st james's square

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Emirates Inflight magazine, Street Knowledge - “The Guide” to London, provided by Robert Pattinson.

Who better to show you around the English capital city than Londoner, Hollywood superstar and former vampire Robert Pattinson

An ideal day in London?

I would walk around Soho, drink coffee, eat and check out the shops. It’s a magical place and while having such high volume of tourists it also manages to retain its fabulous community spirit.“

When I’m back home I love it here

The Groucho Club is a pretty great place. It’s relaxed and you’re always going to get privacy in there - it’s a London institution and it’s not difficult to see why.

For a night out

We’ve got the best pub scene in the world - Soho has great nightlife - but if you want to get a little out of central, Putney has some great pubs and places to eat.

How you recover the next day:

Start with a strong coffee at Bar Italia - a London institution - grab a burger at Five Guys and then take a walk around Green Park to clear your head.

If you’re still hungry

The steak at the The French House pub is fantastic. I used to eat there all the time.

You have to get to a gig in town

London has world famous venues like Ronnie Scott’s, but it’s also worth checking out smaller pubs and academies a lot of big artists started that way here. If you’re in Brixton, Clapham or Putney, you could be watching the next big thing.

London’s great for families

We’re so fortunate to have some of the best museums in the world - and even more fortunate that there is usually no fee to get in. If you have time, you could easily spend a whole day walking around either the Science or Natural History museum.

Avoid Oxford Street and shop here

Go and check out the vintage record shops in Soho, browse stalls in Camden Market, those are some places with real soul.

This museum is amazing

The London library in St James’ Square is just so majestic. You can find books that are over hundreds of years old written in all languages.

Finally, the best advice I can give you

Forget public transportation and walk. London has the most wonderful sounds, smells, architecture and people, don’t waste the most incredible city in the world stuck underground or in a cab.

*Latest picture of Robert Pattinson in NYC Hudson Theatre June 22 2017, catching George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984″ in theatre production, supporting his best friend Tom Sturridge in the lead.

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we didn’t need dialogue. we had faces. (movie moodboards)

SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009 & 2011)

As to where I am, I was, admittedly, lost for a moment, between Charing Cross and Holborn, but I was saved by the bread shop on Saffron Hill. The only baker to use a certain French glaze on their loaves - a Brittany sage. After that, the carriage forked left, then right, and then the tell-tale bump at the Fleet Conduit. And as to who you are, that took every ounce of my not-inconsiderable experience. The letters on your desk were addressed to a Sir Thomas Rotherham. Lord Chief Justice, that would be the official title. Who you really are is, of course, another matter entirely. Judging by the sacred ox on your ring, you’re the secret head of the Temple of the Four Orders in whose headquarters we now sit, located on the northwest corner of St. James Square, I think. As to the mystery, the only mystery is why you bothered to blindfold me at all.

Catherine Sedley (21 Dec 1657 - 26 Oct 1717)

Mistress of: King James II and VII.
Tenure: 1678 - 1686.
Royal Bastards: Three (disputed).
Fall From Power: The king was deposed.


Catherine was the only legitimate child of the poet Sir Charles Sedley. Her mother, Lady Catherine Savage, gradually descended into madness until finally being sent to a Catholic convent when Catherine was in her early teens. By 1670, Charles had a mistress, by whom he had two children, and Catherine was thrown out of his home. The relationship between Charles and his mistress lasted until his death, though he petitioned extensively to be allowed to divorce his wife. Nevertheless, Charles was rich and Catherine therefore would lay claim to his wealth after he died.

Notoriously plain, thin and a brunette, Catherine certainly did not believe she would attract any male attention. She was; however, known for her wit, which she likely got from her father. When Catherine was fifteen. she joined the court of Mary of Modena, who had just married James, Duke of York. When Catherine turned 21, James chose her to be his mistress, much to everyone’s surprise. Bewildered, Catherine remarked that “it cannot be my beauty for he must see I have none, and it cannot be my wit, for he has not enough to know that I have any.” James apparently had a habit of choosing “ugly” mistresses; his brother went so far as to joke that James’ confessor must impose these mistresses on his as a penance.She apparently made up for her lack of typical beauty by wearing extravagant gowns.

James became king in 1685, upon which time he was urged to give up Catherine by a myriad of Catholic priests. James advised Catherine to leave the country, though he promised to provide for her. Catherine refused, though she did leave court and settled into a lavishly decorated home in St. James Square. She was; however, given a parting gift of four thousand pounds a year. The affair briefly ended until James’ coronation day. which just so happened to also be day their son, James Darnley, died. Both parents were distraught, became close again, and thus the affair resumed. James’ wife, Mary, was appalled at her husband’s behavior. Mary was even more aggrivated by the fact that Catherine had produced a thriving daughter in 1681, when she herself had born seven children since her marriage in 1672, all of whom died tragically by miscarriage, stillbirth, or disease (the only exception being her daughter Isabel, who died of “natural causes” before her fifth birthday). Their son James had been born in 1684 and, although he died within the year, Mary had by then suffered two stillbirths, the death of her 4-week-old child from “convulsions”, and a miscarriage in four years.

In 1686, Catherine was created Countess of Dorchester, which aroused so much indignation, that she spent several months in Ireland on lands that the king gave her. By the end of year; however, Catherine was back in England though she could not rouse the king’s interest any longer. Perhaps this was a good thing as just two years later, James was deposed during the Glorious Revolution, quickly fleeing to France. Catherine continued to write to him, asking for support for her and her daughter, which lead many to believe she was a spy.

James was replaced by his eldest daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange; after one serious attempt to recover his crown in 1689/90, which ended in defeat, James returned to France and lives out the rest of his life at the court of King Louis XIV. In 1696, Catherine married Sir David Coylear, with whom she had two sons and by all accounts lived happily. When her sons were sent off to school, she told them both that “if anybody call either of you a son a whore, you must bear it; for you are so: but if they call you bastards, fight till you die; for you are an honest man’s sons.”

At the court of George I, during his coronation in 1714, the Archbishop ritually asked if the people accepted their new king, Catherine, noticing the heavy guard, asked “Does the old fool think anyone will say no?” Catherine died in Bath in 1717 just a few months shy of turning 60. Through her son, Charles, Catherine is a relative of Charles Darwin.

Sources

  • The Countess of Dorchester by Sir Peter Lely, ca. 1675.
  • Holloway, Susan Scott. The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II. NAL Trade (2010). ISBN 0-451231155..
  • Cawthorne, Nigel. Sex Lives of the Kings & Queens of England: An Irreverent Expose of the Monarchs From Henry VIII to the Present Day. Prion (2004). ISBN: 1853755362.