Grace and favour
A grace-and-favour home is a residential property owned by a monarch by virtue of his or her position as head of state and leased rent-free, to persons as part of an employment package or in gratitude for past services rendered. It is possible that the term crept into English through the writings of Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote of advisers who are ministers per grazia e concessione, translated as "through grace and favour". In the United Kingdom, these homes are owned by The Crown or a charity and, in modern times, are within the gift of the Prime Minister. Most of these properties are taxed as a "benefit in kind", although this status does not apply to 10 Downing Street or any home granted for security purposes, such as the residence of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, they are at times granted to senior politicians. In 1986, there were 120 apartments total; the most splendid are at Kensington Palace where lived the Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince and Princess of Kent.
There are some at Windsor Palace, Buckingham Palace where lived the Princess Alice. St James's Palace had 20 apartments. Lord Kitchener once lived there. Most apartments are modest, some two rooms, inhabited by retired members of the household staff. Hampton Court apartments were occupied by retired soldiers and diplomats or their widows. Grace and favour apartments have been discontinued at Hampton Court. There were once 69. In 1986, this had dwindled to 15. Frogmore Cottage was once used as a grace and favour residence for Abdul Karim. in 2018, Duke and Duchess of Sussex intended to move there in the spring of 2019. Other residents include: 10 Downing Street, City of Westminster — official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury Chequers, Ellesborough — official country house of the Prime Minister 11 Downing Street, Westminster — official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer 12 Downing Street, Westminster — official residence of the Chief Whip Dorneywood, Burnham — official ministerial residence.
Admiralty House, Westminster — official ministerial residence 1 Carlton Gardens, Westminster — official ministerial residence. Nottingham Cottage Garden House - official residence of the Commonwealth Secretary-General Hillsborough Castle, Hillsborough — official ministerial residence for the Northern Ireland Secretary Bute House, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh — official residence of the First Minister of Scotland. Tulliallan Castle, Fife — official residence of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland. Moderators Flat, Rothesay Terrace - official residence of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Royal Parks of London
Ascot Racecourse is a British racecourse, located in Ascot, England, used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting 13 of Britain's 36 annual Group 1 horse races; the course, owned by Ascot Racecourse Ltd, enjoys close associations with the British Royal Family, being 6 miles from Windsor Castle. Ascot stages 26 days of racing over the course of the year, comprising 18 flat meetings held between the months of May and October inclusive, it stages important jump racing throughout the winter months. The Royal Meeting held each June, remains a major draw, its highlight being The Gold Cup; the most prestigious race is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes run over the course in July. Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne; the first race, "Her Majesty's Plate", with a purse of 100 guineas, was held on 11 August 1711. Seven horses competed; this first race comprised three separate four-mile heats. Handicap races started at Ascot, the first one being the Oatlands Handicap in 1791.
In 1813 Parliament passed an Act to ensure. A new grandstand was opened in 1839 at a cost of £10000. A further Act of Parliament of 1913 establishing the Ascot Authority which entity manages the racecourse to this day. From its creation until 1945 the only racing that took place at Ascot was the Royal Meeting, a four-day event. Since that date, more fixtures have been introduced to the grounds, notably National Hunt racing in 1965; the National Hunt course was established using turf from Hurst Park Racecourse, which closed in 1962. Ascot racecourse closed for a period of twenty months on 26 September 2004, for a £185 million redevelopment funded by Allied Irish Bank and designed by Populous and Buro Happold; as owner of the Ascot estate, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth reopened the racecourse on Tuesday 20 June 2006. Upon re-opening the new grandstand attracted criticism for failing to provide sufficiently raised viewing for patrons to watch the racing, devoting too much space to restaurants and corporate hospitality facilities.
At the end of 2006 a £10 million programme of further alterations was announced to improve the viewing from lower levels of the grandstand using an innovative steel composite product to reprofile the existing concrete terraces. However, the upper levels provide far less accommodation for the everyday racegoer than was present in the former stand. In March 2009 it was confirmed that the main sponsors of Ascot, William Hill would be ceasing their sponsorship deal, citing that the decision by the BBC to reduce live race coverage as the main reason in its decision making process. In July 2009 Ascot Racecourse hosted the third round of the UAE President's Cup; the Royal Ascot is the centrepiece of Ascot's year and dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne. Every year Royal Ascot is attended by Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family such as The Prince of Wales, arriving each day in a horse-drawn carriage with the Royal procession taking place at the start of each race day and the raising of the Queen's Royal Standard.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend, as well as the Earl and Countess of Wessex. It is a major event in the British social calendar, press coverage of the attendees and their attire exceeds coverage of the actual racing. There are three enclosures attended by guests on Royal Ascot week. In 2005, whilst Ascot was closed for redevelopment, the Royal meeting was held at York Racecourse The Royal Enclosure is the most prestigious of the three enclosures, with recent visits from the Queen and Royal Family members. Access to the Royal Enclosure is restricted, with high security on the day. First-time applicants must apply to the Royal Enclosure Office and gain membership from someone who has attended the enclosure for at least four years. For existing badgeholders, an invitation is sent out by Her Majesty's Representative to request badges; the badgeholder's name can be used only by that person. The colours of the badges vary each day for one-day applicants; those in the Royal Enclosure have the options of fine dining and hospitality, a selection of bars.
The dress code is enforced. For women, only a day dress with a hat is acceptable, with rules applying to the length and style of the dress. In addition, women must not show bare shoulders. For men, black or grey morning dress with top hat is required. Over 300,000 people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this Europe’s best-attended race meeting. There are eighteen group races with at least one Group One event on each of the five days; the Gold Cup is on Ladies' Day on the Thursday. In 2012, the Golden Jubilee Stakes was renamed the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. In 2013, the Windsor Forest Stakes was renamed the Duke of Cambridge Stakes, with the Queen’s consent, recognising the new title given to Prince William. In 2015, the newly-created Commonwealth Cup became the eighth Group One race at Royal Ascot, replacing the Buckingham Palace Stakes. In 2016, total prize money across the five days of Royal Ascot was £6,580,000.
This was £1,000,000 more than the prize money on offer at the meeting in 2015, representing an overall increase of 18%. Races with notable prize money increases for 2016 included the Prince of Wales's Stakes, the Queen Anne Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, while the other Group One races all had their prize money increased to £400,000; the Gol
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the Royal Arms for short, is the official coat of arms of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Variants of the Royal Arms are used by other members of the British royal family. In Scotland, there exists a separate version of the Royal Arms, a variant of, used by the Scotland Office; the arms in banner form serve as basis for the monarch's official flag, known as the Royal Standard. In the standard variant used outside of Scotland, the shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; the crest is a statant guardant lion wearing the St Edward's Crown, himself on another representation of that crown. The dexter supporter is a crowned English lion. According to legend a free unicorn was considered a dangerous beast. In the greenery below, a thistle, Tudor rose and shamrock are depicted, representing Scotland and Ireland respectively.
This armorial achievement comprises the motto, in French, of English monarchs, Dieu et mon Droit, which has descended to the present royal family as well as the Garter circlet which surrounds the shield, inscribed with the Order's motto, in French, Honi soit qui mal y pense. The official blazon of the Royal Arms is: Quarterly and fourth Gules three Lions passant gardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure, second quarter Or a Lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules, third quarter Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent, the whole surrounded by the Garter. Motto "Dieu et mon Droit" in the compartment below the shield, with the Union Rose and Thistle engrafted on the same stem; the Royal Arms. They appear in courtrooms, since the monarch is deemed to be the fount of judicial authority in the United Kingdom and law courts comprise part of the ancient royal court. Judges are Crown representatives, demonstrated by the display of the Royal Arms behind the judge's bench in all UK courts.
In addition, the Royal Arms cannot be displayed in courtrooms or on court-house exteriors in Northern Ireland, except for the courtrooms of the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast and the courts in Armagh, Downpatrick, Magherafelt, or Omagh, the exterior of court buildings that had them in place prior to the 2002 law. As the United Kingdom is governed in the monarch's name, the British Government uses the Royal Arms as a national symbol of the United Kingdom, and, in that capacity, the coat of arms can be seen on several government documents and forms, passports, in the entrance to embassies and consulates, etc. However, when used by the government and not by the monarch the coat of arms is represented without the helm; this is the case with the sovereign's Scottish arms, a version of, used by the Scotland Office. The Royal Arms have appeared on the coinage produced by the Royal Mint including, for example, from 1663, the Guinea and, from 1983, the British one pound coin. In 2008, a new series of designs for all seven coins of £1 and below was unveiled by the Royal Mint, every one of, drawn from the Royal Arms.
The full Royal Arms appear on the one pound coin, sections appear on each of the other six, such that they can be put together like a puzzle to make another complete representation of the Royal Arms. The monarch grants Royal Warrants to select businesses and tradespeople which supply the Royal Household with goods or services; this entitles those businesses to display the Royal Arms on their packaging and stationery by way of advertising. It is customary for churches throughout the United Kingdom whether in the Church of England or the Church of Scotland to display the Royal Arms to show loyalty to the Crown. A banner of the Royal Arms, known as the Royal Standard, is flown from the royal palaces when the monarch is in residence, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace being her principal abodes; this protocol applies to the monarch's principal residences in Scotland, where the Royal Standard is flown. When the monarch is not in residence the Union Flag, or in Scotland the ancient Royal Standard of Scotland, is flown.
The sold British newspaper The Times uses the Hanoverian Royal Arms as a logo, whereas its sister publication, The Sunday Times, displays the current Royal Arms. The Royal Arms are displayed in all c
Benjamin Bloomfield, 1st Baron Bloomfield
Lieutenant General Benjamin Bloomfield, 1st Baron Bloomfield was a British Army officer who saw action at the Battle of Vinegar Hill in June 1798 during the Irish Rebellion. He was Member of Parliament for Plymouth from 1812 from 1818 and served as Private Secretary to the Sovereign from 1817 to 1822 before becoming Commanding Officer of the garrison at Woolwich in 1826. Bloomfield was born in 1768, the son of John Bloomfield and Anne Charlotte Waller, educated at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1781. After seeing action at the Battle of Vinegar Hill in June 1798 during the Irish Rebellion, he served in Newfoundland, at Brighton in 1806, where, as a brevet major, he was in charge of a troop of the Royal Horse Artillery, he was appointed a Gentleman in Waiting to the King that year. Promoted to major-general on 4 June 1814, he served as Member of Parliament for Plymouth from 1812 from 1818 and was made a Privy Councillor on 19 July 1817.
He was an Aide-de-Camp Chief Equerry and Clerk Marshal to the Prince of Wales and was Private Secretary to the King, Keeper of the Privy Purse, Receiver of the Duchy of Cornwall from 1817 to 1822. One of issues that Bloomfield had to contend with as Private Secretary was King's extravagant spending; this led to Parliamentary discussions about possible reforms to the civil list. The King and Lady Conyngham's dislike of Bloomfield, as he tried to curb the King's excesses, became evident on the King's trip to Scotland on 10 August 1822, as the rising star of the King's entourage, Sir William Knighton, was situated next to the King's cabin, whilst Bloomfield was rather coldly relegated to a cabin far further away. Furthermore, Conyngham encouraged her son, Francis, to shoulder some of Bloomfield's responsibilities, much to Bloomfield's obvious displeasure. There was a rumour that some of Lady Conyngham's jewels belonged to the Crown, a fact known by Bloomfield, therefore the royal mistress felt compelled to have him removed.
As Bloomfield began to be undermined by Sir William Knighton and Francis Conyngham, his self-confidence started to fade, his grip on the royal purse was weakened and he abruptly had his salary stopped by royal command- his demise was imminent. In an act of desperation he began to lobby Parliament, claiming'royal betrayal', this was ineffective as Lady Conyngham's family were attached to Bloomfield's target audience- the Whig opposition- and therefore his pleas fell on deaf ears. Bloomfield's downfall was hastened further by a royal visit to Dublin in 1821. In one incident, the King visited a local theatre, believing Bloomfield to be an important member of the King's party, the manager began playing the national anthem as Bloomfield entered his box, responding by bowing and smiling jokingly as the crowd rose and began singing'God Save the King'; the King, noted for his sense of humour, was unusually furious at this act, declaring it an insult. Another plausible explanation for Bloomfield's demise is provided by a courtier, Sir William Freemantle in a letter to the Duke of Buckingham.
The King's expenses from the spring of 1822 showed a considerable amount of money had been spent on an undisclosed item, which Bloomfield revealed to be the purchase of diamonds by the King. The King considered this to be damaging, showed beyond all doubt that Bloomfield had lost his ability to protect the King's image at all costs; the diamonds were most for the royal mistress, an assertion which the media exposed. In a last humiliating episode for Bloomfield, he was ordered by the King to pay J. L. Marks a sum of £45 to prevent the publication of a cartoon which implicated the King and his mistress in the diamond affair, after Marks sent a copy to the King's residence before its publication. Marks duly ripped up the plate despite having made copies sneakily beforehand. In fact Bloomfield had spent a fortune buying up caricatures. To the relief of the King, ministers agreed that Bloomfield should be removed from his position; the King wrote to Lord Liverpool, asking for the post of Private Secretary to be abolished to make Bloomfield's departure appear to be a matter of politics rather than the Crown.
Bloomfield was offered the Governorship of Ceylon as compensation, or his current salary for life and the Order of the Bath. Bloomfield felt that his efforts deserved at the least an English peerage, the King however flew into a rage when hearing Bloomfield's demand, threatening to have him alienated from society, just as his wife had been. Bloomfield pragmatically refused the position of Governor of Ceylon, but accepted the Order of the Bath, a sinecure worth £650 per annum and the Governorship of Fort Charles in Jamaica, that he would exchange for the post of Minister at Stockholm, where he served from 1823 to 1832; the King invited him to the Royal Pavilion at Brighton one last time to receive the Order of the Bath from the King, but thought better of it, did not journey to meet his former royal master for the last time. Bloomfield was knighted on 12 December 1815, appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 1 April 1822 and became Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery on 21 February 1824.
He was ennobled in the peerage of Ireland as Lord Bloomfield on 11 May 1825. He became Commanding Officer of the garrison at Woolwich in 1826. Following his turbulent years in service to the King, Bloomfield unexpectedly embraced the values of Methodism and became a devout Christian, his house in Portman Square, London amused many a passer-by as he would have a placard on his front door, adorned with the words'At Prayer'. He was promoted to lieutenant general
Baptist May was a Royal courtier during the reign of Charles II of England. He is said to have been Charles's closest and most trusted servant as a result of his knowledge that the king did not like to be approached on matters of business. May was born in Mid Lavant, the son of Sir Humphrey May, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and his second wife, Judith daughter of Sir William Poley, he was a cousin of the architect. Baptist was appointed Groom of the Bedchamber to the Duke of York in 1662 and Keeper of the Privy Purse to the King three years thanks to the influence of Charles's mistress, Barbara Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine. Castlemaine wanted to ensure, he was nominated by the Duke of York as MP for Winchelsea. He joined the Countess of Castlemaine to bring down Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon in 1667. In 1670 he was elected MP for Midhurst, sitting until 1679, in 1690 was elected for Windsor, only to be unseated a few months on petition. Despite being Keeper of the Privy Purse, May did not enjoy control over the king's private finances.
Surviving documents show. However, he enjoyed the king's confidence despite May's offhand remarks. For example, according to Clarendon's biography, after the Great Fire of London in 1666, he remarked that it was welcomed, to make the city more controllable; this shocked those around him, including the king. Another test of their friendship began in 1679; as a result of Titus Oates's claims that several Catholic members of the Royal Household were plotting to kill the king and put his Catholic brother on the throne, there was a wave of anti-Catholicism throughout England. The Whig faction in parliament, led by the Earl of Shaftesbury and the Duke of Buckingham, was pressing the king to divorce his barren queen, Catherine of Braganza, remarry to produce a Protestant heir. May was one of the Whig supporters, narrowly escaped dismissal from his office in the bedchamber as a result. After Charles's death in 1685, the Duke of York came to the throne as James II. May was dismissed from the office of Keeper of the Privy Purse.
However, he remained Ranger of Windsor Great Park, continued to live at what became known as Cumberland Lodge, until his death. In 1690 he was elected MP for Thetford, holding the seat until the next general election in 1695. May was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Babmaes Street in St James's is named after Baptist May. Lee, Sidney, ed.. "May, Baptist". Dictionary of National Biography. 37. London: Smith, Elder & Co
Order of the Garter
The Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry in England and the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of England's patron saint. Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, no more than 24 living members, or Companions; the order includes supernumerary knights and ladies. New appointments to the Order of the Garter are announced on St George's Day, as Saint George is the order's patron saint; the order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions. King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter around the time of his claim to the French throne; the traditional year of foundation is given as 1348. However, the Complete Peerage, under "The Founders of the Order of the Garter", states the order was first instituted on 23 April 1344, listing each founding member as knighted in 1344.
The list includes Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt, who died on 20 October 1345. Other dates from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the King's wardrobe account shows Garter habits first issued in the autumn of 1348. Its original statutes required that each member of the Order be a knight and some of the initial members listed were only knighted that year; the foundation is to have been inspired by the Spanish Order of the Band, established in about 1330. The earliest written mention of the Order is found in Tirant lo Blanch, a chivalric romance written in Catalan by Valencian Joanot Martorell, it was first published in 1490. This book devotes a chapter to the description of the origin of the Order of the Garter. At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 Founder Knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St George's Chapel: King Edward III Edward, the Black Prince, Prince of Wales Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch Ralph de Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford William de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March John de Lisle, 2nd Baron Lisle Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp John de Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun Sir Hugh de Courtenay Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent John de Grey, 1st Baron Grey de Rotherfield Sir Richard Fitz-Simon Sir Miles Stapleton Sir Thomas Wale Sir Hugh Wrottesley Sir Nele Loring Sir John Chandos Sir James Audley Sir Otho Holand Sir Henry Eam Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt Sir Walter Paveley They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book made c.
1431, now in the British Library. Various legends account for the origin of the Order; the most popular involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter is said to have slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense!", the phrase that has become the motto of the Order. However, the earliest written version of this story dates from the 1460s, it seems to have been conceived as a retrospective explanation for the adoption of what was seen as an item of female underclothing as the symbol of a band of knights. In fact, at the time of the Order's establishment in the mid-14th century, the garter was predominantly an item of male attire. According to another legend, King Richard I was inspired in the 12th century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward recalled the event in the 14th century when he founded the Order.
This story is recounted in a letter to the Annual Register in 1774: In Rastel's Chronicle, I. vi. under the life of Edward III is the following curious passage: "About the 19 yere of this kinge, he made a solempne feest at Wyndesore, a greate justes and turnament, where he devysed, perfyted substanegally, the order of the knyghtes of the garter. And afterwarde they were called the knyghtes of the blew thonge." I am obliged for this passage to Esq.. Hence some affirm, that the origin of the garter is to be dated from Richard I* and that it owes its pomp and splendor to Edward III. *Winstanley, in his Life of Edward III says that the original book of the institution deduces the invention from King Richard the First. The motto in fact refers to Edward's claim to the French throne, the Order of the Garter was created to help pursue this claim; the use of the garter as an emblem may have derived from straps used t