Sunday, April 05, 2009

Grandmother of Europe

Queen Victoria was once described as the Grandmother of Europe since her many children and grandchildren married into so many of the Royal families of Europe - Spanish, Prussian, Russian etc.
Unfortunately Queen Victoria was a carrier of haemophilia and this was passed on to her descendants and played a part in the collapse of the European monarchies.

This statue of Queen Victoria and her daughters is in the Cimiez district of Nice. It was placed there in 1912 to commemorate the Queen's visits to Nice.
During the Occupation of Nice during WWII , the Queen's head was knocked off the statue but the damage was repaired after the war ended.

Queen Victoria spent several holidays in Nice , exploring the arera by carriage and train and she adored the battle of the flowers and othe rlocal festivals.
On her deathbed she is reported as syaing, "Oh, if only I were at Nice, I should recover."

This is Victoria's hotel in Cimiez - the Excelsior Hotel Regina. It was deliberately built to attract the Queen's businesss and was built in front of the hotel she had stayed in previously, destroying the view.

The building is enormous and at the time it was built many people thought it was ugly and out of place in the Cimiez since it is right beside the Roman amphitheatre.

It is a totally over the top confection , like a wedding cake gone wild.

This is the part of the builiding reserved for Queen Victoria and her party. The tower has a little crown on top to show off the Royal connections.

The west wing of the Regina building with the crown on top of the domed roof of the turret. It resembles the small crown that Queen Victoria wore after her husband, Albert, died , although the real one was made of silver to signify mourning.

A gate into the private gardens of the Regina building. The little crown is part of the decorative ironwork. Initially the garden paths were laid out for easy access by the Queen's wheelchair. The gardens were quite elaborate and had croquet lawns, tennis courts, cycle paths and a tropical green house.

The Excelsior Hotel Regina closed in 1937 and Queen Victori'as coat of arms was removed from the private chapel and placed in the Holy Trnity Chrich in Nice where she worshipped once .

The former hotel is now subdivided into chic apartments and offices.


Magpie Magic said...

Interesting history and lovely pictures. Like the new banner too!

Anonymous said...

You got a lot of great pictures all over your blog, Alison! Good job.