2019 marks an important year for the British Monarchy, in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria. Born at Kensington Palace, her reign over 64 years incorporated vast social and economic change and shaped much of the Great Britain we see today. The reign of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed a digital and technological evolution, two world wars and an accelerating pace of modern life in what is now a multi-cultural society demonstrating change on a daily basis.
Exploring the homes and family backgrounds of two outstandingly strong female monarchs, and referencing both hit television series 'Victoria' and 'The Crown', this programme will include visits to Royal homes and filming locations, and will illustrate the evolutions of the Victorian and new Elizabethan eras.
Our programme, accompanied by Alexandra Messervy, former Member of the Royal Household of Her Majesty The Queen.
In proud partnership with Discover Europe.
Please note: Our September 2019 tour is now full. However, due to high interest we will be repeating this tour in August 2020 (dates TBC). Please register your interest now to be the first to know when dates are announced or reserve your place.
Arrival, with the morning free to relax. Early arrivals could visit the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace for a morning service today, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married in 1840.
Welcomed by Alexandra Messervy, former Member of the Royal Household of Her Majesty The Queen, we will make an early afternoon visit to the State Apartments of Kensington Palace, the Victoria Revealed exhibition, the Princess of Wales Memorial Garden, Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall.
This morning we will enjoy a tour around Buckingham Palace state apartment, garden and The Queen's Gallery. In the afternoon the group moves to Syon House, ancestral home of the Dukes of Northumberland. (Lady Charlotte Percy, Duchess of Northumberland, was governess to Princess Victoria as a child). On Monday evening the group is entertained for drinks and dinner at The Goring hotel, the hotel to hold a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty and an old favourite of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s. Here, the family of Catherine Middleton chose to stay and congregate before her marriage to Prince William in April 2011. The Goring is set tranquilly behind the Palace, and if the weather is fine drinks in the garden before dinner in the main dining room, designed by The Queen’s nephew, Lord Snowdon, and former chairman of Christies.
Private, pre-opening tour of The Cabinet War Rooms and a talk on the memories of Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister in the War years and the early part of The Queen’s reign. There is little doubt that The Queen relied considerably on Sir Winston’s wise counsel, and he was fundamental in the early years of her accession.
The Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey, and later this morning we will have a guided tour with our own historical experts by special permission of the Abbey, with an emphasis on the Monarchy. The Queen, The Princess Royal and Prince William married here, and many monarchs are buried within the walls. We will specifically look at the monarchs in the Abbey and the traditions of the coronation.
The afternoon back at The Sloane Club, we are joined by our style and fashion tutor Emma Lane and etiquette tutor Diana Mather for lunchtime presentation and an informal chat about Royal Dress Designers, looking at the work of Stuart Parvin, John Boyd and Angela Kelly, and a new dimension to the younger styles favoured by today’s modern Duchesses, with examples from up to the minute new favourites and a demonstration on how to wear a hat.
Following that, a Director’s Tour of the Guards’ Museum and Household Cavalry Afternoon Salute accompanied by Lord Fermoy, cousin to TRH Princes William and Harry and a former Page to Her Majesty The Queen. Lord Fermoy will then host the group for drinks at the Army and Navy Club.
We depart for Hughendon Manor, former home of prime minister and advisor to Queen Victoria, Lord Disraeli. After a pub lunch we visit Chenies House and garden, which was used as the resident of Sir Winston Churchill in the filming of the Netflix series 'The Crown'.
Returning to central London, guests will this evening be entertained at a dinner hosted by Alexandra Messervy, with special guest Carolyn Robb, former Royal Chef to TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales and latterly The Prince of Wales, Princes William and Harry. Carolyn will talk of her time in the Royal Household and her career, and some of the favourite dishes she has cooked. Guests will each receive a signed copy of her delightful book.
Today we will drive out of London and visit Wilton House, in Salisbury, used as Buckingham Palace in the 'The Crown'.
We then take the Lymington Ferry to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight and stay overnight at The Lakeside Hotel at Wootton.
Today we visit Osborne House, beloved home of Queen Victoria until her death in 1901, as well as seeing Princess Beatrice's marriage church, St Mildred's.
A private guided tour of Carisbrooke Castle today, home of the Governor of the Island and a significant stronghold for over a thousand years. Charles I was kept here as prisoner until shortly before his execution.
Next, a private tour of Farringford House, home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, perhaps our most famous Victorian poet and a favourite of the Queen.
A visit to Beaulieu House, for an illustration of Victorian aristocratic life and costume design. Accommodation at Phyllis Court for private dinner and overnight beside the idyllic river Thames
The final day sees a visit to Stonor House home of Lord Camoys, former Lord Chamberlain to Her Majesty The Queen during Alexandra's time in the Royal Household. Stonor is a very important Roman Catholic ancestral home and stronghold and is a little known gem nestled in the Chiltern Hills.
Later an evening private view of Windsor Castle, and a farewell dinner at Phyllis Court.
In June 2020 we will continue our exploration of the homes of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II in their beloved Scotland. Queen Victoria purchased the Balmoral Estate on the strength of a visit to Inverlochy Castle, and her adoration for the highlands transmitted down the generations to our present Queen and her family. No summer goes by without at least two visits, one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse for official business, and a two month stay at Balmoral where the family can relax ‘on holiday’. Our programme will include visits to Queen Victoria’s daughter’s home at Inverary, Inverlochy, the upper highlands and Balmoral, and culminate in an exclusive private dinner on board the former Royal Yacht Britannia. Register your interest early.