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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Make mine Earl Grey, please

Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire by Gainsborough

A few days ago, two interesting – and I later found out, connected – pieces of information crossed my desk. First, Tall & Handsome sent me a link to an article about a new movie soon to be released in the U.S. The article indicated that some of the movie’s filming had been done at Osterley House/Osterley Park in England. We used to live just “up the street” from Osterley. It was my favorite place to walk, especially through the crunchy leaves in autumn. (The tearoom on this National Trust property, below, is located in what used to be the horse stables!)

Taken on a visit I made in 2002

I was happy to discover that this new movie, which until then I had not heard of, is about the life of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. I love period pieces and recalled that the book this movie is based on was a U.K. bestseller.

So all was well as I looked forward to the September 19, 2008 U.S. release date of The Duchess with great anticipation. But the next day …

…I happened to read a brilliant article by Nigel Melican in the Summer 2008 issue of Margaret Thornby’s Tea & Tea Room Talk magazine entitled “Charles Grey - the Man Behind Earl Grey Tea” and I learned that as a dashing young bachelor, Charles fell in love with a beautiful - but very married – woman who ended up bearing his child. The child was raised by Charles Grey’s parents as though she was his sister. The child’s name was Eliza.

The child’s mother was Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire.

So there you have it! A Uniquely Tea connection in the upcoming film The Duchess.

I trust there will be many wonderful tea scenes (with Charles, 2nd Earl Grey but probably not his tea!). If you go to see this film, let us know what you thought about it.

P.S. You might also like to know that Georgiana is an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Eliza is an ancestor of Sarah Ferguson.
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