Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Albert How Could You!

Vic at Jane Austen's World has posted a very interesting article about Christmas trees that, I confess, I was ignorant of. I insist that everyone check it out. Many, myself included, think that Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's hunky husband, introduced the Christmas tree to England in the 19th century. This is erroneous! While Albert may have popularized this German tradition in England, it was Queen Charlotte, wife of George III and mother to the infamous Prince of Wales, who actually introduced it. I should have known that classy queen would have brought over such a fun tradition!

[The tree pictured is Colonial Williamsburg's Regency Tree which is dedicated to the Prince of Wales, hence the crown and plumes tree topper.]

8 comments:

Mythosidhe said...

Randomly: I've been scouring Amazon for a post on future book releases I'm putting together, and this one just screamed your name:

Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore

Heather Carroll said...

I LOVE MARY! Thank you soooo much!!

Vic said...

Love that Williamsburg photo you found, Heather. And thanks for the shout out. It's been fun getting to know you in print this year.

Vic

Heather Carroll said...

How could I not! Thank you for opening my eyes to the truth!


...about Christmas trees

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Interesting Heather. I didn't know that. Everytime I watch the Lion in Winter and I see the Christmas tree in the background I used to think it was wrong because Albert didn't introduce the tree until the 19th century. I know I'll know that it was actually Charlotte. Nice to know that she brought something else to England besides the 15 children she bore.

Heather Carroll said...

Yes! I felt like such a bad little historian when Vic opened my eyes to the truth. I knew I had to spread the word.

Linore Rose Burkard said...

Hi! I can't help but wish you'd seen my Regency House Christmas: The Definitive Guide to a Remarkably Regency Yuletide! It's been out since 2006, and I addressed this very issue, pointing out for my readers that Queen Charlotte was the one to introduce the tree. (Maybe Vic read my ebook?)

And as for her 15 children, consider this: she also brought the miniature portrait firmly into fashion by wearing one (of the King) on a bracelet in a portrait done in the late 18th century. The bracelet was a gift from the King; when others saw it, they were quick to follow suit, and soon it was all the rage. Bracelets, brooches, pins, all appeared bearing exquisite portraits by the likes of Cosway, and remained popular throughout the Regency.

Great blog--so fun to know others who "care" about this stuff! I love it.

Heather Carroll said...

Ooo that sounds fascinating! I wish you had caught me in time! Hopefully the passing season will not be cause for me to forget about checking it out. Thanks for stopping by Linore!