On Sunday 9th July 1905, King Edward VII (known throughout his life as Bertie) visited Broadway. His Majesty had travelled by train to Moreton-in-Marsh the previous afternoon. He had spent the Saturday night with Lord Redesdale1 at Batsford Park with fellow guests: his equerry Major G. Lindsay Holford, CVO, CIE, the Austrian Ambassador Count Albert von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein, Lord Esher2, the Dowager Countess of Dudley, Mr and Mrs Joseph Chamberlain, Mr and Mrs George Keppel3, Lady Airlie, Lady Edith Ogilvy, the Hon. Mr and Mrs David Mitford, the Hon. Jack Mitford, the Hon. Rupert Mitford, the Hon. Frances Mitford, the Hon. Iris Mitford and the Hon. Daphne Mitford.
On Sunday morning, HM The King attended the morning service at Batsford Church conducted by the Rev. Spencer Jones, which was so popular that the service was by ticketed entry only, all 120 seats in the church were full.
At 2.30pm, His Majesty left Batsford in his own car for an afternoon’s drive around the North Cotswolds. King Edward was driven through nearby Dorn via Neighbridge. It is reported that Neighbridge is where Charles II, after the Battle of Worcester in September 1651, took refuge in an oak tree and hid his horse under the bridge. The approaching Parliamentarians frightened the horse which neighed and galloped off with the soldiers in pursuit whilst King Charles made his escape in the opposite direction.
His Majesty proceeded from Dorn to Chipping Campden and on through Weston Subedge and Willersey before arriving in Broadway where he was met by flag waving crowds lining the village’s High Street. From Broadway The King proceeded to Stanway House where he had tea with Lord and Lady Elcho (Hugo Richard Charteris, Lord Elcho, was the 11th Earl of Wemyss and 7th Earl of March DL) before returning to Batsford via Ford and Bourton-on-the-Hill.
1. Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale, GCVO, KCB.
2. Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher GCVO, KCB, PC, DL.
3. Mrs Keppel, Alice Frederica Keppel (née Edmonstone), was a British Society hostess and long-time mistress of King Edward VII. Alice Keppel was married to Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. George Keppel, MVO. Lord Esher wrote to his son, Maurice, from Batsford Park in July 1905: The King is perfectly happy. His admiration of Mrs K. is almost pathetic. He watches her all day and is never happy when she’s talking to someone else…….she is never bored of him and always good-humoured. So, her hold over him grows.