The Wellington Connection – Chad & Jeremy

You may recall that when Hubby and I were in London recently we did the Hop On, Hop Off bus tour, during which I learned that Jeremy Clyde, one half of the musical duo Chad and Jeremy, was related to the Duke of Wellington. This was news to me, so of course I had to do further research on the subject. It turns out that Jeremy’s mother is Lady Elizabeth Clyde (b. 1918), the daughter of Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of Wellington, and Dorothy Violet Ashton, and is thus a great-great-granddaughter of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Jeremy Clyde, born Michael Thomas Jeremy Clyde, is an actor as well as a musician and made his first public appearance as a pageboy to his grandfather, the Duke of Wellington, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in 1953.

During the 1960s, he was one half of the folk duo Chad and Jeremy, who had little success in the UK but were an object of interest to American audiences. He has enjoyed a long television acting career, and continues to appear regularly on the tube, usually playing upper-middle class or aristocratic characters. Most recently, Jeremy appeared in Season 2, Episode 1 of Downton Abbey playing, coincidentally, a military general. Another coincidence, or not, is the uncanny resemblance Jeremy has to his ancestor, the first Duke of Wellington.

To learn more about Chad and Jeremy, the backstory of their partnership and what they’re doing now, you can visit their website here.

A Couple In England – Day 8 – Part 3

When I got back to our room at the Castle Hotel, I was shocked to find that Hubby had unpacked our bags and had actually hung some of our clothes in the closet.

“Feeling better?” I asked. Hubby pointed to a low table that sat between two chairs by the window. On it were our trusty bottle of rum, a bottle of Coke and an ice bucket. I made myself a drink and took a long, lovely pull.


“How’s Hester?”

“Good. She couldn’t believe how bad I looked. I can’t wait till she gets a load of you.”

“At least I don’t feel like I’m going die. I don’t feel great, but I really think I might live.”

We sipped our drinks in silence for a while and then I brought up the subject of food.

“Are you hungry?”

“Yeah, we haven’t eaten anything all day. Come to think of it, neither of us has eaten much of anything for a long time. I don’t want anything fancy shmancy, Hon. I’m not up for that.”

“Fancy shmancy? You’re joking, right? I was thinking more like going straight across the road to the pub.”

“There’s a pub across the street?” Hubby looked out the window.

“Two. You can’t see them because they’re directly behind the Guildhall.”

So we finished our drinks, bundled up and headed out.

I pointed to the Guildhall as we passed. “That’s where Chuck and Camilla were married.”

There? Why didn’t they get married at the Castle around the corner? Boy, that must have been a dark day for you, Hon. Did you cry?”

“I contained myself. But it really should have been me who married Chuck.”

“No kidding. Think of the jewels you’re missing out on.”

Jewels? I could care less about the jewels. What I want is the key to the Royal Archives. And to every other archive in the land that’s usually off limits. One of the first things I’d have done would’ve been to call Stratfield Saye and say `It’s me. Chuck’s wife. Let me in and lead me to the personal papers.’ Here we go, the Carpenter’s Arms.”

Because it was relatively early, we had the whole place to ourselves. I ordered the bangers and mash and I can’t for the life of me remember what Hubby had – and neither can he. Suffice it to say that we ordered another round of drinks and then settled down to wait for the food.

“We’re meeting Hester in the car park at the hotel tomorrow morning and she’s going to drive us to Oatlands. All you have to do is get into the car. No trains or cabs or anything else resembling work.”

“What’s Oatlands?”

“It was Freddy’s house.”

Freddy? Who’s Freddy? Is he related to the Duke of Wellington? Is that the guy with the fake leg?”

“Freddy was a woman. Frederica, Duchess of York.”


“Remember the Duke of York’s column in London?”

“The guy with the mistress?”

“Yes. Freddy was his wife.”


Sigh. “She was a Prussian princess and was rather eccentric and homely, but she was incredibly kind. Some of the greatest people of the age adored Freddy. When Tom Sheridan’s wife was gravely ill, Freddy invited her to Oatland’s to rest and recuperate. And then there was Prince Leopold.”


Leopold. Princess Charlotte’s widower. He went to pieces when Charlotte died and Freddy was very patient with him and had him at Oatlands with her in order take his mind off things.” Our food arrived and we began to eat.

“And of course there was Beau Brummell.”

“Did you know there was a singing group called the Beau Brummells?”

I stared at Hubby. “Yes.”

Laugh, laugh. That was the name of their hit. You know it? Laugh, laugh, la la la la. Da da de da laugh, laugh . . . Remember?”

“Can’t say that I do.” It was obvious that there was no use my going on about the life and times of Freddy, but I felt honour bound to mention that after we’d seen Oatlands we’d be going on the Hampton Court.

“And then after Oatlands we’re going to Hampton Court.”

“What’s that?”

I smiled. “Oh, trust me. You’re going to love it.”

“I bet.”

Day Nine Coming Soon!

A Couple In England: Day 8 – Part Two

Exiting the train at Royal Windsor Station, one of the first things Hubby saw was a Caffe Nero.

“Caffe Nero, Hon! We can go tomorrow morning.”


We entered the pedestrian only Peascod Street. “No cabs?”

“We don’t need one. We just need to get to the top of the street, make a right and the Castle Hotel is  a block away on the right.”

When we got to the top of the Street, I pointed at the statue. “Queen Victoria. It was erected for her Golden Jubilee in 1887.”

“What’s that? Is that a castle? It looks like that castle in London.”

“It’s Windsor Castle,” I told Hubby. “The castle in London is actually the Tower of London. It’s not a castle at all.”

“They look the same to me.”


A few more steps brought us to the Castle Hotel, which is just lovely. We were given a very large room overlooking the High Street. I’m sorry I didn’t think to take a photo of the room before Hubby and I disgorged our belongings over every flat surface, but you get the idea.

Both the Crooked House and Guildhall were right outside our window.

“Isn’t your friend at the Guildhall?” Hubby asked.

“Yes, Hester told me to come over and meet her there when we got to Windsor.”

“Well go on then, go see her.”

“You sure?” I gave Hubby a quick once over, trying to assess his condition. He looked much better than he had this morning. Not one hundred percent, mind you, but no longer at death’s door.

“Okay. But I’ll be literally right across the street.”

“Go. If I need you, I’ll hang a pair of my boxers out the window.”

Regular readers of this blog will know the name Hester Davenport. Not only has Hester contributed guest posts to this blog, she is also the author of The Prince’s Mistress: A Life of Mary Robinson, among other works, and has graciously acted as our Windsor guide whenever Vicky, Jo Manning or myself are there. In fact, a visit with Hester is typically the high point of our trips across the Pond. In addition, Hester was a driving force in getting the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum, housed in the Guildhall, up and running. In fact, Hester acted as hostess to the Queen, who paid a visit to the Museum. You can see photos and read all about Hester’s meeting with the Queen last year here. On a past visit, Hester arranged for the issues of the Windsor newspaper dealing with the Battle of Waterloo to be pulled from the archives so that Vicky and I could see them up close and personal. Now that’s what you call a pal . . . . .

When I got to the Museum, Hester was busy speaking to a few people, but she saw me, did a double take and then gave me the “be with you in a minute” high sign. I sat on a nearby bench and was shortly joined by Hester, who took a good look at me and said, “Oh, dear. I knew you were sick by your emails but I’d no idea you were this sick.”

“Do I look that bad?”

“Oh, yes.” Good old Hester. She pulls no punches. “And Hubby? Is he as bad as you?”

“Worse. Don’t forget, I’m in the recovery phase now. You should have seen me a few days ago.”

“Oh, you poor thing. I had no idea.”

“Really? The fact that I wrote you that I had cholera and was near death didn’t clue you in?”

“Well, I thought you were exaggerating somewhat,” she said, “but now I see you weren’t. Oh, dear. Are you sure you’re going to want to go to Oatlands and Hampton Court tomorrow?”

“Was Wellington at Waterloo? Yes, I’m sure. I’m going to Oatlands if I have to crawl there. I’ve longed to see Oatlands for ages now, haven’t I? I’m determined to see Freddy’s house and the pet cemetery.”

A co-worker of Hester’s came by then and Hester introduced us. “This is my friend Kristine I was telling you about.”

“Ah, the one who’s been ill?” She took a good look at me and said, “Oh, dear.”

You’ll understand that I’ve developed an aversion to the British `Oh, dear’ during this trip. Oh dear, indeed. Why don’t the English just say what they really mean, which in this case is `Holy crap, should you be out of your sick bed?’ I couldn’t wait to see what Hester would say when she caught sight of Hubby tomorrow. Oh dear would hardly cover it.

Hester and her friend then questioned me about my illness and I gave them every sorry detail, from my not being able to get out of the cab when we arrived at Duke’s Hotel in Bath, to our missing New Year’s Eve entirely, to my not having eaten anything to speak of for a week, to my plight in Milsom Street on the way to the Fashion Museum.

When I was done – and they had both wiped the tears from their eyes and gotten their laughter under control – Hester said, “Oh, I am sorry to laugh, but that’s the funniest story. Isn’t funny?” she asked her f

“Quite,” she agreed.

“And today the pair of you had to take the train here to Windsor, what with you both feeling poorly. Now you go right back to your hotel and get some rest. I’m so glad Hubby felt he was improving and didn’t need the doctor after all, but an early night and rest will do you both a world of good. We’ve got a big day planned for tomorrow, after all.”

What good advice. I could have kissed Hester for suggesting an early night, but restrained myself as I didn’t want to pass on the cholera to her. After all, I needed her healthy and able to drive us to Oatlands and Hampton Court tomorrow. Not to mention that her husband, Tony, would be none too pleased with me if I landed Hester in the hospital.

We stood and gave each other a somewhat sanitized version of an embrace and I headed across the street to the Castle Hotel whilst wondering in what condition I would find Hubby upon my return.

Part Three Coming Soon!

A Couple In England – Day 8

I woke up on our last day in Bath to a truly gruesome sight – Hubby. He was pale, clammy and looking for all the world as though he were on his last legs.
“How do you feel?” I asked in the hopes that I might have misread the signs.
“I need a doctor. Or maybe an undertaker. I need something more than that crappy Bell’s cough stuff you gave me. No kidding, I want a doctor.”
This was serious. As a rule, Hubby runs from medical practitioners.
“Okay,” I said, my mind working. “Let’s go downstairs and see about getting you a doctor then. Can you get dressed?”
Together, we got us both dressed, and packed, and went downstairs to the reception room, where we found Michael on duty. Michael, it should be said, worked for a time as house steward to the premier land owner in the neighborhood. I don’t think I’m at liberty to tell you all I know about it, confidentiality and all, but think a stately home with the word “long” in it’s name and put that together with another word for “tub” and you might figure it out. Clue: the peer Michael worked for has a harem.
Michael took one look at us and said, “Oh, dear.”
“We’re supposed to take the train to Windsor today, to meet my friend Hester, but Hubby wants a doctor. Can you get us a doctor?”
Michael is the epitome of the word “dapper.” Dressed in a suit and tie, his hair and mustache immaculate, he exudes an air of calm and classy competence. Have I mentioned his pocket square? “I could, of course, call a doctor for you. However, if you’re going to be staying in Windsor, perhaps it would be more expedient for you to call your friend and have her arrange for Hubby to see her practitioner, who would be on the spot, so the speak.”
He slid the telephone towards me as Hubby collapsed on the couch by the fireplace. I called Hester, who said she’d call her doctor and see what she could do. She’d ring me back.
“Medicine,” Hubby croaked.
I explained to Michael that the shops had been closed yesterday and so I hadn’t been able to find any 21st century cold medicine for Hubby.
“The chemist down the street is open today,” Michael told me. And so off I went, down Great Pulteney Street to the chemist hard by the bridge.


A. H. Hale, dispensing chemists, have been in business since the 1800’s and the shop looks like something out of a Jane Austen novel.


Their window is filled with glass bottles containing variously coloured liquids and powders and, best of all, modern day cold medicine. I conversed with the clerk, who listened to Hubby’s symptoms and stocked me up with an assortment of remedies. Back at the hotel, I found Hubby on the couch, drinking a bottle of Schwepps ginger ale, provided by Michael. I handed over the cough syrup and decongestant pills and within minutes he proclaimed himself much improved. Hester, it turned out, had gotten Hubby an appointment with her doctor for this afternoon, but Hubby now proclaimed himself fit to travel and no longer in need of dire medical intervention. He swore that it was the Schwepps, rather than the medicines, that had cured him. Ingrate. I called Hester, cancelled the doctor and before much longer we were in a cab headed to the station.

You can tell that I was feeling a bit better  myself, as I actually took these photos myself from the platform. We had a few minutes to wait for the next train, so I got us a couple of coffees and brought them out to Hubby.

“No smoking,” he said, as he took the coffee from me.


“The sign,” he said, pointing in its direction with his chin. “No smoking. We’re outside on the platform and we can’t smoke. You can’t smoke in England.”

“Well, let’s not worry about it until you can’t smoke in France. Or Greece. Or Turkey. Then we’ll worry about it.”

“How long is the train ride to Windsor?”

Uh, oh. Here we go. “It’s about two hours. We, uh, we have to change trains though.”


“At Reading. And Slough.”

Two changes?”

I could feel his pain. It wasn’t that long ago that I was myself close to death on a train. Only we had been traveling in the opposite direction.

“Reading is close to Stratfield Saye,” I sighed. Stratfield Saye, whose opening times never seem to coincide with my trips to England.

“What’s that?”

“Artie’s house.”

“I thought Apsley House was Artie’s house.”

“It is. He bought Apsley House himself. The country bought Stratfield Saye as a sort of thank you gi
ft for his having defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.”


“Yeah. Napoleon was seen as the Hitler of his day. A tyrant. He proclaimed himself as Emperor of France and then turned his eye on the rest of the world. He threatened democracies everywhere. And Wellington and his army and the allies defeated him at Waterloo. Napoleon’s army was notorious for looting and stealing whatever they needed, wherever the went. Napoleon’s troops were the ones who shot the nose off the Sphinx.”

“The Egyptian Sphinx?”

“Yes. Destruction wherever they went. On the other hand, Wellington went out of his way to make sure that people were compensated to some degree for whatever his troops requisitioned. Not that the British didn’t indulge in some looting and pillaging of their own, but still, Artie had a completely different mindset about it. Remember the story about the looted Spanish art I told you about at Apsley House?”

“Oh, yeah.”

“There was this guy called Congreve and he worked at the Royal Arsenal, trying to perfect rockets Wellington had first seen at Seringapatam.”


“In India. Congreve worked to perfect them, but it took several attempts. He demonstrated them to Wellington, hoping he’d use them during his campaigns. It turns out that the rockets were unreliable and their trajectory uncertain. And then they’d set things on fire instead of blowing them up. And the things set afire were not necessarily the things one was aiming at. Wellington said that when he entered a town it was most often in order to liberate it, rather than destroy it. Wellington refused to use them because of the wholesale damage they caused and the destruction they left behind. In his own words, he had a bad opinion of them.”

“So Congreve didn’t get the commission?”

“Not from Wellington, but Congreve had gotten in tight with Prinny, who was pushing for the use of the rockets.”


Sigh. “Prinny, the Prince Regent. King George the fourth. They kept pestering Wellington to use them. When Wellington was in Portugal in 1810, the matter was again raised in a letter from Vice Admiral Berkeley. Wellington said that they wouldn’t answer for his purposes on land, but he allowed that every thing deserved a fair chance. So it was that eventually the Royal Navy used them and fired them from the decks of their ships.”

“How’d that go?”

“You’ve heard of `the rockets red glare’?”

“The bombs bursting in air?”

“Exactly. Those were Congreve’s rockets. They put on a great show, but weren’t very effective.”

Our train arrived and I helped Hubby get ourselves and our luggage onboard. I must say that Hubby was a brick, changes and all, up until the last leg of the journey, when a guy got on the train with a pit bull.

Hubby elbowed me in the side. “He’s got a dog on the train. A pit bull.”

Now, as you know, I pride myself on reporting this trip exactly as it happened. There was a pit bull on the train. Which now allows me to segue neatly into this photo of our granddog, Coco, the pit bull. Who believes with all his heart that he’s a Yorkshire terrier and who is constantly trying to climb onto my lap. But I digress . . . . .

“You’re allowed to bring dogs on the train in England,” I told Hubby.

“You can’t smoke outside on the platform, but you can bring a dog into a crowded train?”

“Look!” I said as I pointed out the window.

“What? What is that? Is that a castle?”

 Part Two Coming Soon!

A Couple In England – Day 7 – Part Four

Leaving the Fashion Museum and Upper Assembly Rooms behind, I now took myself, high heeled boots and all, back down Milsom Street via the cobbled sidewalk. What in the world had I been thinking when I slipped into them this morning? When I got to Pulteney Bridge, I stopped in at the newsagents and bought two more bottles of juice to take back to the room.

Once back at Duke’s Hotel and in the Wellington Suite, I found Hubby pretty much as I’d left him – all loose limbs and pale skin and laying on the bed looking for all the world like Garbo in the death scene from Camille.

“I brought you juice,” I said. “You want some?”


“Have you eaten anything?”


“Did you take your medicine?”


I sat on the bed and thought about the best way to broach the subject of the couples massage I’d booked for us in two hours time. Hubby is not a fan of massage at the best of times, but I had gone ahead and booked it months ago, thinking it would be the perfect way for us to recover from the revelry of New Year’s Eve the night before. Little did I know that we’d miss the New Year entirely or that what we’d be recovering from would be cholera, rather than your run-of-the-mill late night out.

“So . . . I had meant this as a surprise, but I, er, I booked us in for a couples massage at the Bath Priory Hotel and spa.”

Hubby turned a truly horrified gaze upon me. Think “aghast” and you’d only be getting half the picture.

“For when?” he croaked.

“In about two hours.”

“Are you crazy?”

“I booked it months ago. I didn’t know we’d be sick. You don’t want to go?”

“No! I’m dying here. The last thing I want right now is some stranger rubbing me!”

“Okay, okay.

“You go.”

“I don’t want to leave you alone all afternoon,” I lied.

“I’ll be fine. I can’t get in too much trouble lying here in bed. Unless, of course, I do actually die.”

“Well, I’ll put the phone on the bed right next to you and if you die, or even feel like dying, you can call downstairs for help.”

“Thanks. Go and enjoy yourself. What are you going to do, sit here all afternoon and watch me sleep?”

“Well, if  you’re sure . . . . “

 “I’m sure. I know how much you love the spa. I just can’t believe you feel well enough to have some stranger rubbing you.”

I tried hard to think of a scenario in which I wouldn’t welcome a massage and couldn’t think of a single one. I’ve had massages in various U.S. cities, in England, at sea, in a tropical rain forest, in Paris, in Aruba and in Zurich and . . . .  well, you get the idea. I must have lived in ancient Egypt in another life, as there’s nothing I enjoy more than being anointed with fragrant oils and massaged into a state of semi-consciousness. Pedicures aren’t too shabby, either.

So it was that I hopped into a cab at the appointed hour and went to the Bath Priory Hotel and Spa, located about ten minutes outside of the Bath city centre.

Pulling up into the forecourt, I began to see why the country house hotel had won the Relais and Chateaux Garden of the Year Awards in 2013, the same year their chef was awarded a Michelin star.
From the hotel’s website: “The hotel, built in 1835 as a private residence on land once owned by The Priory of Bath Abbey, is steeped in history and gives more than a nod to its Gothic influences – with cheeky gargoyles and dramatic arches, tempered by soft furnishings inside – beautiful paintings adorning the walls, objects d’art, freshly cut flowers and French Belle Epoque chandeliers. Sit by the smoldering embers of the log fires, sink into the sofas and enjoy a good book or an afternoon tea at leisure. If you are yearning for a well earned spa break, then the Garden Spa, complete with indoor and outdoor pools and the full range of beauty treatments, will ensure you are blissfully content.”

I had definitely come to the right place. Now, if my bowels held firm and my nose didn’t run like a faucet, I’d be fine. I walked through the front door and into a world of posh English luxury. The Elemis spa is located downstairs and I was escorted there by the hotel receptionist and turned over to the spa receptionist, who brought me back to the dressing room so that I could change into my bathing suit.

The spa has an indoor pool, but the amenities I wanted to take advantage of were the sauna and steam room. I was determined to sweat the cholera from my body.


Back and forth I went, from sauna to steam and back again for forty minutes. When I was about the consistency of a wet noodle, my masseuse collected me and brought me back to the couple’s treatment room, complete with garden view.

Cocooned in the semi darkness, breathing in the aromatherapy oils, I gave myself over to the ministrations of a stranger and allowed myself to be rubbed. By the end of my massage, I was, indeed, `blissfully c

When I got back to our hotel Hubby asked, “All better now?”

I smiled dreamily. “Much better. Still not all better. But better. What do you want to do for dinner?”

“I’m not really hungry.”

“I know. Neither am I, but we haven’t eaten since yesterday, so I think it would be a good idea to get something. How about a pizza? They deliver. We don’t even have to be dressed.”


“I’m going take a hot bath first, then we’ll order, okay? You should take a bath. It’ll make you feel better.”

“No, thanks,” Hubby said, emphatically shaking his head. “The way my luck is going, I’d probably slip and fall and end up in a full body cast for the rest of the trip.”

I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I laughed because the way the trip was panning out, a scenario like that wasn’t outside the realm of possibility.

So I bathed, we ordered pizza, which was delivered to our door by the hotel staff, and then we watched a little television, namely Bear’s Wild Weekend, the premise of which is that Bear Grylls – British adventurer, writer and television presenter – takes celebrities on exhilarating adventures well outside their comfort zones. In this episode the celebrity was Miranda Hart, of Call the Midwife fame.

Here’s a description of the show: “Bear Grylls takes comedy writer and actress Miranda Hart on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to the spectacular Swiss Alps. Bear challenges novice Miranda to go far beyond her comfort zone with a series of exhilarating adventures during an intense two-day expedition. Miranda traverses a glacier, crosses crevasses roped to Bear, tackles deep snow in snow shoes and completes a huge boulder scramble. She also faces her greatest fears when she flies in a helicopter and abseils down a waterfall.”

It was a hoot and Hubby and I both enjoyed it immensely. Click the link to watch a clip of the show.

When the show was over, Hubby asked, “What’s on for tomorrow?”

“We take the train to Windsor.”

“Unh. What’s Windsor? Is it crazy like London or quiet like here?”

“Even quieter than here.” I refrained from elaborating and telling Hubby that our train journey tomorrow would require two changes. I didn’t think he’d be able to handle it just then. “I can’t believe we’re leaving Bath already and we didn’t get to do anything we’d planned.”

“You planned. I know how much you were looking forward to it and I’m sorry it was ruined for you. It seems like all we’ve done in Bath is lay in bed, take medicine, blow our noses and wait to die.”

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?

Day 8 Coming Soon!