30 November 2010

Royal Connections

In light of the recent Royal engagement (and to distract us from all the snow), this week’s featured item from the Archives is a letter written by Jean Pike, Lady-in-Waiting to HRH The Princess of Wales.  The letter, from the Carroll collection, is addressed to Ida Carroll, Principal of the Northern School of Music between 1956 and 1972 and Dean of Management of the Royal Northern College of Music from 1972 until her retirement in 1976.

Ida Carroll has been described as a staunch royalist, and this letter thanks her for sending a letter and book to ‘Prince William and Prince Henry’. It could reasonably be surmised that the book Ida sent to the princes was one of her father’s (Walter Carroll) famous piano lessons for children, such as Scenes at a Farm or Sea Idylls perhaps. These books were first published at the beginning of the twentieth century yet remain popular today with children and piano teachers alike.  Prince William would have turned 7 on 21 June 1989 while Prince Harry would be nearing his 5th birthday (on 15 September) - both were thus the right sort of age to benefit from the lessons contained within Carroll's books. 

From Carroll/IGC/3, copyright The Ida Carroll Trust

The full text of the letter reads:

'2nd August 1989

Dear Mrs Carroll,

The Princess of Wales has asked me to thank you for your letter together with the book for Prince William and Prince Henry.

Her Royal Highness was most touched by your kind thought and has asked me to send you her sincerest thanks and best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
Jean Pike

Mrs Max Pike’

For further information about the Carroll collection or any other aspect of the RNCM Archives, please see the links on the right hand side.

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