Monday, January 18, 2010

Meet "Yankee Girl"

In our office we’re talking a lot about movies since The Golden Globes and The Oscars are coming up. Our local theatre has been running a $5 special for any movie all day on Sunday, so we’ve been taking advantage of that great price. I saw The Young Victoria last week with Marianne, our director of marketing. She loves all things British and takes her vacations there quite often. She also is from Connecticut, and around the office she is affectionately known as “Yankee Girl.” So, each time that a palace or garden would come on the screen during the movie, she would tell me that she has been there or that’s the wrong building. I do think it makes a movie or any event different if you have been to the place. I have never been to England, but I was inspired by the costuming and the beautiful women in the movie. The Hamilton Collection has introduced Victorian era fashion ladies over the past few years, and our collectors love them. So, I thought it would be nice to have Yankee Girl write the blog this week specifically about the Victorian era, England, and her experiences there. Here are her thoughts:

I guess most people would identify me as an Anglophile. I have traveled to England many times. I love the people, the beautiful countryside, palaces, manor houses and gardens. When I’m back here in the States, I watch a fair amount of BBCAmerica and PBS to get my England fix—I’ll watch most any costume drama movie because the clothing and buildings are usually unbelievably lovely.

Just last week, I went to see the recently released Young Victoria movie with Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The movie was set just prior and in the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign. I knew Victoria’s history before seeing the movie, but as it’s a timeless romance and coming of age story, I never get tired of it. The movie was entertaining and beautifully shot—and the costumes and locations were gorgeous. As the movie got rolling, I became consumed with the locations and realized I’ve visited a number of the buildings and gardens on prior visits.

In fact, on my last trip to England in October 2009, I visited Ham House, which the film used as the setting for Kensington Palace. Ham House is a beautiful 17th century manor house on the outskirts of London. The house has magnificent gardens which were used in the movie as well. It’s fun to visit the buildings and gardens used in movies. Some of my friends think I’m quite strange to plan my vacations around former movie sets, but I’m not alone. The British Tourist Authority offers a printed map, which is a guide to places in the UK used in film and television.

Here I have posted some pictures of Ham House from my visit this year. You can wander around the gardens and the interior at your leisure (for a fee). Actually, some of these pictures were used professionally for two of The Hamilton Collection’s newest “Pretty Lady” collections. One of my pictures was used as a background photo in the advertising materials (albeit very hazy). Just keep a look out in your mail box—you never know what you’ll find.


Yankee Girl

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