Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Future of St Helena: A Wedding destination?

An interesting day for the Napoleonic blogs.

Carmi has unearthed a wonderful cartoon of Napoleon on the front page of a 1949 Men Only Magazine - a real gem. Quite how the cartoon relates to the content of that particular edition of the magazine is unclear.

Then Michel reports a recent wedding at Longwood House,well a renewal of vows actually, and in the Montholon Apartment, not the Imperial Suite.

The happy couple were expatriates currently working with the island police. After the short ceremony there were photos on the lawn in front of the famous entrance.

Longwood has over the years witnessed births and deaths and other dramatic events - but as far as I know never a wedding ceremony.

I could not help wondering what Napoleon would have made of all this.

Perhaps this will be the future of St Helena and of Longwood House - an exotic wedding destination.

Once St Helena gets its airport then the Mediterranean, Africa, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Las Vegas will have a new more exotic and probably more expensive rival.

I can see it now: horses and carriages, men dressed in uniforms of the Grande Armée, and maybe even photos in Longwood House with a Napoleon look alike, for a supplementary fee of course.

Certainly beats a photo with a Sri Lankan elephant.


Michel Dancoisne-Martineau said...

Hi John… I can understand your reserve to use the General’s Montholon to celebrate a wedding or vows renewal. You're not the only one.
Just to complete your blog : Longwood House was already used during Napoleon’s days for that purpose… Ali and Noverraz got married there for example.
When Geraint asked me to use those appartments, I had in my mind the quote from Napoleon’s Valet Marchand : « [L’amour] devenait, sur ce misérable rocher, leur unique et seule consolation. » (Journal de Marchand – Volume 2, page 39). I will be the last one to put a nationality boundery to Love.
So next time you come on the island do not forget the elephant (lol)...

John Tyrrell said...

An elephant on St Helena - that would be a sight indeed.
I think you appreciate that my post was tongue in cheek - although actually thinking about it I feel it makes some sense to allow parts of Longwood to be used by the community from time to time. It is a good idea to integrate the French properties into St Helena life. The total separation was one of the things that Kauffmann noted in his book - I think you are addressing that.
Thanks again for correcting the error in one of my posts! When I wrote it I did at the back of my mind have a feeling that there had been a wedding there in Napoleon's day.

Michel Dancoisne-Martineau said...

you know me too well now John. I give as much as I can to the locals and to the St. Helena/UK government to make sure they realize this is possible to incorporate the French Properties in their assets and their prospects for the future. Autres temps, autres moeurs

Carmi Cimicata said...

Call me crazy.....I would get married there!

John Tyrrell said...

You are not crazy. I am sure that many would welcome the opportunity. This post may not be that far fetched. Still, as long as Michel is there I don't think Longwood will be turned into a Napoleonic theme park!
There are though real dangers as well as opportunities with the planned airport.