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What we're about

The Royal Oak Foundation is the American partner of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our members enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of historic houses and gardens owned by National Trust and invitations to British-themed events nationwide here in the U.S.

To learn more about us, visit https://www.royal-oak.org/

Upcoming events (2)

A Woman of No Importance: The Spy Who Helped Win WWII

ADAC - Atlanta Decorative Arts Center

USE CODE MEET2019 for ticket discounts. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.royal-oak.org/events/2019-fall-atlanta-woman-no-importance/ Reception and book signing following lecture. In 1942, the Gestapo sent out an urgent command: “She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.” This spy was Virginia Hall, a young socialite from Baltimore, who, after being rejected from the Foreign Service because of her gender and prosthetic leg, talked her way into the SOE, the WWII British spy organization dubbed Churchill’s “ministry of ungentlemanly warfare.” Hall, known as the “Madonna of the Resistance,” was one of the greatest spies in American and English history, yet her full story remains untold. At a time when sending female secret agents into enemy territory was still strictly forbidden, Hall coordinated a network of spies to report on German troop movements, arranged equipment parachute drops for Resistance fighters, and recruited and trained guerrilla units to ambush enemy convoys and blow up bridges and railroads. Even as her face covered WANTED posters throughout Europe, she refused orders to evacuate. She finally escaped in a death-defying climb over of the Pyrenees into Spain, her cover blown, and her associates imprisoned or executed. But, she plunged back into the field with the American OSS secret service, directing partisan armies to back up the Allied forces landing at Normandy. King George VI awarded her the OBE in 1943 and she received the Distinguished Service Cross from the US in 1946, the only American woman to receive this honor. Best-selling author, Sonia Purnell will reveal the captivating story of a formidable, yet shockingly overlooked, heroine whose fierce persistence helped win a world war. Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to the Purnell’s meticulously researched upcoming book A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II (April 2019) and has attached actress Daisy Ridley to star as Virginia Hall.

Ciphers, Secrets, and Spies in the Elizabethan Age

ADAC - Atlanta Decorative Arts Center

USE CODE MEET2019 for ticket discounts. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.royal-oak.org/events/2019-fall-atlanta-ciphers-secrets/ Reception following lecture. The Elizabethan era [masked]) is often depicted as the “Golden Age” in England’s history—an era of great exploration and military victories in which Queen Elizabeth I is represented in sumptuous clothing and jewels. But the reality, which included religious conflicts that tore families apart; political challenges to Elizabeth’s authority; high levels of poverty and crime; and vulnerability to foreign invasion, was far grimmer. The Queen was considered a Protestant heretic by the rulers of Europe and numerous plots were hatched to dethrone her and replace her with Catholic Mary Queen of Scots. Elizabeth’s closest courtiers tried to protect her. William Cecil (later Lord Burghley) was the first to oversee the gathering of intelligence and was aided by Francis Walsingham, another of Elizabeth’s most loyal ministers known as the “Spymaster.” Walsingham’s network of clandestine agents moved throughout England and Europe using their contacts and skills in navigating court politics to safeguard their Queen. They unearthed a series of threats, including one led by an invasion of priests who had been trained abroad and were sent to prepare England for a Catholic rebellion. The priests scattered throughout the country and were hidden in “priest-holes” by Catholic families in places such as Baddesley Clinton and Coughton Court in Warwickshire. Other houses involved in this period of intrigue include Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, and Scotney Castle in Kent—all National Trust houses. Carol Ann Lloyd will describe this tumultuous time with its secret plots, intercepted and decoded messages, and assassination attempts. She will explore dark corners of Elizabethan English history and reveal how the ability to control information became the most potent tool of the realm.

Past events (2)

From Dickens to Downton: Victorian and Edwardian Food

ADAC - Atlanta Decorative Arts Center

Photos (6)