Thursday, June 9, 2011
June 18, 1873 --- The Shah in London
The Shah was seen about town, even attending the opera in a uniform bedazzled with gleaming gems. By Act III of Faust however, he was sound asleep, stirring manfully for the death scene. For his audience with the Queen, the Shah wore a simple tunic, with enormous ruby buttons and a diamond studded belt and sword. She described him as "fairly tall, and not fat, he has a fine countenance and is very animated." Escorted by the Prince of Wales, the Shah also visited Trentham, the lavish country seat of the Duke of Sutherland; the Shah advised the Prince, "He is too grand a subject, you'll have to have his head off when you come to the throne." In that sanguinary vein, it was whispered that an offending servant in the Shah's party had been strangled and quietly buried in a dark corner of the Buckingham Palace grounds.
London society had its fun and frisson, the Foreign Office was pleased, and the Shah, back in Persia, wrote gratefully to the Queen, addressing her as "'My auspicious sister of sublime nature."
Vanity Fair published a timely caricature of the Shah in 1873.
Posted by Tom Hughes at 11:18 AM