What we really need is an adaptation of the original 1740 The Beauty and the Beast

So were you aware that the The Beauty and the Beast story we all know is a heavily abridged and rewritten version of a much longer novella by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve?  And that a lot of the plot holes existing in the current versions exist because the 1756 rewrite cut out the second half of the novella, which consisted entirely of the elaborate backstory that explains all the weird shit that happened before?  And that the elaborate backstory is presented in a way that’s kind of boring because the novel had only just been invented in 1740 and no one knew how they worked yet, but contains a bazillion awesome ideas that beg for a modern retelling?  And that you are probably not aware that the modern world needs this story like air but the modern world absolutely needs this story like air?  Allow me to explain:

The totally awesome elaborate backstory that explains Beauty and the Beast

  • Once upon a time there was a king, a queen, and their only son
  • But while the prince was still in his infancy, in a neat reversal of how these fairy tales usually go, the king tragically died, leaving his wife to act as Regent until their son reaches maturity
  • Unfortunately, the rulers of all the lands surrounding them go, “Hmm, the kingdom is ruled by a woman now, it must be weak, time for an invasion!”
  • And the Queen goes, “Well, if I let some general fight all these battles for me, he’ll totally amass enough fame and power to make a bid for the throne; if I want to protect my son’s crown, I have no choice but to take up arms and lead the troops myself!
  • (Btw, I want to stress that this woman is not Eowyn or Boudica and nothing in the way her story is presented suggests that she had any interest martial exploits before or in any way came to enjoy them during these battles.  This is a perfectly ordinary court lady who would much rather be embroidering altar covers for the royal chapel and playing with her child until necessity made her go, “Oh no, this sucks, I guess I have to become a Warrior Queen now” and she just happened to kick ass at it anyway.)
  • And the Queen totally kicked ass, but the whole “twice as good for half the credit” thing meant that no matter how many battles she won, potential enemies refused to take her and her army seriously until she had defeated them so no sooner would she fend off one invasion than another one would pop up on a different border.
  • So she spent the majority of her young son’s life away from the castle leading armies, but it was OK because she left him in the care of her two best friends, who just happen to be fairies!  This was an awesome idea because a) fairies have magic, and therefore are like the best people to protect the prince from any threats and b) fairies consider themselves to be so above humanity that the lowest fairy outranks the highest mortal, so they’d have no interest in taking a human throne.  Good thing they were both good fairies instead of one good and one evil one!
  • (Spoiler:  they were not both good fairies.)
  • So the two fairies basically take turns raising the prince until he’s old enough to rule.  And on the eve of his twenty-first birthday, the evil older one comes into the prince’s bedroom.
  • “So listen, kid.  You’re about to become king, your mother’s on her way home from the war to see you crowned, and I have a third piece of good news for you!  You see, I’ve actually been spending so much time here lately because Fairyland’s become a bit too hot to hold me for reasons totally not related to me being secretly evil.  And if I have to hang in the human world, I might as well reside in the upper echelons of it, so even though as a powerful fairy I completely eclipse your puny human status in a staggeringly unimaginable way, since you’re about to be king and since my premonition that I should stick this whole guardianship thing out because you would be hot one day has totally proved accurate (go me), I will graciously lower myself to allowing you to marry me.  Please feel free to grovel at my feet in gratitude.  (Btw, we can totally start the wedding night now, we’ll tell your mother about it when she arrives tomorrow.)”

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royal meme | royal moments [2/15]

The Wedding of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert / Though Victoria was now queen, as an unmarried young woman she was required by social convention to live with her mother, despite their differences over the Kensington System and her mother’s continued reliance on Conroy. Her mother was consigned to a remote apartment in Buckingham Palace, and Victoria often refused to see her. When Victoria complained to Melbourne that her mother’s close proximity promised “torment for many years”, Melbourne sympathised but said it could be avoided by marriage, which Victoria called a “schocking [sic] alternative”. She showed interest in Albert’s education for the future role he would have to play as her husband, but she resisted attempts to rush her into wedlock.

Victoria continued to praise Albert following his second visit in October 1839. Albert and Victoria felt mutual affection and the Queen proposed to him on 15 October 1839, just five days after he had arrived at Windsor. They were married on 10 February 1840, in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace, London. Victoria was besotted. She spent the evening after their wedding lying down with a headache, but wrote ecstatically in her diary:

I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert … his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! … to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!

The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace

The Chapel, along with much of Hampton Court, was built to the current shape by Cardinal Wolsey, after he was granted the lease on the property in 1514. The design however, is a mix of different periods, with the ceiling being installed by Henry VIII, paintings from the 18th Century and even some Victorian pews. 

Around ten years after he received the Palace, Wolsey had to give up Hampton Court to Henry VIII, as he fell from favour dramatically after failing to procure the King a divorce. Henry VIII’s take over meant the Chapel then was used as a Chapel Royal and housed many talented composers. Edward VI was Christened at the Chapel Royal by Archbishop Cranmer and shortly after Queen Jane Seymour died and lay in state in the chapel for three weeks. During the Reformation in Edward VI’s reign, the Chapel Royal continued to be used by the King and escaped the whitewashing that other churches faced. David Starkey has suggested this was due to the reverence with which Edward VI held his father, who had been responsible for the design. Elizabeth I continued to ignore calls for further church reform and also kept the chapel as it had been. 

When Charles I was captured during the Civil War, the Chapel Royal was attacked. The stained glass was smashed and the decorations were destroyed. The ceiling has survived because it was too high for the Parliamentarians (Destructive murderous bastards) to attack. Oliver Cromwell, who was given guardianship of the Palace along with his Lord Protectorship, married his daughter off in the Chapel Royal. 

William III and Mary II had much of Hampton Court redesigned by Sir Christopher Wren, including the Chapel during their reign, with William carrying on the task after Mary’s death. Queen Anne completed the work on the Chapel Royal and regularly worshipped there. 

Since 1737 Hampton Court has not been used as a Royal Residence. This was because Queen Caroline died there and George II did not want to return to the Palace after her death. As such the Chapel became much less used and no changes were made to the design. Hampton Court has been opened to the public since 1838, thanks to Queen Victoria, and since then restoration work has been undertaken to restore various things. The Chapel is the only part of the palace that is still administered by the Royal Household. In 2004 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated the 400th anniversary of the Hampton Court Conference at a Chapel Royal service, the first time a monarch had worshipped there since the withdrawal of George II. In 2010 the Queen’s Christmas message was broadcast from the Chapel Royal. 

14th July - Stockholm
10.00 Te Deum service
A Te Deum service starts the celebrations in the Chapel of the Royal Palace. Invited are close family, representatives from the Riksdags and government and official Sweden, as well as members from the Royal Court.

Afterwards a reception is held at Logården for the guests at the Te Deum. During the receptions gifts will be handed over.

12.00 Salute
A salute is shot from Skeppsholmen. The same happens at the salute stations in Boden, Härnösand, Gothenburg and Karlskrona.

13.00 Cortege through Stockholm
The Crown Princess Family is going in a cortege from the Royal Palace to the Royal Mews.

14th July - Öland
19.00 Birthday concert
Traditionally the Royal Family attends the Birthday concert at Borgholm Idrottsplats.

15th July - Öland
11.00 Public celebration at Solliden
The Royal Couple and the Crown Princess Couple meets the public outside Solliden Palace for the traditional celebration. The gates to the park opens at 08.30.

—  Kungahuset on crown princess Victoria’s 40th birthday

Royal Chapel of Versailles, May 2016. by Sabrina Danielle.

Photographed when I visited the Chateau de Versailles, France. The Sun King (Louis XIV) loved music and dance and thus had a gigantic gilded organ in this royal chapel where the King and his family would hold mass.

Please do not remove my credit.


Through the Years → Princess Madeleine of Sweden (126/)

19 May 2013 | Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill arrive to the service in the Royal Chapel in Stockholm, Sweden, May 19, 2013. The banns of marriage for Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill will be read during the service. (Photo credit JONAS EKSTROMER/AFP/Getty Images)