Scotland History, Uncategorized

Joan of the Tower, Queen of Scotland

Clan Carruthers LLC

joan_queen_of_scotland1

In research you frequently discover instances of happy medieval marriages – and even if a marriage was not based on love, it did not mean that it would not be successful. Indeed, in many such instances the young woman concerned found her own way of succeeding, whether it was through her children or the management of estates – or the fact that a lasting peace was achieved between her 2 countries.

 

Unfortunately for Joan of the Tower, later to be known as Joan Makepeace, her marriage achieved none of these things.

 

Joan was born in the Tower of London on 5 July, 1321; hence her rather dramatic name. She was the youngest of the 4 children of Edward II and his queen, Isabella of France, and had 2 older brothers and 1 sister. Her eldest brother, Edward, who was 9 years older than Joan, succeed his father as King Edward III in 1327, following Edward II’s deposition. While her 2nd brother, John of Eltham, was born in 1316 and died shortly after his 20th birthday, while campaigning against the Scots. Joan’s only sister, Eleanor of Woodstock, born in 1318, was only 3 years older than her baby sister and would go on to marry Reginald II, Count of Guelders.

 

Joan also had an illegitimate brother, Adam FitzRoy, a son of Edward II by an unknown woman. He was born in the early 1300s, but died whilst campaigning in Scotland with his father, in 1322.

 

Little Joan was named after her maternal grandmother, Queen Joan I of Navarre, wife of Philip IV of France. The king, also in London at the time of Joan’s birth, but not at the  Tower, granted an £80 respite on a £180 loan to Robert Staunton, the man who brought him news of the birth.¹ By 8th July Edward was visiting his wife and baby daughter at the Tower of London and stayed with them for several days.

 JoansfatheredwardII

Joan’s father, Edward II

As the last of the children of Edward II and Isabella, it seems likely that the royal couple’s relationship changed shortly after her birth, their marriage heading for an irretrievable breakdown that would see the king deposed in favour of his son. Edward II was well known for having favourites; the first, Sir Piers Gaveston, met a sticky end in 1312, when he was murdered by barons angry at the influence he held over the king. Isabella’s estrangement with her husband followed the rise of a new favourite, Sir Hugh le Despenser, and, by the time of Joan’s birth, his influence on the king was gaining strength and alienating powerful barons at court. In March 1322 those barons were defeated at the Battle of Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, with many prominent barons killed, including the king’s erstwhile brother-in-law Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford. The leader of the insurrection, the king’s cousin Thomas, earl of Lancaster, was executed 6 days later at Pontefract Castle.

 

Joan was, therefore, growing up amid a period of great turmoil, not only within England, but within her own family. It is doubtful that, as she grew, she was unaware of the atmosphere, but  Isabella and Edward were both loving parents and probably tried to shield their children as much as they could, ensuring stability in their everyday lives. Joan was soon placed  in the household of her older siblings, and put into the care of Matilda Pyrie,  who had once been nurse to her older brother, John of Eltham.

 

Sometime before February 1325, Joan and her sister were established in their own household, under the supervision of Isabel, Lady Hastings and her husband, Ralph Monthermer. Isabel was the younger sister of Edward II’s close companion, Hugh Despenser the Younger, and this act has often been seen by historians as the king removing the children from the queen’s custody. Although it could have been a malicious act it must be remembered, however, that Ralph Monthermer was the girls’ uncle-by-marriage through his first wife, Joan of Acre, Edward II’s sister, and it was a custom of the time that aristocratic children were fostered among the wider family.

 JoansbrotheredwardII

Joan’s brother Edward III

Joan and her elder sister, Eleanor, remained with Isabel even after Ralph’s death in the summer of 1325; however, the following year, they were given into the custody of Joan Jermy, sister-in-law of the king’s younger half-brother Thomas, Earl of Norfolk. Joan was the sister of Thomas’s wife, Alice Hales, and took charge of the girls’ household in January 1326, living alternately at Pleshey in Essex and Marlborough in Wiltshire.

 

As with all her siblings, Joan played a part in her father’s diplomatic plans; an attempt to form an alliance against France, Edward sought marriages in Spain for 3 of his 4 children. While Eleanor was to marry Alfonso XI of Castile, little Joan was proposed as the bride for the grandson of Jaime II of Aragon – the future Pedro IV – but this would come to nought.

 

By this time their mother, Isabella, was living at the French court, along with her eldest son, Edward, refusing to return to her husband whilst he still welcomed Hugh Despenser at his court. Within months Isabella and her companion (possibly her lover), Roger Mortimer, were to invade England and drive Edward II from his throne, putting an end to the proposed Spanish marriages. He was captured and imprisoned in Berkley Castle, forced to abdicate in favour of his eldest son, who was proclaimed King Edward III in 1327.

 

With her father exiled or murdered (his fate remains a bone of contention to this day), Joan became the central part of another plan – that of peace with Scotland. Isabella and her chief ally, Roger Mortimer, were now effectively ruling the kingdom for the young Edward III – still only in  his mid-teens. With the kingdom in disarray Isabella sought to end the interminable wars with Scotland, much to the young king’s disgust. Joan was offered as a bride for David, Robert the Bruce’s only son and heir, by his second wife, Elizabeth de Burgh.

 david_ii_of_scotland_by_sylvester_harding_17971

David II

The 1328 Treaty of Northampton was seen as a major humiliation by Edward III – and the 16-year-old king made sure his displeasure was known. However, he was forced to sign it, agreeing to Scotland’s recognition as an independent kingdom, the return of both the Ragman Roll (a document showing the individual acts of homage by the Scottish nobility) and the Stone of Scone (the traditional stone on which Scotland’s kings were crowned and which had sat in Westminster Abbey since being brought south by Edward I) and the marriage of Bruce’s 4-year-old son, David, to his 7-year-old sister, Joan.

 

Although the Stone of Scone and Ragman Roll were never returned to Scotland, the marriage between Joan and David did go ahead, although with a proviso that, should the marriage not be completed within 2 months of David reaching his 14th birthday, the treaty would be declared invalid. With neither king present – with Edward III refusing to attend, Robert the Bruce did likewise, claiming illness – the children were married at Berwick-on-Tweed on 17 July 1328, in the presence of Queen Isabella. The wedding was a lavish occasion, costing the Scots king over £2500.²

 

Following the wedding, and nicknamed Joan Makepeace by the Scots, Joan remained in Scotland with her child-groom. With Robert the Bruce’s death the following year, and David’s accession to the throne as David II, Joan and David attained the dubious record of being the youngest married monarchs in British history. They were crowned, jointly, at Scone Abbey in Perthshire, on 24th November 1331. It was the 1st time a Scottish Queen Consort was crowned.

 

Virtually nothing is known of Joan’s early years in Scotland. We can, I’m sure, assume she continued her education and maybe spent some time getting to know her husband. Scotland, however, was in turmoil and Edward III was not about to let his sister’s marriage get in the way of his own ambitions for the country. Unfortunately for Joan, Edward Balliol, son of the erstwhile king, John Balliol, and Isabella de Warenne, had a strong claim to the crown and was, as opposed to her young husband, a grown man with the backing of Edward III. What followed was a tug-of-war for Scotland’s crown, lasting many years.

 

 DavidIIand Joan being greatedby David VIof France

David II and Joan being greeted by Philip VI of France

David’s supporters suffered a heavy defeat at Halidon Hill in July 1333 and shortly after Joan, who was residing at Dumbarton at the time, and David were sent to France for their safety, where they spent the next 7 years. An ally of Scotland and first cousin of Joan’s mother, Philip VI of France gave the king and queen, and their Scottish attendants, accommodation in the famous Château Gaillard in Normandy.

 

Their return to Scotland, on 2nd June 1341, was greeted with widespread rejoicing that proved to be short-lived. When the French asked for help in their conflict with the English, David led his forces south. He fought valiantly in the disastrous battle at Neville’s Cross on 17th October 1346, but was captured by the English; he was escorted to a captivity in England that would last for the next 11 years, save for a short return to Scotland in 1351-2.

 

Joan and David’s marriage had proved to be an unhappy, loveless and childless union and, while a safe conduct was issued for Joan to visit her husband at Windsor for the St George’s Day celebrations of 1348, there is no evidence she took advantage of it. Although we know little of Joan’s movements, it seems she remained in Scotland at least some of the time, possibly held as a hostage to David’s safety by his Scottish allies. She may also have visited David in his captivity, taking it as an opportunity to visit with her own family, including her mother; Queen Isabella is said to have supported Joan financially while her husband was imprisoned, feeding and clothing her. Joan does not appear to have taken an active role in negotiations for David’s release, despite her close familial ties to the English court.

 

When David returned to Scotland he brought his lover, Katherine Mortimer, with him. They had met in England and it was said “The king loved her more than all other women, and on her account his queen was entirely neglected while he embraced his mistress.”³ Katherine met a grisly fate and was stabbed to death by the Earl of Atholl.

 

At Christmas 1357 Joan was issued with a safe conduct from Edward III “on business touching us and David” and again in May 1358 “by our licence for certain causes”.² Although the licences are understandably vague on the matter, Joan had, in fact, left David and Scotland.

 

Joan spent the rest of her life in England, living on a pension of £200 a year provided by her brother, Edward III. She renewed family connections and was able to visit her mother before Isabella’s death in August 1358. As Queen of Scotland, she occasionally acted on her husband’s behalf. In February 1359 David acknowledge her assistance in the respite of ransom payments granted by Edward III saying it was “at the great and diligent request and instance of our dear companion the Lady Joan his sister.”²

 

Little is known of Joan’s appearance or personality. Several years after her death she was described as “sweet, debonair, courteous, homely, pleasant and fair” by the chronicler Andrew of Wyntoun.² Having led an adventurous life, through no choice of her own, if unhappy in love, Joan of the Tower, Queen of Scotland, died at the age of 41 on 7th September 1362, and was buried in the Church of the Greyfriars, Newgate, in London, where her mother had been laid to rest just 4 years earlier.

 

Following his wife’s death David II married his lover, Margaret Drummond, the widow of Sir John Logie, but divorced her on 20th March 1370. He died, childless, at Edinburgh Castle in February 1371, aged 47, and was succeeded by the first of the Stewart kings, his nephew, Robert II, son of Robert the Bruce’s eldest daughter, Marjorie.

 

*

 

Footnotes: ¹Isabella of France: The Rebel Queen by Kathryn Warner; ² Oxforddnb.com; ³Walter Bower quoted in Oxforddnb.com

Heroines of the Medieval World

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Scotland’s Flags

Clan Carruthers LLC

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society International

 

 

Scotland Flag and The Royal Flag of Scotland

 

flagofscotland

The Flag of Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: bratach na h-Alba; Scots: Banner o Scotland), also known as St Andrew’s Cross or the Saltire, is the national flag of Scotland. As the national flag, the Saltire, rather than the Royal Standard of Scotland, is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly. It is also, where possible, flown from Scottish Government buildings every day from 8am until sunset, with certain exceptions.

According to legend, the Christian apostle and martyr Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, was crucified on an X-shaped cross at Patras, (Patrae), in Achaea. Use of the familiar iconography of his martyrdom, showing the apostle bound to an X-shaped cross, first appears in the Kingdom of Scotland in 1180 during the reign of William I. It was again depicted on seals used during the late 13th century, including on one used by the Guardians of Scotland, dated 1286.

Using a simplified symbol which does not depict St. Andrew’s image, the saltire or crux decussata, (from the Latin crux, ‘cross’, and decussis, ‘having the shape of the Roman Numeral X’), began in the late 14th century. In June 1385, the Parliament of Scotland decreed that Scottish soldiers serving in France would wear a white Saint Andrew’s Cross, both in front and behind, for identification.

 

Royal_Banner_of_Scotland.svg

The Royal Flag of Scotland is called the Royal Flag, because it is now used as the Royal Coats of Arms, but it was not always that way. If it is on a flagpole it is the Royal Flag, if it is just hanging up, it is the Royal Banner of Scotland. There was a time when Scotland had no Coats of Arms, and symbols, but they were influenced by outside countries.

We just blogged about the Beast of Gotland.  The Carruthers, then called Ashman, came to Scotland in 400 A.D.  Their arrived in boats that were beautifully carved, and their jewelry and trinkets were all decorated with their symbols.

largedragonbroochLargedragonbrooch

woodcarvingWood carvingdragonpic

vikingcombIvorycomb

 

Their shields always lined the side of their boats with beautifully painted symbols on each one.

vikingshield

 

These same types of images can still be seen in the museums on Gotland today. They were brought to Scotland with the Ashman in 400 AD and nothing in Scotland compared to that point.

vikingstoneViking stone

ringerikeringericke

 

Now we have what we see as the evolution of these symbols in Scotland.

 

Scandinavian Scotland

Scandinavian Scotland refers to the period which Vikings and Norse settlers, mainly Scandinavians, and their descendants colonized parts of what is now the periphery of modern Scotland. Viking influence in the area commenced in the late 8th century, and hostility between the Scandinavian Earls of Orkney and the emerging thalassocracy of the Kingdom of the Isles, the rulers of Ireland, Dál Riata and Alba, and intervention by the crown of Norway were recurring themes.

shetlandislandflagScandinavian Scotland Flag

Thorfinn Sigurdsson’s rule in the 11th century included expansion well into north mainland Scotland and this may have been the zenith of Scandinavian influence. The obliteration of pre-Norse names in the Hebrides and Northern Isles, and their replacement with Norse ones was almost total although the emergence of alliances with the native Gaelic speakers produced a powerful Norse-Gael culture that had wide influence in Argyll, Galloway and beyond.

An unbroken line of Norse earls of Orkney ended in 1213 AD.

 

balticcrussadesBaltic Crusades

1100 AD the symbol of The Golden Lion was first used in battle when the Scandinavians used it in the Baltic Crusades.

1100 AD, William the Conqueror, gave the Carruthers their colors of gold and red.  These were a universal color of heraldry.  These colors were used by many countries throughout Europe, especially in battle.

 

richard1Richard Coeur de Lion

Richard, Coeur de Lion, or the Lionhearted, used the symbol of the three lions or leopards, when he went off to the crusades.  He was born in England, where he spent his childhood; before becoming king, however, he lived most of his adult life in the Duchy of Aquitaine, in the southwest of France. Following his accession, he spent very little time, perhaps as little as six months, in England. When he returned to England, The Three Golden Lions were prominently displayed. The Golden Lion, alone, was used in France for centuries, where it is reasonable to see that Richard used the Three Golden Lions, now the Royal Arms of England.

 

ancient coat of arms lionAncient coats of arms lion

A form of these arms was used by King William the Lion in the 12th century, though no trace of them can be made out on his seal. However, a lion Ancient coats of can clearly be made out on the seal of his son, Alexander II. Over the years many writers have claimed them to be much older; even Alexander Nisbet, considered to be one of the more reliable Scottish heralds, claims that a lion was first adopted as a personal symbol by the legendary Fergus, with the royal tressure being added in the reign of Achaius.

Throughout the ages the arms passed from monarch to succeeding monarch with only slight variations in detail. In some early examples the lion holds a sword or wears a crown, and the royal tressure has sometimes been interpreted as an orle or bordure. Many of these relatively minor variations will have resulted from the individual efforts of stonemasons, weavers, artists and sculptors throughout the ages in their attempts to create a facsimile of the arms of the period, as well as mistakes and misinterpretations on the part of foreign heraldic artists.

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German Knights 14th century

 

macedoniacoatsofarmsMacedonia Coats of Arms

 

In the reign of James III, the Scottish Parliament made a curious attempt to get rid of the royal tressure, passing an act stating that “the King, with the advice of the three Estates ordained that in time to come there should be no double tressure about his arms, but that he should bear whole arms of the lion without any more”. This state of affairs does not appear to have lasted very long, with James III soon re-instating the royal tressure, first without its top, and then in its original form.

 

When Mary, Queen of Scots, married Francis, Dauphin of France, in 1558, Mary’s Royal arms of Scotland were impaled with those of the Dauphin, whose arms were themselves quartered with those of Scotland to indicate his status as King consort of Scotland. When Francis ascended to the throne of the Kingdom of France in 1559 as King Francis II, the arms were again altered to indicate his status as King of France, with those of Mary also being altered to reflect her elevated status as Queen consort of France.

 

Following the death of Francis in 1560, Mary continued to use the arms showing Scotland and France impaled, (with a minor alteration of the arms to reflect her change of status from queen-consort to Queen dowager), until her marriage to Henry, Lord Darnley, in 1565. (Such symbolism was not lost upon Queen Elizabeth I of England, given that the English monarchy had for centuries held a historical claim to the throne of France, symbolized by the arms of France having been quartered with those of England since 1340). Following the marriage to Darnley, the arms of Scotland reverted to the blazon which had preceded the marriage to Francis.

Union of the Crowns

On the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1603, James VI, inherited the thrones of England and Ireland. The arms of England were quartered with those of Scotland, and a quarter for Ireland was also added. At this time the King of England also laid claim to the French throne, therefore the arms of the Kingdom of England were themselves already quartered with those of the Kingdom of France. James used a different version of his royal arms in Scotland and this distinction in royal protocol continued post the Acts of Union of 1707. (Today, the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom used in Scotland continue to differ from those used elsewhere).

 

During the reign of King Charles II, the royal arms used in Scotland were augmented with the inclusion of the Latin motto of the Order of the Thistle, the highest Chivalric order of the Kingdom of Scotland.

The motto of the Order of the Thistle, Nemo me impune lacessit, appears on a blue scroll overlying the compartment. (Previously, only the collar of the Order of the Thistle had appeared on the arms).

 

The addition by King Charles of Nemo me impune lacessit ensured that the blazon of his Royal arms used in Scotland complemented that of his Royal arms used elsewhere, in that two mottoes were displayed. The blazon used elsewhere had included the French motto of the arms, Dieu et mon droit, together with the Old French motto of the Order of the Garter, the highest Chivalric order of the Kingdom of England. The motto of the Order of the Garter, Honi soit qui mal y pense, appears on a representation of the garter surrounding the shield. Henceforth, the versions of the Royal arms used in Scotland and elsewhere were to include both the motto of the arms of the respective kingdom and the motto of the associated order of chivalry.

 

From the accession of the Stuart dynasty to the throne of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1603, the Royal Arms have featured the harp, or Cláirseach, of Ireland in the third quadrant, the style of the harp itself having been altered several times since. The position of King of Ireland ceased with the passage by the Oireachtas of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, when the office of President of Ireland (which had been created in late 1937) replaced that of the King of Ireland for external as well as internal affairs. The Act declared that the Irish state could be described as a republic, following which the newly created Republic of Ireland left the British Commonwealth. However, the modern versions of the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland used both in Scotland and elsewhere, and also the arms of Canada, continue to feature an Irish harp to represent Northern Ireland.

 

Changes to the blazon of the arms

Following the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1558, the blazon of the royal arms of Scotland included elements from the arms of:

The Kingdom of France, (1559–1565)

Following the Union of the Crowns in 1603, the blazon of the royal arms of Scotland included elements from the arms of:

The Kingdom of England, (1603–1707)

The Kingdom of Ireland, (1603–1707)

Following the reign of Charles II, King of Scots, the blazon of the royal arms of Scotland included upon a blue scroll overlying the compartment, the motto of The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle; Nemo me impune lacessit, and elements from the arms of:

Following the Acts of Union of 1707, the blazon of the royal arms of Great Britain used in Scotland included elements from the arms of:

The Kingdom of Ireland (1707–1800)

The Electorate of Hanover, (1714–1800)

Following the Act of Union of 1800, the blazon of the royal arms of the United Kingdom used in Scotland included elements from the arms of:

The Kingdom of Hanover, (1814–1837)

Following the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, the modern royal arms of the United Kingdom were adopted.

 

 

 

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Botox and The Carruthers!

Clan Carruthers LLC

dr-alastair_and_jeancarruthers

The Carruthers are Famous for Botox!   

This article might be a little lengthy, but you may enjoy.

 

“There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle,” says Dr. Alastair Carruthers, named by The Observer as one of the “50 men who really understand women.” The genie is Botox, whose wrinkle-busting effects he and his wife, Jean, discovered in 1987. Since then, Botox has become a billion-dollar industry, North America’s No. 1 cosmetic procedure and the inspiration behind a crowded new generation of fillers, intense-pulsed-light and radio-frequency therapies, and other age-fighting products. This husband-and-wife team has played a major role in reshaping our notion of beauty.

 

Despite all this, the Botox founding legends are low-key. In 1987, Alastair divided his Vancouver dermatology practice between surgery for skin cancer and cosmetic procedures. He shared his office with Jean, an eye doctor who treated pediatric disorders as well as adult conditions such as blepharospasm. An uncontrollable blinking and spasming of the eye and surrounding area, blepharospasm was treated with a dilute solution of botulinum toxin, which, injected into the skin, temporarily paralyzes the spasming muscles. One day, by Jean’s account, one of her blepharospasm patients became irate that her forehead was not being injected. “But your forehead isn’t spasming,” Jean responded, and asked why she cared. “Because when you inject my forehead,” the patient said, “my wrinkles go away.”

 

At dinner that night, Jean mentioned to Alastair the woman’s reaction. He and his dermatology patients had been frustrated in their attempts to erase vertical frown lines between the eyebrows, known to doctors as “glabellar lines.” The fillers available at the time didn’t last long and could be painful. The next day, Jean talked their receptionist, Cathy Bickerton, into being the first guinea pig for the cosmetic use of botulinum toxin. Once Alastair saw the results, he needed no persuasion. “I had the patients,” he says, summing up what would become one of the most successful symbioses in late-20th-century cosmetic medicine, “and Jean had the toxin.”

 

Both expected the world to embrace their discovery. Instead, says Jean, the typical reaction was, “You want to inject what into my wrinkles?” At this point, Jean injected herself, whence her famous boast that she hasn’t frowned since 1987.

 

When they presented their results at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery meeting in Orlando in 1991, she remembers, medical friends told them it was “a crazy idea that’s going nowhere.” But the Carrutherses continued conducting clinical trials- although it was difficult to find willing patients-and presenting their findings at dermatology meetings, watching their audiences slowly grow.

 

The snowball effect started in 1993. “Botox,” as the treatment was now called, began to sweep the world. Jean qualified as a cosmetic surgeon; she now does mostly head and neck procedures, and treats very few ophthalmological patients. Her husband stopped doing cancer surgery and now does full-body liposuction as well as head and neck cosmetic procedures.

As Jean leads me into her bright corner office in downtown Vancouver, I remember the last time I saw her, about 30 years ago. My daughter, then six, had an optical problem, and we were referred to a young pediatric- ophthalmologist in a dowdy office building. I remember her as taller and bigger than she is now, and not someone who paid much attention to fashion. I would never have twigged that this petite, chic woman was Carruthers, although I do recognize the light, rapid voice and the mid-Atlantic accent. I also recall that she had a nice way with my daughter, not condescending-and that her explanations to me were models of clarity.

 

No doubt she was already a rather unusual combination, a maternal superachiever. It’s still in evidence: She hugs her staff hello and goodbye daily, sends her patients birthday cards, brings bagels for medical students who shadow her, and loves to cook and entertain. The achiever part is not hard to explain. She was born Jean Elliott in Brandon, Man., to two English doctors who had immigrated after the Second World War. When her mother returned to England temporarily, she brought her two young daughters with her. The English sojourn, Jean says, was a turning point, giving her a taste for striving that has stayed with her. At 16 she went into honours chemistry at the University of British Columbia and she remained there for medical school. It was there she met Alastair, an English medical student who was doing an internship at the Vancouver General Hospital.

 

Born in Cheshire, England, in 1945, Alastair was also the child of a doctor father; his mother was a teacher. After meeting in Vancouver, he and Jean went to England to do their residencies, and married there in 1973. Jean became one of the first women to work at Moorfields, England’s premier eye hospital, and Alastair had a prestigious appointment at Hammersmith Hospital. They might have stayed in London’s stimulating medical atmosphere permanently, but consultants there worked until nine or ten at night. They wanted children and Vancouver promised a more balanced life. “We gave up the academic excellence of London for the whole family thing,” Alastair says, “and yet I think we’ve managed to do quite a lot.”

 

An understatement. Since their concentration on cosmetic medicine, their hefty resumés now include more than 100 new articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, 60 book chapters and five textbooks. Travelling the world, they give about 30 talks a year to cosmetic and plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Their kingdom includes a research institute (in the same building as their offices) that coordinates their studies on new products and procedures. All told, they employ about ten people-nurses, researchers, administrators and patient-care coordinators.

 

Cosmetic medicine demands a personal touch. The doctor-patient bond in the cosmetic world, Jean says, lasts 30 to 40 years: “We’re talking about family.” The Carrutherses’ staff are crucial to this bond, and each doctor has a coordinator of patient care.

 

Jean says admiringly that the staff all look like “after” pictures. Before I can comment, she continues, “It’s important that all of us in the office are…I’m going to say ‘users.’” Staff are treated for free, since it’s to the Carrutherses’ benefit if everyone in the office not only looks good but is a source of reassurance.

 

Christa Campsall, a friendly, statuesque brunette who works as the clinic coordinator, agrees it’s much easier for her to put a patient at ease now that she’s had Botox and Restylane tissue fillers. When she started managing the clinic seven years ago, she was only 32, and the other staff would tease her, reminding Jean, “Christa’s still a Botox virgin.” She hadn’t been there long before she volunteered to be injected.

 

Jean Carruthers, at 61, is too canny not to understand that she herself is the main poster girl for their office. She’s matter-of-fact about the procedures she’s had: a complete facelift ten years ago, lid lifts, Botox, fillers, Thermage (a skin-tightening and skin-contouring treatment) and intense-pulsed-light treatments.

 

She’s also matter-of-fact about costs. Botox runs $16 a unit and most people require 30 units. Restylane, one of the best-known fillers, used for lip augmentation and for injection into wrinkles and facial folds, costs $600 a syringe (one millilitre); most patients require three or four syringes. Botox and the fillers, as well as the newer thermal treatments, all need to be repeated, sometimes every three or six months. Jean tells her patients, “Think of a nice handbag or several manicures.”

 

When I ask her if she thinks of Botox as a watershed in her career, or if she sees the last 35 years as a continuum, her answer is typically savvy: “It’s a continuum, because it’s all about the patients.” She sees herself as being in the business of restoring self-esteem. Like it or not, she says, we’re hard-wired to be attracted to beauty. Beautiful people earn more money, and people who look after their appearance have better cardiovascular health and live longer. Botox, she says, is “penicillin for self-esteem.”

 

Asked if she feels part of a climate that makes people unhappy about aging naturally, she answers, “What is aging naturally?” Then she adds, “It’s a choice.”

 

Cassandra, a patient of Jean’s, equates the procedures she’s had with exercising and taking her vitamins: “They are part of my wellness package, and psychological wellness is not to be underestimated.” She agrees there may be too much pressure to look young, but on the other hand, it’s better for a woman who’s been “kicked to the curb in a divorce” to be able to feel good about herself. A “workaholic professional,” Cassandra has a pleasant, unlined face and sunny blond hair cut in a pageboy. Had she not told me that she’s 56, I would have taken her to be in her late 20s.

 

Sydney, a makeup artist in his 50s who is a patient of Alastair’s, rattles off the fillers he’s used, names that shimmer with promise: Radiesse, Evolence, Juvéderm, Dermalive. “I’m plastic from the neck up!” he jokes, but adds, “I just want to maintain the way I was at 35.” A professional in what he calls a “youth-obsessed industry,” Sydney is a discriminating user, keeping his horizontal forehead lines because he wants to look expressive.

 

Most people assume that the Carrutherses’ discovery of Botox made them rich. True, their income has risen significantly now that they are concentrating on cosmetic medicine, but they didn’t patent Botox, so they haven’t reaped the rewards of its widespread cosmetic use. Alastair says, “We learned in med school that if you have an idea, you give it away.” And after 30 years of doing what he calls “straight medicine,” he feels he’s paid his dues: “I gave society back what it gave me in education.”

 

As for non-cosmetic doctors critical of his career shift-from saving lives to getting rid of wrinkles-Alastair has made his peace with that. He prefers thinking about all the research he and Jean have done to make cosmetic medicine “academically respectable.” When I ask him about being part of a sensibility that pushes people to try to stay young forever, he pauses. Finally, he says, “I think my job is to help people to be themselves.”

 

Scrutinizing me, he continues, “Right now, for example, I’m looking at Katherine, and I notice that she has highlights in her hair. Where do you draw the line between normal grooming and something else? Between wanting to look your best and something that’s too extreme?” It’s a good question.

 

As for Alastair himself, he’s had his frown lines and underarms Botoxed, and that’s it. Although “it hurts like hell,” having his underarms done, it means he doesn’t sweat while speaking in public. He injects the armpits of about ten percent of his patients, including many teenagers, for that purpose.

 

“The holy grail for cosmetic medicine,” says Alastair, “is skin tightening in a simple, safe, effective manner.” He expects to see a Botox cream before too long. Jean also sees good things on the horizon-new neurotoxins will give Botox a run for its money, she believes, and fillers will be developed that don’t just fill in cracks but encourage skin tightening. Also, Thermage will get better at shrinking skin.

 

For the Carrutherses, who remain awesomely vigorous-they’re up by 5 a.m. to exercise in their home gym, and they’ve taken up golf and bicycling-the promise of new developments entices them more than retirement. Jean can’t imagine retiring: “I’m having too much fun.”

Ancient and Honorable Carruthers Clan Society International LLC

P Carrothers

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