As Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 87th birthday today we understand she will be enjoying a quiet celebration with her family at Windsor Castle.
Her Majesty may also be drinking a toast to her horse Sign Manual which she watched win during a private visit to Newbury racecourse yesterday. See the link below for her delighted reaction and spectacular smile! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2311913/The-Queen-celebrates-visit-Newbury-winner.html
Meanwhile in London today the London Marathon is taking place noisily outside The Queen’s home at Buckingham Palace. This year the start of the race was marked by a 30 second silence in honour of the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier in the week. Many of the 35,000 participants chose to wear black ribbons on their vests in front of record crowds. Virgin London Marathon has pledged to donate £2 for every runner who finishes the event to The One Fund Boston set up to raise money for victims of the explosions.
The Mall will also see the Queen’s Official Birthday celebrations in June. She celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday which will be celebrated on Saturday 15th June at the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade which goes from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horseguards’ Parade.
Meanwhile traditional gun salutes will be fired in London tomorrow – because this year the Queen’s birthday falls on a Sunday. The salutes will take place at midday with a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London. There will also be a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park.
Why do they fire 62 rounds at the Tower and only 41 in Hyde Park? The calculation at the Tower is as follows: 21 (standard Royal) + 20 (it’s a Royal Palace) + 21 for The City of London = 62 - so now you know!
The most rounds fired in a single salute is 124 ie a Double Royal when the Queen’s official birthday coincides with the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday (June 10th – the day after mine so I always remember that one!). This last occurred in 1967.
If you acquired a taste for English monarchy whilst watching the marvellous Jubilee celebrations earlier this year, then you’ll want to know about a new opportunity to visit the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace in London.
Nearly twenty years ago Her Majesty opened the Palace doors to help pay for the renovations at fire-damaged Windsor Castle – the ‘annus horribilis’ of 1992. Once sufficient funds had been raised, the Palace was to have become private once more, but due to popular demand the tours have continued each year through the summer months. This winter, the Palace is providing on selected dates only from 22nd December -3rd February 2013, exclusive tours of the majestic State Rooms at the Palace.
The State Rooms are where the Royal Family receives, rewards and entertains important visitors from both home and around the world. So, if you wish to practice your Regal Reception (sorry, no guarantee that HM will be in attendance), then book now as these tickets are bound to go fast.
The 21/2 special tour includes a glass of champagne, a copy of the Palace’s official guidebook and a 20% discount on Palace gift shop purchases.
For information on how to book your tour click on the picture of the Palace.
Have a right royal time!
Blue Badge tourist guide
Posted in Events, Royal Family
Tagged 22nd December -3rd February 2013, annus horribilis, Blue Badge tourist guide, Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty, London, Royal Family, State Rooms, Tour, Windsor Castle
Ciao Dear Readers!
I have just returned after a lovely stay in Italy, based in Milan (no – before you ask inexplicably I was neither in nor at Milan Fashion Week). I was visiting the now very grown up children, with their own children, who I looked after as an au-pair several decades ago, while brushing up my Italian skills with a whole week of speaking no English whatsoever. I even got through Gone with The Wind in Italian. A long film at the best of times , but with Italian style frequent advert breaks….
I practised my vocabulary by telling anyone who would listen all about my job as a South East England Blue Badge Guide and the many fascinating places they would be able to visit should they drop into Kent sometime.
I obviously made a strong impression since, as I write, I am dimly aware of a flurry of flight bookings and am braced for an impending influx of my Italian friends requiring a very personal guided tour of South East England.
First off – the nine year old son of my one time ‘ littlest Italian bambino’ (now 6 foot 2..) is obsessed with mazes and he may now be arriving ‘in famiglia’ in August to check out those near where I live at Hever Castle, and an easy outing away at Hampton Court Palace and Leeds Castle.
Meanwhile the fascination with all things to do with our Royal Family among people without their own continues. While in Italy I was cross- examined on every detail of The Royal Wedding, the changes to the Royal Succession, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the – in their opinion – ‘new improved’ Prince Harry (who during my visit was ‘beating’ Usain Bolt in the 100 metres in Jamaica so was hot news).
The teenage daughters of ‘my little Italian charge now mother of two’ are therefore planning their visit for a personalised guided tour of Windsor Castle, and in particular the Queen’s Dolls House. No doubt they will also expect the odd trip to Harrods and Buckingham Palace thrown in as well – anywhere they may dream of catching a glimpse of a member of the Royal Family and in particular the aforementioned eligible Prince.
Kensington Palace which re-opens in just a couple of weeks on 26 March after extensive re-furbishment will obviously be a must for them and it will give me an excuse to visit it too, although I may not be able to organise tea with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
These visits from Italy may clash with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and/or The Olympic Games at a time when we Blue Badge Guides are likely to be busier than ever – but there will always be time for my Italian family.
This coming week Dawn and I are briefly abandoning our guiding duties to do a course specifically on guiding at the 2012 Olympic Venues. We will therefore be able to take my Italians for a Blue Badge Guide experience of the Olympic Park too. Although possibly not while Usain Bolt is running the 100 metres for real, no doubt with Prince Harry watching – sadly I’m not going to be able to get them tickets for that!
Alla prossima volta
Posted in 2012 Olympics, Home, Family & Fun, International Links, Local Visits, Royal Family
Tagged 2012 Olympic 100 metres, 2012 Olympics, Blue Badge Guides, Diamond jubilee, Duchess of Cambridge, Hampton Court Palace, Hever Castle Maze, Italy, Kensington Palace, Leeds castle, Mazes, Milan Fashion Week, Olympic Park, Olympic Venue Tours, Prince Harry Jamaica, South East Blue Badge Guides, The Royal Family, The Royal Wedding, themed olympic tours, Usain Bolt, Windsor Castle
…are Windsor Castle – her favourite residence & horses. The two will come together in a Diamond Jubilee Pageant to celebrate the 250 State & Commonwealth visits the Queen has made during her reign.
The World Comes To Windsor will include more than 500 horses & 800 performers from across the world in a 90 minute ‘spectacular’. It will open with displays from the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry Regiment & the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery & include performances from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Mexican singers & dancers, Cook Island dancers, New South Wales Mounted Police & Aborigines, Dhol drummers & dancers & the Omani Mounted Activity Ride.
The World Comes To Windsor will take place Thursday 10, Friday 11 & Sunday 13 May 2012 & the Queen will attend the final show.
Angela Rippon one of the event’s ambassadors, remarked that the Pageant will “demonstrate a lifetime of service & duty on behalf of the country & life long passion for horses. The two will be brought together & I think she will love every minute of it.”
Tickets can be purchased at www.diamond-jubilee-pageant.com
Posted in Events, Kent, Royal Family
Tagged Cook Island, Dhol, Diamond Jubilee Pageant, horses, Household Cavalry Regiment, King's Troop, Mexican, Mounted Police & Aborigines, New South Wales, Omani Angela Rippon, Royal Canadian, Royal Horse Artillery, spectacular, State & Commonwealth visits, The Queen, The World Comes To Windsor, Windsor Castle