Thursday, July 14, 2011

Card of the Day: The Prince of Wales at Stratford on Avon

Today, in my effort to share these little historical tidbits with you, I spilled my own blood. And, I blame the Duke of Windsor. The cards that I present to you each day are displayed sandwiched between two pieces of glass so that I can see the front and reverse. Today, for some reason, I was having difficulty reading the small type on the card’s reverse, so I removed the back piece of glass so I could get a better look. I placed the glass on my desk chair, thinking, “Okay, Joseph, don’t sit on this.” And, then, of course, I did. Glass doesn’t like to be sat upon and the weight of a thirty-seven year old man, even a thin one, doesn’t agree with it. A large mess ensued. Bandages were applied and, now, all is well.

Now, on to the business of history. By 1932, King George V was not making as many trips as he used to, due mainly to his continually failing health. Sometimes, he’d send Queen Mary in his place, but more often than not, he would deputize his sons—especially the Prince of Wales (later, King Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor) and The Duke of York (later, King George VI)—to attend in his place.

One such occasion is presented in the thirty-seventh card in the series by Wills’s Cigarette Company which was produced for the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary.

The reverse of the card reads:


The American and French Ambassadors, and seventy other representatives of the world's homage to Shakespeare's genius attended the opening of the new Memorial Theatre at Stratford by the Prince of Wales on the poet's birthday in 1932. Arriving by aeroplane, the Prince found the town thronged with Warwickshire country folk, some of them decked out in Elizabethan dresses that gave delightful colour to the celebrations. The Prince is greeting Miss Elizabeth Scott, the architect of the new theatre. The exterior is somewhat severe, in the modern style, but within it is the perfect playhouse.

Now, I need a new piece of glass.

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