Friday, April 30, 2010

Giving Wallis Simpson her day...

Sorry folks and loyal followers, that is has been so long since the last posting. I guess spring just got away from me... sitting and anticipating the warm weather kinda got me distracted. Plus, other distractions like the still circulating rumors that a royal engagement will be announced in June, and Her Majesties birthday last week... things that keep a royal blogger distracted. I hope everyone will forgive the lapse in blogging.

So, today we give The Duchess of Windsor, a.k.a., Wallis Simpson her due. Looking at this picture her wedding day didn't appear to be an especially happy day. But, she had her King, err, well her former King on her arm. What more could a girl want? How about to be Queen? The look on her face seems to say it all... "I should be the queen right now!" That is simply not what history had in store for Wallis and Edward VIII. From all I have read over the years, the abdication crisis in December of 1936, was the most serious event and potentially destructive event in the life of the British royal family for many years before and after. Abdication, almost unheard of. Normally, monarchs died and the next in line took up the crown as their duty. But, I realize, often making great personal sacrifices of happiness in order to fulfill their duties. Clearly King Edward VIII saw something truly wonderful in Wallis Simpson, in order to step aside and let his younger brother take the throne. It is a story for all the ages, as one of the most uncertain times in the great and long history of the British Empire.

Now, for the flowers. Clearly from the picture, the bride neither carried nor wore any flowers. The groom, by this time styled as the Duke of Windsor appears to be wearing a carnation boutonniere, classic and stylish in his morning suit. The flowers present to the right of Wallis seem to be peonies and delphinum. I think an appropriate combination that is quite fitting for the french chateau where they were married. The wedding location was Chateau de Cande, near Tours, France, and the wedding date was June 3, 1937, just six short months after the abdication on December 10, 1936. The Windsors were married first in a civil ceremony performed by the local mayor, then married again in a religious ceremony conducted by the Rev. Jardine... while being serenaded by the great organist Marcel Dupre in the music room/salon the the chateau.

What a scandal and what sadness, since the bride was an American and twice divorced, she was not at all deemed an appropriate wife for a king. Edward VIII, having not yet been crowned in a formal coronation ceremony, elected not to be king without the woman he loved. Edward's mother, Queen Mary refused ever to receive her daughter-in-law, and brother Albert, now King George VI paid a final insult to his brother's choice of bride by refusing Wallace the style of Her Royal Highness, she was simply The Duchess of Windsor.

Royal Tidbit of the day ... for years after the abdication crisis, Wallace and Edward were snubbed and ignored by the royal family. The Queen Mother reportedly held a heavy grudge agains Wallis, believing it was Wallis' fault that she and her family were forced into becoming King and Queen, the stresses of duty, leading to the premature death of King George VI at the age of 56.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Azaleas around Hilton Head

Now that spring has come, and decide to stay, the azaleas are popping out all over. Each state has it's own state flower... if there were a flowers of The South, I would vote for the Azalea. There are plenty of varieties, colors, and sizes to please anyone. Growing up, my home was hedged in front by the big fuchsia azalea hedges. Along with the large bright pink blooms came the big bumble bees as well. Hilton Head's azaleas are exploding just now, right in time for The Heritage golf tournament. Unlike the Bradford Pears and the dogwoods, the azaleas will will be with us for several weeks. Hopefully our first spring storms wont be so strong as to knock the blooms off the bushes. The second pic is of the ever familiar Harbour Town Lighthouse. Harbour Town and all of Sea Pines plantation are preparing for the influx of golfers and golf fans. Preparations are underway to make sure that everything is perfect for the the tournament, readying for the eyes of the nation to be focused on Hilton Head Island for a whole week.

Royal Tidbit of the day... on the last occasion of investiture of Garter Knights, Prince William was invested as the 1000th Knight of the Garter. The investiture ceremony takes place in the month of June each year at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. P. William is currently the youngest Garter Knight, but not the youngest to be invested. Prince Charles was made a Garter Knight at the age of 19.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Flowers 2010 - And Royal Wedding Rumors!

Easter 2010 has come and gone, but I have these wonderful pics, thanks to Stan and his camera. Helping out part time at a flower shop certainly has it's benefits. Namely, having access to great floral supply and selection of the freshest flowers available. When I get an idea for what I want my centerpieces to look like, first I search out the desired containers from my home stash... then, just give a list to my part time boss and flower buddy, she has them come in when I want them. This Easter, I went with lots of tulips...why? Because to me, besides Easter Lilies, tulips are the quintessential Easter flower. Some might be wondering, "why the red roses?", since mostly those remind us of Valentine's Day or Christmas... well, our hostess just invested in new dishes... red glass tableware that really sets off some delicate red accents in her newly renovated and redecorated home. So, red roses it was, to coordinate and really bring out the new tableware.

All of the containers this year were clear glass, but each in an unusual shape and dimension. This grouping of containers inspired me to create a real "toss up" of styles and combinations, and including some interesting textures and accents. For instance, one vase simply had tulips and nothing else. Another incorporated Kiwi Vine as an armature to help hold the flowers upright in a very shallow container. Also, I had the idea to completely hide the mechanics on one arrangement by encircling the inside of the shallow vase with bamboo. This last technique I described was extremely labor intensive. Cutting the bamboo into small pieces all the same size too some time. I would be sure to charge a worthy fee for anyone wanting this look in their arrangements. But, it these arrangements for our Easter celebration were a labor of love, and I enjoyed every minute of the design process. Thank you again to Colleen, Kent, Whitfield, and Ross for a wonderful Easter celebration.

Royal Wedding tidbit of the day... Hopefully I was not the only one who noticed the Buzz the last couple of days over the possibility, maybe, might or might not, desperately needed, royal engagement of Prince William to long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton. I haven't seen that much royal attention on the Internet since Prince Harry was found to be deployed in Afghanistan.

Well, for me, I surely hope that there will be an announcement of their engagement, and really do hope that, if the speculators are correct, that by the end of 2010 there will have been another major royal wedding. Sources suggest that if they are engaged in June, that a wedding would very likely follow in roughly six months, they are thinking November of this year.