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  #1  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:37 PM
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Is anyone familiar with a special rose?

I’m trying to locate information regarding a rose that was presented to the first American Princess of Monaco, Alice Heine (1858-1925), by Queen Alexandra.

It was said to be grown only at Windsor (I've had no replies to my emails) & Alice’s French home, Haut-Buisson. Any information/photograph regarding the “mystery flower” (size, color, etc.), if it still exists, would certainly be appreciated. I’m in New Orleans - Alice’s French Quarter birthplace. Born in New Orleans to a very wealthy family, Alice spent half the year in America & the other half in Europe. She married the Duc de Richelieu & lived at Haut-Buisson. When he passed away, she established a home in Paris. Prince Albert of Monaco attended many of her salons, falling in love with the beautiful & charming American. When they married, she became the first American princess of Monaco.

The story of how she acquired the rose is interesting, particularly to my British friends:


Queen Victoria had merely started out disliking Monaco for it’s sinful ways (What would she think of New Orleans?). She really came to loathe it after her son, “Bertie,” the Prince of Wales, (future King Edward VII) & his antics there every season, provided scandal newspapers with an unending source of material. Monaco’s Prince Albert & Princess Alice were Bertie’s personal friends. When Queen Victoria was wintering at the Hotel Regina Palace in Nice, she received a message that Prince Albert wanted to pay her a courtesy visit with his wife. The Queen replied that she would be busy until Easter. He might ask again, after the holidays…a most polite but firm royal brushoff. For some inexplicable reason, Prince Albert refused to recognize the obvious. He renewed the request after Easter. This time Queen Victoria removed the velvet glove. Although she could not readily refuse to see a reigning prince, she did not have to receive his wife. Her reply “Her Majesty will have the honor to receive His Serene Highness, the Prince of Monaco” - with no mention of Princess Alice. There was little courtesy in that “courtesy visit.”

Later, presentation of a special variety of rose grown only at Windsor was made by Queen Alexandra to Alice to make up for the earlier royal rebuff. “Alice planted it at Haut-Buisson, & during her lifetime these roses were only grown at these two places.”

When Alice separated from Albert, in 1902, she spent much of her time at the apartment which she maintained year round at Claridge’s in London. Her apartment in England became a gathering place for members of society, politicians & creative artists. Winston Churchill even enjoyed visits to her salon. Alice’s luxurious French chateau, Haut-Buisson, was also a venue for extraordinary parties. She employed the finest chefs & her invitations were much sought after. Frequently, titled Englishmen would cross the channel simply to be her dinner guests. Leading hostess, Alice, was also responsible for introducing wealthy American debutantes to titled Europeans, often culminating very noble & profitable marriages.

Alice was in England at the outbreak of World War I. She remained there for the duration, supporting many charities, hospitals, & she largely underwrote the French Hospital in England.


In December 1925, she left her French chateau, Haut-Buisson, planning to spend her Christmas holidays in England. While enroute, she was stricken with a heart attack & taken to a Paris hotel, where she died on December 23rd, at the age of sixty eight. On January 4, 1926, a memorial Mass was held in London at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, attended by many British nobility. Extraordinary tributes to her were published in numerous European newspapers. The London Times praised her beauty, charm, wit & her many charitable works.

(Source: The Big Wheel: Monte Carlo’s Opulent Century by George W. Herald and Edward D. Radin, 1963)


Another internet description of Haut-Buisson notes:


“Greenhouses at Haut-Buisson were beautiful. Princess Alice cultivated pink orchids including those Queen Alexandra (of England) had sent her from Sandringham . “

Whether rose or orchids, I would certainly appreciate any information on the flowers. If they’re still cultivated & available for the public, it would be nice to plant them in the patio of the New Orleans birthplace of the FIRST AMERICAN princess of Monaco.
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:49 AM
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Thanks for the interesting post. It's really unfortunate that you got no replies to your emails from Windsor.

However, there is more than one way to skin a cat! No luck with Windsor, what about the people in charge of the gardens at Buckingham Palace? Perhaps they know someone at Windsor they could pass you on to?

What about Monaco? Surely someone in the Palace there could consult the archives for you about Alice and her gardening activities and correspondence (there must be some) with Queen Alexandra, who just may have given orchids and roses to others whom we don't know about.

I understand that the gardens at Haut-Buisson are now maintained by the French Ministry of Culture. There is an advisory committee which focuses on gardens and parks. Up in the right hand corner of the link below they are mentioned.

They might have information on these historic gardens or be able to point you in the right direction. I'm sure they'd be thrilled to have one of these roses located and planted in the US.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...dens_of_France

I appreciate that this would mean a lot of extra work and emailing, however, good luck!
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:19 AM
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Alice's story is amazing. This is an interesting topic and I am looking foreward to a result and an answer to your puzzle. I hope you see a photo of the flowers. Good luck.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:50 PM
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I am interested in roses that have a connection with royalty. The history of Queen Alexandra and the rose to Alice of Monaco is a good find! Do you now if Princess Alice had information on where the rose from Alexandra had originally come from?
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:28 PM
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I've also found your post to be very interesting, DeutchesMark and welcome to The Royal Forums.

Along with the other suggestions, I did think of a few more that might be able to help you in this matter.

The Royal Horticultural Society
https://www.rhs.org.uk/about-the-rhs/contact-us

Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
https://bsbi.org

Best of luck to you and please update us with what you find out.
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:32 PM
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From the description in the book - "The Big Wheel" - the rose originated at Windsor...My sincerest thanks to all who have replied! I was very surprised to receive such quick and positive comments! You have sparked my enthusiasm to continue research & I have sent emails to the Archivists at Kew Gardens, Monte Carlo Gardens, Sandringham & the Comite des Parcs et Jardins de France as well as the Royal Windsor Rose & Horticultural Society. I did receive a reply from a different Windsor Castle address which I appreciated & certainly made me smile -“Unfortunately you have sent the email to a pub in Kensington. And I am unable to answer your question. I hope you manage to find the info - - Kind regards - The Windsor Castle” - Guess I owe the author a pint if I ever get to the UK!
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:36 PM
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Another idea that may be a long shot but how about writing to Charles at Highgrove and asking him if he knows anything about this rose. Its family history for him and with his love of gardening and flowers and plants, he may just have the answer you're looking for.

The Royal Gardens at Highgrove
Doughton, Tetbury GL8 8TN, UK
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:21 PM
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Osipi, That is a beautiful suggestion. If anyone should have a clue, I think Prince Charles would know his flowers.
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