Okay, that is stretching the imagination a teeny bit, as the dashing duke passed away quietly in 1852, after a rather exciting life, which included outstanding service in sixty battles and being celebrated as an ice cool, master, military tactician. However, here is a rare chance to gaze at Arthur Wellesley, 1st The Duke of Wellington, in a portrait that epitomises his steely calm in the midst of battle, by the artist John Lucas. You can soak up the life of one of Britain’s greatest heroes, and style icons, whilst enjoying a rare, celebratory Battle of Waterloo tea and tour of Trinity House, one of the grandest, most elegant pads in London, and a twinkling beacon of our illustrious maritime history. Sadly, the Duke was unhappily married, but he was the poster boy for the romantic movement, and treated like a rock star, for his valour and flamboyant style. I think it might be time to dust off my favourite military jacket in Wellington’s honour!
A British Hero
For one day only, on June 15th, Trinity House, the working home of the General Lighthouse Authority, located at Tower Hill, and the Waterloo Association, throws open its gilded door to members and the public to enjoy a marvellous tour of the house’s fascinating maritime artefacts and important paintings. This will include the full length, life-size portrait of the duke, which depicts him in all his heroic, much decorated splendour. The portrait was commissioned to commemorate his position as Master of Trinity House between 1837 – 1852.
The tour will be conducted by a professional guide, and takes place between 2.45pm and 5pm on June 15th and places are very limited. The charge for the tour and light refreshments is £10.00.
Association members and the public are invited to contact Suzanne Brunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01795 842992 to register a place as capacity is restricted. Please visit www.waterloo200.org.uk and www.waterlooassociation.org.uk for more information about this and other events taking place as part of the celebrations.
About Trinity House:
Trinity House is one of London’s most distinguished private event venues. Easily accessed by car or the underground, the elegance and airy spaciousness of the House possesses the ambience of a grand private residence and is an impressive setting for social and corporate occasions and memorable civil weddings.
Behind the building’s imposing neo-classical façade, designed by Samuel Wyatt in 1794, are five graceful banqueting and conference rooms – The Library, The Court Room, The Pepys Room, Luncheon Room and Reading Room catering for board meetings, conferences, informal dinners, formal banqueting and weddings ranging in capacity from 10 to 130 places. The House’s particularly beautiful Reception Hall, with its sweeping, twin-curved staircase, houses remarkable maritime artefacts that bear testament to the prominent role played by Trinity House in the nation’s maritime history. To view a brief film of the House and its facilities, please visit: www.trinityhouse.co.uk/events
Some Fascinating Facts about The Duke of Wellington
1. He preferred to sleep in a simple military campaign bed, rather than a grand bed at home.
2. As a young man, his mother was rather worried that her lazy, profligate son wouldn’t amount to very much.
3. He was twice British Prime Minister for the Tory party.
4. There is a fascinating account of him meeting Lord Horatio Nelson, another great British military super hero. Initially he described him as vain. Then he goes on to describe Nelson as a man with a first class military mind.
5. The Duke was a fashion icon of his day, setting the trends with his plumed black hat, grand military uniform and white trousers which fitted in with the romantic movement and the cult of the individual.
The Corporation of Trinity House was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514 to oversee the improvement of pilotage on the River Thames and manage the welfare of distressed seamen and their dependents. Today it serves the mariner as the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for England, Wales and the Channel Islands, with responsibility for nearly 600 aids to navigation, from traditional aids such as lighthouses to the latest satellite navigation technology.
It is also the UK’s largest-endowed maritime charity, wholly funded by its endowments, spending around £4m each year on its charitable activities including welfare of mariners, education and training, and the promotion of safety at sea. It is also a Deep Sea Pilotage Authority.
Please visit www.trinityhouse.co.uk for more information.