Sunday, 5 May 2013

Regency Snippets - Prince Regent & the Army & His palaces.

"Of one activity the Prince Regent never tired. He would have made, it was said, a splendid upholsterer. He filled Army Orders with instructions about epaulettes, gold lace and feathers, sent the 23rd Dragoons to Spain so arrayed that the could not be distinguished from the French, and rigged out his own Regiment of Hussars like padded monkeys in crimson breeches and yellow boots. 'His whole soul is wrapped in Hussar saddles, caps,cuirasses and sword belts.

Yet wonderful as were the costumes he designed, they were surpassed by the settings he chose for them. His guests complained that the splendour of his rooms made their clothes insignificant. This palaces were constantly being rebuilt. Sydney Smith remarked that the Brighton Pavillion looked as if The Krelin had pupped. Its walls decorated with mandarins and flluted yellow draperies, its peach blossom ceilings and canopies of tassels and bells, its imperial five-clawed dragons darting from every chandelier and overmantel. Outre and grotesque it was yet informed by its creator's exquisite taste. On its statuary carpets, pictures - he was an early collector of Dutch masters - china and ormulu he lavished an inexhaustible care.

...Carlton House rivalled St Cloud and Versailles."

The Age of Elegance. Arthur Bryant