Bequest is the story of a gold bracelet containing a miniature portrait of Queen Victoria, inscribed 'from Victoria R, May 1849'; an heirloom from my mother Bettina Mendl who fled Vienna in 1938 ahead of the Nazi occupation.
She lost everything; an extensive villa, vineyards, a castle in the Tyrol, the Ankerbrot factory, and a stable of prize winning tournament horses.
She fled to Australia with an English five pound note in her pocket. She survived the war, met my father; station manager Joe McDuff, and had two daughters.
Many years later, she returned to Vienna and retrieved the bracelet. And I have discovered its story.
In 1848 waves of rebellion claimed the Royal Houses of Europe one by one, leaving Queen Victoria and her family in the gravest of danger.
The young Queen pregnant with her sixth child, survived two assassination attempts in two days.
Now Anna, a young Austrian maid in the Royal nursery, must undertake a secret mission to save the lives of the precious children in her care.