Thursday, March 31, 2011

Royal Wedding Gift to Charles & Diana from Prince William's Nanny's Family

Thanks to Edward Hobson of ITV UK for letting me know that I forgot an important wedding gift in the list of posts I have done on Time Was Antiques Family blog here, that was a pair of brass wall sconces received by Prince Charles and Princess Diana at their Royal Wedding in 1981 that has connections to Prince William and Kate's wedding.

Gift # 179 from the catalog of gifts from the St. Jame's Palace, London gift exhibition was from Mrs. W Legge Bourke. The importance of that, which I missed, was that Mrs. Legge Bourke is the mother of Tiggy Legge Bourke who was Prince Charles assistant and nanny to Prince William and Prince Harry. There was a rather publicized falling out between Tiggy and Princess Diana just prior to he death in 1997.

The connection to Prince William and Kate's wedding, is that Tiggy's son Tom Pettifer, who is Will's godson, is to be second pageboy at the wedding. Cool!

Mrs. Legge Bourke's comments and advice to Prince William were reported in The Telelgraph on March 25 at this link:

Royal wedding: Prince William is given a kissing lesson before he marries Kate Middleton

William and Kate married in Lego

This is a really cool William & Kate Royal Wedding done in lego. SOOO glad I didn't have to do it! What patience!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our Visit To Kensington Palace, Diana Exhibit, Orangery Afternoon Tea, Our Will & Kate Mug on BBC America

In 1998 when we were in the UK for an annual buying trip, we visited Kensington Palace, home of Princess Diana from 1981 until her tragic death in 1997.Kensington Palace is a lovely palace in fabulous gardens including huge horse chestnut trees. At various times we have sheltered from rain under them or watched schoolboys picking up the mature chestnuts...or conkers as they are called....from the ground where they have fallen in the fall. My husband showed me the fine points of conker battles in the park following afternoon tea at The Orangery in the back of the palace.

The Diana exhibit was a highlight of the trip with photos by Mario Testino. I would love to add a photo here, but they are copyrighted.

Below are photos we took then as well as several from previous teas at The Orangery.

Entrance to the Royal apartments and Diana Exhibit at the side of the Palace to the right as you enter the gold gates.

Moving to the Orangery for afternoon tea.

Champagne afternoon tea

The so called Debutante tea


SIGNATURE  ORANGE  TEA                             
£14.85 per person                                 
An assortment of finger sandwiches,
signature orange scented scone with Cornish
clotted cream & strawberry jam. Finished
with a delectable ├ęclair and orange and
passion fruit tart. 
Served with a choice of teas or coffee.
Recommended tea - Rooibos breakfast
(Orange tea)
ENCHANTED PALACE TEA                                           
£17.95 per person

Enchanted palace chocolate ganache slice and heart
shaped raspberry shortbread, signature orange
scented scone with Cornish clotted cream & strawberry
jam and an assortment of finger sandwiches.
Served with a choice of teas or coffee.
Recommended tea – Chocolate tea
ROYAL CHAMPAGNE TEA                         
£20.45 per person             
A flute of Champagne, served with an
assortment of finger sandwiches, signature
orange scented scone with Cornish clotted
cream & strawberry jam. Finished with a
delectable ├ęclair and orange and passion fruit
tart. Served with a choice of teas or coffee.

£33.75 per person

A flute of Champagne, a selection of afternoon tea
sandwiches, freshly baked mini scones served with
Cornish clotted cream and organic preserves, a variety
of dainty afternoon tea pastries.
Served with a pot of Tregothnan tea

The reason the Tregothnan Tea is pricey and important, is that the Tregothnan tea plantation in Cornwall is the only tea producing estate in England. We visited Tregothnan on a visit to Cornwall and bought tea there. So I came home from the Orangery with some more packets of tea, as they had them for sale there. It is a delicious black tea with hints of Darjeeling. I loved it.

Lastly on our Kensington tour, the gardens at Kensington Palace. This is my favorite, the Sunken Garden with reflecting koi pool. It was so tranquil and private. We sat on benches (on the days we visited when it wasn't raining) and enjoyed the quite so colose to Kensington High Street where we have stayed several times. Kensington Palace is one of the reasons we like to stay in this area of town.

To change generations, BBC America just had a program on tonight called The Modern Monarchy: Dos and Don'ts which included a segment of William and Kate Royal Wedding collectibles...and guess what mug they featured??!! The one we have in stock at Time Was Antiques. How cool is that??? To purchase or for more info, just click on the photos of the Prince William and Kate mug below.

I also want to thank those who have been joining me in prayer for my daughter in law Casey. They began the procedure today, but having sent a camera up her artery to confirm the size of the hole in her heart before the actual patching surgery, they found it was a bit different than expected and is located where the artery goes to her lung. So they stopped the procedure and have sent her to another cardiac specialist/surgeon who specializes in this rarer type of surgery which will be done next week. Sigh....
But Psalms 31:14-15 says"But as for me I trust in You Oh Lord....Our times are in Your hands", and Romans 8:28 "All things work together for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Royal Mews, the Royal Wedding video and Charles & Diana's Coach for William and Kate

Great video from the Royal Channel on YouTube from one of my favorite places in London to visit...The Royal Mews where Queen Elizabeth II keeps her horses and carriages just behind Buckingham Palace on Buckingham Palace Road. We love to stay in this area of London within walking distance of the front gates of Buck House, the Mews, Pall Mall, the Queen's Guard's Museum in St. Jame's Park and other great spots.

Photos of the Gold State coach from a visit when we were last in London which is over-the-top drop dead gorgeous:

The horses pulling the carriage are the Queen's Windsor Greys which aren't actually a special breed but are bred for color for the Queen's carriages. The mews is a fascinating place. You tour the enclosed courtyard, visit the stabling to see the horses if they are in town...we have only missed them when our visit was in August...view the tack room which is quite fun since we deal in a lot of horse brasses,

and then you get to tour all the coaches housed there from the Gold State Coach seen above to the Australian coach, the Glass Coach, the Rolls, and more. 

This is the 1902 State Landau that served for Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding and will also be used for Prince William and Kate's wedding next month and is seen above being readied for the wedding next month.

The Mail Online posted this story today about their choice of carriage:
Diana's Coach For Kate's Big Day

Lot's of fun news if you are interested in the wedding. We at Antiques And Teacups And Time Was Antiquescertainly are as we stock loads of English antiques and collectibles.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oxford Cambridge Boat Race

It's on BBC America right now! The quintessential English spring thing...the Oxford Cambridge boat race. The 2 great English universities battle it out on the  river...with parties to follow. Where is Evelyn Waugh when he's needed????
Here is the site to see the route, etc
Oxford Cambridge Boat Race

Not totally realted to Time Was Antiques...but a British tradition anyway!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Prince Charles & Princess Diana Royal Wedding Gifts Part 3, Sugar Tongs

I am continuing with part 3 of the wedding gifts received by Prince Charles and Princess Diana at their Royal Wedding in 1981 from the gift catalog of the gift exhibition held at St. James Palace after the wedding.

205.  Wedgwood glass decanter and 24 tumblers       Staffordshire CntyCouncil
206.  Herend porcelain salmon dish                                  Gen'l Trading Co, London
207.  large handbell used at Gordonstoun school        Scotland
208.  Georgia silver salver arms of George IV                 Florence, Italy
209.  Herend porcelain ducks                                                 Scotland

213. a book "Collecting Miniatures" by Daphne Foskett       Cheshire
214. a milk jug and covered butter dish                                        London
215. a Herend porcelain rooster                                                       London

     220. walking stick w/ badger's head, 8 Newmarket leg
               bandages for horses                                                                       Leicestershire

221. Royal Worcester game casserole                                            Kent
223. Herend porcelain owl                                                                  Berkshire

226. handworked Irish linen traycloths                                       Norfolk
228. Staffordshire china cheese knife                                            Cheshire
230.  set of 8 gold and enamel coffee spoons                                Surrey
232. set of table mats                                                                             Berkshire
234. 2 pairs of wood salt & pepper grinders                                London
246. a decorated egg                                                                               Northumberland
247. box of decorated soaps                                                                Blackpool
248. a wooden egg timer                                                                       Hereford

250. a lace garter made by the donor                                            USA

251. green velvet lavender pin cushion                                           Australia
252. a decorated egg                                                                                Kent
254. 2 "Wedding Day" cups and saucers                                       London

256. a Welsh carved wooden love spoon                                             Wales
257. book "Happiness and How To Find It                                         Wales
258. a silver bunny ring minder                                                              W Sussex

259. a box of Highland Toffee                                                             Scotland
265. a small lucky mascot                                                                    London
268. a grain of rice in a silver container with a Good Luck
    message on it & mini spy glass to read it                                   Sussex
269. book "Language Of The Flowers"                                            USA
270. a Bible and small silver sugar tongs                                      Wiltshire

As the last gift I covered today was a pair of sugar tongs, I have added the above photo of n English hallmarked pair of spoon ended sugar tongs at Time Was Antiques as an example. I don't know if theirs were spoon ends or claw ends, but there is a claw end pair from our stock at Time Was Antiques:

To see more info on either one, just click on the photo.

It's raining again here, but we had 2 lovely, sunny days. We could clearly see the coast of Vancouver Island, and the areas surrounding Victoria, B.C. Canada across the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Gorgeous! We have had 3 Orca playing in the harbor of Port Angeles, inside the breakwater for the last 2 days as well. How fun! They were easily seen from the docks and Coho Ferry. This is a fairly unusual thing, so a great excitement to us locals.

Have a great day, and have a cup of tea with a friend.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Biggest Royal Memorabilia Collector

Thanks to a Afternoon Tea Across America friend in England, Denise of Tea In London has sent me a link to a Telegraph Online site article about the woman in England with the largest Royal Memorabilia collection. Her house is full of it!
It's great read. Glad to hear the VAT increase will not apply to Royal Memorabilia for the wedding new month of William and Kate.

Here is the article in toto as it has disappeared from the website:

The queen of royal memorabilia

Margaret Tyler’s quiet suburban home is a shrine to the kitsch, discovers Iain Hollingshead.

Margaret Tyler
Margaret Tyler with what is thought to be the most extensive private collection of Royal memorabilia in the country. Photo: Martin Pope
Pop round to Margaret Tyler’s house in north-west London for a spot of tea and there appear to be several thousand mugs to choose from. Woe betide anyone, though, who actually tries to drink their Earl Grey out of any of them. For Mrs Tyler is the zealous guardian of what is thought to be the most extensive private collection of Royal memorabilia in the country.
Insured for £40,000, it features more than 10,000 carefully displayed objects, including mugs, plates, tankards, tea towels, vases, figurines, newspapers, photos, videos, stained-glass windows, wind-up “racing royals”, a replica of Charles and Camilla’s wedding certificate and a jar of dulce de leche which claims to contain a hair of Princess Diana’s.
There’s an early hint that this is not a normal house in the quiet suburb of South Kenton. To the left of the front door are eight placards depicting, with varying degrees of accuracy, the Queen Mother, the Queen (twice), the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The real fun, however, doesn’t start until you’re inside. From the hallway, which features a shrine to Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, it’s a short walk to the sitting room, a veritable riot of themed Royal kitsch: the Coronation, Charles and Diana (including a plate that commemorates their divorce), Charles and Camilla (there are mugs bearing both wedding dates, after it was moved for Pope John Paul II’s funeral) and, of course, William and Kate’s engagement.
At the back of the house is “the Diana room”. Like the sitting room, it, too, is crammed with photos, books, mugs and plates, as well as two stained-glass windows (one of Diana; another of Kensington Palace, which took more than 200 hours to make), a tapestry of Diana’s school, West Heath, a painting of her on the ceiling, a rug of her on the floor and, apparently, a hair of hers in a small jar of food on a table.
Mrs Tyler, a twinkly, engaging 66-year-old grandmother, is more than willing to laugh at herself. “It’s a mad house, I know,” she says, talking nineteen to the dozen over the sound of her hairdryer (a photographer is en route). “And some people say I’m obsessed. To which I say, 'What about football fans?’ The only downside is all the dusting.”
Her hobby began at a Brownies event 32 years ago, when she picked up a glass dish depicting the Queen’s head for 2.5p. During a 20-year career working for the Down’s Syndrome Association she would often nip out to a stall in Covent Garden and buy Royal memorabilia. The engagement of Prince Charles and Princess Diana provided a catalyst for more frenzied collecting (“It has been a fascinating few decades for the Royals”), while her four children growing up provided more display space at home.
“My family are very supportive,” she says, “even if they do joke that I have more pictures of the Royals on the walls than of them.”
Her elder son, Andrew (“named after Prince Andrew, of course”), who has moved to America, often sends people over to stay in her makeshift Bed and Breakfast. The Japanese are particularly keen visitors. “We stay up half the night talking about the Royals and watching videos,” she says.
Her younger son, Mark, once spotted a rare photograph of Charles and Diana while doing a teenage milk round. He spent £15 – a week’s wages – to buy it for his mother.
Although the majority of the collection has been bought by Mrs Tyler herself, her growing notoriety has led to more and more people passing off their unwanted memorabilia. Boxes often turn up unannounced on the doorstep. One woman, who was downsizing after being widowed, came round with a trailer (“A lot of people buy stuff and don’t know what to do with it”).
Regardless, she’s never given anything away (although she did once lend four boxes of memorabilia to Kensington Palace for an exhibition), would never sell anything (“I’d be broken-hearted and would only start collecting it again”) and continues to collect only in person (“My children are keen for me to get a computer, but I know I’d just spend my whole time on eBay”).
Mrs Tyler’s hoarding has made her something of a celebrity, featured in media outlets everywhere from Hong Kong to Germany (it was a German television crew which caused the only breakage in her huge collection – a Fergie egg cup). Neither fame nor fortune, however, are her real motivation. Just fandom, pure and simple.
“I’m always worried I’m going to burst into tears whenever I see the Queen,” she says, whom she first saw aged 10 when the young Monarch was driven through her village in rural Herefordshire. “I’m so in awe of her. She’s always there for us. If anything really bad happened in this country, I know we’d all flock down to Buckingham Palace.”
As an adult Mrs Tyler has met the Queen three times: in Hyde Park at the opening of the Diana Memorial Fountain; in Harrow when she was unveiling a plaque for something or other; and in Windsor on her 80th birthday, when she surprised her with a birthday cake. “She’s probably sick of the sight of me,” she jokes.
She also regularly greeted the Queen Mother on her birthday with flowers outside Clarence House (“I would have loved her to be my grandmother”), on one occasion also bumping into Prince Andrew (“naughty, just like a boy should be”). Prince Charles (“not entirely suited to marriage”) she’s met at the Sandringham Flower Show, while Diana (“they called me her number one fan”) she met six weeks before her death when she came to open a children’s wing at a local hospital. Mrs Tyler was wearing a rosette bearing a picture of Diana. “Oh, you have got it bad,” said the princess, throwing back her head and laughing.
Mrs Tyler still meets up every year, on August 31, the date of Diana’s death, with a group of friends outside Kensington Palace to share memories and poems. Camilla she’s not quite so keen on, but she thinks she’s good for Charles.
Unsurprisingly, she is “over the moon” and “up with the fairies” over Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton (“such a nice girl and such silly sniping about her background”). A table in the sitting room is already crammed with hastily written biographies of the couple, copies of Tatler and a framed brochure for Party Pieces, Kate Middleton’s parents’ company.
She is delighted that the VAT increase has been waived for Royal memorabilia. “The Queen has her ear to the ground and she knows that people are struggling.” She breaks off and laughs. “Of course, I’d buy it anyway.”
There’s certainly no snob factor when it comes to Mrs Tyler’s collecting. She’s just read about a shop in trendy Hoxton manufacturing plates with the message: “Thanks for the free day off” and is eager to get her hands on one. She’s also pleased with the Palace’s u-turn earlier this week on allowing the couple’s image on tea-towels.
Her only real concern is how she’s going to fit in all the extra memorabilia after the council turned down her planning application for a William and Kate conservatory (“I wanted to be ready”) to complement the Diana room. “If I won the lottery, I’d be straight round to the next-door neighbours with a cheque,” she says.
And the wedding day itself? “I hope to be as near to the Abbey as possible,” she says. “I’m getting a bit old for camping, but I suppose I’ll have to.”
Given that she appears to be responsible for the lion share of the estimated £44 million spent on Royal wedding memorabilia, surely someone could save her a seat? And at least they’ll know where to bring their unwanted Wills 'n’ Kate tea-towel on April 30.

 To see our stock of  William And Kate Royal Wedding mugs, click on the photo.

Had a great weekend and attended an afternoon tea as part of the Port Townsend Heritage Days, formerly the Port Townsend Victorian change to allow for dressing up through more eras and focusing on a broader range of educational programs. Port Townsend is a great seaport town with lots of Victorian era homes. I will be covering the tea on my other blog, Antiques And Teacups, later today.

English Phrases Explained

I am going to do these periodically for fun.   Today: 

A Lid To Match The Kettle

To ensure that a kettle is as efficient as possible it needs a tight fitting lid, and this is the reference when it is said of a married couple that "the lid matches the kettle" means that the couple are very well suited.

taken from the book  Mothballs and Elbow Grease by The National Trust, UK

Have a great day and have a cup of tea with a friend!
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