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Queen Elizabeth II attends the BQIPCO British Champions Day 2014 at Ascot Racecourse on October 18, 2014 in Ascot, Berkshire, England.

© Tristan Fewings/Getty Images UK

October 18, 2014

Son inherits 12th Duke of Marlborough title but Blenheim Palace stays with trustees

BLENHEIM Palace will remain under the control of trustees as the late Duke of Marlborough’s heir – Jamie Spencer-Churchill – inherited his father’s title.

After the estate announced the death of its custodian at midday on thursday, former Marquess of Blandford Jamie Spencer-Churchill, 58, known as Jamie Blandford, was confirmed as the 12th Duke of Marlborough.

A palace spokesman declined to comment on whether the 12th Duke – who had a well-publicised drug addiction – inherit his family’s residence, but it is understood he could become a trustee of the companies that run it.

The 11,500-acre palace and its vast grounds, designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987, are thought to be worth £100m.

It was the Duke’s life’s work to preserve it for future generations and it has grown in recent years into one of Britain’s most notable tourist attractions, bringing in about 500,000 visitors every year.

The Duke introduced the Pleasure Gardens, including the railway, maze and Butterfly House, and also established the Churchill Exhibition.

The palace has become a venue for a wide variety of events including location shoots for films and movies, and charity events, including the Oxford Mail-backedOX5 Run for the Children’s Hospital.

In 1994 the estate was at the centre of a bitter court battle, when the 11th Duke attempted to safeguard it from his son, the Marquess.

The Duke won at the High Court in 1994 and was later reported as saying: “I think there have been black sheep in every family and there’s nothing new about that.”

However the two later appeared to improve their relations when the Marquess – who during the 1990s spent several spells in prison and had a drug addiction – reformed his behaviour in 2012.

Now according to the Land Registry, the palace is owned by two bodies called Blenheim Trustee Company Limited, numbered “1” and “2”. Both are shown by Companies House to have had the same 10 appointments to their trustee boards in March this year – including Sir Rocco Forte, owner of Rocco Forte Hotels, as well as the Withers Trust Corporation.

Also on the board is Lord Edward Albert Charles Spencer-Churchill, the 11th Duke’s 40-year-old son to his third ex-wife, Countess Rosita Douglas-Stjernorp.

He was appointed as a director in 2007.

The palace was given to the first Duke of Marlborough John Churchill by Queen Anne and a grateful nation, after his famous victory over the French at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704.

Talking about safeguarding the palace’s future, the 11th Duke said: “Although the Battle of Blenheim was won in 1704, the Battle for Blenheim continues in the unceasing struggle to maintain the structure of the building and to obtain the finance for the future.”

A GIFT OF VICTORY OVER THE FRENCH

  • SITUATED in a beautiful 11,500-acre estate, Blenheim Palace in Woodstock was built in the early 18th century in the Baroque style.
  • Its opulent splendour attracts tourists from across the globe, partly for its grandeur, and partly because it is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
  • Boasting 187 rooms, the palace is larger than both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
  • It was built as a gift for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, as a reward for his victories against the French and Bavarians during the War of the Spanish Succession, ending in 1704 with the Battle of Blenheim.
  • The palace was built between 1705 and about 1722.
  • At the end of the 19th century, the palace was saved by cash from the Ninth Duke of Marlborough’s marriage to American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.
  • It was named a World Heritage Site in 1987.

Blenheim Palace

Prince Harry attended the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala Dinner in aid of WellChild at Royal Hospital Chelsea on October 16, 2014 in London, England.

Prince Harry is patron of the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Philanthropic Initiatives.

© WPA Pool/Getty Images UK

(Source: thebritishnobility)

October 16, 2014

Queen lays wreath at Tower of London poppy memorial

Queen Elizabeth II has paid tribute to British and Commonwealth First World War dead by visiting a unique poppy memorial commemorating their sacrifice at the Tower of London.

Amid the sea of ceramic blood red poppies, Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh laid their own wreath to commemorate the dead.

The Tower of London has filled its iconic moat with thousands of ceramic poppies to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The creator, ceramic artist Paul Cummins, will fill the evolving installation with 888,246 poppies, honouring each British and Colonial soldier that died during the war.

The last poppy will be planted on 11 November, symbolically marking the end of the First World War.

(Source: BBC)

October 16, 2014

The Duke of Marlborough has died, aged 88, Blenheim Palace announces

The Duke of Marlborough has died, Blenheim Palace has confirmed this afternoon.

A Blenheim Palace spokesman said: “With great sadness, we announce that the 11th Duke of Marlborough passed away peacefully this morning.

"As per his wishes the Palace will be open today."

The Duke was 88. The circumstances around his death has not been released.

The flag at the entrance of Blenheim Palace is flying at halfmast. The Palace confirmed at 2pm the stately home and grounds would be shut tomorrow as a mark of respect.

A spokesman has said this afternoon The Duke’s funeral will be on Friday, October 24, although the details are being finalised.

Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to a man he called a good man and a friend.

He said: “I am greatly saddened to hear of the death of the Duke of Marlborough. To me, he was not only the Vice-President of my Association but also a good man and friend.

"His Grace will be deeply missed by all those he worked alongside at Blenheim and by the town of Woodstock where he played such a positive and active role in the community he loved.

"My thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends at this sad time."

He was born John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, the Duke was cousin of the war-time Conservative Prime Minister and  a distant relative of Diana, Princess of Wales.

He had been married four times and has four surviving children. They are his heir Lord Jamie, 58, and Lord Edward, 40, Lady Alexandra, 37, and Lady Henrietta, 56.

His last marriage was in  December 2008 in the Private Chapel at Blenheim to the Iranian-born Lily Mahtani née Sahni, former wife of Ratan Mahtani, a wealthy Indian expatriate businessman.

He took the title in 1972 following the death of his father John Albert William Spencer-Churchill.

The Duke has devoted his life towards the upkeep of the stately Blenheim Palace, balancing it as a tourist desitnation against preserving the World Heritage site.

He had said: “Although the Battle of Blenheim was won in 1704, the Battle for Blenheim continues in the unceasing struggle to maintain the structure of the building and to obtain the finance for the future.”

He introduced the Pleasure Gardens, including the railway, maze and Butterfly House, and also set up the Churchill Exhibition in the Palace. He also restored his father’s private (secret) gardens in 2004, as part of the tercentenary celebrations of the Battle of Blenheim.

He has also overseen the Palace’s growth as a venue for a wide variety of events from the filming of big budget movies through to charity events, such as our own Ox5 Run in aid of the Oxford Children’s Hospital. The Duke has kindly donated the use of the Palace grounds for that charity event.

Oxford Mail regional sales manager Tom Mitchell said: “We are deeply saddened at the death of the Duke.

"Without his generosity and support the OX5 Run would not have raised the hundreds of thousands of pounds it has over the past 13 years.”

Blenheim Palace

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the Tower of London on October 16, 2014 in London, England.

© Chris Jackson/Getty Images UK

ukinusa:

The Queen Awards Honorary Knighthood to Michael Bloomberg
The award recognises Mr Bloomberg’s entrepreneurial and philanthropic work, and the economic & cultural links he’s built between the UK and US.
UK Ambassador to the US Sir Peter Westmacott, praised Mr Bloomberg’s exceptional contribution to the UK through his public service:

As Mayor of New York, as a businessman, and as a philanthropist, Mike Bloomberg has played a key role in forging transatlantic diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties. He has made a significant contribution to British business life through his firm, Bloomberg L.P., and the impact of his considerable philanthropic endeavours in the arts and education is felt by Britons every day.

Read more ›

ukinusa:

The Queen Awards Honorary Knighthood to Michael Bloomberg

The award recognises Mr Bloomberg’s entrepreneurial and philanthropic work, and the economic & cultural links he’s built between the UK and US.

UK Ambassador to the US Sir Peter Westmacott, praised Mr Bloomberg’s exceptional contribution to the UK through his public service:

As Mayor of New York, as a businessman, and as a philanthropist, Mike Bloomberg has played a key role in forging transatlantic diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties. He has made a significant contribution to British business life through his firm, Bloomberg L.P., and the impact of his considerable philanthropic endeavours in the arts and education is felt by Britons every day.

Read more ›

Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the Bahamas holds an audience with Dame Marguerite Pindling upon her appointment as Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and invested her with the Insignia of a Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George at Buckingham Palace on October 14, 2014 in London, England.

© WPA Pool/Getty Images UK

Pipers of the Trenches (2014)

For four hundred years or more, Highland regiments advanced and attacked to the sound of the bagpipes. In the Great War, pipers climbed out of the trenches, unarmed, to face machine guns and shells. Thedescendants of those men return to the battlefields to discover individual stories of unparalleled bravery.

(Source: BBC)

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! 🍁🍁🍁

© Government of Canada 🍁

(Source: thebritishnobility)