Howells decided that Sir Robert and Lady Chiltern, played by Cate Blanchett andjeremy Northam, should inhabit a house furnished in the grand, luxurious style of Second Empire France, a style popular with wealthy banking families like the Rothschilds. A colour scheme of pale grey, mustard yellow and mauve combines with gilt furniture of French inspiration. The Rothschild country houses in Buckinghamshire, notably Ment-more Towers and Halton Hall, were chosen as locations because of their rich interiors, and the spectacular, newly restored Victorian grounds at Waddesdon Manor served as Hyde Park. Each represents something of the spirit of the Victorian age and provides the visual richness needed by the camera. An Ideal Husband ends with the wedding of Goring and Mabil Chiltern, Decorating home played by Minnie Driver. In the film, the ceremony takes place in the early-eighteenth-century baroque church of Little Stanmore. Originally built by the Duke of Chandos for Handel to play in, the church is decorated with grisaille trompe-loeil walls and a frescoed ceiling. It was flooded with blue and mauve hydrangeas, popular with the Victorians and entirely in keeping with the grandeur of scale and richness of colour which characterizes the settings oiAn Ideal Husband\H The people of a moderate and conciliatory religion, the Sikhs did not shy from battle when roused, both by the Mughals and the British. A new exhibition explores their history through art. By Celina Fox.
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