In light of the increasing number of spurious "royal experts" infiltrating the media, Princess Palace has created this online testing and training center/centre (a.k.a. trivia quizzes) to facilitate the recognition and certification of actual royal experts. Anyone receiving certification may add C.R.E. (certified royal expert) after one's name. This site is created and maintained entirely for fun. Its creator asserts no authority for certifying anyone's qualifications for anything. ;)

11 June 2011

Royal Hobbies Answers

As the summer roars in, it seems appropriate to think about the royals in a more relaxed, off-duty mode. For this quiz, our experts were asked to identify the royal associated the following hobbies.

1. This royal declared he was no damn alien, but he was a recognized philatelist.
King George V was an avid stamp collector. He amassed a collection that is probably one of the most valuable in the world. It is now owned by his granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II. As for the alien statement, during World War I, when the royal family came under criticism for its German origins, he was accused of having "an alien and uninspiring court," to which he responded testily, "I may be uninspiring, but I'll be damned if I'm an alien."

2. Having earned the nickname "Farmer George" for his agrarian interests, this royal required his children maintain their own individual vegetable gardens.
King George III may be best remembered today for his illness and/or for 'losing' the American colonies, but one of the idiosyncracies that his contemporaries ridiculed was an interest in farming and farmers. Wherever he was, he would often walk about asking questions of rural people. He longed to pass this interest along to his 15 children and required each of them to cultivate their own fields. However, his kids were much more interested in having a rollicking good time.

3. This royal lady was not only a prolific letter writer, she also was a talented artist who created many sketches and paintings of her husband and nine children.
Queen Victoria, who wrote thousands upon thousands of letters and journals in her life, also was a talented artist. The people, animals and scenery around her were usually the subject of her drawings and paintings. She seems to have passed this talent to her descendants. For example, her great-great-great grandchildren Charles Prince of Wales and Lady Sarah Chatto have both exhibited their own artwork.

4. These royal sisters spent part of World War II creating musical theatre productions to entertain their parents.
While many English children were sent far, far away from the urban centers during the war, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were only sent as far as Windsor Castle. They really grew up there, taking their lessons and helping tend victory gardens (King George III would have been proud). Although their parents spent a lot of time in London, they were frequently at Windsor with their daughters. Each Christmas, the princesses--joined by royal relatives and staff members--would stage a pantomime to entertain their parents, estate personnel and guests. Distant cousin Prince Philip of Greece even attended the performance of "Old Mother Riding Boots" in 1944. Three years later, he married the show's co-star, the future Queen Elizabeth II. Here's a news article about the recently rediscovered program from that pantomime:

5. This staunchly dignified royal lady had one very naughty hobby of collecting; that is, collecting other people's stuff. Because of her notorious habit of acquiring things from other people's houses, this lady's mother-in-law sometimes hid her personal treasures during visits from her.
While it might not be quite appropriate to call Queen Mary a cleptomaniac, she developed a habit of admiring things in such a way that her host or hostess would feel compelled to make a gift of it to her. The only person in the realm who could avoid her acquiring ways was her mother-in-law Queen Alexandra. Of course, Mary's skills as a collector--she often actually purchased things too!--helped expand the royal art collection and contributed greatly to the royal jewel collection.

And, for those of you who could use an extra point to level up (or to guard against imperfect quiz answers in the future!), here is an incredibly easy bonus question.

BONUS: Known for his self-deprecating wit, this royal gent poked fun at much lampooned personal interests on his 40th birthday. "Only the other day, I was inquiring of an entire bed of old-fashioned roses, who were forced to listen to my demented ramblings on the meaning of the universe as I sat cross-legged in the lotus position on the gravel path in front of them. I was inquiring of them what they thought would happen on my birthday in a Birmingham tram shed. At this point, a row of prized Welsh leeks (cocky little things) who were lurking in a nearby vegetable patch chipped in to say that they expected the shed to be filled with groups of semi-naked Kalahari bushmen gyrating wildly;in the reenactment of primeval fertility dance and also a troupe or two of Tibetan Buddhist monks who had proceeded to the shed by levitational means."

Perhaps Charles Prince of Wales was a man before his time. He was outspoken on environmentalism, urban renewal, mysticism and organic farming long before these things became more popular.

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