbury, was found with needle marks in her arm

He discovered she had injected heroin, possibly for the first time. Tests also revealed cocaine and morphine in her blood.

Her father criticised detectives for failing to discover the identity of the dealer who gave her the drugs or even to contact other people who attended the party.

Beth’s death is the latest tragedy to befall a colourful aristocratic dynasty which has endured centuries of misfortune once labelled the ‘Queensberry Curse’.

The 18-year-old had injected heroin, possibly for the first time. Tests also revealed cocaine and morphine in her blood                +5
The 18-year-old had injected heroin, possibly for the first time. Tests also revealed cocaine and morphine in her blood

The 9th marquess played a leading role in the downfall of Oscar Wilde and he also gave his name to the official rules of boxing after endorsing changes to the sport in 1867 that largely put an end to bare-knuckle fighting.

More recently, the family has a link by marriage to the family of Osama Bin Laden.

Beth, known to family and friends as ‘Ling Ling’, was the only daughter of the marquess’s third wife, Taiwanese artist Hsueh-Chun Liao.

She was a student and talented violinist but struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was being treated for mental illness.

Westminster Coroner’s Court heard she died after going to a house party at the £2.5million Notting Hill flat in March.

Her boyfriend Jenan Karagoli, 21, said the pair had spent at least two days drinking and taking drugs while staying in hotels.

At the house party he went out to buy wine after she complained about drinking cognac. He returned to find her apparently asleep on a sofa where he joined her.

Mr Karagoli admitted she had asked him to obtain heroin for her. He said: ‘I really didn’t want to do it. She used to snort heroin back before I even knew her.

Lady Beth Douglas was a student and talented violinist but struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was being treated for mental illness             +5
Lady Beth Douglas was a student and talented violinist but struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was being treated for mental illness

‘I said I didn’t know anyone. She made a phone call and said we were going to a party.’

Mr Karagoli, who had been taking anti-anxiety medication and cocaine, said he did not know who supplied the lethal drug.

‘She asked me to get her a bottle of red wine,’ he said. ‘When I came back I saw the person who lived there in a chair with a crack pipe. Ling Ling was asleep on the couch.’ Describing how he later tried to rouse her, he said: ‘I couldn’t wake her up. The man in the flat said she had taken heroin. I just picked up her arms and saw a little peck of dots.’

The inquest heard that Beth had been known to mental health services since the age of 13, when she started self-harming and had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act aged 17.

Lord Queensberry criticised police for failing to identify the dealer who gave his daughter the heroin and possibly helped her inject it.

He said: ‘There was mention there was a lot of drug-taking in this flat. I was concerned because in this flat where my daughter died, it seems to have been connected with the injection of heroin.

In 1895, the writer and wit Oscar Wilde (L) was jailed for gross indecency after a legal battle with the 9th marquess, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas (R), nicknamed ‘Bosie’, was Wilde’s lover             +5
In 1895, the writer and wit Oscar Wilde (L) was jailed for gross indecency after a legal battle with the 9th marquess, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas (R), nicknamed ‘Bosie’, was Wilde’s lover

‘The owner of the flat is not here to make any statement. And the other people at the party, police haven’t contacted them. I am almost certain that this is the first occasion in which my daughter, who had taken a lot of drugs...but she had not had intravenous heroin before as far as I know.

‘No one takes their first intravenous injection of heroin without assistance. Someone helped her and nobody seems interested as to who that is.’

The inquest recorded Beth’s cause of death as a cardiac respiratory failure and cocaine and heroin poisoning.

Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe apologised to the family for being unable to ‘answer all of your questions’. She said: ‘It’s not possible to say what the cause of death was – cocaine ingestion, heroin ingestion or a combination of the two drugs.

‘The police found no needles or syringes. As far as they are concerned there is no further action they can take in this matter.

‘They have no evidence of any criminal act and they had no identification details for the couple who were there that evening.’

A family with tragedies dating back to the dark ages
The ‘Curse of the Queensberrys’ dates back to the Scotland of the Dark Ages when Sir William Douglas died in the Tower of London in 1298 after fighting for William Wallace against the English.

His son, Sir James Douglas, a confidant of Robert the Bruce, died in 1330 taking his dead leader’s heart on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The family were created earls in 1358. The 2nd earl died at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, and the 4th earl was killed four years later in the Battle of Homildon Hill. The title was elevated to marquess by Charles II in 1681.

In 1858 the 8th marquess shot himself dead with his own gun while hunting rabbits. Two of his sons also died violent deaths.

In 1895, the writer and wit Oscar Wilde was jailed for gross indecency after a legal battle with the 9th marquess, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed ‘Bosie’, was Wilde’s lover. The case went to court after Wilde unsuccessfully sued the marquess for writing that he was a ‘sodomite’.

The current, 12th marquess, David Harrington Angus Douglas, has married three times, producing eight children by four women. Caroline Carey, half-sister of his illegitimate son Ambrose Carey, married Salem Bin Laden, a brother of terrorist Osama. When he died in a plane crash she married another brother, Khaled.

In 1995, Lady Beth Douglas’s half-sister, Lady Alice Douglas, married Simon Melia, an armed robber she met while holding a drama workshop at a prison. They divorced after he cheated on her. In 2009, Beth’s half-brother, Milo Douglas, 34, committed suicide by jumping off a tower block.


Marquess of Queensberry's daughter, 18, was 'working as a prostitute and earned money from online sex videos' before she died after taking heroin, her boyfriend reveals
Lady Beth Douglas, 18, died after injecting heroin for the first time in March
Her boyfriend Jenan Karagoli, 21, alleged she had been working as a prostitute
He said she had been earning money by taking part in online sex videos
By COURTNEY BARTLETT FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 22:00 GMT, 11 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:21 GMT, 12 November 2018

A teenage aristocrat who died from a drugs overdose was working as a prostitute before her sordid death, her boyfriend has claimed.

Lady Beth Douglas, 18 – the youngest child of David Douglas, the 12th Marquess of Queensberry – died after injecting heroin for the first time in March.

Her boyfriend Jenan Karagoli, 21, alleged she had been working as a prostitute and earning money by taking part in online sex videos. She had also been selling her underwear online for £30 a time.

‘I knew about all this adult work, escorting, so on and so forth – but I kept my mouth shut,’ he said. He added that the day before her death on March 7, the couple had argued about her sexual behaviour. She would tell him to wait in a pub while she disappeared for hours.


 ‘She told me to sit and enjoy my Guinness while she went and met a friend. Soon she would phone and say she had got us a hotel room for the night,’ he said.

When Mr Karagoli asked how she had procured £250-a-night rooms when they were penniless, Lady Beth told him ‘I did what I had to do’.

Lady Beth Douglas was a student and talented violinist but struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was being treated for mental illness             +7
Lady Beth Douglas was a student and talented violinist but struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was being treated for mental illness

He was ‘disgusted’ at the idea of her working as an escort, and the pair had a tearful row in the middle of a three-day drugs binge, he said.

‘I knew something had been happening, but my mind was too clouded from the drink and drugs. I told her: “I know what you’re doing, you can talk to me about it. You don’t have to hide things from me and, if you’re desperate for money, I’ll help”,’ said Mr Karagoli.

He claimed he knew she had been performing dominatrix webcam shows with men for ‘two or three months’ and then she asked him if she should sell her used underwear online.

He called that ‘a step too far’, adding: ‘I now think all of this was a gateway to her seeing men in person, hence the hotel rooms.’ Mr Karagoli met the talented violinist, known to her family as ‘Ling Ling’, through friends on her 18th birthday and they had a ten-month relationship.

But he ‘could tell she had her demons from the day we first met’. He said: ‘A lot of it stemmed from losing her half-brother Milo to suicide. She loved him and would often tell me he was the only sibling to truly accept her.’

She would also often mention the ‘Queensberry curse’ and that the dynasty has endured centuries of misfortune. He said their relationship descended into regular cocaine-taking. On March 6, they were invited to a house party in Notting Hill, West London, close to the flat they shared.

The teenage daughter of the Marquess of Queensbury died at a house party after a two day drug and alcohol binge                +7
The teenage daughter of the Marquess of Queensbury died at a house party after a two day drug and alcohol binge

He described how Lady Beth asked him to leave the party to buy wine. When he returned at around 11.30pm, she had passed out on the sofa, so he went to sleep beside her. But at 1.30am he woke to find her ‘lifeless’.

He said: ‘She was so troubled but she was a wonderful woman.’ Mr Karagoli has now sworn off all drugs and declares himself ‘clean as a whistle’.

Last week an inquest recorded Lady Beth’s cause of death as a cardiac respiratory failure and cocaine and heroin poisoning.

A family with tragedies dating back to the dark ages
The ‘Curse of the Queensberrys’ dates back to the Scotland of the Dark Ages when Sir William Douglas died in the Tower of London in 1298 after fighting for William Wallace against the English.

His son, Sir James Douglas, a confidant of Robert the Bruce, died in 1330 taking his dead leader’s heart on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The family were created earls in 1358. The 2nd earl died at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, and the 4th earl was killed four years later in the Battle of Homildon Hill. The title was elevated to marquess by Charles II in 1681.

In 1858 the 8th marquess shot himself dead with his own gun while hunting rabbits. Two of his sons also died violent deaths.

In 1895, the writer and wit Oscar Wilde was jailed for gross indecency after a legal battle with the 9th marquess, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed ‘Bosie’, was Wilde’s lover. The case went to court after Wilde unsuccessfully sued the marquess for writing that he was a ‘sodomite’.

The current, 12th marquess, David Harrington Angus Douglas, has married three times, producing eight children by four women. Caroline Carey, half-sister of his illegitimate son Ambrose Carey, married Salem Bin Laden, a brother of terrorist Osama. When he died in a plane crash she married another brother, Khaled.




John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry
In February 1895, angered by the apparent ongoing homosexual relationship between Oscar Wilde and his son Alfred, Queensberry left a calling card reading "For Oscar Wilde, posing as Somdomite at Wilde's club. Wilde sued for criminal libel, leading to Queensberry's arrest.

Queensberry's lawyers, headed by barrister Edward Carson, portrayed Wilde as a vicious older man who seduced innocent young boys into a life of degenerate homosexuality. Wilde dropped the libel case when Queensberry's lawyers informed the court that they intended to call several male prostitutes as witnesses to testify that they had had sex with Wilde. According to the Libel Act 1843, proving the truth of the accusation and a public interest in its exposure was a defence against a libel charge, and Wilde's lawyers concluded that the prostitutes' testimony was likely to do that. Queensberry won a counterclaim against Wilde for the considerable expenses he had incurred on lawyers and private detectives in organising his defence. Wilde was left bankrupt; his assets were seized and sold at auction to pay the claim.

Queensberry then sent the evidence collected by his detectives to Scotland Yard, which resulted in Wilde being charged and convicted of gross indecency under the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 and sentenced to two years' hard labour. His health and reputation destroyed, Wilde went into exile in France.

Queensberry died on 31 January 1900. Ten months later, Oscar Wilde died at the Hotel d'Alsace in Paris.





Wilde's sex life exposed in explicit court files
Under the hammer: unpublished witness statements tell of 'rough' teenage boys and soiled sheets
Vanessa Thorpe and Simon de Burton

Sun 6 May 2001 02.42 BST First published on Sun 6 May 2001 02.42 BST

Explicit documents prepared for the Oscar Wilde libel case have come to light, offering a revealing new glimpse of the double life led by the celebrated Irish writer.
The shocking witness statements, previously unseen, were drawn up by employees at Day Russell of the Strand, solicitors for the defence in Wilde's disastrous 1895 legal action against the Marquis of Queensberry. Most of the papers were filed away and never used in court.

While Wilde is remembered today as the dandy-about-town, sporting bespoke suits and habitually wearing a green carnation in his buttonhole, these statements - from chamber-maids, valets, bell-boys and even a lamp-wick seller portray his private life in lurid detail.

Seedy descriptions of Wilde's bedroom are included in the damaging file, which was instrumental in Wilde's downfall and formed the background for one of the most famous cases in British legal history.

Wilde took legal action against the Marquis, father of his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, after he found a visiting card left by Queensberry at the Albermarle club. It was inscribed with the words: 'For Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite [ sic ]'.

The 52 pages of statements from 32 witnesses have never been published and are hand-written on heavy sheets of paper. They were picked up in a London junk shop for a pittance during the Fifties by a private collector whose widow is now selling them at Christie's on 6 June. The historic bundle, wrapped in pink string, is expected to fetch £12,000.

Among the more sordid details are those revealed by Margaret Cotta, a chambermaid at the Savoy Hotel, a favourite rendezvous for Wilde and his series of young male 'renters'. Describing a prolonged visit to the hotel by Wilde and Alfred Douglas, who was affectionately known as Bosie, Miss Cotta said she found a 'common boy, rough looking, about 14 years of age' in Wilde's bed, the sheets of which 'were always in a most disgusting state... [with] traces of vaseline, soil and semen'.

Instructions were given that the linen should be kept apart and washed separately. Miss Cotta added that a stream of page boys delivering letters were usually kissed by Wilde, who then tipped them two shillings and sixpence for their trouble.

Thomas Venning, a manuscripts specialist at Christie's, said the documents provided a new account of Wilde's undoing and had 'very detailed sexual content which was only mentioned in the trial euphemistically'.

The statements also show Wilde's carefree attitude to discovery. Wallis Grainger, an apprentice electrician from Oxford, told how Wilde took him to a cottage in nearby Goring-on-Thames which he had rented and where he wrote An Ideal Husband.

On the second or third night, said Grainger, Wilde 'came into my bedroom and woke me up and told me to come into his bedroom which was next door... he worked me up with his hand and made me spend in his mouth'. The former butler of the Marquis of Queensberry was in the next room.

On another occasion, during the Goring regatta, Gertrude Simmons, governess to Wilde's two sons, reported seeing him 'holding the arm of a boat boy called George Hughes and patting him very familiarly'. During the same visit she came across a carelessly discarded letter to Wilde from Bosie which was signed 'your own loving darling boy to do what you like with'.

Another statement came from a 20-year-old called Fred Atkins, who Wilde had met at the Café Royale. Atkins said Wilde 'took me to the hairdresser and had my hair curled'. Wilde later took him off to Paris as his secretary, Atkins said. The job involved 'writing out only half a page of a manuscript which took about 10 minutes' after which Wilde 'made improper proposals'.

Queensberry had used detectives to track down a circle of male prostitutes, and some of their statements are among those being sold. Wilde's action against Queensberry opened on 3 April 1895 at the Old Bailey but collapsed with a not guilty verdict. At noon on 5 April, the evidence gathered by solicitor Charles Russell was immediately forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions and Wilde was arrested on a charge of gross indecency.

On 24 May, after two further trials, he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment with hard labour, which broke his health. After his release he lived abroad as a bankrupt under the pseudonym Sebastian Melmoth. He died in Paris on 30 November 1900.




He betrayed Wilde. But that wasn't the worst thing Bosie did
Douglas Murray's Bosie is a brave attempt at rehabilitation of a golden boy who played on his charm... until it ran out
Philip Hoare

Sun 4 Jun 2000 00.01 BST First published on Sun 4 Jun 2000 00.01 BST

Bosie: A Biography of Lord Alfred Douglas
Douglas Murray

In 1895, as the storm clouds gathered over the already tempestuous affair between Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, Bosie's intemperate and quite possibly insane father, the Marquess of Queensberry, voiced the opinion that his son ought to have 'the shit kicked out of him'.

I'm afraid it's an idea which might occur more than once to the reader wading through incident after paranoid incident of hurt, reproach, libel suit and vicious sonnet in Bosie's life story, all employed by this 'golden boy' in the relentless pursuit of his own ends. Douglas Murray's rehabilitation of his subject is a brave attempt to redeem a character immured in the calumny of legend. Beloved of Wilde, betrayed by Wilde, betrayer of Wilde, Douglas was a man-boy who played on his charm until it ran out, then raged against Fate for that mortal fact.

After a colourful introduction to the 'black Douglases', Murray's well-researched account soon has us in the thick of the affair, and by telling it from Douglas's point of view, the author gives us an illuminating new angle, especially on Bosie's sexuality. An early experimenter with his own sex, Douglas came to Magdalen as the leader of 'the cause', a campaigner by default. Yet he would turn both straight and Catholic post-Wilde. Indeed, it increasingly seems as though it was both protagonists' heterosexuality which proved their downfall.

Bosie had the added burden of genetic instability to cope with. Murray reminds us what a monster the Marquess was. He was a vicious man who damned his family to misery. None more so than Alfred, although his other son, Percy, was described by his father as a 'sicked-up looking creature, as if he had come up the wrong way. When he was a child swathed in irons to hold him together it used to make me sick to look at him and think that he could be called my son.'


Murray's account of the familiar tragedy of Wilde's trials is well marshalled. He points out that when Bosie failed to make it into the dock to defend Wilde, the rest of his life would seem to have been a series of attempts - often in the courts - to make up for the fact. Most crucial of all is the time-bomb of Wilde's prison letter to Douglas, De Profundis, which was kept from Bosie by Wilde's 'devoted friend' Robbie Ross and which Murray correctly sees as Wilde's most 'destructive legacy' to Douglas.

Bosie became twisted up in his own past, his literary talent wastefully channelled into vituperative sonnets and magazines which seem to exist solely for the purposes of pursuing his campaigns against Robbie Ross, the Asquiths, Jews, and any other party by whom he felt wronged. This sometimes tiresome sequence of spats culminated in the infamous Pemberton Billing trial of 1918, when the protofascist MP Billing alleged the war effort was being undermined by sexual perverts in the highest positions of influence. Douglas, seizing the opportunity for revenge on Ross - and Wilde, by one remove - and encouraged by Billing in his mad conspiracy theories, took the stand to declare that Wilde was 'the greatest force of evil that has appeared in Europe during the last 350 years'.

But Douglas's public nadir came when Churchill sued him over wild allegations that he had taken part in a Jewish-financed conspiracy to have Kitchener 'murdered' in 1916; Douglas received a prison sentence. Murray depicts this as a turning-point in Douglas's life. Like Wilde, Douglas wrote an epic work whilst in prison - In Excelsis - which his biographer sees as a purging of his old obsessions, although with lines such as 'The leprous spawn of scattered Israel/Spends its contagion in your English blood', it merely repeated the kind of libels which had got Douglas into prison in the first place. Contorted in the fundamentalist pathology of the time, such accusations were little removed from those made by Billing's intellectual patron, Arnold White, that: 'Wilde, after death, was found to have a tumour on his brain, a fact that pointed to a hospital rather than Reading gaol'.

Yet Douglas did redeem himself in the Twenties and Thirties, repledging his name to Wilde's. Abandoned by his wife, his son in a mental hospital, slipping further into poverty, he was supported only by his undoubted Catholic faith and friends as disparate as Marie Stopes and Bernard Shaw. In a centennial year which threatens many more books on Wilde, Murray's book does a fine job of putting an irksome and faded legendary boy to bed.

Philip Hoare's study of the Billing case, Wilde's Last Stand , is published by Duckworth

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Specially shot interview with Costume Designer, Janice Rider, about working on the BBC series, 'All Creatures Great and Small'.



 "In the early episodes I smoked a pipe, because I knew that Donald did in the early days," continued Hardy. "By the end I was very involved with my costumes and used to wear a lot of my own clothes, because at the beginning the designer put me into some of the most frightful stuff, which really made me unhappy because it just made me look like a block of really absurd tweeds." "[In series 6] Robert Hardy was still getting his costumes from Carters Country Wear in Helmsley," recalled costume designer Janice Rider in 2016. "I purchased his green tweed jacket and several waistcoats in a selection of bottle-green, fawn and mustard colours. He always wore Tattersall checked shirts and, apart from the shape of the collar, they haven't changed a great deal over the years."







Specially shot interview with Costume Designer, Janice Rider, about working on the BBC series, 'All Creatures Great and Small', which was recorded by BBC Pebble Mill, on location in Askrigg, in the Yorkshire Dales, and in Studio A.


All Creatures Great and Small - Janice Rider from pebblemill on Vimeo.



Thursday, 6 December 2018

The Country House: Past, Present, Future: Great Houses of The British Isles / Written by Jeremy Musson and David Cannadine,





The Country House: Past, Present, Future: Great Houses of The British Isles

Written by Jeremy Musson and David Cannadine, Contribution by The Royal Oak Foundation, Foreword by Tim Parker and Lynne Rickabaugh


This exciting new book on British country houses offers an unusual and magnificent look at the lifestyle, architecture, and interior design of the country house of the British Isles.

From Brideshead to Downton Abbey, the country house is a subject of fantasy and curiosity, as well as a rich resource to explore the history of great architecture and decoration and the lives of landowners and those who made the houses work. With hundreds of photographs from the National Trust, and others from public and private collections, this visually lavish volume draws back the curtain on important historic homes in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. At the same time it reveals the complex stories of these interiors, both grand and hidden, from great halls, libraries and entryways to the kitchens and stables and gardens. Locations featured include Knole, Cragside, Castle Howard, Chatsworth, Polesden Lacey, Petworth, Bodiam Castle, Blenheim, Longleat, and dozens more.
An insightful essay by renowned British author and historian David Cannadine explores how the idea of the country house has changed over the past forty years. Additional essays reflect on how changing twentieth century values have impacted the country house, with contributions by writers and scholars such as Sarah Callander-Beckett on the private house, Dr. Madge Dresser on slavery and the country house, and Dr. Oliver Cox on the 'Downton Abbey 'effect.' The texts are woven around extensive picture essays, introduced and curated by country house specialist Jeremy Musson, which look at the identity and image of British country houses of all kinds and the stories they contain.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Queen Mary's Dolls' House


Queen Mary's Dolls' House is a doll's house built in the early 1920s, completed in 1924, for Queen Mary, the wife of King George V.
The idea for building it originally came from the Queen's cousin, Princess Marie Louise, who discussed her idea with one of the top architects of the time, Sir Edwin Lutyens at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1921. Sir Edwin agreed to construct the dolls' house and began preparations. Princess Marie Louise had many connections in the arts and arranged for the top artists and craftsmen of the time to contribute their special abilities to the house. As a result, the dolls' house has an amazing collection of miniature items that actually work. It even has running water through its tiny pipes. It was created as a gift to Queen Mary from the people, and to serve as an historical document on how a royal family might have lived during that period in England.
It showcased the very finest and most modern goods of the period. Later the dolls' house was put on display to raise funds for the Queen's charities. It was originally exhibited at the British Empire Exhibition, 1924–1925, and is now on display in Windsor Castle, at Windsor, Berkshire, England, as a tourist attraction, especially to people with an interest in miniature houses and furniture.
It was made to a scale of 1:12 (one inch to one foot), is over three feet tall, and contains models of products of well-known companies of the time. It is remarkable for its detail and the detail of the objects within it, many of which are 1/12 replicas of items in Windsor Castle. These were either made by the companies themselves, or by specialist modelmakers, such as Twining Models of Northampton, England. The carpets, curtains and furnishings are all copies of the real thing, and even the light fittings are working. The bathrooms are fully plumbed; that includes a flushable toilet and miniature lavatory paper.
In addition, well-known writers wrote special books which were written and bound in scale size by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle contributed the short story "How Watson Learned the Trick", and the ghost-story writer M. R. James wrote "The Haunted Dolls' House". Other authors included J. M. Barrie, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling and W. Somerset Maugham. (George Bernard Shaw rebuffed the princess's request for a tiny volume of his work). Painters also provided miniature pictures. Even the bottles in the wine cellar were filled with the appropriate wines and spirits, and the wheels of motor vehicles are properly spoked.
There is a hidden garden revealed only when a vast drawer is pulled out from beneath the main building. This has replicas of greenery and garden implements and follows a traditional ornamental garden theme.

















Queen Mary's Dolls' House in detail

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Queen's First House ! A Wendy house fit for a Queen: The secrets and history of the tiny Welsh cottage in the grounds of Windsor where generations of royals have played / Unseen Photos Show A Young Princess Elizabeth ...





A Wendy house fit for a Queen: The secrets and history of the tiny Welsh cottage in the grounds of Windsor where generations of royals have played
By NIKKI MURFITT FOR MAILONLINE and POLLY DUNBAR FOR MAILONLINE
UPDATED: 08:25 GMT, 13 February 2012

The Diamond Queen, the BBC’s three-part series celebrating Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne, is perhaps the most intimate ever portrait of Britain’s monarch. Its presenter, Andrew Marr, was given unprecedented access to the Royal family, whose personal recollections offer a rare glimpse of the woman behind the role. 

Among the most intriguing stories in last Monday’s first programme was that of The Little House, the miniature cottage in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge where the Queen played as a child. Long forgotten by the public, it was revealed that it has recently been refurbished by Princess Beatrice, who charmed Marr and viewers alike when she spoke of her love for the tiny property and gave him a tour.

Another tantalising scene showed the Queen - dubbed Reader Number One by Parliament for her insistence on poring over every official paper - sitting at her favourite writing desk in Buckingham Palace. It was described as having once belonged to the Bourbons of France prior to the Revolution, but with no further explanation.

Behind the fleeting insights into these aspects of her life are fascinating stories, which can now be revealed by the Mail on Sunday...

Tucked away from public view in the south side of the gardens of Windsor’s Royal Lodge stands a miniature thatched, white-washed cottage described by the Queen’s granddaughter Princess Beatrice as ‘the most glamorous wendy house ever.’ Called Y Bwthyn Bach, or The Little House, it has been a play den for the Queen and subsequent generations of her family for the past 80 years.

The two-thirds size cottage, which measures 24 feet long, eight feet deep and with five feet high rooms, was presented to Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in March 1932 on behalf of ‘the people of Wales’ on the occasion of Elizabeth’s sixth birthday. 

Designed by architect Edmund Willmott, who had earlier built a less grand little house for his own daughter to play in, it was intended as a symbol of the love and fascination of the Welsh people for the little princess who was, at that stage, never expected to become Queen. 

The mining communities of the valleys had suffered more unemployment than any other part of Britain during the Depression, and the house, built exclusively by Welsh labour and from Welsh materials left over from the Llandough Hospital, was a poignant reminder of a workforce in despair.

It was also designed as a link between the two privileged little princesses and those who lived in genuine cottages. It gave the sisters the chance to play at keeping an ordinary house - although it was far more luxurious than the vast majority of family homes at the time. 

The layout of a typical Welsh cottage was followed for the interior. The front door opens onto a small hallway with a kitchen to the right and the ‘siamber fach’, or Little Chamber, on the left. A staircase gives access to a bedroom and a bathroom, which, when it was first built, was very modern, with hot and cold running water, a heated towel rail and electricity.

The contents included a tiny radio, a little oak dresser and a miniature blue and gold china set. There was linen with the initial ‘E’ and a portrait of the Queen’s mother, the Duchess of York, hanging over the dining room mantelpiece. A bookcase filled with Beatrix Potter’s little books, including Jemima Puddleduck, ensured the girls never grew bored. Lattice windows, blue and white checked curtains, blue carpets and white walls finished off the decor.    

The house also contained little books, pots and pans, food cans, brooms, a packet of Epsom salts and a radio licence, all made to order and to scale. In the kitchen, there was a gas cooker and a fridge which both worked. There was even a working, miniature-sized telephone. The house also had its own front garden with scaled down hedges and flower borders. 

The presentation of the finished house was preceded by a narrowly averted disaster. When the house was in transit, first by low loader and then by a steam traction engine, the tarpaulin protecting it caught fire, destroying the thatched roof and many of the timbers. Luckily, the Sea Insurance Company had issued a miniature fire policy for £750 on the building and £500 on the contents. 

Craftsmen worked day and night to repair the damage, with the final bill for all the work coming to an estimated £1,100. When it was finally ready, it was displayed at the Daily Mail’s Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia for the masses to see. It was then reconstructed in Windsor Great Park for Elizabeth and became a favourite pastime.

The princesses spent many hours cleaning and tidying their tiny home, with Elizabeth in particular developing a reputation for being exceptionally neat. This was the children’s domain, and adults, who had to crounch to fit through the door, were admitted only by invitation.

Over the years, the Queen’s children have also played in the house and latterly, her grandchildren. It holds a special place in the hearts of all the royal children, but Beatrice was especially captivated it, adding, as a child,  a selection of her own teddy-bears to the living room sofa.

She has recently overseen its complete refurbishment over the course of a year, believed to have been paid for by her father, the Duke of York, who has resided at Royal Lodge since 2004. In the first episode of The Diamond Queen, the princess was seen showing presenter Andrew Marr the results.

Under Beatrice’s guidance, new curtains and upholstery were put in, the paintwork was refreshed, the roof was rethatched and the cottage was rewired. The original blue colour scheme was replaced by pale green sofa coverings and cream curtains with tiny dark pink flowers.

‘Granny was very clear that for all the fabric she wanted very little designs. It’s such a little house that she wanted little flowers and patterns,’ she said.    

‘It’s beautiful. I’ve been lucky enough to play here and now Granny’s a great-granny, so now Savannah [Peter and Autumn Phillips’s daughter] can enjoy it too.’    

My father put in the plumbing... and I played in the house before Elizabeth
The honour of presenting the keys of Y Bwthyn Bach to Princess Elizabeth’s parents, then the Duke and Duchess of York, was bestowed  Welsh schoolgirl Jean Blake.

On March 16 1932, the seven-year-old dressed in Welsh national costume and accompanied her father William, a plumber and engineer, to Cardiff’s Drill Hall. There, Jean was allowed to explore the little house before greeting the future King and Queen and proudly posing with them.

The Mail on Sunday has tracked down Jean, now 86 and living in Ontario, Canada. Eight decades on, she still recalls the excitement of the day she spent with Royalty.

‘It was luck that I was chosen really,’ she says. ‘I was a similar age Princess Elizabeth and my dad had installed all the plumbing and electricity in the cottage and knew the architect who designed it.

‘My first thought when I saw the house was that it was absolutely beautiful, unbelievable because everything was so life-like but in miniature.  The tea sets, the pictures, a fridge and a cooker, all perfect for a child to use.

‘I remember sitting down at the kitchen table and pouring myself a cup of tea in the little cups. Everything worked just like in a normal house, yet it was a toy.’

Jean, a retired secretary who moved to Canada with her husband Frank Sharman, 90, in 1968, presented a bouquet of flowers to the Duchess of York. The princesses themselves were unable to attend, but their parents were thrilled with the little house.



Jean Sharman on the day she handed over the keys in 1932

‘It was really difficult for adults, especially men, to get into the house easily but the Duke of York ducked down and had a look around. I can’t remember what I said to them, but I do remember they were impressed with the cottage. It would be hard not to fall in love with it.

‘The highlight for me was peddling round in a toy car that was also being given to Princess Elizabeth. It had a little space in the back with a small puppy sitting in it that was another gift from the people of Wales. I’ve always loved dogs and if I’d had the chance I would have taken him home with me rather than hand him over,’ she adds, laughing.

Jean and her husband, who have six great grandchildren, still come back to Britain every year to visit family and friends.

‘A couple of years ago we went to Windsor Castle and asked about The Little House but we were told that it was tucked far back in the gardens of Royal Lodge away from public view and no-one except the Royal Family are given access, which is a great shame.


‘We are coming back to Britain next month and it would be lovely to see it again. At the age of six I didn’t really think about the part I was playing in this historic event, but now I feel very privileged to have been one of the few people outside the Royal Family to have played in the house - even more so knowing I got to go inside it before the Queen herself.’

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Menswear: Vintage People on Photo Postcards (Photo Postcards from the Tom Phillips Archive) Foreword by Eric Musgrave



 Menswear: Vintage People on Photo Postcards (Photo Postcards from the Tom Phillips Archive)
Menswear
Foreword by Eric Musgrave
Publication Date: 3rd October 2012
Hardback: 112 pages
Publisher: The Bodleian Library
ISBN: 978-185124-378-5

To celebrate the acquisition of the Tom Phillips archive, the Bodleian Library has asked the artist to assemble and design a series of books drawing on his themed collection of over 50,000 photographic postcards. These encompass the first half of the twentieth century, a period in which, thanks to the ever cheaper medium of photography, 'ordinary' people could afford to own their portraits. Menswear presents men in all manner of outfits, formal, practical or casual  but always as individuals nudging the stylistic vocabulary this way and that, in fashion’s wide, rich and entertaining spectrum. Each book contains 200 images chosen with the eye of a leading artist from a visually rich vein of social history. Their covers will also feature a thematically linked painting, especially created for each title, from Tom Phillips' signature work, A Humument.











Tom Phillips  and Eric Musgrave