drawings at windsor castle

To mark the 70th Wedding Anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, new photographic portraits have been released worldwide. 

 The Queen and His Royal Highness will celebrate their Wedding Anniverary on Monday, 20th November 2017. 

The portraits, by British photographer Matt Holyoak of Camera Press, were taken in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November. 

 In this first release, The Queen and His Royal Highness are framed by Thomas Gainsborough’s 1781 portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, who were married for 57 years. 

The marriage of the then Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten took place at Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947.

After Albert - Queen Victoria’s Second Love, John Brown

The idea that Queen Victoria was absolutely inconsolable and locked away in seclusion for the rest of her life after Prince Albert’s death is a myth. It is true the Queen took residence immediately after Albert’s death in her more rural homes of Windsor, Balmoral and Osborne, and refused to appear in public for some years. Concern for her health rose, and in 1864, 3 years after the death of Prince Albert, that it was suggested that the Queens outside attendant at Balmoral, John Brown, be sent to Osborne House encourage the Queen to ride out on her pony. He arrived in December that same year, and some time after his arrival Victoria made his position permanent, presenting him the title of ‘ The Queen’s Highland Servant’.

John Brown was born in 1826, in Crathienaird, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, his father being a tenant farmer. He first came into the queens service in 1848 as a Balmoral gillie to Prince Albert, and within the next 10 years he had become her regular outside attendant, leading her pony out on the highlands and helping the royal party with their needs out on the moors, from lacing Victoria’s tea with whisky to cooking potatoes.

Although Victoria held much affection for her brash highlander, others found him rude and much jealousy surrounded him due to his relationship with the Queen; the Lord Chamberlin called him a ‘Course animal’.

John would address Victoria as ‘wumman’, whilst Victoria looked past her Highlander’s faults, saying that his independence on whisky made him ‘bashful’. Her relative seclusion and easy relationship with John led to much rumour in the 1870s to their relationship, from a secret marriage to a secret child. The name  Mrs Brown was on everyone’s lips. However, the Foreign Secretary himself, the Earl of Derby did record that Victoria and John slept in adjoining rooms, contrary to etiquette and even decency’. Biographer A N Wilson claims they slept together in the same bed but never consummated their relationship. Controversially, Victoria also used John for séances where they, with close courtiers, would attempt to contact the spirit of Prince Albert. These séances would go on in absolute secrecy in small closets, such as the Blue Drawing Room at Windsor Castle (where Prince Albert died) and the Horn Room at Osborne House.

Despite the rumours they faced, Victoria remained unmoving on any removal of John Brown from her side, whilst he continued his loyal and faithful service. On at least one occasion he disarmed an attacker to the Queen (in 1872) and Victoria relied on him more and more, writing -

‘I feel I have here always in the House a good, devoted soul… whose only object and interest is in my service, & God knows how much I want to be taken care of.’

For all their closeness and love, be romantic or otherwise, for one another, a life-long relationship was again not to be for Victoria. In March 1883 he caught a chill but refused to go to bed, continuing his devoted service to Victoria. Thus, on the 27th that same month, John Brown died, age 56, at Windsor Castle. Once again, Victoria found herself devastated at the death of the man she loved. She wrote -

‘It is not only the loss of a servant but of a real friend.’

Whilst her private secretary Sir Henry Ponsonby wrote of Brown -

‘He was the only person who could fight and make the Queen do what she did not wish. He did not always succeed, nor was his advice always the best. But I believe he was honest, and with all his want of education, his roughness, his prejudices and his other faults, he was undoubtedly a most excellent servant to her.’

After John’s death, Victoria commissioned a life-sized statue of her Highland servant, and had it placed in the grounds of Balmoral. She remembered her faithful John until her death in 1901, leaving strict instructions that shy must be buried, among much else, with a lock of his hair, a photograph of him, and wearing a ring given to her by John, that had belonged to his mother.

Although this request had been carried out, upon her death her son the new King Edward VII destroyed much material written by Victoria about Brown, busts and photographs of him, in addition moving Victoria’s statue of John to a less conspicuous site in Balmorals grounds where it remains today. Not only did Edward destroy as much evidence of Brown’s relationship with his mother as possible, Victoria had left her many diaries to her youngest daughter Beatrice to transcribe and edit for publication. This, of course, means much on John Brown, especially if explicit or inappropriate, would have been edited and the originals all burnt.

It seems we will never know the extent of Victoria and John Brown’s relationship, but from what we can piece together Victoria took much comfort, reliance and friendship from John, whilst he was a most loyal and honest servant to her. 

Sources - English Heritage, A N Wilson

To mark The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th Wedding Anniversary, new photographic portraits have been released worldwide.Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will celebrate their Wedding Anniverary on Monday, 20th November 2017. The portraits, by British photographer Matt Holyoak of Camera Press, were taken in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November. In this first release, The Queen and His Royal Highness are framed by Thomas Gainsborough’s 1781 portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, who were married for 57 years. || November 18th, 2017

For their upcoming 70th (!) wedding anniversary, the British Royal court released the picture above as a celebration for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Despite their old age, the reigning couple looks relaxed and at ease, smiling into the camera. The picture was taken in the Drawing Room of Windsor Castle. Rumours are there will be more official photographs released to the public on November 20, their wedding anniversary, and they will have their own special stamp for the occasion.

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New photographs of the platinum couple to celebrate their 70th Wedding Anniversary!
British photographer Matt Holyoak of Camera Press, took the images in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle earlier this month.

The marriage of then Princess Elizabeth to Lietenant Philip Mountbatten took place at Westminster Abbey on the 20th November 1947.

Emily Nash @emynash

Fab new pic of the Queen and Prince Philip ahead of their Platinum wedding anniversary on Monday, taken by @MattHolyoak in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle earlier this month.

Simon Perry @SPerryPeoplemag

The Look of Love! Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Share 70th Anniversary.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are celebrating their milestone 70th wedding anniversary with a stunning new portrait.

The gorgeous photo, shot by British photographer Matt Holyoak, was taken in the White Drawing Room at their home of Windsor Castle in early November.

And the Queen, who looks lovely in a cream day dress by Angela Kelly, made sure to wear an accessory close to her heart: a brooch given to her by Philip. The “Scarab” brooch in yellow gold, carved ruby and diamond, was a personal gift from Philip to the Queen in 1966.

Their long-lasting union isn’t the only royal marriage to be honored in the photo. They are framed by Thomas Gainsborough’s 1781 portraits of George III and Queen Charlotte, who were married for 57 years.

“I feel very honored and privileged to have been asked to contribute to this very special occasion,” Holyoak said. “My vision for the image was to capture an intimate and natural portrait of the Queen and Duke to celebrate their landmark anniversary. The Queen and the Duke were very happy and relaxed which made it a pleasure. I feel the images showcase their strength and unity.”

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Long Walk, Windsor Castle.  28 January 2016.  After the previous painting in Romney Marsh, this was so different.  Instead of being in the middle of nowhere, with no one around, I was now in the most central place, looking at Windsor Castle, where the Queen spends much of her time.  I had a commission to paint the castle, which was definitely a labour of love.  Fortunately I chose a sunny day and I was gifted a lovely puddle of water reflecting the Chapel of St George, where Henry the 8th is buried.

Design for  the Green Drawing Room, Windsor Castle, 1826

This is one of a series of designs made for George IV’s private apartments at Windsor Castle. This image shows what was the library in Windsor Castle, which is now the Green Drawing Room. The designs were made by furniture makers Nicholas Morel and George Seddon, who went into a partnership in order to decorate George IV’s private apartments. The design shows the principal elevations of the room along with the planned furniture, curtains and wall coverings.