A portrait of the Queen by British photographer David Bailey has been reissued for her Sapphire Jubilee, marking 65 years on the throne. In the photo, the Queen wears sapphire jewellery given to her by King George VI as a wedding gift in 1947. The Queen has become the first British monarch to reach a sapphire jubilee.
Palais Edinburg, Coburg
After a short breathing time we are again beginning a life of anxiety, as Ali starts today for Morocco. It suddenly has begun again there, though a soit disant peace was made and Ali was going to stay a fortnight longer. Now he has to hurry back, as all officers were recalled and nothing has been done for him by Alfonso, on the contrary, we have discovered from very sure sources new infamies that he spreads about his cousin, so as not to call him back to Spain as Infante. He pretends that Ali tried to get out of the first big fight by pretending to be ill at Melilla! Now we are going to get material against Alfonso through diplomatical sources and I have already written to the Russian Ambassador at Madrid. It cannot last longer as those infamies will never end, until they succeed to get Ali killed, I think it would be an immense relief to Alfonso. He is absolutely a vile character, holds no promises, never sticks to his word and is very jealous besides. It seems that now, he cannot stand Ali being popular in the army and therefore he tries to blacken his character in every way. Of course his entourage keeps him up in those ideas, as no doubt they don’t want to have the Ali’s back: he is energetic and clever in a way and sister dear is feared on account of her sharp tongue, so goodness only knows what it is all going to end. But if we get high and mighty relations to bear down upon Alfonso, he might get a great fright, because he is full of vain glory and would smart under Imperial and Royal disapprovals of his conduct. I am going to stop at nothing now though I have no personal relations with Alfonso or his mother since Baby’s marriage. But I know that they are afraid of me and always apprehend some new outburst. Their consciences are uneasy. But even Aunt Beatrice wrote now, that there were intrigues against Ali, which meant an enormous effort on her part as she adores Alfonso and would never admit a word said against him. She even behaved nastily, considering her soit disant love for Baby. I gathered a good bit of information through Ali’s hideous little brother, who also goes today. He is the only one who tackles Alfonso, as he is not serving and has not much to lose. He says, that he considers Alfonso absolutely stupid and inconsequent in all his doings, he won’t admit that he is in the least intelligent and proud and absurd to a degree. He has just seen him and talked very openly to him. He says that he is quite hopeless, for he never sticks to his word and has no idea of honour or gentlemanly conduct. Luis is widerlich  as person, but not stupid and certainly can be very amusing in comparison with the Battenberg boys, who are so absolutely pas cultivé, that one might as well talk to babies. Thank God that Carol is intelligent and so full of interests, as it makes life so much easier and for a man and prince it is invaluable. Luckily Poldi at least is fond of music and through Fichtner we arranged for him every day a small orchestra, where he played the flute and Maurice the big drum! Yesterday they performed before the Red Cross sisters, to whom Baby gives annually a big tea under the Christmas tree, which we keep in the dining room table till my Christmas. We were quite jolly until this unexpected war news came again, it feel like a black cloud upon our small company. . . Continue reading
Palais Edinburg. Coburg. December 23rd 1906
I must write a few words amongst all the agitations of Christmas, of course, it is always a laborious time and the weather being “exquisite” now, one wants to be out in the afternoons. Perfect winter atmosphere, dry, snowy, sunny! Very good sledging and skating also started. I do enjoy sledging. I bought a new light and comfortable sledge and it is heavenly going along. Well, Ducky is looking very well, though beginning to get uncomfortable in a dozen small ways. She is very large but it all sits up very high, making her quite out of breath and the kicking little creature makes her start from time to time. But she comes over often and does not let herself go. She is enchanted to be back, as at Paris she had to go out often to big parties and it began to be very troublesome in her advanced state. Kyrill is gracious and in good humour for him! Only he will insist on driving her every day in an uncomfortable high American sledge, when she can hardly lift her legs to jet into any carriage at all! I tell him every day about it but he won’t see it and she is absolutely his slave. He is obstinate like a mule and the whole business is so simple to get a low comfortable sledge and she does enjoy it, as she won’t walk a step. Very bad for her, but here comes her obstinacy. Well, well, I am old fashioned enough to believe in the excellency of moderate walking before confinements, for otherwise you gradually get incapable of moving at all. But she always was mal sur jambes. Of course we play bridge after dinner, even till midnight, because they both like it so much. Baby has been angelrut and, as a fact, does not dislike it at all, but she is terribly slow, which is trying and prolongs the pleasure. Continue reading
1/14 November 1916
Can I write about it? Can I? Will I find the courage, and yet I want to tell you, just now, because in my unutterable despair it was you my heart called for, you, you, my old Mama from whom I am cruelly separated, from whom for two long terrible sorrow filled months I have had never a word.
Why was this to be? Who can tell? The popular belief is that God took him from me, to pray for his country that is in danger – so let it be!
He was so well lately, so jolly, so sweet. We are not living in town but in a house that has been „réquisitionnée” for us close by out in the country, Cotroceni being in a too exposed position in these days of aeroplanes and bombs.
One day he had a sore throat and sudden fever – but he did not seem ill with it, although the temperature was enormous. The doctor declared that it was „amigdalite” – the next day he has the same temperature, the it suddenly fell and and we thought all was over – but the next day up goes the temperature again and nothing can make it go down, it remains 40, 40… 40…. In despair I send for other doctors, there is a consultation, they take some of his blood and analyse it and find typhoid fever… that terrible illness that seems to follow our family and the male members of our family. Continue reading