The next morning in Vienna we set off to visit the Belvedere Palace a complex of palaces built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Yes, there are two palaces plus an orangery and stables. We walked from the hotel so I was pretty exhausted by the time we got there, it must have been in the hundreds of meters.
It was a bit puzzling to see two palaces facing each other with gardens in between, I wondered if it was a ‘his and her’ situation but it seems they were hardly occupied as the royal family members had lots of other palaces to choose from. Today they are art galleries, but on one occasion when Maria Antonia married the French Dauphin (later to become Louis XVI) they hosted a ball there for 16,000 close personal friends. That’s more than I have on Twitter, FB and BookBub combined. You wouldn’t like to pop here and follow me, would you? It will just take a second.
King Henry also has a problem with his wife Blanche. After 13 years she still hasn’t produced any offspring and Henry is also finding her rather boring in bed, so he has the marriage annulled on the grounds of “por impotancia respective.” (And no, I’m not going into that here). This is a family blog.
Here she is and butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth – poor lady. She was shipped off back to her parents and locked away for the rest of her life. Have I persuaded you yet that you DON’T want to be a princess?
Some say that due to witchcraft the marriage was never consummated, and they subjected poor Blanche to an examination to prove she was still a virgin. The priests also questioned the prostitutes in and around Sergovia who all attested that King Henry was more than capable. (Well they would, wouldn’t they? Can you imagine the consequences if they said he was rubbish in the bedroom?) Below is a picture of Sergovia a few years later.
I was incredibly privileged to have the opportunity of filming in deep rural areas and visiting places where tourists and even locals rarely go and I saw so many examples of the tenacity of the human spirit, especially in the educational sector. Despite having minimal funds these head teachers and staff worked miracles.
I’ve included many of these schemes in my books about my experiences in rural Africa – Truth, Lies and Propaganda, and I will tell you about some over the next few weeks.
Many blogs do state how important a book cover is, and maybe I could improve on this, but these guys were my crew and the book is also for them in memory of the times we spent together – so it’s staying as it is!
Until next time, take care