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Antonia Fraser: the sexy and scandalous truth about Versailles | Television & radio | The Guardian

A few months ago, when reviewing the papers for Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme on a Sunday morning, I was confronted with a story from the Mail on Sunday fulminating about a forthcoming television drama depicting court life in Louis XIV’s Versailles. Apparently it was to feature “gay sex, a cross-dressing prince and a queen with a penchant for dwarves”. My fellow panellists knew I had written a serious, fully sourced, history of life at Versailles and expected me to decry this sensationalism of history. But instead, I had to report to them that it was all true.

Versailles comes to BBC2 next week, and I am surprised that it has taken so long for a TV blockbuster to use this material. My book, and it appears the television series as well, begins with sex and ends with sex and in between you have royalty, mistresses, intrigue, illegitimate children, gay sex, happy marriages of state and unhappy marriages of state, all centring round this extraordinary man, Louis XIV, the Sun King, who ascended the throne when he was four years of age in 1643 and ruled for the next 72 years until his death in 1715.

It's tricky to know where to place this as it's both factual in its historical makeup and television-based... so I hope our members will deem it appropriate here.

Although it's about a soon-to-air BBC television show it is, by all known accounts, grounded in the extraordinary reality of life in Versailles.  Whoever said Royalty is conservative and "proper" clearly skipped this part of history.  :teehee:

One of our past members @Savanna would have been interested in this subject.
The film had to be about another "Queen of Spain".  Letizia was only queen for about two years, so a film about her would be too early.
Queen’s wedding and coronation dresses to go on display

This summer the Queen’s wedding dress and coronation dress will be displayed together at Buckingham Palace.

The exhibit, titled “Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe,” opens in the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace on 23 July, and explores the Queen’s 90 years and the history of the nation via what she wore on state occasions, international tours and during family events.

Both of these iconic dresses were designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, a favourite designer among the women in the Royal Family

Read more:
Queen?s wedding and coronation dresses to go on display – Royal Central
The nine year old Evie Fowler and the twelve year old Ned Marshall received a gold medal of the wife of Prince Charles.
:hehe: Because of the auto translation of the text I just got confused when reading this and thought the kids actually received a gold medal OF Camilla, when in the original it just says they received it FROM her of course. :lol:

Now I can't stop laughing about the idea of handing out actual medals OF Camilla, probably once she's Queen... :hehe:

Unfortunately, that translator is not as sophisticated as it claims. It should be "The nine year old Evie Fowler and the twelve year old Ned Marshall received a gold medal from the wife of Prince Charles." It translated the Dutch word "van"  only as "of" to English, but it can also mean "from" too.
Sloane nicknames - posh nicknames & the best nicknames - Tatler

'Oh, hello there, Spunky.' Do not be alarmed, dear reader - we are not suggesting you have had an unfortunate incident, or are in fact an exceptionally plucky person. We are merely trying to illustrate the confusion that might be felt on witnessing certain Sloane interactions on the King's Road. Because 'Spunky' - like 'Dingo', 'Fastly', 'Minnow' and 'Piggers' - is an acceptable, nay common, nickname.

Most Sloanes have nicknames. There's 'Bunter' Somerset and his sister 'Monster'; there's 'Flea' St George (née Brudenell-Bruce), and 'Flops' Cameron; there's 'Nick Nock' Palmer (as he even called himself on his own wedding RSVP card) and - really requiring a
sense of humour - 'Loony' Cayzer.

All of this is partly to compensate for the lack of individuality in an environment 
where people are only called by their surnames. Boredom and silliness and long nights in dormitories are also factors. And, if we are going to get sociological about it, there is also the influence of a gang mentality. Nicknames are rife in other male-dominated peer groups, such as the Mafia and, um, Jackass. Nicknames suggest acceptance into the gang - be known as 'Joey Bananas' and you're a made man.

But why do nicknames happen and why do they persist? Perhaps it is down to a lack of emotional interaction - a tradition passed on by many a nanny-reared generation. Or perhaps it's even more obvious than that. There's no greater social crime than not to be amusing. So the bestowing of nicknames is meant to be funny, even when they are cruel. And the wackier the nickname, the more it shows good, old-fashioned Sloane eccentricity

Interesting tidbit. It first brought to mind some members in the cast of Made In Chelsea: Louise Thompson (PORG aka Person of Restricted Growth) and Alexandra Felstead (Binky). There are a number of references to some well known socialites here at RIF too including Isabella Calthorpe and Sam Branson to name a few.

I just find the "sociological" theories that the magazine are suggesting quite interesting. I'd never have thought about something so innocuous as nicknames serving to be individualizing models of affection in a mass institutional environment; or social attempts to be deemed amusing or cement social belonging in a similar way as formal titles. Social culture is a strange and curious beast.
Spanish Monarchy / Felipe and Letizia honor fallen
« Last post by Jennifer on Today at 06:29:37 PM »
I think it's good that King Felipe and Queen Letizia attended memorial service to remember all the armed forces who given their lives for Spain. The families and friends of the dead would be thankful that the king and queen attended this event. The couple is holding a reception at the Royal Palace for the representatives of the three force components and the Guardia Civil.

The Spanish Royal couple honors Saturday at the armed forces day all those who have given their lives for Spain. That happens with a short prayer and military parade, wreath laying at the Monumento a los Caídos por España ' – the monument to the fallen in the Plaza de la Lealtad, near the Prado Museum in Madrid.

At the end of the ceremony King Felipe and Letizia Queen give a reception at the Royal Palace for representatives of the three force components and the Guardia Civil.

Read more translated: - Translator
I knew the film could've been about Queen Letizia. It was about another "Queen of Spain".  Letizia was only queen for about two years, so a film about her would be too early.
Duch-Luver those of us who remember the entire courtship, engagement, marriage,separation and divorce of Charles and Diana witnessed it all but those who were still playing with crayons and dolls will always be in denial and attack the truth even documented truth. They could have been a good match if Charles had gone into the marriage in good faith however Charles issues with his need to be treated special and not as a normal man unless you are the ultimate gold digger and it runs in Camilla's family as royal mistresses no one could put up with Charles.

So true, it helps sometimes to be like us and to have been there from the beginning of the story. I agree, while they were not well suited, if he had wanted to it could have worked. when the problems first were speculated in the early 80s, it was blamed on charles being away so much for work, and his life being wrapped up in "duty" LOLZ.

But then as we learned that in fact, he could feel love, but just for only someone who would wait on him hand and foot and stay in the background, thats when I got upset. While everyone likes to be doted on and taken care of, men are SUPPOSED to be taught that its their job to dote on, protect and support their wife.

Re watching the pre wedding video I cant get over how distant Charles looks in it towards her, her body language is crying out to be close and affectionate to him, and hes unfazed. I just dont understand how he could be so unmoved by her, when I was young at the time I thought it was just because of how I felt towards her, but now as im older & wiser, I understand it even less.

To not be able to draw comfort by comforting her shows such a lack of empathy and kindness, considering how much she needed early on in her role, he squandered a wonderful gift that many men would have thoroughly relished, instead of looking at it as a trapped cul du sac, that Charles once wrote....

He was such a sad little man to be put out by her fame, and to be able to resist her charm, (which I can tell you seeing it myself in person, is quite considerable, just imagine what it must be like at full power focused only on the man she loves, and not a walkabout crowd), and worst of all to not support her through all the things she went through that first year, its heartbreaking.


Dimbleby used a psychology textbook and diagnosed (with zilch qualifications) that Diana had BPD. I think IF Charles said no to it, he was afraid of a huge lawsuit. Actually, after Diana died, Penny Junor, Charles No. One sychophant co-opted DImbleby's  notes and SHE "diagnosed" that Diana had BPD. And on top of that, Jephson said that a MS of her book, Charles VIctim or VIllain was sent to CHarles office at St. James Palace. Now that DIana died, Charles apparently gave to go-ahead to have Junor "diagnose" Diana with BPD in her poison pen book.  I doubt Charles played hero to protect Diana considering she was fair game to his pals and relatives after she died.

Dimbleby actually met Diana before the book was completed. Either he realized he was wrong about her having BPD  and felt it ridiculous he "Diagnosed" her or was afraid of a lawsuit or both.

To be totally fair he use the DSM & did consult a professional, however, it was the brother of Charles private secretary, so while he didnt use Dianas name, im sure he could guess from what Dimbelbys job was who he meant, and he may have been helping his brother out. Also dimbleby is certainly not qualified to go tiptoeing thru the DSM and making a diagnosis, thats an involved process, that requires interviewing the subject, which was never done in Dianas case.

There are other professionals that say she did NOT have BPD, and could not have done her role if she had, so given that she performed so well on the world stage, that pretty much pokes apart the BPD rumor, and ppl like the exec. director of the red cross that worked with her, said she showed no signs of mental illness with them.

Charles reasons for his request to have it removed are probably mixed, and i doubt we'll ever know for sure, unless some documents on it are released/leaked. It may have been part kindness, part libel/lawsuit issues, also i think he knew if he upped the media game too much, Diana would always beat them at it, so better to take a more measured step. Of course, now that shes gone, that threat is null, so thats why the rash of hatchet job books on Diana from Charles side.

I think its was then and is now a cowardly thing to attack her sanity, and frankly smacks of sexism, i remember Diana talking about the rush for doctors to give women "mothers little helpers" rather than talking about and fixing the underlying issues. Rather than deal with the underlying issues of her husbands actions that drove her behavior, it was easier to try and label her "crazy" so anything she said would be discounted and attention deflected away from C&C.

I tend to go for Hewitts description of a loving person with so much open conflict changing her, which it would do to anyone, not to mention she was put in an unprecedented position of constant media scrutiny, and "friends" who would sell her out, so no wonder she had trust issues.

Also I think the royal lifestyle was not good for her in some ways, being alone in KP so much, it wasnt the type of place that ppl could just pop by for a cuppa, or her to pop next door to watch "eastenders" with someone. Also the whole stopping returning ppls calls and changing phone numbers was made easier in the royal system, compared to if they were ppl at a job, circle of friends, or her neighborhood that shed have to see all the time if she were a more "average" person.

Most of what were seen as "problems" or "issues" she had were not that, but symptoms of the neglect and lack of nurture, love and care she rightly should have received but was cheated out of.  Ironically though, it was that very thing that drove her to be so caring and compassionate to so many people and causes. Such a shame that the worlds gain had to come at her loss  :cry:

Just my opinion and 36 years experience following this lovely lady  :crazylove:

The nine year old Evie Fowler and the twelve year old Ned Marshall received a gold medal of the wife of Prince Charles.
:hehe: Because of the auto translation of the text I just got confused when reading this and thought the kids actually received a gold medal OF Camilla, when in the original it just says they received it FROM her of course. :lol:

Now I can't stop laughing about the idea of handing out actual medals OF Camilla, probably once she's Queen... :hehe:

One of the few times ppl would REFUSE gold  :hehe:
Diana Princess of Wales / Re: Thoughts on a statue for Diana?
« Last post by Duch_Luver_4ever on Today at 10:30:03 AM »
I think a statue of Diana with William and Harry would be just as good as it would show not only her love of children but what she was the mother of the second and at the time third in line to the throne.

Thats a great idea also, and lots of nice pictures to choose from.

I wonder if Charles thinks he can hoodwink the public again by attempting to have Camilla attend a Memorial Service for Diana. He and Camilla should have diplomatic illnesses and stay away. But I would not put it past Charles to try to foist Camilla on whatever events are planned. ANd her grinning ear to ear.

I sure hope she stays away, but it wouldnt surprise me to see Charles try that, I seen she wore the lovers knot tiara once, made me sooooo mad, I know its the Queens, but it still wasnt cool.

A statue?  What are the chances HM would OK that?

I know eh, Im guessing she would not be too keen on that, I keep hoping W&H will push for one someday.
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