Caroline of Brunswick
Caroline of Brunswick was Queen of the United Kingdom as the wife of King George IV from 29 January 1820 until her death in 1821. She was the Princess of Wales from 1795 to 1820, her father, Charles William Ferdinand, was the ruler of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in Germany, her mother, was the sister of the British king George III. In 1794, she was engaged to her first cousin and George III's eldest son, despite the two of them never having met and George being illegally married to Maria Fitzherbert. George and Caroline married the following year, nine months Caroline had a child, Princess Charlotte of Wales. Shortly after Charlotte's birth and Caroline separated. By 1806, rumours that Caroline had taken lovers and had an illegitimate child led to an investigation into her private life; the dignitaries who led the investigation concluded that there was "no foundation" to the rumours, but Caroline's access to her daughter was nonetheless restricted. In 1814, Caroline moved to Italy. Pergami soon became Caroline's closest companion, it was assumed that they were lovers.
In 1817, Caroline was devastated. She heard the news from a passing courier as George had refused to tell her, he was determined to divorce Caroline, set up a second investigation to collect evidence of her adultery. In 1820, George became king of Hanover. George hated his wife, vowed she would never be the queen, insisted on a divorce, which she refused. A legal divorce was difficult to obtain. Caroline returned to Britain to assert her position as queen, she was wildly popular with the British populace, who sympathized with her and despised the new king for his immoral behaviour. On the basis of the loose evidence collected against her, George attempted to divorce her by introducing the Pains and Penalties Bill to Parliament, but George and the bill were so unpopular, Caroline so popular with the masses, that it was withdrawn by the Tory government. In July 1821, Caroline was barred from the coronation on the orders of her husband, she died three weeks later. Her funeral procession passed through London on its way to her native Brunswick, where she was buried.
Caroline was born a princess of Brunswick, with the courtesy title of Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, on 17 May 1768 at Braunschweig in Germany. She was the daughter of Charles William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, his wife Princess Augusta of Great Britain, eldest sister of George III. Caroline was brought up in a difficult family situation, her mother resented her father's open adultery with Louise Hertefeld, whom he had installed as his official mistress in 1777, Caroline was to confide to Lady Charlotte Campbell that she was tired of becoming a "shuttlecock" between her parents, as whenever she was civil to one of them, she was scolded by the other. She was educated by governesses, but the only subject in which she was given a higher education was music. From 1783 until 1791 Countess Eleonore von Münster was her governess, won her affection, but never managed to teach her to spell as Caroline preferred to dictate to a secretary. Caroline could understand English and French, but her father admitted that she was lacking in education.
According to Caroline's mother, British, all German princesses learned English in the hope that they would be chosen to marry George, Prince of Wales, George III's eldest son and heir apparent and Caroline's first cousin. John Stanley Lord Stanley of Alderley, saw her in 1781, noted that she was an attractive girl with curly, fair hair. In 1784, she was described as a beauty, two years Mirabeau described her as "most amiable, playful and handsome."Caroline was brought up with an extreme degree of seclusion from contact with the opposite sex for her own time. She was constantly supervised by her governess and elder ladies, restricted to her room when the family was entertaining guests and ordered to keep away from the windows, she was refused permission to attend balls and court functions, when allowed, she was forbidden to dance. Abbé Baron commented during the winter of 1789–90: "She is supervised with the greatest severity, as they claim she is aware of what she is missing. I doubt. Although always attired with style and elegance, she is never allowed to dance", that as soon as the first dance begun, she was forced to sit down at the whist table with three old ladies.
A rare occasion was the wedding of her elder brother Charles, when she was allowed to dance, though only with her brother, the groom, her new brother-in-law, the Prince of Orange – she was, still forbidden to dine alone with her brother. Her secluded isolation tormented her, demonstrated when she was again banned from attending a ball, she simulated an illness so severe. When they arrived, she forced them to send for a midwife; when the midwife arrived, she stopped her simulation and asked her mother: "Now, will you keep me another time from a ball?"Her mother early favored a match between one of her children and a member of her English family, when her nephew Prince Frederick visited Brunswick in June 1781, she lamented the fact that Caroline, because of her age, could not be present often. Caroline was given a number of proposals from 1782 onward. Marriage with the Prince of Orange, Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover following the death of his father, King George III, on 29 January 1820, until his own death ten years later. From 1811 until his accession, he served as Prince Regent during his father's final mental illness. George IV led an extravagant lifestyle, he was a patron of new forms of leisure and taste. He commissioned John Nash to build the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and remodel Buckingham Palace, Sir Jeffry Wyattville to rebuild Windsor Castle, his charm and culture earned him the title "the first gentleman of England", but his dissolute way of life and poor relationships with his parents and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick, earned him the contempt of the people and dimmed the prestige of the monarchy. He forbade Caroline to attend his coronation and asked the government to introduce the unpopular Pains and Penalties Bill in a desperate, unsuccessful attempt to divorce her. For most of George's regency and reign, Lord Liverpool controlled the government as Prime Minister.
George's ministers found his behaviour selfish and irresponsible. At all times he was much under the influence of favourites. Taxpayers were angry at his wasteful spending during the Napoleonic Wars, he act as a role model for his people. Liverpool's government presided over Britain's ultimate victory, negotiated the peace settlement, attempted to deal with the social and economic malaise that followed. After Liverpool's retirement, George was forced to accept Catholic emancipation despite opposing it, his only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte, died before him in 1817 and so he was succeeded by his younger brother, William. George was born at St James's Palace, London, on 12 August 1762, the first child of the British king George III and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; as the eldest son of a British sovereign, he automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay at birth. On 18 September of the same year, he was baptised by Archbishop of Canterbury, his godparents were the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Duke of Cumberland and the Dowager Princess of Wales.
George was a talented student, learned to speak French and Italian, in addition to his native English. At the age of 18 he was given a separate establishment, in dramatic contrast with his prosaic, scandal-free father, threw himself with zest into a life of dissipation and wild extravagance involving heavy drinking and numerous mistresses and escapades, he was a witty conversationalist, drunk or sober, showed good, but grossly expensive, taste in decorating his palace. The Prince of Wales turned 21 in 1783, obtained a grant of £60,000 from Parliament and an annual income of £50,000 from his father, it was far too little for his needs – the stables alone cost £31,000 a year. He established his residence in Carlton House, where he lived a profligate life. Animosity developed between the prince and his father, who desired more frugal behaviour on the part of the heir apparent; the King, a political conservative, was alienated by the prince's adherence to Charles James Fox and other radically inclined politicians.
Soon after he reached the age of 21, the prince became infatuated with Maria Fitzherbert. She was a commoner, six years his elder, twice widowed, a Roman Catholic; the prince was determined to marry her. This was in spite of the Act of Settlement 1701, which barred the spouse of a Catholic from succeeding to the throne, the Royal Marriages Act 1772, which prohibited his marriage without the King's consent; the couple went through a marriage ceremony on 15 December 1785 at her house in Park Street, Mayfair. The union was void, as the King's consent was not granted. However, Fitzherbert believed that she was the prince's canonical and true wife, holding the law of the Church to be superior to the law of the State. For political reasons, the union remained secret and Fitzherbert promised not to reveal it; the prince was plunged into debt by his exorbitant lifestyle. His father refused to assist him, forcing him to quit Carlton House and live at Fitzherbert's residence. In 1787, the prince's political allies proposed to relieve his debts with a parliamentary grant.
The prince's relationship with Fitzherbert was suspected, revelation of the illegal marriage would have scandalised the nation and doomed any parliamentary proposal to aid him. Acting on the prince's authority, the Whig leader Charles James Fox declared that the story was a calumny. Fitzherbert was not pleased with the public denial of the marriage in such vehement terms and contemplated severing her ties to the prince, he appeased her by asking another Whig, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, to restate Fox's forceful declaration in more careful words. Parliament, granted the prince £161,000 to pay his debts and £60,000 for improvements to Carlton House. In the summer of 1788 the King's mental health deteriorated as the result of the hereditary disease porphyria, he was nonetheless able to discharge some of his duties and to declare Parliament prorogued from 25 September to 20 November. During the prorogation he became deranged, posing a threat to his own life, when Parliament reconvened in November the King could not deliver th
The Royal Collection of the British Royal family is the largest private art collection in the world. Spread among 13 occupied and historic royal residences in the United Kingdom, the collection is owned by Elizabeth II and overseen by the Royal Collection Trust; the Queen owns some of the collection in some as a private individual. It is made up of over one million objects, including 7,000 paintings, over 150,000 works on paper, this including 30,000 watercolours and drawings, about 450,000 photographs, as well as tapestries, ceramics, carriages, armour, clocks, musical instruments, plants, manuscripts and sculptures; some of the buildings which house the collection, like Hampton Court Palace, are open to the public and not lived in by the Royal Family, whilst others, like Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace, are both residences and open to the public. The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London was built specially to exhibit pieces from the collection on a rotating basis. There is a similar art gallery next to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, a Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle.
The Crown Jewels are on public display in the Jewel House at the Tower of London. About 3,000 objects are on loan to museums throughout the world, many others are lent on a temporary basis to exhibitions. Few items from before Henry VIII survive; the most important additions were made by Charles I, a passionate collector of Italian paintings and a major patron of Van Dyck and other Flemish artists. He purchased the bulk of the Gonzaga collection from the Duchy of Mantua; the entire Royal Collection, which included 1,500 paintings and 500 statues, was sold after Charles's execution in 1649. The'Sale of the Late King's Goods' at Somerset House raised £185,000 for the English Republic. Other items were given away in lieu of payment to settle the king's debts. A number of pieces were recovered by Charles II after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, they form the basis for the collection today; the Dutch Republic presented Charles with the Dutch Gift of 28 paintings, 12 sculptures, a selection of furniture.
He went on to buy other works. George III was responsible for forming the collection's outstanding holdings of Old Master drawings. Many other drawings were bought from Alessandro Albani and art dealer in Rome. George IV shared Charles I's enthusiasm for collecting, buying up large numbers of Dutch Golden Age paintings and their Flemish contemporaries. Like other English collectors, he took advantage of the great quantities of French decorative art on the London market after the French Revolution, is responsible for the collection's outstanding holdings of 18th-century French furniture and porcelain Sèvres, he bought much contemporary English silver, many recent and contemporary English paintings. Queen Victoria and her husband Albert were keen collectors of old master paintings. Many objects have been given from the collection to museums by George III and Victoria and Albert. In particular, the King's Library formed by George III with the assistance of his librarian Frederick Augusta Barnard, consisting of 65,000 printed books, was given to the British Museum, now the British Library, where they remain as a distinct collection.
He donated the "Old Royal Library" of some 2,000 manuscripts, which are still segregated as the Royal manuscripts. The core of this collection was the purchase by James I of the related collections of Humphrey Llwyd, Lord Lumley, the Earl of Arundel. Prince Albert's will requested the donation of a number of early paintings to the National Gallery, which Queen Victoria fulfilled. Throughout the reign of Elizabeth II, there have been significant additions to the collection through judicious purchases and gifts from nation states and official bodies. Since 1952 2,500 works have been added to the Royal Collection; the Commonwealth is represented in this manner: an example is 75 contemporary Canadian watercolours that entered the collection between 1985 and 2001 as a gift from the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour. Modern art acquired by Elizabeth II includes pieces by Sir Anish Andy Warhol. In 1987 a new department of the Royal Household was established to oversee the Royal Collection, it was financed by the commercial activities of Royal Collection Enterprises, a limited company.
Before it was maintained using the monarch's official income paid by the Civil List. Since 1993 the collection has been funded by entrance fees to Buckingham Palace. A computerised inventory of the collection was started in early 1991, it was completed in December 1997; the full inventory is not available to the public, though catalogues of parts of the collection – paintings – have been published, a searchable database on the Royal Collection website is comprehensive, with "265,302 items found" by early 2019. About a third of the 7,000 paintings in the collection are on view or stored at buildings in London which fall under the remit of the Historic Royal Palaces agency: the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Banqueting House, Kew Palace; the Jewel House and Martin Tower at the Tower of London house the Crown Jewels. A rotating selection of art, furniture and other items considered to be of the highest quality is shown at the Queen's Gallery, a purpose-built exhibition centre
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
The Chapel Royal is an establishment in the Royal Household serving the spiritual needs of the sovereign of the British royal family. It was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch; the term is now applied to the chapels within royal palaces, most notably at Hampton Court and St James's Palace, other chapels within the Commonwealth designated as such by the monarch. The Chapel Royal's role is to perform choral liturgical service, it has played a significant role in the musical life of the nation, with composers such as Tallis and Purcell all having been members of the choir. The choir consists of Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal singing the lower parts alongside the boy choirsters known as the Children of the Chapel. In their early history, the English chapel royal travelled, like the rest of the court, with the monarch and performed wherever he or she was residing at the time; the earliest written record of the chapel dates to c.1135 in the reign of Henry I. Specified in this document of household regulations are two gentlemen and four servants, although there may have been other people within the chapel at this time.
An ordnance from the reign of Henry VI sets out the full membership of the chapel as of 1455: one Dean, 20 Chaplains and Clerks, seven Children, one Chaplain Confessor for the Household, one Yeoman. However, in the same year the clerks petitioned the King asking that their number be increased to 24 singing men due to "the grete labour that thei have daily in your chapell". From the reign of Edward IV further details survive. There were 26 chaplains and clerks, who were to be "cleare voysid" in their singing and "suffisaunt in Organes playing"; the children were supervised by a Master of Song, chosen by the dean from among the gentlemen of the Chapel. They were allocated supplies of meat and ale, their own servant. There were two Yeoman of the Chapel who acted as epistlers, reading from the bible during services; these were appointed from Children of the Chapel whose voices had broken. The chapel remained stable throughout the reign of Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries; the number of singers did vary during this period however, without apparent reason, from between twenty to thirty gentlemen and eight to ten children.
The chapel travelled with the King to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, on the second invasion of France. In the Tudor period, the chapel took on another, function that would gain in significance into the 17th century - that of performing in dramas. Both the gentlemen and children would act in pageants and plays for the royal family, held in court on feast days such as Christmas. For example at Christmas 1514, the play "The Triumph of Love and Beauty" was written and presented by William Cornysh Master of the Children, was performed to the King by members of the chapel including the children; the chapel achieved its greatest eminence during the reign of Elizabeth I, when William Byrd and Thomas Tallis were joint organists. The Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal had, until at least 1684, the power to impress promising boy trebles from provincial choirs for service in the chapel; the theatre company affiliated with the chapel, known as the Children of the Chapel Royal, produced plays at court and commercially until the 1620s by playwrights including John Lyly, Ben Jonson and George Chapman.
In the 17th century the chapel royal had its own building in Whitehall, which burned down in 1698. The English Chapel Royal became associated with Westminster Abbey, so that by 1625 over half of the Gentlemen of the English Chapel Royal were members of the Westminster Abbey choir. In the 18th century the choristers sang the soprano parts in performances of Handel's oratorios and other works. Under Charles II, the choir was augmented by violinists from the royal consort. In the United Kingdom, the Chapel Royal is a department of the Ecclesiastical Household, formally known as the royal "Free Chapel of the Household"; the household is further divided into two parts: an ecclesiastical household each for Scotland and England, belonging to the Church of Scotland and the Church of England respectively. Since such establishments are outside the usual diocesan structure, the chapels royal are royal peculiars. Scotland and England have distinct Deans of the Chapel Royal, that of England being held since 1748 by the Bishop of London, while daily control is vested in the Sub-Dean, presently the Revd Canon Paul Wright, Domestic Chaplain to the sovereign at Buckingham Palace.
He is assisted by the Revd William Whitcombe and the Revd Richard Bolton, who both hold the office of Priest in Ordinary to the Sovereign, Jon Simpson, Sergeant of the Vestry. The chapels royal are served by a choir, six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary and ten Children of the Chapel— all boys; the current Director of Music of the English Chapel Royal is Joe McHardy, assisted by a sub organist. The chapel royal occupies a number of buildings; the Chapel Royal conducts the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall and combines with the choir of the host abbey or cathedral on Royal Maundy. The principal locations in which the chapel operated have varied over the years. For example in the early Tudor period and in Elizabeth I's reign, the chapel's activity was centered around the Greenwich Palace and the Palace of Whitehall. Under Elizabeth II the chapel's primary location is at St James's Palace; the chapel at St James's has been used since 1702 and is the most used facility today. Located in the main block of St James's Palace, it was built c. 1540 and altered since
Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton
Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton, was an Irish and English politician. He was the only child and heir of Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton by his wife Isabella Bennet, 2nd Countess of Arlington, he succeeded to his father's titles on 9 October 1690. Grafton was one of the members of the Hanoverian-supporting Kit-Cat Club portrayed by Godfrey Kneller.. He served as Lord High Steward at King George I's coronation, becoming a Privy Counsellor in 1715 and a Knight of the Garter in 1721, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1720 to 1724 and Lord Chamberlain from 1724 until his death. In 1719 he was one of the main subscribers to the Royal Academy of Music, a corporation that produced baroque opera on the stage. In 1739 he supported the creation of what was to become one of London's most notable charities, the Foundling Hospital, he sat on that charity's original Court of Governors with such fellow Governors as the Duke of Bedford, the Lord Vere and the Lord Mayor of London. He married Lady Henrietta Somerset on 30 Apr 1713, daughter of Charles Somerset, Marquess of Worcester and Rebecca Child.
George FitzRoy, Earl of Euston. He was married 10 October 1741 to Lady Dorothy Boyle elder daughter of Richard Boyle, 4th Earl of Cork, 3rd Earl of Burlington and his wife Lady Dorothy Savile, daughter of William Savile, 2nd Marquess of Halifax; the Earl was notorious for mistreating his wife, who died seven months after their marriage, died childless. Lord Augustus FitzRoy, he was married to Elizabeth Cosby, daughter of Colonel William Cosby, who served as a colonial Governor of New York. They were parents to two sons, who founded branches of the family still extant today: Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton Charles FitzRoy, 1st Baron Southampton Lord Charles FitzRoy. Lady Caroline Fitzroy, she married William Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Harrington. They were parents to Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl of Harrington and other six children. Lady Harriet FitzRoy. Lady Isabella FitzRoy, she married 1st Marquess of Hertford. They were 2nd Marquess of Hertford and eleven other children, they were ancestors of Princess of Wales via their son Hugh.
The Duke fathered an illegitimate son, Charles FitzRoy-Scudamore. Grafton Street in Dublin was named after him. Grafton, Massachusetts is named after him. R. H. Nichols and F A. Wray, The History of the Foundling Hospital
Cliveden is a National Trust-owned estate in Buckinghamshire, on the border with Berkshire. The Italianate mansion, known as Cliveden House, crowns an outlying ridge of the Chiltern Hills close to the hilltop village of Taplow, just 2 miles from the riverside town of Maidenhead; the mansion sits on banks 40 metres above the River Thames, its grounds slope down to the river. Cliveden has been home to an earl, three countesses, two dukes, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor. Over the past decade, Cliveden has become one of the National Trust's most popular pay-for-entry visitor attractions, hosting 487,679 visitors in 2017; as home of Nancy Astor, Cliveden was the meeting place of the Cliveden Set of the 1920s and 30s—a group of political intellectuals. During the early 1960s, it became the setting for key events of the notorious Profumo Affair. During the 1970s, it was occupied by Stanford University. Today the house is leased by the National Trust as a five-star hotel. Cliveden means "valley among cliffs" and refers to the dene which cuts through part of the estate, east of the house.
Cliveden has been spelled differently over the centuries, some of the variations being Cliffden, Clifden and Clyveden. The 375 acres gardens and woodlands are open to the public, together with parts of the house on certain days. There have been three houses on this site: the first, built in 1666, burned down in 1795 and the second house was destroyed by fire, in 1849; the present Grade I listed house was built in 1851 by the architect Charles Barry for The 2nd Duke of Sutherland. Designed by Charles Barry in 1851 to replace a house destroyed by fire, the present house is a blend of the English Palladian style and the Roman Cinquecento; the Victorian three-storey mansion sits on a 400-foot long, 20-foot high brick terrace or viewing platform which dates from the mid-17th century. The exterior of the house is rendered in Roman cement, with terracotta additions such as balusters, capitals and finials; the roof of the mansion is meant for walking on, there is a circular view, above the tree-line, of parts of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire including Windsor Castle to the south.
Below the balustraded roofline is a Latin inscription which continues around the four sides of the house and recalls its history. On the west front it reads: POSITA INGENIO OPERA CONSILIO CAROLI BARRY ARCHIT A MDCCCLI, which translated reads: "The work accomplished by the brilliant plan of architect Charles Barry in 1851." The main contractor for the work was Lucas Brothers. In 1984–86 the exterior of the mansion was overhauled and a new lead roof installed by the National Trust, while interior repairs were carried out by Cliveden Hotel. In 2013, restoration work on the main house was carried out including the restoration of 300 sash windows and 20 timber doors; the interior of the house today is different from its original appearance in 1851–52. This is due to the 1st Lord Astor, who radically altered the interior layout and decoration c.1894–95. Whereas Barry's original interior for the Sutherlands had included a square entrance-hall, a morning room and a separate stairwell, Lord Astor wanted a more impressive entrance to Cliveden so he had all three rooms knocked into one large one.
His aim was to make the interior as much like an Italian palazzo as possible, which would complement the exterior. The ceiling and walls were panelled in English oak, with Corinthian columns and swags of carved flowers for decoration, all by architect Frank Pearson; the staircase newel posts are ornamented with carved figures representing previous owners by W. S. Frith. Astor installed a large 16th-century fireplace, bought from a Burgundian chateau, being pulled down. To the left of the fireplace is a portrait of Nancy, Lady Astor by the American portraitist John Singer Sargent; the room was and still is furnished with 18th-century suits of armour. The floor was covered with Minton encaustic tiles but Nancy Astor had them removed in 1906 and the present flagstones laid. Above the staircase is a painted ceiling by French artist Auguste Hervieu which depicts the Sutherlands' children painted as the four seasons; this is the only surviving element of Barry's 1851–52 interior and it is believed that Lord Astor considered it too beautiful to remove.
The French Dining Room is so-called because the 18th-century Rococo panelling came from the Château d'Asnières near Paris, a château, leased to Louis XV and his mistress Madame de Pompadour as a hunting lodge. When the panelling came up for sale in Paris in 1897, the 1st Lord Astor recognised that it would fit this room at Cliveden; the gilded panelling on a turquoise ground contains carvings of hares, hunting dogs and rifles. The console tables and buffet were made in 1900 to match the room; the main dining room of the house until the 1980s, today it is a private dining room with views over the Parterre and Thames. The second largest room on the ground floor, after the Great Hall, was the original drawing room which today is used as the hotel's main dining room and has river views. On the ground floor is the library, panelled in cedar wood, which the Astors used to call the "cigar box", next door, Nancy Astor's boudoir. Upstairs there are a total of 10 bedroom suites divided over two floors.
The East wing was and still is guest accommodation, whereas the West wing was domestic offices that were converted into more bedrooms in 1994. The nearby 100-foot