The Queen approved a new conjugal coat of arms for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Designed by the College of Arms in London, conjugal arms traditionally combine the separate shields of a royal husband and wife. Continue reading »
This summer marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most momentous occasions in 20th-century, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. It was a solemn ceremony conducted by Dr Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury. The ceremony was broadcast on radio around the world and, at The Queen’s request, on television for the first time. An estimated 3 million people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the new Queen, at Buckingham Palace.
To mark the anniversary of the event, a major exhibition for the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace will bring together for the first time since Coronation Day, a spectacular array of dress, uniform and robes worn by the principal royal party. Works of art, paintings and objects used on the day will also be on display to recreate the atmosphere of that extraordinary occasion.
The exhibition (27 July-29 September 2013) reveals some of the most beautiful and expertly designed dresses and robes ever made, detailing their ownership and history, and this extensive collection is the first time these items have brought together since the coronation itself.
Gold-mounted, enamelled and jewelled ivory pen, used by The Queen at the Coronation in 1953. The pen is in the form of an ivory quill, with a gold central vane and nib; a representation of the Sword of State – which is borne before the Sovereign as she proceeds to the altar to sign the Coronation oath – forms the rib of the quill. Over this is placed a jewelled and enamelled crown supported by two cherubs (representing Prince Charles and Princess Anne). On either side of the sword’s hilt are the letters E.R. The shaft is applied with the coat of arms and motto of the Scriveners’ Company (Litera Scripta Manet – ‘The written word remains’), and enamelled red and white roses. The back of the pen carries a presentation inscription, ‘To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Presented by the Company of Scriveners. Coronation Day 1953.’ (Source Royal Collection)
I have a new website address at http://dianamandache.com/
The theme design of my new website is much more propitious for my writing, aims and purposes.
For those of you who have subscribed to my old site royalromania.wordpress.com, you should consider subscribing to this new one.
All my old articles and images are also contained within the new site, so you should not have any problems in accessing them there. For one month I will post simultaneously, in order to avoid confusions and allow for a smooth transition, my forthcoming articles and images on both sites. After that date http://dianamandache.com/ will become my sole active website.
Queen Elizabeth II with producer John McAndrew and director John Bennett (R) watch the recording of her Christmas message to the Commonwealth which is to be broadcast in 3D for the first in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace on December 7, 2012. Continue reading »
Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you know, King Michael of Romania, my father, celebrated his 90th birthday last year, in Romania, in extraordinary circumstances: he addressed the Joint Chambers of the Parliament on his birthday, the 25th of October, and was celebrated by millions of Romanians who watched the television’s live transmission of the celebratory Gala at the National Opera House in Bucharest. Recent polls show His Majesty to be the most respected and trusted Romanian leader. The Royal Family is seen today as a permanent part of the national identity, an institutional symbol of modern Romania, an instrument of our democracy.
However, the last 65 years were a long and hard road, which called for patriotism, patience, generosity and vision. When the King left Romania on January the 3rd 1948, the last bastion of democracy in South-eastern Europe fell. The King represented the last piece of institutional Romania that was still free. In the years of the Cold War, the King represented in himself an institution that kept alight the flame of state principles, over and above issues of form of government or political circumstances. The return of the Royal Family to Bucharest in 2001 opened up the road to the reconstruction of the Romanian State.
The popularity of the King and his family, and public sympathy towards him, have steadily increased. People know and understand much more than they did twenty years ago. Young people are better informed, more connected, and they feel the need for identity and state reference points. They are sympathetic towards the courage and moral stature of the King, and towards his selflessness and charming modesty. Millions of Romanians in Europe and America, young and competent, understand better, and much more profoundly the importance of living in a country that is proud, dignified and respectable.
Even without changing the form of government, the Royal Family is a transatlantic and European argument for Romania. It is not just a historical, cultural or diplomatic argument, but also a State and political one. That is why it was possible for the King continuously since 1948 to uphold the same principles in which he believes and always has.
Some years ago, a journalist from the New York Times came to interview King Michael. He did not come to the politicians with ‘real’ power in Romania, but to the King. Because he represents that part of power which is not always visible in the democratic world, but which exists nonetheless. The King’s power is not just great, but of a quite rare essence: he is trusted, loved, believed and admired. He inspires pride and respect.
His historical labour is not yet over. Although it extends over nine decades and has been full of pain and disappointment, his story is still a beautiful one, because it is not only long lasting but also holds meaning for the future.
I thank you all, on behalf of my father, for your presence tonight. And I want to present my grateful congratulations to the Chaplain of the Royal Savoy, and to Sir Gavyn Arthur, a great supporter of the Romanian Royal House in Britain.
Princess Marie in her first Romanian peasant costume (from the Arges ethnographic region) given to her by King Carol as a wedding gift. Romanian peasant dress was introduced for court festivities and ceremonies by Queen Elizabeth. The peasants were identified in the national ideology as the quintessential Romanians and many among the Romanian elite started in that period to follow the court’s example and express their national identity by wearing peasant attire when participating at national events and other festivities. Princess Marie from the very beginning wrote to her mother: «The other day there was a charity ball here, and everybody came in Romanian costumes, it looked so pretty».
[see D.M, 'Marie of Romania. Images of a Queen', RRB, 2007, p.16] Continue reading »