Herbert James Gunn (1893-1964) Conversation Piece at Royal Lodge, Windsor, 1950
Following yesterday's post, I thought it might be fun to have a quick look at Royal Lodge, the official 'country' residence of the late Queen Mother, and now the home of Prince Andrew, and if gossip is to be believed, Fergie. Of course, it's actually a stone's throw from London: some of you may know Windsor Great Park well. I've always loved the place, with it's wide open space, herds of deer, and blasted oaks; and its association with various fascinating myths and legends. The ghost of Herne the Hunter is supposed to roam the park, and over the years, various oaks have claimed the title of "Herne's Oak" (I think, regrettably, that the last one fell to the axe in 1906).
There's a terrific photograph of the Gothick drawing room in Derry Moore's The English Room, (published 1985), one of my all-time favourite books. As in Clarence House, the Queen Mother shows us that she had The Eye. It's hard to put your finger on, but it just has that 'something' about it, which for many people, is difficult to re-create.
Above the chimneypiece hangs an evocative portrait of the Prince Regent, which I assume is by Thomas Lawrence. Royal Lodge was the Prince Regent's favourite retreat.
Royal Lodge has been built, re-built, part-demolished, reconstructed, altered and re-furbished many times over the years. As Derry Moore says "although this house has only existed in its present form for a little more than fifty years, it has the atmosphere of age and a strange beauty that is essentially English".
If you're interested in discovering more, I've dug up a long out-of-print book by Helen Cathcart, published back in 1966. I've got no idea what it's like, but the front cover looks promising: