Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Day at Blenheim

We've lived in England for a total of four years next month and never made it to Blenheim Palace, seat of the Duke of Marlborough, for a tour. I drove my Texas friends there for a visit in late September and it was just lovely. The home is immense, and the family still resides there.

The interior was as ornate as you would expect in a *home* of this size. 

As always, the aristocracy liked nothing better than a bunch of family portraits, some tapestries and ceiling frescoes to pretty up the place. Above is a lovely likeness of American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt whose father wielded the family wealth to marry her into a European title during the Gilded Age when loveless marriages were commonplace for the nouveau riche in the US. She produced an heir and a spare, then promptly divorced the duke and married a man of her own choosing. 

Just what every home needs, its own chapel and organ for Sunday services. To God be the glory, indeed.

No doubt my ancestors polished the silver, emptied chamberpots or clipped the hedges a couple centuries ago before they immigrated to the US. The gardens along the wing of the castle fronting the river were beautifully maintained. It was an incredibly verdant setting and very peaceful. It's handy to have a lot of acreage that insulates you from the hoi polloi. 

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