Windsor Great Park has been the place of retreat for some remarkable individuals, powerful in national and international history. In this book some of today's most celebrated writers and biographers tell the stories of these historical figures, beginning with King Charles II, who regained not only his throne, but also his beloved Park, from Cromwell's men. Later, the ambitious Sarah and John Churchill, both powers behind the reign of Queen Anne, relished the privacy and peace of their home at Cumberland Lodge. The victor of Culloden, Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, retired, rejected by all, to The Great Park; while from here Princess Helena, a daughter of Queen Victoria, championed fundraising and voluntary work. During a stay at Cumberland Lodge a Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, discussed the possible Abdication of King Edward VIII, and this became the reality when the King chose love over duty. In contrast, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) chose duty and found love, for her husband and her country; agreeing that Cumberland Lodge become the home of an educational charity reflected her hopes for post-war Britain.
While sometimes the famous individuals living within the Park tried to swim against the tide of history, others were driven by a sense of purpose and values and so shaped the future. All these individuals, and others, contributed to making the Park a unique area of beauty; the curious development of Windsor Park as a royal hunting ground and recreational park, with farms and landscaped gardens, is traced here. Today, Cumberland Lodge is an educational foundation which seeks to inspire students' idealism about social affairs, tempered by reason and realism, as originally imagined after the Second World War by Amy Buller, Sir Walter Moberly and others.