Your cheeky guide to the dynasty

Archive for Westminster Abbey

I Heart London

As  write this, London burns at the mercy of horrible rioters. Sorry, no sympathy from me! (So you’ve burned your neighborhood down and now you have a brand-new telly you’ve nicked. Congrats?)

I cannot think of a better time to thumb my nose at these thugs and celebrate my favourite city:

The Tudor connections are many… 

But there’s plenty of non-Tudor London to enjoy as well…


Keep London (and other affected areas such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Bristol) in your thoughts and prayers during the current abuses. Updates continue to be posted via video and text on the BBC news website.


May It Last Much Longer Than Any of Henry VIII’s!

So I got up at 6 a.m. Eastern Time (and my kids willingly joined me!) to watch The Big Event, snapping the above pic along the way — What an amazing start to the day!

Kate (sorry: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge now) looked every bit the royal in her classy gown and tiara, and Prince William was all handsome and military and heir-like.

Personal fave moment: Did anyone else catch when Kate’s brother was reading during the ceremony and she was looking all around at the crowd? Prince William was calming reading along, very “I’ve been to a ton of these posh ceremonies,” and something made him look toward Kate. When he saw she had been looking all around, he caught her eye and gave her a little tilt of the head, as if to say “Hello?? All right there? Please don’t act starstruck, dahling, you’re one of us now!”

What else stood out to me? 

 Top it all off with a beautiful, rain-free day and two smooches on the balcony, and that’s a royal wedding for ya!

Resting in Peace?

Coronation Chair with Stone of Scone, Westmins...

Image by Cornell University Library via Flickr

Elizabeth I and Mary I: Half-sisters as well as total enemies (in their adult lives, anyway). Protestant vs. Catholic, and daughter of “that whore, Anne Boleyn” vs. daughter of “the ex-queen, a.k.a. not my mother, Catherine of Aragon.” As years progressed, the schism between these two ladies widened and widened.

So wouldn’t they be thrilled to know they’d be rubbing elbows in death?  For some reason, the girls are buried in the same magnificent tomb in Westminster Abbey. There is an eerie but beautiful aisle on the north side of the Lady Chapel, which asks for silence with little “Shhhh” signs posted on the walls. Within these walls lay the remains of James I’s little daughters, and supposedly those of the Princes in the Tower, Edward V and Richard.

And in a large monument nearby, Elizabeth’s coffin is plopped on top of her half-sister Mary’s. Only Liz’s striking figure is commemorated on the effigy. Mary seems to be an afterthought (although at her funeral in 1558, the new queen Elizabeth provided for every pomp and circumstance). But a plaque tells us she’s in there, so who am I to argue?  It reads, ” “Partners both in throne and grave, here rest two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, in the hope of the Resurrection.” Let’s hope they’re getting on better in the Afterlife!