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Archive for the ‘Georgiana’ Category

This blog is devoted to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and other ideas related to women’s empowerment and women in history. So, there have been some Jane Eyre/Charlotte Bronte threads, and some Jane Austen threads.

Overall, I am not a great fan of the monarchy and royalty. I enjoy meditating on more democratic, egalitarian, and feminist ways to shape society. Though, I felt like the news about Jane Austen and Kate Middleton gave me entree to post a few pieces of royal watching interest. See more below the Jezebel story…

(excerpt from)Jezebel

Kate Middleton and Jane Austen Are Related

Ancestry.com has discovered that Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge…and Jane Austen are are eleventh cousins, six times removed… “Finding this connection between the Duchess of Cambridge and Jane Austen is very exciting since, in many ways, Catherine is the modern Jane Austen heroine: a middle-class girl marrying the future King of England.”

More Royal Watching News:

My husband and I have started a new project. It is a website called
Peace Couple. The first project on Peace Couple is a royal tour by The Duke and Duchess of Peace. Their tour of America happens to coincide with the North American tour of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Duchess Catherine. The Duke and Duchess of Peace have very different ideas of what it means to be royal.

More Royal Watching (and a Georgiana mention):

With all that dismissing of royalty aside, I have to confess something. I love Princess Diana. And, while I was Princess Diana watching, I became interested in the life of Sarah, Duchess of York (Sarah Ferguson). And, Sarah Ferguson is related to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire — Sarah Ferguson is a descendent of Georgiana’s love child, Eliza.

So, my mom asked me to take her to meet Sarah Ferguson at a local book signing, and I couldn’t say no. Below are some fun photos of Sarah, Duchess of York, who was on Long Island yesterday, June 28th:

June 28, 2011: Sarah, Duchess of York and fans

Sign at Book Revue announcing Sarah Ferguson

Sarah, Duchess of York signing her new book

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Georgiana's Feathers

Princess Beatrice’s Famous Royal Wedding Hat
(see video at bottom of this post)

If you are a fan of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire — born 1757, died 1806, glorified in the movie “The Duchess” — then you probably know that Sarah Ferguson and her daughters are descendents of Georgiana. Their family tree extends from Eliza, the love child of Georgiana and Sir Charles Grey.

Georgiana was known for known for her trend-setting fashions, and also, for her ability to use fashion to send a message and garnish attention. So, it is not surprising that Princess Beatrice’s daring wedding hat has inspired a FaceBook page which is at 115,000 hits (As of Sunday evening, 5/1/2011) and climbing. Georgiana’s hat choices were often shocking or problematic. So, it is not out of the family tradition for Princess Beatrice’s hat’s most popular page to be a critique. In fact, it is called, “Princess-Beatrices-Ridiculous-Royal-Wedding-Hat FaceBook Page”.

If you would like to defend Princess Beatrice, and the artistic leap of faith she took, you might consider joining, “Royal Wedding Hats – In Defense of Princess Beatrice and Her Lovely Hat FaceBook Page”. Which, I am sorry to say, stands at only 407 members. (more…)

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Did the movie “The Duchess” (2008) have a happy ending?

More, importantly, did the life of Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire (nee Lady Georgiana Spencer, born 1757) have a happy ending?

Here are the answers to nearly every question about what happened to Georgiana:

Note: Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire is an ancestor of Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. 

Did Georgiana ever “produce a male heir”? Yes. She had a child with her husband, the 5th Duke. Her son was William Hartington Spencer and he became the 6th Duke.  So, both Georgiana and the 5th Duke felt like they had an heir who would carry on. (Though, “Hart” never had children.)

Did the male heir save the Devonshire name and riches for Georgiana and The Duke’s family? No…but it was saved. (more…)

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This is about a modern debate. Models are expected to be so skinny. So, the fashion industry tends to use models 16-years-old and under. So, they are considering rules (they now have some loose policies that are not working) about how and how much to use models under 18 years old. Interesting in a Lady Georgiana Spencer perspective. Because, Georgiana, too, was exploited for her beauty at a young age. For Georgiana, it was about being an elegant wife, and a young and talented beauty who was expected could give birth to an heir.

As New York Fashion Week rolls out runway, too-skinny model debate turns to age
By Samantha Critchell, AP / February 10th, 2010

Would older models quell too-skinny debate?

NEW YORK — The models auditioning for New York Fashion Week were undeniably thin. But it was only after the fashion industry started worrying about too-skinny models that casting agent James Scully began asking their age. (more…)

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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough, 1787

Want an easy way to dress as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire?

There are many costumes you can buy that are “Marie Antoinette” of France. Since Marie Antoinette and “The Duchess”, Georgiana Spencer, were contemporaries and friends, an Antoinette costume should convey the same overall impression. And, after the movie “The Duchess” being a pretty good hit, people might even get who you mean to be. (Or, you can always go home-spun and find some dress in your closet that looks poofy and old-fashioned with a little scoop to the neckline.)

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The Duchess DVD is available

Some differences you might notice, or adjust your costume for:

-Marie Antoinette was from France, Georgiana was from England. (You could even hold an English Flag.)

-Marie Antoinette is usually portrayed with white, powdered hair, Georgiana is usually portrayed with goldish or reddish hair. (more…)

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The costumes for the movie “The Duchess” were gorgeous and detailed. The subject of the movie, Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire, nee Lady Georgiana Spencer, was known for being a fashion plate, and for using fashion in the service of politics. So, it is only appropriate. At the movie web-site, you can see the costumes, created by Michael O’Connor, in unique windows with the ability to zoom in and turn the costume around. If you want to see some pretty 18th century style dresses, you should click on: here. There is also an interesting dress, with a military flavor, which shows how Georgiana would dress up in the colors of her party, the Whig Party.

So, now, The Duchess has received the Oscar for “Best Costume.” Very nice. Hope it brings attention to the story of Georgiana. She was a fascinating woman.

Do you wonder what Georgiana would say about the fact that the movie portraying her life, and her character as “The Empress of Fashion”, won an Academy Award for Best Costume? With Georgiana, the answer is easy.

As noted similarly at several sources, including Wikipedia, Georgiana had the same response to all compliments. The story goes that when Georgiana was stepping out of her carriage one day, an Irish dustman exclaimed, “Love and bless you, my lady, let me light my pipe in your eyes!”, a compliment which she often recalled whenever others complimented her by retorting, “After the dustman’s compliment, all others are insipid.”

Hope you will browse the Georgiana Circle web-site, and leave any of your thoughts about Georgiana, the movie, the Academy Awards, or 18th century fashion.

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I stumbled across this piece when doing on-line searches for Georgiana. The auction site is: here.

It is a beautiful painting of Georgiana, done after her death, but based on the 1787 original from Thomas Gainsborough.

“Ferdinand van Stoopendaal (Swedish, b. 1850), “Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire”, oil on canvas, after the 1787 original by Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727-1788), 16 in. x 20 in., framed”

A wonderful tribute to Lady Georgiana Spencer, ancestor to Princess Diana. Lady Georgiana Spencer later became the Duchess of Devonshire.

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