Boer War Discovery Page 92a

Rare Boer War Discoveries

Below are some of the items the Canadian Boer War Museum has added to its collections in its ongoing efforts to preserve important Canadian heritage memorabilia from this period.

Great Boer War Discoveries ( Apr. 2005)

Coronation Bash of 1902
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Edward VII & Alexandra Coronation Dinner Invitation, July 5, 1902
Orig. card - Size - 9.5 x 12.5"
Found - Norwood, ON
It's probably just as well the dinner never came off. Nobody bothered to fill in their name in eager anticipation. With two hosts looking as gloomy as they did in this invite, who would look forward to putting up with them for a dinner conversation.

Still this glorious advertising brochure embodies the finest elements from the peak of "art nouveau" creativity.

The Bash That Never Was: Liberated at a recent country auction was this rare, and magnificent large invitation card to the Coronation of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.

It is huge - almost 10 x 13 inches, and printed on heavy card. The colours are still as bright as the day it was printed. Obviously it has been in a cupboard for most of the century, and so shielded from the ulta-violet rays of the sun that fade so many paintings or prints that are out on display.

But this wildly awaited coronation bash - the first one in over sixty years - was never held...

Two days before the coronation, long planned for June 26, 1902, Edward was stricken with perityphlitis - something to do with his pancreas - and needed a serious operation.

When he recovered, it was already August and the food was cold.

He was finally crowned on Aug. 9, 1902.

Unfortunately the vast majority of memorabilia items made for his coronation - cups, busts, plates, saucers, jugs, and pictures - are all printed with the wrong June date.

Still this magnificent dinner invitation is a wonderful antique item of a time when a black man could reach across to touch a partially dressed - or is that undressed - white woman and not raise an eyebrow.

Still you could already see signs of the traditional strain in the Royal relationship. Edward has his back to his wife... And neither looks amused...

He was having a secret relationship with Mrs. Keppel, the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles, whose family is apparantly willing to serve the monarch at a moment's noice, in whatever capacity he may ordain. Apparantly she - like her great granny, before her - also likes to kneel for His Majesty.

Which is how she presented herself to Prince Charles some years ago, asking him politely, "So, how about it Chuck?" (Among his intimates, the Prince is known as "Chuck," like in "up chuck.")

Which offers a salutary lesson for young girls planning on getting into the Royal Family or becoming actresses... come to think of it, of wives of rich men everywhere...

And we thought going to school was important... Teachers, no doubt, fearing for their jobs. If the rest of the girls ever catch on to the secrets of Mrs. Keppel and her great granddaughter on how to be set for life...


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