“ALL THAT GLISTERS IS NOT GOLD; OFTEN HAVE YOU HEARD THAT TOLD”
William Shakespeare, English Poet and Playwright [1564-1616]
Consuelo Vanderbilt and Gladys Deacon had been beautiful, wealthy American heiresses and socialites, but were never fully accepted into titled British society. Such marriages were certainly not uncommon at the time. Wealthy American brides were sneeringly referred to as 'buccaneers', accused of marrying into the nobility for titles in order to improve the prestige of their families in the U.S. This seems a bit unfair, frankly, as these arranged marriages were clearly of mutual benefit, if unacceptable to the British Peerage and perhaps doomed from the start.
Concerning the 9th Duke of Marlborough, nowadays credited for saving Blenheim Palace from falling to pieces, one reads that he was considered sociable and friendly by his own circle of friends. Perhaps, but Consuelo said that she found him severe and aloof. Gladys wrote that her marriage to him was "like a black heavy cloud leaving such a disgusted pain that for years and even now I cannot bear to even brush by it in thought."
In a letter written November 27, 1906 to Whitelaw Reid, the U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s from 1905 to 1912, President Theodore Roosevelt wrote “I thoroly [sic] dislike these international marriages, but the lowest note of infamy is reached by such a creature as this Marlborough, who proposing to divorce the woman [Consuelo] when he at least cannot afford to throw any stone at her, nevertheless proposes to keep and live on the money she brought him…surely you do not object to my calling the Duke of Marlborough a cad!”
The Duke is quoted as saying "I despise all things American". I wish he would have said something more along the lines of "I love being able to restore Blenheim Palace", and left it at that.
THE ROYAL SPANIELS
Speaking of noble lineage, the English Toy Spaniel is directly descended for well over three centuries from the royal spaniels popular in England during the reign of Charles II [reigned 1660-1685], who himself was a great admirer and kept many as his personal pets. Charles Stewart was returned to the throne with the restoration of the British monarchy in 1660. His father, Charles I had lost a civil war to maintain his power, and lost his life, to Oliver Cromwell and the rebellious Parliamentarians opposed to the king's authority. His son, with members of the royal family and sympathizers escaped to the European continent and plotted in exile to return. Eventually, the repressive regime of the Puritans collapsed soon after Cromwell's death in 1658. The Royalists were able to win back control of the
government and the monarchy was restored, with Charles returning to London on his 30th birthday, May 29, 1660. Charles II was officially crowned King of England and Ireland at Westminster Abbey on April 21, 1661.