February’s Letter from the Curator (2020)

Dear Friends,

February – it can be a bit bleak and cold but at the heart of the month is St. Valentine’s Day and I know lots of couples, some of whom have been married for decades, still send romantic cards and flowers. It is a charming tradition and not all about the card making industry but also about a moment to pause in what can be a cynical world and look again at those you love to remind yourself what joy there is to be had in the love of another. A male friend of mine bought his wife a heart shaped loo brush, unsurprisingly – the divorce was as colourful as their marriage had been!

There have been lots of proposals of marriage it seems over Christmas and New Year with enquiries coming in every day to the castle wedding team now. Happy days ahead for many in 2020 and 2021.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of a wedding at the castle, or a surprise proposal to warm the cockles of a winter’s day do call 01283 812129.

I have just launched the magnificent queen, Katherine of Aragon making my first appearance in mid-January in the cathedral of Peterborough where she is buried.  Queen Katherine was the tragic first wife of Henry VIII. Her Grace was neglected, openly humiliated and an attempt was made to wipe away her marriage to Henry VIII from the history books. Why? Because she had failed to produce a living male heir to the throne. Her ‘sin’ was unforgiven by the King with Katherine taking all the blame. There only surviving child was a daughter Mary, who would go on to be Queen Mary 1st. known as “Bloody Mary”.  

Queen Katherine of Aragon was no weakling though and fought against divorce with all her might standing up against the bitterness of her marriage being hauled out in detail into the public domain. Katherine of Aragon can be underestimated but in truth she was a giantess amongst women being both courageous and fantastically well-educated having born into one of the most warlike families in Europe. her tale is compelling, and I hope you will be able to see her for yourselves. The costume is astonishing and a fabulous piece of work with one main costumier- Shirley Newton and a chapel headdress made by probably the most famous historical headdress maker in Britain “Kats Hats”. The castle staff came up to see me dressed in it for the first time and there were cries of astonishment at the sight of it. It is every bit as sumptuous as my Queen Elizabeth 1st. gown so worth seeing and the tale worth hearing!

Events for February are: –

Friday 14th February – Valentine’s Three Course