The Order of the Crown of Stuart
It was with splendour and glory that I, Tyne O’Connell, was this February 2017 awarded The Order of the Crown of Stuart in a ceremony at the Ritz Hotel. Humble I was as it was pinned to my ermine stole. This lovely medal made up of a crown surrounded by crowns is an honour pinned to only a select number – amongst them Nancy Mitford for her book The Sun King – a must read for those enamoured by the magnificence and opulence of Versailles.
As King Charles I was martyred in 1649 by Cromwell (plunging England back into the dark ages) he uttered the word “Remember”.
Though less than ten years later his son was restored to the throne we would do well to remember the events of the 1600’s which led to the murder of the king. There was Puritan prejudice at the growth in the Arts, the building of Covent Garden and the expansion of London’s Livery Companies (the ancient merchant Guilds protecting artisans and their skills). After the Puritans gained control they melted down all the Crown Jewels and sold the stones to Holland using the money to equip the New Model Army who roamed England burning manuscripts art works and items of beauty. All the arts including architecture were banned and theatres and pubs were banned.
All these activities were deemed papist by the Puritans though by this stage the Catholics left were few. The term papist in fact was used in the way we now use the term eccentric and had nothing to do with religion except that Puritans believed that beauty, good-cheer and the Arts were sinful in and of themselves. The Civil War had little to do with politics or religion and everything to do with eradicating “papist” pursuits in England. The population were forced to wear a black uniform and women had to hide their hair. Pleasure of any sort including the celebration of Christmas or playing with ones child could lead to brutal mortal punishments.
The Order of The Crown of Stuart is awarded to those who remember the tolerance and love of the Arts which marked the Stuart’s. As Princess Diana was a direct descendant, William will be our first Stuart King since 1714 when Queen Anne Died. The ribbon of my award is trimmed with true blue of the House of Stuart and the purple of DeMedici for Charles I was married to Henrietta Marie De Medici who devoted her life to the arts and funded Inigo Jones to build Covent Garden.
I shall wear it to the English National Opera this Monday night, 27th February 2017, for the opening of A Winter’s Tale with Daniel Lismore and Niki de Metz in honour of the Mother of Opera Marie De Medici. Marie who discovered Jacopo Peri the father of Opera and introduced the art form to London during her years living in St James’s Palace which she turned into an artist salon for the Arts. During this period Covent Garden was built and of course so many great eccentric luminaries of opera subsequently made their home in Mayfair and composed the majority of their operas in English. Dorothy Savile, Duchess of Burlington and Cork lured Handel to live with her in Burlington House in 1710. building the Burlington Arcade (rebuilt in 1810) so his shoes wouldn’t get wet on his way from the house she found him on Brook Street in 1712.
Since 1371, The Order of the Crown of Stuart.