Rena found me in Venice California. She married Sir Ian Easton who was the Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies that is located in Seaford House that was owned by Lord Howard de Waldon, who Rodin did a bust of.
FOLLOW YOUR MUSE WHEREVER SHE TAKES YOU!
I would not have found one of the wealthiest families in Britain, who own a huge hunk of London, if no for Rena Victoria Easton, who hopefully has retired as a janitor. She was suffering and in pain. Why didn’t the British Government make sure Commodore Easton’s widow has a pension to live on? I will send a letter to the British Embassy – and shame all of England, beginning with the City of London!
When I first saw Howard, I wanted to use his image as one of Serena’s ancestors because he was a handsome man.
Easton joined the Royal Navy in 1931 and qualified as a pilot at the start of World War II in which he saw active service on aircraft carriers. On 4 January 1941, flying a Fairey Fulmar of 803 Squadron from HMS Formidable during a raid on Dakar he force landed, with his aircrewman Naval Airman James Burkey and was taken prisoner and held by the Vichy French at a camp near Timbuktu until released in November 1942. He was appointed Assistant Director of the Tactical and Weapons Policy Division at the Admiralty in 1960 and was seconded to the Royal Australian Navy as Captain of HMAS Watson in 1962. He went on to be Naval Assistant to the Naval Member of the Templer Committee on Rationalisation of Air Power in 1965, Director of Naval Tactical and Weapons Policy Division at the Admiralty in 1966 and Captain of the aircraft carrier HMS Triumph in 1968. After that he was made Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy) in 1969, Flag Officer for the Admiralty Interview Board in 1971 and Head of British Defence Staff and Senior Defence Attaché in Washington, D.C. in 1973. He last posting was as Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1976: he commissioned armourial bearings for the College which were presented during a visit by the Queen in November 1977. He retired in 1978.[1
Seaford House, originally called Sefton House, at 37 Belgrave Square is an aristocratic mansion in London, England. It is the largest of the three detached houses which occupy three corners of Belgrave Square in the district of Belgravia. Seaford House is a white stucco building with four main stories.
In 1902, Sefton House was remodeled for Lord Howard de Walden, who was also Baron Seaford. It was at this time that it became known as Seaford House. Howard de Walden had a marble staircase, friezes and paneling installed. It is now the home of Royal College of Defence Studies, and is usually open to the public free of charge on Open House Weekend each September.
The main vestibule of the Seaford House was used as Titanic‘s Grand Staircase in the 1979 miniseries SOS Titanic and later stood in as the exterior of the home of Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s character Nessa Stein in the BBC and SundanceTV television miniseries The Honourable Woman in 2014.
Baron Howard de Walden is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created by writ of summons in 1597, by Queen Elizabeth I for Admiral Lord Thomas Howard, a younger son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, by his second wife, the Honourable Margaret Audley, daughter of Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden. The title was reportedly granted for the Admiral’s role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The baron eventually went on to obtain the title of Earl of Suffolk from Elizabeth I’s successor King James I, which latter title continues in his male-line descendants. The barony Howard de Walden however eventually passed out of the Howard family with the death of James Howard, 3rd Earl of Suffolk in 1688, and came briefly to the 4th Earl of Bristol before passing to his great-grandson, the four-year-old Charles Augustus Ellis in 1803.
The family, whose history dates back to 1677 with the marriage of Mary Davies to Sir Thomas Grosvenor, is best known for owning 300 acres of prime London land including some of the most exclusive residential addresses in Mayfair bounded by Oxford Street, Park Lane, Berkeley Square and Avery Row and Belgravia bounded by Chelsea, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.
The Mayfair estate was completed in the 1780’s though much rebuilding was carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries. Belgravia was the vision of the then head of the Grosvenor family, Robert 1st Marquess who worked closely with Thomas Cundy and Thomas Cubitt to create the stunning, often white-stuccoed, Regency style squares, streets and crescents we have today.
Nowadays, Grosvenor have branched out into other avenues and play an important part in operating, investing and securing companies that contribute towards sustainable food and energy supplies along with having interests in rural estates across the United Kingdom and Spain, charitable foundations, art collections and historic archives. In total, the Grosvenor Estate employs more than 1,200 people
The best known Belgravia streets are Chester Square, Belgrave Square, Elizabeth Street, Pimlico Road and the jewel in Grosvenor’s crown, the magnificent Eaton Square.
Howard De Walden Estate
The Howard De Walden Estate is the main landlord of the central area of Marylebone. It owns, manages and leases the majority of properties across a 92 acre area extending from Marylebone High Street in the west to Portland Place in the east and from Wigmore Street in the south to Marylebone Road in the north.
The land, which was previously known as the Portland Estate, passed to the Howard de Walden family in 1879 and was subsequently renamed. Development continued at a rapid pace and in the late 19th Century due to the close proximity of hospitals to the area, doctors began setting up practices and one of the most famous roads in Marylebone, Harley Street, came to being. Today, the road remains synonymous with private medicine.
Although the plot lies within a conservation area, with some creative thinking from the Howard de Walden Estate the area has continued to flourish and now offers a colourful mix of quality commercial and residential property with an emphasis on cultural vibrancy.
The estate has an estimated worth of £2.5 billion and is to be inherited by Peter Czernin, the critically acclaimed film producer.
The Wellcome Trust is a pharmaceutical foundation that has a £1billion property portfolio, mainly in South Kensington, and uses the income from the estate to provide funding into scientific research and charity work.
When Henry Smith, a wealthy Tudor philanthropist died in 1628, he left instructions to trustees of his estate that £1,000 must be invested in land with the income being used to pay towards the relief of English soldiers who had suffered at the hands of Turkish pirates. Some of the money was spent on farmland in Chelsea, Kensington and Westminster and from 1785 building work started. The estate stayed with the Henry Smith Charity until it was sold to the Wellcome Trust in 1998.
The 8th Earl of Cadogan inherited the Cadogan Estate in 1997, putting him in second place just behind the Duke of Westminster. The Estate currently owns 90 acres of highly sought after prime residential, retail and commercial land in Chelsea and Knightsbridge including Cadogan Square, Sloane Street and the King’s Road, with an estimated worth of around £3.45 billion. The Cadogan Estate is also the freeholder to one million square feet of some of London’s most prized retail space including Peter Jones, Harvey Nichols and international stores including Chanel, Gucci and Armani.
Due to the changes in leasehold enfranchisement enabling long lease residential holders to buy the freehold, the Cadogan Estate, along with the others have been reduced quite dramatically in size. In light of this, money has been invested in other measures including the redevelopment of Cadogan Hall into a concert venue and the acquisition of the Duke of York’s headquarters in 2000. Located just off Slone Square, the former barracks site is today home to the iconic Saatchi Gallery, international retailers, luxury office space and leading eateries.
Historically, the Estate dates back to 1712 when Sir Hans Sloane, an Eighteenth Century scientist, purchased what was then the Manor of Chelsea. When he died, his estate was split between his two daughters, one of whom had married into the Cadogan family. When the second daughters’ son died with no heir, the estate passed wholly to the Cadogan family in 1821.
As you would imagine, the Crown Estate is owned by the British Royal Family and although some property ownership can be traced to Edward the Confessor, the Estate dates back to 1066 when William the Conqueror claimed all land in England belonged to him. However over time, large areas of land were granted to noble men and sold off to raise revenue.
The Queen is one of the largest property owners in the UK, with an urban portfolio worth around £6.8 billion, which includes the entirety of Regent Street and a vast proportion of St James. In actual fact, in terms of geographical content, the estate is over 23 million acres including forests, farms and parklands however most of it lies below the sea; the estate owns the entire seabed within territorial waters and 55% of the foreshore. This is due to it never having been sold off.
The Crown Estate is owned by the current reigning Monarch for as long as they are on the throne and is passed down to each successor. Since 1760 under the Civil Lists Acts, the Monarch surrenders the net income of The Crown Estate to the Exchequer and responsibility for looking after the land falls on The Crown Estate under the Crown Estate Act. The Queen is not involved in any management decisions, however she does have private assets such as Balmoral and Sandringham which are hers to deal with as she so chooses.
In 2002, the Crown Estate began implementing a £1 billion investment programme to improve Regent Street’s commercial and visitor facilities attracting retailers such as Apple and other large international brands. In addition to this, they invested £500 million in St James’, which included a number of redevelopment projects. They also have the right to receive 23% of the income from the Duchy of Lancaster’s Savoy Estate in London and have invested over £250 million in out-of-town shopping centers and retail parks in places such as Liverpool, Nottingham and Portsmouth.
Like the Howard De Walden Estate, the Portman Estate is also based in Marylebone, covering 110 acres to the west of the High Street from Marble Arch to Orchard Street on Oxford Street, Edgeware Road to the west, Baker Street in the east and up to Crawford Street in the north.
The Portman Estate dates back to the Sixteenth Century when, after the Seven Years’ War, Henry William Portman oversaw the build of Portman Square in 1764, Manchester Square in 1770 and both Bryanston and Montagu Squares in 1810. Undertaking a modern approach, the Portman family leased the land out to developers instead of organising the work themselves.
Throughout the last century, due to financial constraints the use of land has changed and the estate has taken a more dynamic approach to managing their 650 properties.
A new management team working under new trustees has been overseeing a five-year refurbishment programme costing £80 million, which is aimed at taking back leases and investing in new building projects. One such project is 55 Baker Street, the former Marks and Spencer head office which will be transformed into 61,700 square meters of office space, three storey town houses, leisure, retail and public space. However, the estate are keen to maintain the beautiful period buildings too and many large Georgian houses in the area have been turned into mansion blocks, grand hotels or office buildings and let on long leases.
The recent development of Portman Village in Seymour Place, Chiltern Street and New Quebec Street has also added to the area and attracted an eclectic range of shops, restaurants and fashion stores with an emphasis on independent food sellers and boutiques.
The Estates’ survival as active players of the London property scene for over three hundred years, surviving two World Wars, periods of economic boom and bust, changing Government policies, fashions and requirements shows their versatility and sustainability through generations. It is remarkable the majority of them have remained in the same families and we can certainly learn a lot from their tenacity going forward.
“I have worked as a janitor for thirteen years. It amuses me a little bit that I have become such a red-neck woman. I’m no longer young and pretty. I guess I am something else now. I have a million poems memorized. I can always gage my highs and lows by my focus, and my desire and ability to recite them whilst vacuuming at work. My mind can roam free there, but I do get ever so tired, and bored, lonely as well. I love my boos, Pauline. She is very professional, very tough, but ever so kind. I enjoy manual labor.”
The Movie Begins
Sabrina is vacuuming the office of United Airlines at the Bozeman airport. We can barely make out what she is saying. The camera comes closer. For those in the know Sabrina is reciting ‘The Masque of Anarchy’ by Percy Bysshe Shelly. She is feeling good today, even – chipper. He cadence is perfect. She is harmonizing with her vacuum cleaner that sounds like a bagpipe.
Now there is the music from Swan Lake, and Sabrina is transformed. Dressed in black she is sending powerful leg kicks into the groin of the men who have come to stop her. There is a cadence of groans. There is a faint smile on Sabrina lips as she recalls how badass she was when she was young. She raises her voice!
- Stand ye calm and resolute,
- Like a forest close and mute,
- With folded arms and looks which are
- Weapons of unvanquished war.
- And if then the tyrants dare,
- Let them ride among you there;
- Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;
- What they like, that let them do.
- With folded arms and steady eyes,
- And little fear, and less surprise,
- Look upon them as they slay,
- Till their rage has died away:
- Then they will return with shame,
- To the place from which they came,
- And the blood thus shed will speak
- In hot blushes on their cheek:
- Rise, like lions after slumber
- In unvanquishable number!
- Shake your chains to earth like dew
- Which in sleep had fallen on you:
- Ye are many—they are few!”
Sabrina feels her cellphone vibrating on he beating heart. It is Pauline. She has a cleaning job for her in the Ukraine. She goes into the Janitor’s Closet to change into her international flight outfit. A limousine picks her up. She calls her husband, Wayne Rogers a.k.a. Buck Rogers, and leaves a message telling him she had to work late. The camera pans the house. There is no evidence a man lives there.
In the air, Sabrina begins to recite the essay on Hostage Taking she has committed to memory. There are flashbacks. Landing in Odessa, there is another limousine wafting for her. She prepares herself, goes into he warm-up routine by reciting the janitor job description. This induces an out-of-body experience which allows her to detache. She is just doing her job.
I want Sarah Douglas to play the older Sabrina, but, she must not overact. She should live with Rena for two weeks, and watch her expressions, note the energy she produces. She needs to relearn how to movie her body, and, be a dancer. Rena and Sarah are the same age. With diamond jewelry, Sarah is transformed from an old maid to a wealthy dowager. She is introduced to her understudy played by………………….”