Regency England through the Eyes of Romance Author Donna Hatch

Donna at Buckingham Palace Gate

                                             Tower Bridge

As many of you know, I recently spent three weeks in England. I walked all over a part of London known as Mayfair, studied buildings and architecture, and visited parks and locations of historical interest during the Georgian and Regency Era. I have such a better idea of Regency Mayfair, and how my characters would live, work, play, and travel. I also visited a bit more modern sites such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the famous Town Bridge. Okay, those aren’t truly modern–they are Victorian–but they came after the Regency so they are modern in my eyes. The Regency Tour offered by Number One London Tours, with Kristine Patrone was fantastic and I really benefitted from Kristine’s knowledge of England in general and English history in particular.

                                   Windsor Castle moat gardens

During the Regency Tour, we left London to tour the extraordinary Windsor Castle. I could live there. Yep, I totally could 😉 Words are inadequate for how beautiful that castle is and how fitting it is to house a royal family when they are able to go there. I saw a cluster of guards marching in perfect formation but didn’t get a photograph of them. I just love the rich traditions the English have! Photographs are not allowed inside Windsor Castle so I put away my camera and just enjoyed the beauty. A tour guide (?) inside one of the rooms that got burned down in 1992 gave me detailed information about the fire and showed me photos of rooms before the fire, just after the fire, and the restoration process. You can read more about the fire here. Great before and after photos of one of the restored rooms are here. I also enjoyed the queen’s dollhouse–it was so cute and I love miniatures. The castle is absolutely magnificent! The garden in the moat is especially charming.

                                            St. George’s Chapel

St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor left me almost speechless. I felt such a reverence and respect for those who built it and for the generations who worshiped there. An organ performance added to the overall beauty. I saw the beautiful and poignant tomb of Princess Charlotte, who died in 1817 during childbirth. I teared up looking at the statue of her grief-stricken ladies in waiting while her body lay lifeless. Overhead,  her spirit ascended with angels–one of them carrying her baby. The tomb beautifully retold  pain, loss, and yet hope of death and the life after. Photos weren’t allowed in the church but you can see images of the tomb here. The church itself was intricately crafted and exquisite!

We had lunch in Eaton on the river. I enjoyed the beautiful weather and watching the queen’s swans swim in the river. Yes, they are hers and yes, they are all accounted for annually in the “swan upping” when they gather, tag, and count the swans. The swan upping would be fun to watch, wouldn’t it?

                                  Prince George’s Brighton Pavilion

Later in the week during the Regency Tour, we took a train to Brighton to view the impressive but ostentatious Brighton Pavilion that Prince George (sometimes referred to unkindly as “Prinny” and who later became King George IV) had built. It was known as his Pleasure Palace. He had wild parties there in his early rakish days and kinda hid out there later on as his weight and behavior made him an object of social scorn.

I’ll blog more about the rest of my trip in snippets for probably months (years?) to come. But what did I learn on this Regency Tour? Regency London is smaller than I thought. Members of the aristocracy could have walked most places on a nice day. They probably all knew each other, too–at least, those who were lucky enough to be included in the beau monde and who frequented London. The architecture was fantastic. I was constantly amazed at the detailed craftsmanship done all by hand. I also learned in an even more profound way how different the lives were for people depending on their social status. We think it’s that way now, but the differences were so huge two hundred year ago that they hardly lived in the same world. Also, Englanders have a profound pride in their country, their culture, their traditions and history, and their monarchy. They have problems too, but that doesn’t seem to sway their love of king and country. The English truly are lovely and brilliant, aren’t they? 😀

I was fascinated–okay, obsessed–about Regency England before, but this trip has flamed that even more. If I didn’t miss my family so much, I would have had a much harder time leaving ancient and beautiful England and returning to the US.  Good thing I live in the Pacific Northwest now and am no longer in the Arizona desert! At least it’s green where I live. Now, if only I can put a formal garden in my backyard…

ANWA Conference

BooksAre you or is someone you love afflicted with an obsessive need to read (or watch) the entire story? Do you hear voices in your head? Do fictional characters often seem more real than people you know? Do you have notebooks or computer files filled with finished and unfinished stories, novels, or memoirs?

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Join others in a type of group therapy to help you learn skills to become a published author in whatever genre you love. Embrace your inner demons! Nurture them! Teach them to tell the story in you.

Time Out For Writers Annual Writers Conference

Feb 19-21, 2015

Phoenix Area

General Public Invited
Brandon Mull and Regina Sirois are our keynote speakers
John Rudolph with Dystel & Goderich Literary Agency
Pam Van Hylckama Klieg with D4EO Literary Agency
Lisa Magnum with Shadow Mountain Publishing
McKenna Gardner with Xchyler Publishing
Heather Moore with Precision Edition Group
MORE GREAT FACULTY:
Janette Rallison
Julie Wright
Kelly Oram
Liz Adair
Penny Freeman
Sarah M. Eden
Tanya Parker Mills
Dave Eaton
John Wincek
Joshua Oram
Angela Morrison
Betty Webb
Dr. Christina G. Hibbert, PSY. D.
For more info and to register see:

Bio–About Donna Hatch

Donna Hatch 2014

Donna Hatch, author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” is a hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, the force that drove her to write and publish nineteen historical romance titles, to date. She is a multi-award winner, a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions as well as her six children. Also a music lover, she sings and plays the harp, and she loves to ballroom dance. Donna and her family recently transplanted from her native Arizona to the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Mission Statement:

To write beautiful, inspiring stories that give readers hope for a better outside library at tea partytomorrow and restore faith in that elusive happily ever after.

10 facts you might not know about Donna:

1. She likes cats–kittens are even more fun.

2. Some days she’d rather dress up and have a tea party, or curl up with a good book, than write.

3. Every morning after she gets the children off to school, she goes for a long walk. (At least, that’s always the goal.)

4. Due to moves in her childhood, she attended 9 different schools. Being the new kid isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

5. She loves chocolate. Dove chocolates have seen her through many brutal revisions.

6. She loves cheesecake almost as much as she loves chocolate–chocolate cheesecake is even better. Salted caramel is a close second. Caramel-chocolate cheesecake, anyone?

7. Currently she is juggling: a new novella, a new Regency trilogy, and book 5 of the Rogue Hearts series.

8. She is severely claustrophobic, which is exactly why, when she had to give her super-warrior weapons master, Kai Darkwood in her fantasy Queen in Exile, some flaw or fear, she chose claustrophobia for his–she understands it.

9. She loves to ballroom dance. LOVES.

10. She also loves bodies of water of any kind–ocean, river, lake, stream, waterfall, swimming pool, backyard garden pond. It does something for her soul. This is partly why she recently moved from the Arizona desert to Washington State. She even loves water when it’s falling from the sky. Her mother and husband have both speculated she might be part mermaid.