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THE ROYAL FAMILY.

THROUGH AMERICAN EYES

The editor. of the San Francisco "Argonaut," who, as a member of the American Press corps, paid a visit, to ' the Royal Family at Sandringham, ! supplies the following intimate and { characteristic sketch: — ! The King is a better looking man 'than indicated by photographs, which fail at the point of reflecting the vivacity and charm of a cordial habit. He has the appearance of an English country gentleman, not an imposing personality,-but one of definite dignity. He has. the rather husky voice of a. man who smokes over-much, and. his manner is the freest and theJriendneßt. "I was on the American, front recent-, lv," he said in talking with a smallgroup, "in the midst of a company of officers, when I heard one of your chaps ask, pointing to me: ' Who is that bug ?' Told that I was the King of England, he sneered: 'King of England ! Hell! Where is his crown .!".' During: the afternoon, which we spent in varied and pleasantly informal ways, there were many incidents similarly illustrative of social good nature. We walked to York Cottage, a relatively small house within the" Sandringham grounds, the real Borne of the King and Queen. All their children were born there, and it is the place of their most intimate affections. Approaching the door with the Queen, I stood back for i her to enter, and she in turn motioned !me to proceed. There was a moment of I backing and filling, when I remarked: "I am probably not the first man whose cordiality has sought to make

you at home m your own house. it there was any touch of humour in that remark. I am bound to confess that she did not see it: and this. I suspect, is her characteristic mental attitude. A handsome woman, and unquestionably :■> woman of fine character, rigidly fixed in respect of the social standards wo style' Victorian, she is lacking in the rrraces of temperament. With entire friendliness she showed us over York Cotta.ee—a comfortable domestic establishment of modest proportions, but not marked by ■ modern taste. I particularly noted that its art was of a sort familiar in American.houses which have not in recent years undergone the "doi"G over" process. The " Stag at Bay," "The Lovers' Quarrel," \" Tho Reconciliation," and other familiar prints, any one of which may -be had at the Emporium basement for two dollars per, were in evidence. It was a homely place, and that's about all that can be said for it. There was j'-jst one- touch of emotion in connection with our visit to York Cottage. Reference was made in the King's little working

room to his cousin, the late Tsar. At tlie moment, he was walking up and down the room. Going to a desk, he nicked,, up a photograph of the Tsar. and. holding, it up with.a' burst of obvious feel-ng: " Poor ' chap, poor chap, poor chap !" TV Queen Dowager Alexandra, now aged 74.' retains traces of her former beauty, notably a figure of graceful slenderness and poise. She is deaf to o desree, making it extremely difficult-to talk withJier. To my surprise, I found her speech so marked by a Danish accent as at times to be difficult of comprehension. It was explained by her daughter that since she had grown d»nf. thus losing the discipline or «poken English, her habit had reverted

to the practice of her youth. As illustrating the regimen of the Royal household in war time 1 war, at tea time offered a niece of cake by the Princess Victoria. "I have," I replied. .".«]; ready about everything 1 can manage. "Oh." she said, "you must have a piece of this cake,, for my whole.week'^ sugar allowance has gone into it. Nobody can know better than I that the several incidents recited are in themselves trivial enough, but I think them worth the telling, in tha* they illustrate the simplicity and humanity of the Royal Family. Our visit of some hours at Sandringham ended in a leave-taking so cordial that the King attended our party to the carriage steps, while the ladies from : the. hall windows waved us gracious ! adieu. Let me add that there was no I man among us who was not profoundly j impressed with the essential manliness j and dignity of the King and of the ' sympathetic kindliness of his household. i

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19190430.2.25

Bibliographic details

THE ROYAL FAMILY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919

Word Count
730

THE ROYAL FAMILY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919

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