Blair

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Episode 10 of 20

Duration: 30 minutes

Antiques expert Tim Wonnacott and chef Rosemary Shrager travel in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, Britain's longest reigning monarch, exploring the houses, castles and stately homes she visited throughout her life.

At the time of this visit, Victoria had been on the throne for seven years. She was only 25 years old but had already had four children in four years. Prince Albert thought it would be the ideal place for the queen to recover from the arrival of Alfred, their fourth child, born just a few weeks earlier. They stayed for three weeks and it cemented a lifelong love affair for the royal couple with the highlands.

They were guarded by a part of the Scottish Infantry Regiment known as the Atholl Highlanders, whose home is Blair Castle. In recognition of their service, Victoria gave the Atholl Guards their own coat of arms, making them to this day the only private army in Europe.

Tim discovers from the gamekeeper's records from September 1844, the time of the royal visit, that His Royal Highness Prince Albert bagged quite a few deer including five in the space of two days, and three on another. He also reveals how the Queen insisted that a bouquet of fresh heather and a bottle of spring water from nearby Glen Tilt be put in her room every day.

Chef and food historian Ivan Day uses records of the visit to recreate a Victorian surf and turf dish that was typical of the time and would have been enjoyed upstairs and downstairs: mutton and oyster sausages. And both Tim and Rosemary end by taking part in a highland dance just as Victoria and Albert did during their visit.

Credits

Presenter
Tim Wonnacott
Presenter
Tim Wonnacott
Producer
Owen Rodd
Producer
Owen Rodd
Director
Owen Rodd
Director
Owen Rodd

Broadcasts

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