10 November 2013


Last month I took my new camera to a château that we had been intending to visit for several years, Candé, which is in the village of Monts, near Montbazan, just south of Tours.


It was a dismal day, cool, grey and with intermittent showers.  Between the showers it drizzled most of the time we were there, which is not the best weather for the first visit of my new camera to a château.


But in some ways it added to the atmosphere of the place.  In trying to decided how I felt about it and looking at the photos afterwards, I did feel as though we had just missed a good wedding.


Taking these pictures in autumn, a few weeks and 76 years after the first famous royal wedding, it did feel as though it had only just happened, as if we had turned up slightly too late, as Edward and Mrs Simpson had packed their bags and swept out of the château the month before.


You can read about the château and its history in Wikipedia here, but without a doubt it is the wedding of Prince Edward to Wallis Simpson that dominates the place and, presumably, sells it to the visitors.


Realistically, their wedding was the reason that I always wanted to visit.  It is a beautiful château, without a doubt, but there are so many beautiful châteaux in the Loire that they all have to have something different to make you want to go.  I’m sure there have been scores of weddings at Candé in centuries gone by, but this was the first ever to have the photos, taken by Cecil Beaton, in every popular newspaper and magazine soon afterwards.


I do enjoy glimpses into the lives of people of previous centuries, I know it’s just sheer nosiness but I love to imagine people sitting side by side in front of a cosy fire, enjoying a cup of tea and a scone, or maybe a gin and tonic, chatting.  How likely is it that that the royal couple sat just here?  Probably not very likely, but it hardly matters.


Photographs were permitted indoors without a flash so I just set my new camera to intelligent auto and let it get on with it.  It was certainly a very photogenic interior and it had a homely feel to it.  Grand but no means intimidating.  I couldn’t imagine anything horrid happening here, unlike some châteaux, where you feel instantly the evil that has taken place the moment you walk through the door.


Bon Dimanche !!


  1. That "Recipes of all Nations" book looks like an inter-War cover...
    one can imagine....

    1. ........one can imagine Walis Simpson looking up the recipe for scones, rolling up her sleeves and...........
      Maybe not - that"s probably letting one's imagination go a little too far........

  2. I can imagine her chef gritting his teeth every time she took it out of the cupboard... what will it be this time? P.

  3. The more I visit Candé the more intrigued by Charles and Fern Bedaux I become. Edward and Mrs Simpson is only a tiny part the story. That inter-war period is fascinating. And what about the rather mysterious Cuban who was the 19thC owner.

  4. Hi Jean, Every year, in June, Candé organizes a 1930 picnic with 'époque' cars, music, costumes and food. I don't know whether it is any good - authenticity-wise, I mean - but it sounds like great fun. We were lucky to see the anniversary exhibition with all of Mrs Simpson's lovely 'haute couture' gowns, now part of private collections. It's a fascinating place indeed, for different reasons. Have a nice weekend! Martine

  5. Well I think you've got the hang of your new camera - those internal shots are excellent!

  6. The chateau must have quite an atmosphere, and those photos are lovely. Your camera is a real goody!

  7. What an interesting post, Jean. I can quite see why the last photo is your favourite!

  8. Interesting post Jean. I had not realised they had got married there. Have a good week Diane

  9. You really are enjoying the new camera.

  10. Your new camera has done you proud with those gorgeous indoor shots, Jean. I hadn't a clue that The Duke of Windsor and Mrs Simpson had married in the Loire Valley. For some reason I always imagined it would have been on the Riviera.

  11. I agree - I love that bookshelf! Jean