Friday, October 19, 2018

DAY 95: Accustomed to Papa's Yacht

Jennie Jerome met Lord Randolph Churchill on the royal yacht Ariadne, at a tea dance thrown by the Prince and Princess of Wales in August, 1873, at Cowes--home of the Royal Yacht Squadron on the Isle of Wight, and the annual regatta races of Cowes Week. Princess Alix's sister Minnie was the Czarevna of Russia--married to the Czar's heir--and she was visiting Alix that summer. The Russian and British royals stood together at the head of the yacht's gangplank, to receive their guests, and a military band played waltzes.

The walking dress shown here is a classic Cowes uniform: nautical, sporting, and durable enough for high winds on deck or a brisk walk along the Promenade. It dates from a dozen years after Jennie and Randolph met, and features the high, tight neckline Princess Alix made so fashionable. 

GOING TO THE BALL ON BOARD H.M.S. ARIADNE, The Royal Yacht Squadron Regatta at Cowes, UK in 1873 Credit: Artokoloro Quint Lox Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

The Steam Yacht Clara Clarita, owned by Leonard Jerome

Jennie's father, Leonard Jerome, had been racing yachts for years, off Newport as well as England. As a member of the New York Yacht Club, he was granted reciprocal membership in the Royal Squadron at Cowes. He'd rented a house called Villa Rosetta for Jennie, her sister Clarita, and their mother that summer. But he was far away in New York when Randolph asked Jennie to dance.

For more images from THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN, visit the  Pinterest board behind the novel.

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