Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Zealand Diamond Jubilee Royal Portraits...

These are the official NZ Diamond Jubilee portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. 

They are shown wearing the New Zealand Honours - From Top to Bottom: The Order of New Zealand, The Queen's Service Medal, and the star of the NZ Order of Merit (with the Silver Fern broach securing her sash).

 Above: The Order of New Zealand (Sovereign's Medal)

Below: The Queen's Service Medal

Below: The Star of the NZ Order of Merit


Below is the Official UK Diamond Jubilee Portrait.

In it The Queen is shown wearing her blue Order of The Garter sash, and from top to bottom the insignia of the Royal Family Order of King George VI (pale pink ribbon), and King George V (pale blue ribbon). The most recent usually goes at the top, and of course she does not wear the medals of Her own Royal Family Order, which is by tradition bestowed on female family members by the reigning monarch). It is notable that marriage into the royal family does not automatically bestow the order. Although Diana, Princess of Wales was known to have received the Order, neither Sarah, Duchess of YorkPrincess Michael of Kent or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have been seen to hold the order. As well, biological relation to the Monarch does not automatically bestow the order either. None of the current monarch's granddaughters have been seen to hold the order either. The Queen is also wearing the Garter Star.

 Above: Royal Family Order of King George V

Below: Royal Family Order of King George VI

Below: Royal Family Order of Elizabeth II

BTW, in case One forgot to send Her Majesty a telegram, One can send Her a personal congratulation here...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Diamond and Jubilee...

One of our Dorset Horn ewes has given birth early, to twins - a boy and a girl, which we have named Diamond and Jubilee respectively...

It seemed the appropriate thing to do given the circumstances.

Long Live The Queen.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Plant a Tree for the Jubilee...

Today at Willowbrook We planted an Oak on the estate to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is the first tree in a copse that will be known as 'Badger's Wood'. 

We chose the tree at Wairere Nursery.

The planting is in support of  The Woodland Trust Jubilee Wood project. 

Earlier this year Her Majesty planted an Oak on her Sandringham Estate to mark the beginning of what is to become the Jubilee Wood...

We erected a temporary sign to commemorate the occasion too...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Diamond Royal Jubillee...

In a fortnight the countries of the commonwealth will be formally celebrating 60 glorious years of the reign of ERII, which started on 6 February this year.

Last year Buckingham Palace released a set of souvenir gifts...

Peter gave me the Charger, Pill Box and Tankard...

Some items have since sold out, but several are still available - the perfect gift for the monarchists out there. 

We shall have a few more Anglocentric posts in the coming fortnight, as Willowbrook celebrates Her Majesty's jubilee in its own style.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Great Country Estates of Britain Series. Part Ten: Wimpole Hall

It has been well over 6 months since my last post in this series, so I thought it was high time to write another one. And what better estate to start with than one we visited on our last trip to the UK: Wimpole Hall.

We were attracted to Wimpole Hall for two reasons - firstly, We were visiting our Godson who is studying Theology at Pembroke College, Cambridge - so we were in the area; and secondly, because it is a fully functioning estate with a farm and thus ideal for gleaning ideas for Willowbrook.

Wimpole Hall is a country house located within the Parish of Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, England, about 8½ miles (14 km) southwest of Cambridge. The house and its 3,000 acres (12 km²) of parkland and farmland are owned by the National Trust and are regularly open to the public.

First built in 1643 and much altered by subsequent owners, Wimpole has developed into the largest country house in Cambridgeshire. Wimpole's owners employed noted architects of their day to make alterations to the Hall: Lord Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford employed James Gibbs; the Earls of Hardwicke during their period of ownership from 1740- 1895 employed Henry Flitcroft, Sir John Soane and Henry Kendall. Evidence of the work of all of these architects can be seen today, but the most notable work is that of Soane. Examples include: the Bathhouse, Book Room and the striking Yellow Drawing Room.

Before the present Wimpole Hall was built in around 1643, there was a moated manor house set in a 200 acre deer-park. Situated to the north and south of this were three medieval villages: Bennall End, Thresham End and Green End.

Wimpole Hall's grounds were laid out and modified by landscape designers such as George London and Henry Wise (1693–1705), Charles Bridgeman (1720s), Robert Greening (1740s), 'Capability' Brown (1767), and Humphry Repton (1801–1809). The parkland as it exists today is an overlay of the work of these landscape designers and gardeners, and was completed under the auspices of Elsie and George Bambridge. Elsie, the daughter of Rudyard Kipling, revitalised the house. Thanks to her efforts, this National Trust property is in the state it is in today.

 The Exterior

Above: North Face

Below: South Face

Above: In the middle of the 300 foot long facade of the south face is the statue 'Charity' by J H Foley (Of The Albert Memorial Fame).

Below: A deer rampant on the stable block roofline.

The Interior

The Entrance Hall

The South Drawing Room

 A Trompe l'oeil Table...

The Long Gallery

Below: The Lord Chancellor's purse (no longer used), originally belonging to Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764).

The Yellow Drawing Room

The Book Room

The interiors have notable plaster-work on both the ceilings and the walls, much of it due to Sir John Soane...

The Red Room

Below Stairs

The Servants' Bells

The Pantry

The Bath Room

The tall wooden apparatus in the photo above was an early, manually filled shower, operated as below...

The Gardens

In the grounds are a chain of lakes (1695–1767), a church (1749), a folly (the false Gothic Tower; 1768), a farm (1792), a walled garden (18th century), and a stable block (1851).

Bridgeman's formal grand avenue sweeps away from the south front of the house for two and a half miles...

The remainder of the park was naturalised by Capability Brown. Then there are the formal gardens on the north side of the hall...

The North Park is particularly attractive with its belts of woodland, gentle rolling hills with individual trees and clumps of trees. The central feature of the North Park is the Gothic Tower and the restored lakes in the valley below.

The Folly

The Chapel

Above: The Italianate Exterior

Below: The Baroque Interior

The Farm 

 Like Willowbrook, Wimpole is part of a Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

The Country Shop

Located in the old stable block...

Offers Gardening items...

The usual standard National Trust Gift items, but also goods made on the farm...

Join us soon for the next instalment the Great Country Estates of Britain Series - Holkham Hall.
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