Am I the Granddaughter of King Henry VIII? | Meredith Sweetpea


Henry_Carey_King_Henry_VIII_comparison

L: Henry Carey; R: King Henry VIII; Middle: mashup of the two. The resemblance is uncanny. Could he be King Henry VIII’s son?

When Miss Meredith Sweetpea read the best-selling historical novel “The Other Boleyn Girl” she was captivated by the story, and read the entire book in one sitting. Have you read it?

The story, written by British historian Philippa Gregory, tells the tale of Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s older sister, who had a long-term affair with, and two children by, King Henry VIII prior to his meeting and subsequently marrying Anne. It is told from Mary’s point of view, beginning with Mary at the naive age of 14.

This book penetrated my mind, and for years, lingered with a familiarity unclaimed by any other novel.

Years later, I began to research my genealogy, and was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find out that I am the 18th great-granddaughter of Mary Boleyn through each of these two children supposedly conceived through King Henry VIII: Catherine and Henry Carey (Mary was married to William Carey).

Are these the children of King Henry VIII?

Although it has never been proven that these two are the children of King Henry VIII, nor were they ever acknowledged or legitimized by the regent, there are a number of indicators that they may be. For one, it is said that Henry closely resembled King Henry.

  • William Carey was given a number of royal grants between 1522 and 1526, which generally indicate a reward.
  • Henry claimed in 1533 that he was “Our Sovereign Lord the King’s Son.”
  • Anne Boleyn became Henry’s ward after the death of Mary’s husband William Carey.
  • Henry VIII admitted to his affair with Mary, which he probably would not have done had he not issued children with her.
  • Both children were born during the time of the affair.
  • Elizabeth I (Anne Boleyn’s daughter) loved the Carey children and bestowed favors upon them. Henry was knighted by her and made Bason Hunsdon. Elizabeth also visited him on his deathbed and gave him the patent and robes of the Earldom of Wiltshire. Henry’s son, Robert, received Queen Elizabeth I’s ring from her hand upon her death.
  • Catherine Carey was Queen Elizabeth I’s most senior lady-in-waiting, and was buried at Royal expense and given a prominent memorial when she died.

It is rumored that King Henry VIII may have acknowledged these children, but he had already taken in HenryFitzhugh as his legitimate child. He was the child of an affair with Bessie Blount.

The_Other_Boleyn_GirlIt is exciting to know that I am the descendant of this woman who so captivated me through her story, and believe that I am the 18th great-granddaughter of King Henry VIII. Perhaps there is something in our DNA that recognizes those who came and went long before us, and left their mark upon our futures.

–facts excerpted from The Anne Boleyn Files

 

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How Do I Address a Former President?


President_Barack-Obama

Photo by Pete Souza

In the United States, when one leaves an office where they have had a title, such as President of the United States, it often becomes a protocol dilemma on how to refer to them afterwards. Should you still address him (or her) as Mr. President?

The rules of protocol say no.

The rule is that only one living person may hold the title of President at any one time.

While a sitting president should be addressed as Mr. President during their tenure in office, once they leave office, they should correctly be referred to by the title they held previously. For example, President George Washington was referred to as “General Washington” once he retired. President James Monroe was referred to as “Colonel Monroe.”

A deceased President, however, may be referred to using the title “President” before their name, as in “President Washington lived at Mount Vernon.”

This said, many former (and living) Presidents today are addressed as merely that: “Former President,” followed by their name. If, however you are formally addressing them, as in a written correspondence, it is never incorrect to use “Mr.” before their name.

Befuddled by the Flatware at a Formal Dinner?


formal-place-setting-silverwareMiss Meredith Sweetpea loves to attend a formal dinner. All the courses, with their delightful tastes, are just a pleasure to enjoy.

Attending a formal dinner, however, can befuddle some who are not familiar with the array of flatware (a.k.a. silverware) that is set upon the table. Often you’ll see a variety of forks, knives and spoons set beside and above the plate setting, along with a number of drinking glasses.

According to Miss Manners Judith Martin, when it comes to silverware,”Ten would be the maximum number of complements that could be on the table at the same time: a seafood (or cocktail) fork (nestling in the soup spoon); the soup spoon; sets of forks and knives for three courses (usually fish, meat, and salad and/or cheese; if more are needed for additional courses, they should be brought in separately); and a dessert spoon and fork above the plate.”

“A teaspoon has no place at a formal table because tea and coffee are not served during the meal; after-dinner coffee, formally served in a drawing room in a demi-tasse cup, requires the small spoon. If people do wish to drink coffee at the table, for example, the appropriate spoon should be put on the saucer.”

Which Utensil Do I Use for Which Course?

As a rule, silverware should be used from the outside in. In other words, the pieces farthest away from the plate on either side of it should be used first. After each course in a formal dinner, the used silverware should be placed upon the plate to be taken away, leaving the next set of flatware available on the outside of the serving plate. Soup spoons are often served on the plate with the soup, a butter knife usually rests on your bread plate to the left of your forks, and dessert utensils are generally placed above the plate and should remain there until the dessert arrives.

Follow the Host

If you are still befuddled by the array of flatware, the simple rule is to watch the host and do what he or she does.

–excerpted from “Miss Manners’ Guide for the Turn-of-the-Millennium,” by Judith Martin.

 

 

This Pageant Family Really Blew It


boy_cryingMiss Meredith Sweetpea was sitting at a Little Miss and Mister pageant at the local county fair recently behind a family whose son was entered in the age 2-4 category. The family was intently watching, and of course, cheering on their young entry.

When the finalists names were announced, this boy was not among those on the list, and apart from the obvious disappointment any family feels when their own precious child is not deemed “most precious of all,” this family had a different reaction.

The father snatched up the two-year-old boy, stood up, and announced to the family (and all those around him) that he was leaving. He said, “Why should we sit here and watch other people’s children win?” And he encouraged the family to leave with him, right in the middle (and within sight) of the judging for the four finalists.

Of course, Miss Meredith Sweetpea was shocked. What happened to the spirit of competition? Do athletes stomp off the field when only one of them wins a relay, for example? No, they generally support the other players and congratulate the winner. It’s all in the name of “good sportsmanship.”

Let’s Support Good Sportsmanship

In good sportsmanship, the teammates, opponents, and officials treat each other with respect. They encourage and support each other as athletes, or in this case, contestants.

One of the brilliant things I witnessed when working with girls in the Miss America Pageant system was their ability to support, respect and honor each other throughout the pageant process. There may have been a few tears now and again when one was not chosen for a coveted title, but that girl always recovered and and offered a heartfelt and sincere congratulations to the winner.

Pageants are not the place to air your grievances or to create a scene when you or your child didn’t win. Their loss should have been accepted with grace and dignity. This family should have stayed to watch just who won, and offered their congratulations to the winning family. Who knows, they may have learned just why this child won and theirs didn’t so they could do better next year.

Children learn from their parents how to behave, so it worries me how this young child will grow up.

Gratitude is Like a Magnet | Manners Quotes


cup-of-tea
“Gratitude is like a magnet; the more grateful you are,
the more you will receive and be grateful for.”

–Iyanla Vanzant

Expressing Gratitude | Meredith Sweetpea


Growing up, I don’t remember being forced to write thank you notes, but I did anyway. Now, as an adult, Miss Meredith Sweetpea finds that it is more important than ever to graciously express gratitude.

Showing that you are grateful for something you’ve received, or a kindness or gift someone has bestowed upon you, can often be a several-step process.

Say Thank You

First, say “thank you” immediately upon receiving a gift. I have unfortunately witnessed people who, upon receiving a gift, state, “Thanks, but I don’t need this or want this. You’ll have to take it back.” Instead, they should have graciously accepted the gift for the gesture for which it was intended–to honor the recipient, perhaps for a birthday, holiday or special occasion. Simply said, a heartfelt “thank you” will honor the giver who took their time and effort to arrange a special treat just for you. You can always do with the gift what you want later on (donate it or regift it if you don’t want it, or use it or display it proudly.)

Send a Handwritten Note

A handwritten note does NOT mean an email or text–yes, even in today’s electronic times. It means writing words of gratitude on a piece of paper or card and putting it into an envelope that is mailed to the giver’s address, preferably their home address. I recently heard from someone who received a handwritten thank you note who said, “I was so surprised to receive a real letter in the mail. I so rarely get anything that’s not a bill or a solicitation anymore. It was so exciting!” This little gesture can mean so much to the person who took the time to arrange for your gift or service, and is a reminder they will often keep, display, and read again and again.

Tell Others

Spread even more love by telling the recipient later on how much you’re enjoying the gift and how you are using it. Also, glowingly tell others about the gift you received. Even if the gift-giver never hears you telling others, the pleasure you feel from recounting how you received this gift will bring you renewed joy each time you tell it.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Television personality and media mogul Oprah Winfrey swears that her gratitude journal has changed her outlook on life. Writing in it each evening, she recaps the things that happened during her day for which she is grateful. Singer/songwriter Willie Nelson said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

Keep your own gratitude journal and list at least 3 things each evening. At first, you may find it a struggle to find things to write. It is OK to put down things like, “I’m grateful because I felt energized today,” or “I’m grateful to receive a paycheck today.”

As time passes, you will start to notice more and more little things, and you will actually begin to change your mindset from feeling overwhelmed by life’s daily challenges to recognizing life’s little joys. Your entries might change to, “I’m grateful for the bird song I heard when I awoke this morning,” or “I’m grateful that the clerk at the grocery store complimented me on my new necklace.” Be open to whatever highlight enters your consciousness, from world events to the tiniest little spark in your daily life. Make these points the grace notes to the symphony of your day.

A Meredith Sweetpea Visit to Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School


meredith-sweetpea-chef-olwen-woodier-glenfiddich-cookery-school-virginiaFood is certainly one of the joys of life, and what better way to enjoy food than to learn from a professional. Miss Meredith Sweetpea had the pleasure of attending a cooking class at the Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School this past week. Located on a lovely acreage in Loudoun County, Virginia are the gardens from which chef Olwen Woodier selects her fresh produce for the menus she so lovingly prepares. The gardens are filled with vegetables, fruits and herbs to delight any palate.

The Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School was started in February 2005 in a stone-walled 1840s home that was formerly a dairy. The rustic elements of exposed beams and stone only add to the allure of the large, modern kitchen where Olwen conducts her classes many a Wednesday morning. The farm was originally called Gobblers Knob after the multitude of resident wild turkeys, then later was renamed Glenfiddich Farm (Celtic for “Valley of the Deer”) to celebrate the many local deer.

meredith-sweetpea-Glenfiddich-Cookery-Class-mealThis day, I, along with 3 other ladies, prepared a feast consisting of:

  • Potato spinach gnocchi with prosciutto, parsley and parmesan
  • Cucumber tomato gazpacho
  • Sauteed shrimp
  • Eggplant tomato caprese salad with red pepper basil pesto
  • Strawberry fool with homemade waffle cone accompaniments

It was quite the treat to gather the fresh herbs from the garden, and tour through the maze of plantings in Olwen’s backyard. The beautiful landscaping was accented throughout by flowers, birdhouses and sculptures to form a refreshing retreat. And there were baskets of fresh produce and eggs awaiting us in the kitchen. Olwen makes it a point to cook organically whenever possible, so freshness was abundant.

Each month, Glenfiddich features different menus, based around what is in season, and special classes can be held by request.

meredith-sweetpea-Olwen-Woodier-cookbooks

Order Olwen’s cookbooks!

Olwen Woodier is also a cookbook author, with award-winning cookbooks including:

Prior to running the Cookery, Olwen was a publicist and journalist, with hundreds of articles featured in national and regional magazines and newspapers including Woman’s Day, Gourmet, Family Circle, National Geographic Traveler and The New York Times.

If you are ever visiting Virginia and want a real taste of our Commonwealth, plan to take a cooking class at the Glenfiddich Farm.meredith-sweetpea-Glenfiddich-Farm-VA

Order Olwen Woodier’s Cookbooks for Yourself!

–Photography by Linda Barrett

 

 

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