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Showing posts from May, 2017

Belvoir Castle, the Home of the Dukes of Rutland

Home to the Rutland family since Tudor times the present Belvoir Castle is the third to be built on this superb site above the lovely Vale of Belvoir.

Visit Somerleyton Hall

Somerleyton Hall is considered one of the most impressive and well-preserved country houses in England. A manor house, built in 1240 by Sir Peter Fitzosbert, stood where the present structure stands. It passed on to different owners until prosperous entrepreneur and MP Samuel Morton Peto purchased it and transformed it into the Anglo-Italian architecture it is today. In 1863 the Somerleyton estate was sold to Sir Francis Crossley, whose son, Savile, was created Baron Somerleyton in 1916. Since then, the mansion has remained in the hands of the Crossley family.
The magnificent red brick and mellow stone mansion, rebuilt in Anglo-Italian style in 1846 stands surrounded by 12 acres of beautiful gardens.

Glamis Castle, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Childhood Home

Glamis Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, is associated with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the thane of Glamis, who became King of Scotland by killing Duncan. Glamis has been the family home of the Earls of Strathmore since 1372 when Sir John Lyon was granted the thaneage by King Robert II. He married the king’s daughter in 1376 and since then Glamis has welcomed members of the Scottish and British Royal Families. The castle is believed to be built sometime in the fourteenth century. Standing in well-manicured grounds with borders by Dean Water, it was rebuilt in the style of a French chateau during the seventeenth century by Patrick Lyon, 1st Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.

The Wedding of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra

The wedding ceremony of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to Princess Alexandra of Denmark was solemnized at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on March 10, 1863. The Prince of Wales was 21 and his Danish bride was 18 at that time. Princess Alexandra immediately endeared herself to the Englishmen. Her beauty was compared “to a beautiful rose or rare orchid or an absolute faultless carnation.” Even Queen Victoria, in her self-imposed mourning, rejoiced with Albert Edward’s engagement to Alexandra. “This jewel!”, she wrote of the princess: “How beloved Albert would have loved her!”

Highgrove House—Prince Charles’ Private Residence

Highgrove House is the private home of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. It is situated south west of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England. Since  the Prince of Wales came to Highgrove in 1980, much work has been devoted to improve the gardens around the house to make it as one of “most inspiring and innovative in the United Kingdom.”

Catherine of Braganza—Shall we Have a Cup of Tea?

The tradition of drinking tea in today’s contemporary period is so closely associated with the British way of life. While it is not entirely true that the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, who became queen-consort of Charles II of England, introduced tea to Britain, she definitely set the trend of making tea a fashionable and, today, a favorite beverage.

Birkhall, the Queen Mother's Favorite Retreat

About eight miles from Balmoral, beside the River Muick stands Birkhall, a favorite royal residence of several generations of the Royal Family. Built in the early 18th century by the owners of the nearby Abergeldie estate, Birkhall was acquired by Prince Albert together with the Balmoral estate in 1849. He gave to his eldest son, Edward Albert, Prince of Wales who, instead, preferred staying at the more expansive Abergeldie Castle. In 1884, Queen Victoria bought the property from the Prince of Wales and lent it to her staff and extended family. Dighton Probyn, Keeper of the Privy Purse and Queen Alexandra’s comptroller, occupied the property in the late 19th century.

Hillsborough Castle, the Royal Residence in Northern Ireland

Hillsborough Castle was originally built in the 18th century as a simple country house for a noble family. Today, it is the official royal residence in Northern Ireland. It was also here that many of the formal and informal stages of the Peace Process took place.
Wills Hill, the first Marquess of Downshire, commissioned the building of Hillsborough Castle as a modest country house for his family in the 1770s. Situated in the center of the Hillsborough village, the Georgian house is in view of the original Fort and the Court House. The Hills were then among the largest landowners in Ireland while family members held important positions in the government: Wills Hill himself was Comptroller of the Royal Household during the reign of King George II and Secretary of the American Colonies during the 1770s.

8 Places to See Near Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the primary home of the British sovereign. It is open to the public for two months a year, when the sovereign is not in residence from late July until the end of December. Aside from visiting the state rooms, the Changing of the Guard is another spectacle that you shouldn’t miss. The ceremony lasts for about 45 minutes between 10.15-11.45am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from January to March, when the weather is fair.

Maria Theresa of Spain, France's Neglected Queen

Maria Theresa of Spain, Queen Consort of France, was born on September 10, 1638, at the Escorial, the daughter of Philip IV of Spain and Elizabeth of France.
Until her marriage to King Louis XIV of France, Maria Theresa was in line to the succession of the Spanish Crown. The kingdom of Spain did not adhere to the Salic Law so when her brother Balthasar Charles passed away in 1646, she became heiress presumptive to the Spanish Empire, a position she held until the birth Philip Prospero, in 1657. She was heiress presumptive once again, but only for less than a week, from, from the death of Prince Philip in November 1, 1661, until the birth of Prince Charles, who later became King of Spain as Charles II, on November 6.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Commonwealth Tour of New Zealand and Australia 1953-1954

In November 1953, Queen Elizabeth II together with Prince Philip embarked on the Commonwealth World Tour, the longest and most extensive trip of her reign. She arrived in New Zealand in December 1953, where she spent six weeks meeting government officials and locals alike. The trip was the first-ever to be made by a reigning monarch of New Zealand. Previous royal visits were either made by brothers or sons of a sovereign. It was in New Zealand’s Government House where she gave her annual Royal Christmas Message in 1953. The itinerary took the couple to 46 towns and cities and New Zealanders would flock to see them. Roughly three-fourths of the country’s population hurried to catch a glimpse of their new Queen.

European Royals Celebrate King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway's 80th birthdays

European royals gather together at Oslo's Royal Palace for the Royal Gala dinner to celebrate the official 80th birthday celebrations of Norway's King Harald and Queen Sonja.
King Harald turned 80 on February 21 this year, while Queen Sonja will reach the milestone on July 4.
Aside from the grand banquet thrown for the European guests, the King and Queen will also host guests on their royal yacht the Norge.
The Royal Guarde will then march from the palace through the city to the Oslo Opera House, and celebrations are set to end there with fireworks.
The King and Queen of Sweden, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Swedish, Prince Carl and Princess Sofia of Sweden, the Queen of Denmark, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, the King and Queen of the Netherlands, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Grand DUke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, the King and Queen of Belgium, the Earl and Countess of Wes…

A Decade in the Queen’s Reign: The 1950s

Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne on February 6, 1952, while on duty in Kenya. Since then, the Queen devoted her life and reign to the service of the Crown and of the people. During the first decade of her reign, the queen reached out to far-flung member-countries of the Commonwealth and personally met millions of her subjects, one thing her predecessors have not done.

Hvidøre, the Danish Villa of Queen Alexandra and Empress Maria Feodorovna

Hvidøre is not as grand as any Russian palace or as quaint as an English castle, but to Queen Alexandra of Great Britain and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, this Danish villa was their sanctuary when the world around them grew sad and they needed time to collect themselves once more.

The Queen spotted driving her own Jaguar

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Prince Philip may have announced his retirement, but Queen Elizabeth II is not taking the backseat!

A few days after news that Prince Philip will cease to perform royal duties, Queen Elizabeth II was photographed driving her green Jaguar as she heads home following a Sunday morning service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Park. His security guard, meanwhile, comfortably seats as Her Majesty takes the wheel.

Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Queen’s Gallery

Once upon a time, King David I, was out hunting when he fell from his stag. Just when the stag was about to slaughter him the king grabbed the stag’s antlers and found himself holding a rood, or holy cross. He was spared. That night the king dreamt that he was commanded to build a house ‘devoted to the Cross’. And so, Holyrood Abbey was built. Today, the Palace of the Holyrood House, the official royal residence of British sovereign, is comfortably located at the end of the Royal Mile, standing opposite the bleak Edinburgh Castle. It was King James II who built a wing here just for the use of the Royal Family. Much of the present-day palace though was built under the orders of Charles II, who never lived in Holyroodhouse.

Princess Marina Duchess of Kent, Britain’s Last Foreign Princess

Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, was hailed during her lifetime for her chic fashion sense and her dedication to her duty. Born in Athens, Greece, on December 13, 1906, she was the youngest child of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, the third son of George I of Greece, and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.  The Greek Royal Family was neither wealthy nor pretentious; and though as a child, Princess Marina had glimpses of the splendor of the Imperial Russian Court, she was nevertheless, brought in a simple yet strict environment.

As Prince Philip Retires, the Show Goes on for the Royal Family

It is business as usual for the British Royal Family, following the announcement of Prince Philip’s retirement. However, things will never be same again for the other members of the House of Windsor as they take on his roles.

Prince Philip’s Retirement Causes Fear Among Villagers in Vanuatu who Consider him as a God

A tribe from a remote village in Vanuatu feared that the retirement of Prince Philip would cause them bad luck.
The tribe learned about the prince’s retirement Saturday - three days after it was announced. They pray to the Duke of Edinburgh, believing he is the son of a local mountain god. With this, they are afraid that his retirement means they will never see him again visit the Pacific Island where he and Queen Elizabeth II are very much a fixture of the way of life in the village of Younanen.

At 96, Prince Philip to Retire from Public Duties

After more than 65 years of public service, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is retiring this autumn, Buckingham Palace has announced. (Read - Royal Profile: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh)
Prince Philip will turn 96 this June and has decided to step down from royal duties. He has the Queen’s support for this, a statement from Buckingham Palace revealed.
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