Category Archives: Majesty

Royally buzzed

“Even the mummies stand up and walk when they drink Vin Mariani!”

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Royally buzzed

“Even the mummies stand up and walk when they drink Vin Mariani!”

The Fall of the House of Witte

Otto recorded his account as memoir; it fell to others to gently shepherd his kingship back to fiction where it belonged.

The Fall of the House of Witte

Otto recorded his account as memoir; it fell to others to gently shepherd his kingship back to fiction where it belonged.

Circles: Ludwig II/Sissi

The Austrian empress and the Bavarian king were cousins and might have been in-laws as well if Ludwig hadn’t broken off his engagement with Sissi’s sister Sophie.

Circles: Ludwig II/Sissi

The Austrian empress and the Bavarian king were cousins and might have been in-laws as well if Ludwig hadn’t broken off his engagement with Sissi’s sister Sophie.

Ludwig at the movies

Ludwig II is back on screen at the end of this year in a new German production, a hundred years since his first film appearance, more or less. Here are ten milestones of the Bavarian king’s cinematic century.

Ludwig at the movies

Ludwig II is back on screen at the end of this year in a new German production, a hundred years since his first film appearance, more or less. Here are ten milestones of the Bavarian king’s cinematic century.

Ludwig-Viktor-Gasse

“Luzi Wuzi”, as Ludwig Viktor was often known, adored balls. He was light on his feet and good with colours, and even frocked up for the occasional theatrical performance. But still the emperor didn’t twig that his brother was not as other men.

Ludwig-Viktor-Gasse

“Luzi Wuzi”, as Ludwig Viktor was often known, adored balls. He was light on his feet and good with colours, and even frocked up for the occasional theatrical performance. But still the emperor didn’t twig that his brother was not as other men.

Places: The Astana

Through Sylvia’s eyes we witness Sarawakian etiquette, a marked difference from the days when she “came and went without ceremony and usually in a bus”. And we accompany her through The Astana, which she describes as “a fantastic medley of beauty and bad taste”.

Places: The Astana

Through Sylvia’s eyes we witness Sarawakian etiquette, a marked difference from the days when she “came and went without ceremony and usually in a bus”. And we accompany her through The Astana, which she describes as “a fantastic medley of beauty and bad taste”.

Sewell on Ludwig

Art critic Brian Sewell was interviewed on BBC Radio about his passion for everyone’s favourite dead Bavarian, King Ludwig II. Hearing those extraordinary vowels work themselves around the idiosyncrasies of the Dream King is a pleasure of rare refinement.

Sewell on Ludwig

Art critic Brian Sewell was interviewed on BBC Radio about his passion for everyone’s favourite dead Bavarian, King Ludwig II. Hearing those extraordinary vowels work themselves around the idiosyncrasies of the Dream King is a pleasure of rare refinement.

Sissi on horseback

Sissi would drive her mount faster and faster, often leaving other members of her party thrown and wounded in their attempts to keep up. The empress, who courted oblivion as if it were a reluctant paramour, called one of her horses “Nihilist”.

Sissi on horseback

Sissi would drive her mount faster and faster, often leaving other members of her party thrown and wounded in their attempts to keep up. The empress, who courted oblivion as if it were a reluctant paramour, called one of her horses “Nihilist”.

The 12-step Sissi lifestyle plan

Looking out from official portraits with her radiant skin, torrents of chestnut hair and tiny waist, Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty seems to be saying “this doesn’t just happen, you know”. And it really, really didn’t: maintaining it all was a full time occupation.

The 12-step Sissi lifestyle plan

Looking out from official portraits with her radiant skin, torrents of chestnut hair and tiny waist, Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty seems to be saying “this doesn’t just happen, you know”. And it really, really didn’t: maintaining it all was a full time occupation.

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 3

The choice of blue plaque honourees is leadenly conservative and sometimes bafflingly perverse, celebrating lesser colonial administrators known only to their mothers. Or it may be that current residents would rather not have their homes associated with drunks, deviants and diabolists.

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 3

The choice of blue plaque honourees is leadenly conservative and sometimes bafflingly perverse, celebrating lesser colonial administrators known only to their mothers. Or it may be that current residents would rather not have their homes associated with drunks, deviants and diabolists.

The white caliph

Gerard MacBryan was described as a “complete crook”, a “quisling”, an “undesirable character”, “a kind of evil genius”. He was the heir to an asylum and his tale embraces intrigue, treachery and a descent into Heart of Darkness-style tropical insanity.

The white caliph

Gerard MacBryan was described as a “complete crook”, a “quisling”, an “undesirable character”, “a kind of evil genius”. He was the heir to an asylum and his tale embraces intrigue, treachery and a descent into Heart of Darkness-style tropical insanity.

The quest for Backhouse

Backhouse evidently roamed the globe, summering in Russia with Tolstoy, discovering the joys of eunuch sex in Constantinople and appearing on stage with Sarah Bernhardt in Paris…even the Dowager Empress herself succumbed to his charms.

The quest for Backhouse

Backhouse evidently roamed the globe, summering in Russia with Tolstoy, discovering the joys of eunuch sex in Constantinople and appearing on stage with Sarah Bernhardt in Paris…even the Dowager Empress herself succumbed to his charms.

Riviera rani

Raj overlords from King George V down frowned on the mixed-race marriage; the British deployed protocol with practiced, passive-aggressive pettiness (as they would later with Wallis Simpson and Diana Spencer).

Riviera rani

Raj overlords from King George V down frowned on the mixed-race marriage; the British deployed protocol with practiced, passive-aggressive pettiness (as they would later with Wallis Simpson and Diana Spencer).

Phantom of the empire

She haunted Europe’s pleasure spots in widow’s weeds, a gothic freak show of peek-a-boo solipsism, a fan shielding her from the gaze of the hated hoi polloi. If she was seen at all it was in silhouette, like Marlene Dietrich in Maximilian Schell’s documentary, and for the same reason – neither could bear to disturb the earlier image the public had of her.

Phantom of the empire

She haunted Europe’s pleasure spots in widow’s weeds, a gothic freak show of peek-a-boo solipsism, a fan shielding her from the gaze of the hated hoi polloi. If she was seen at all it was in silhouette, like Marlene Dietrich in Maximilian Schell’s documentary, and for the same reason – neither could bear to disturb the earlier image the public had of her.

Let them eat kuchen

So after I posted a couple of days ago about Ludwig II I remembered I had some photos kicking around somewhere of the palace Herrenchiemsee and its surrounds which I visited almost 10 years ago. Situated between Munich and Salzburg,

Let them eat kuchen

So after I posted a couple of days ago about Ludwig II I remembered I had some photos kicking around somewhere of the palace Herrenchiemsee and its surrounds which I visited almost 10 years ago. Situated between Munich and Salzburg,

Rex Luna

Both Ludwig and Sissi took the abstractions of Romanticism and not only made them reality but practised them at the level of an extreme sport. In so doing they inspired the Decadent writers who furthered the Romantics’ cult of self.

Rex Luna

Both Ludwig and Sissi took the abstractions of Romanticism and not only made them reality but practised them at the level of an extreme sport. In so doing they inspired the Decadent writers who furthered the Romantics’ cult of self.

King of the end of the world

The flimsiest of regal claims can find credulous posthumous supporters, and to this day, the North American Araucanian Royalist Society continues to detail the line of descent from King Orélie I with impressive earnestness.

King of the end of the world

The flimsiest of regal claims can find credulous posthumous supporters, and to this day, the North American Araucanian Royalist Society continues to detail the line of descent from King Orélie I with impressive earnestness.

The great pretender

Who doesn’t like a good faux-king? Anyone can be a self-made man, but being a self-made king, that takes orbs. So far on Strange Flowers we’ve explored putative rulers of Andorra, Albania and the Ukraine, as well as the ever-so-slightly-made-up kingdoms of Redonda and Sedang.

The great pretender

Who doesn’t like a good faux-king? Anyone can be a self-made man, but being a self-made king, that takes orbs. So far on Strange Flowers we’ve explored putative rulers of Andorra, Albania and the Ukraine, as well as the ever-so-slightly-made-up kingdoms of Redonda and Sedang.

The Katyn connection

In 1943, Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk published the Katyn Manifesto, which (correctly) blamed the massacre on the Soviets. For the British, allied with the Soviets since 1941, the revelations were supremely unwelcome…

The Katyn connection

In 1943, Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk published the Katyn Manifesto, which (correctly) blamed the massacre on the Soviets. For the British, allied with the Soviets since 1941, the revelations were supremely unwelcome…

Dress-down Friday: Sissi

From her dark hair fell a veil of black. Black were the ornaments in her hair, black her pearls, everything black, only her face was marble-white and ineffably sad…

Dress-down Friday: Sissi

From her dark hair fell a veil of black. Black were the ornaments in her hair, black her pearls, everything black, only her face was marble-white and ineffably sad…