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2 Jun 2012

News to Novels #19

A Royal theme for the Jubilee.  Royalty history can be full of dark secrets, mysteries and future kings and queens who have grown up knowing they're time to rule is coming. 

British royalty dined on human flesh (but don't worry it was 300 years ago)
They have long been famed for their love of lavish banquets and rich recipes. But what is less well known is that the British royals also had a taste for human flesh.  A new book on medicinal cannibalism has revealed that possibly as recently as the end of the 18th century British royalty swallowed parts of the human body.  The author adds that this was not a practice reserved for monarchs but was widespread among the well-to-do in Europe.

Dynasty of decadence: Behind the Romanov's glittering facade lay an epic saga of depravity and unspeakable cruelty
The Romanov dynasty lasted 300 years: the lives of its tsars and emperors and empresses is a bejewelled but bloodsplattered chronicle of assassinations, adulteries, tortures, secret marriages, coups, reckless rises and brutal falls.  It is peopled by heroic, brilliant statesmen, soldiers and reformers - as well as nymphomaniacs, martinets, murderers, blunderers, monsters, megalomaniacs and lunatics.   But throughout, Russia's tsars projected their country's greatness in the majestic flamboyance of their clothes, a never-ending parade of ermine, gold and diamonds.

Sounds like the very first soap opera methinks. 

DNA tests finally solve the riddle of what happened to the last tsar's two children
For 90 years, it has been an enduring mystery - did some members of the Russian royal family survive execution by the Bolsheviks in 1918? Now DNA tests carried out on two sets of bones found in the Ural Mountains appear to have solved the riddle. Forensic experts say initial results show the human remains belong to 13-year-old Crown Prince Alexei and his sister Princess Maria, 19.

Lost in thought and empty with grief: The historic picture taken hours after Princess Elizabeth learned her father had died... and she was to become Queen

For any kind of Prince or Princess in reality or being outlined in a fantasy novel, how scared would they be growing up, knowing that any minute their father or mother could die and the responsibilities would be passed on to them.  From teenagers to their early twenties, some have come to the throne young and inexperienced.  It'd make for an interesting character.

Happy Jubilee! 


  1. Since I lived in England for many years growing up, I have a fascination with the royal family. (or royal families from other countries). Thanks for the interesting links.

  2. Eww.... but very interesting. Very haunting picture of Queen, then princess, Elizabeth.

  3. The photo is so, so sad. I saw it yesterday and I can't imagine how she must have felt, knowing her father had died and she was to ascend to the throne.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy Jubilee!!!!