World Premiere! Helen Mirren in The Audience. A new play by Peter Morgan. Directed by Stephen Daldry. For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace – a meeting like no other in British public life –- it is private. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said. Not even to their spouses. http://www.theaudienceplay.com/ World Premiere. London, England. Gielgud Theatre. Previews from 15 February 2013
The Royal Couple in Action
Prince William playing hockey in Canada! http://t.co/rYvAwdj
Yahoo! News http://t.co/TucY0Y9 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge face off in PEI!
Just in! What, exactly, will William and Catherine do during their visit to Canada? They will most certainly shake a pretty leg or two. http://t.co/LxlrYFH
Royal Wedding Dress on display summer 2011. http://bit.ly/iVTsyf
Will+Kate=Married! Get stamps/souvenirs http://bit.ly/jBl6Qq
Royals tour Canada 2011! They are going to love PEI. http://www.tourismpei.com/royal-visit
The Royal Kiss! http://twitpic.com/4qybp0
Bombay Sapphire gin creates a special cocktail. Recipe below.
Royal Wedding Party lookalikes dancing down a church aisle. What a hoot. http://bit.ly/eLwhJn Via: twitter.com/VisitBritain
Copyright © 2011 by May DeLory
Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry in Westminster Abbey, Friday, April 29, 2011, London, England. The Government has declared April 29 a bank holiday. Did you receive your invitation? If you didn’t, there are many ways to celebrate the Royal Wedding of the Century–least of which is just to enjoy a nice cup of tea. Me? I just wanna have fun in the countryside. Nothing like a good and long walk to clear the cobwebs out of the ol’ noodle.
Just how the wedding and perhaps more importantly the reception will pan out is still up for grabs: ceremony will be perfect of course; but no one really knows just how down and dirty the Royal couple will get during the after party as it were–the wedding reception.
If you will recall Princess Diana danced at the White House in 1985 with John Travolta. The Princess was all smiles, easy-going and gorgeous in that ink-black velvet dress http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Travolta_and_Princess_Diana.jpg cut to the floor. In June of 1997, just months before Princess Diana’s death, 79 of the gowns she wore while the wife of the heir to the British throne were auctioned by Christie’s in New York to benefit two of the princess’s favoured charities: Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund; AIDS Crisis Trust. Many of the dresses had never been worn in public. The idea for the auction was at the urging of her son Prince William. $225,000 was raised for charity by one dress alone, the Ink Black Velvet dress. Fourteen of the dresses up for auction were purchased by philanthropist Maureen Rorech Dunkel of Tampa, Florida and went on a world “Dresses for Humanity” fundraising tour. The collection is on permanent view at Kensington Palace. With whom will Miss Catherine Middleton dance at her wedding reception…other than her husband? And one day will the world benefit by another auction of royal dresses?
Where to stay in London for the Royal Wedding! http://www.visitlondonoffers.com/royal-wedding-breaks Remember, most of the 5-star hotels, such as The Ritz London, take reservations for Afternoon Tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner even if you are not staying overnight in their hotel. (Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair is at the National Portrait Gallery, London from 29 September 2012—24 March 2013.)
Visit London tourism is celebrating the Royal Wedding (April 2011) with a contest for a party for you and twenty mates. http://dld.bz/Qew9
Watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, April 29, 2011, broadcast by BBC World, on all ships in the Princess fleet, with “Movies Under the Stars” http://www.princess.com/learn/onboard/activities/night/index.html . Great viewing outside on deck. Lounge chairs and thick blankets supplied. LED screens are 300-sq. ft. wide with a 69,000-watt sound system that allows passengers to clearly view the screen even at mid-day and a sound system heard even when the ship is at full speed. Viewing beneath the stars is oh, la, la, soooo romantic, and a lot of fun, too. Watch the wedding of the Century! 1-800Princess. www.princess.com Princess Cruises knows how to do cakes, too! http://flic.kr/p/9nJQEV
If you are attending a wedding in Europe — perhaps Austria where scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed: Salzburg’s stunning lake region — you’ll want to consider short jaunts by rail to other countries close to the wedding destination. Eurail Group has sort of a hop on/hop off programme to see various European countries by special rail pass. In 2010 the Eurail Italy Pass was most popular with Spain second and Austria third. But stats reveal Austria will be number one in 2011 with travellers keen to experience arts, culture and cuisine, especially if you are interested in Mozart, Sigmund Freud, Maria Von Trapp (The Sound of Music), and breathtaking mountains, valleys and wild flower fields. http://www.acprail.com/rail-passes/europe/eurail/eurail-select-pass
The Ritz London: The Royal Wedding Brunch at The Ritz Restaurant. An extravagant Royal Wedding brunch served between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm. Hot/cold grill served on The Ritz Terrace, overlooking Green Park. Live streaming of the wedding coverage. Exclusive limited edition decorative keepsake embroidered with the initials of the Royal couple and their wedding date. The Ritz Restaurant employs live music most weekends with Peter O’Donnell and his band – the ideal place to play Fred and Ginger or hit the dance floor running when Peter really lets it rip. http://www.theritzlondon.com/promotions/seasonal-en.html
The Celtic Manor Resort Wedding Fayre 2011 in Wales. World renowned golf. Where romantic tradition melds with cutting-edge ideas. http://www.celtic-manor.com/Wedding-Fayre.aspx
Tour of Kate Middleton’s Country is in the works so email the company to get your reservation. http://www.mortonstravel.com/
See these art masterpieces for FREE in England. http://LoveUK.us/9R
Photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2031560_2210754,00.html
This is where it will all take place. http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2032817_2212734,00.html
Road Scholar just announced a learning vacation on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. A Voyage Into Royalty: London and the Queen Mary 2 After the Wedding. Sounds like the perfect union! http://bit.ly/hiqIyn
ABBA Fuel Reunion and Royal Wedding Performance Rumours http://t.co/8HrVft4 via @AOL @Geotravel. Also, Sir Paul McCartney is said to perform at the Royal wedding in April 2011. Bryan Adams may have a swing at things, too; Adams did an exclusive photo shoot of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 for www.zoomermag.com for The Queen’s 83-third birthday in 2009. Might be a good idea to get your hands on a copy of the special issue Zoomer magazine.
Sapphire engagement rings are “in”! Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the 19 carat sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds ring his mother Princess Diana wore. ”It is very special to me (Diana’s sapphire ring). It was my way to make sure my mother did not miss out on today and the excitement that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together,” William said, during the announcement of his engagement. The couple got engaged in October 2010 while on holiday in Kenya. Should Charles step aside? http://t.co/iOdhq6w via @globeandmail
I’ve recently toured The Ritz London (London, England) fine jewellery shop within the hotel and let me tell you my jaw dropped more than a few times. Sapphire bracelets — next big jewellery item in my opinion. http://www.ritzfinejewellery.com/
From top hats to big flowery monstrosities, Britain knows how to throw a good shindig. Royal pomp and pageantry, thy name is April 2011. So, if you plan to make this year your Royal Year, here are some of the main places of major interest in London:
Buckingham Palace in central London (get off at Green Park tube station on the Piccadilly Line) is where Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II calls home. Buckingham Palace is open to the public in August and September every year. State Rooms, Throne Room, and certain areas of the gardens are available for inspection with the cost of admission to the Palace.
Windsor Castle is also home to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and has been the home of the Royal Family for over 900-years. The castle saw a large fire that did a lot of damage in 1992. A major renovation has allowed visitors to tour the State Apartments along with St George’s Chapel and The Albert Memorial Chapel. (For tickets to the special Queen’s 60th exhibition see the end of this post.)
Want to know if the Queen is at home? If the Royal Standard is flying from the Round Tower at Windsor or from Buckingham Palace the Queen doubtless is enjoying a nice cup of English tea and perhaps shortbread.
Kensington Palace was completed in 1605 and was the home of a number of royals beginning in the late 18c when the palace was split up into State apartments as Court life all but came to a stop. Seven princesses made Kensington Palace their home in the State Apartments: Queen Mary 11 (1662-1694); Queen Anne (1665-1714); Queen Caroline (1683-1737); Princess Charlotte (1796-1817); Queen Victoria (1819-1901); Princess Margaret (1930-2002); and Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997). A new exhibition that will tell the story of Queen Victoria’s life at Kensington will be ready for public tour in 2012 to celebrate H.M. the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Another exhibition in 2012 will tell the story of Princesses Diana and Margaret.
If the Tower Of London could talk I’m sure the hair on your head would stand on end at the tales the Tower should tell. The building dates back 1,000 years to William the Conqueror. Anne Boleyn was executed in the Tower by order of her husband, King Henry V111. The Crown Jewels were once kept in Westminster Abbey, but now are on display in the Tower of London.
Hampton Court Palace is the oldest Tudor palace in England. King Henry VIII made his home at the palace as well as several other monarchs. The palace is open for tours, Monday to Sunday, 10: to 4:30 with the last entry at 3:30. Admission info: http://www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/hamptoncourtadmission.aspx If cookery is your passion check out the kitchens of King Henry VIII. 600 people twice per day were fed by these kitchens more than two hundred and thirty years ago. The last visit by the royal family to the palace took place in 1737. Henry loved food and women, in this order. Also available for tour is a period tennis court, the world famous maze and state apartments. The gardens are the most visited in England where you’ll see the restoration of King William’s Privy Garden of 1702.
Like your palaces? Here’s a contest to show off your royal design talents. The Big Hampton Court Palace Poster competition deadline 26 April 2011 for those aged 16 and under. Questions? http://bit.ly/gJE6IF
Banqueting House, designed by Inigo Jones in classical style, is one of only two still standing sections of the Palace of Whitehall. Charles I commissioned the painted ceiling by Sir Peter Paul Rubens to celebrate Charles’s father’s life. The ceiling was installed in the hall in 1636 and is the only scheme painted by Rubens to remain in its original place. There are two canvasses 28×20 feet and two more 40×10 feet. Rubens depicted The Union of the Crowns; The Apotheosis of James I; and The Peaceful Reign of James I. The Rubens ceiling was one of the last images Charles I saw before he was beheaded on a balcony outside Banqueting House at the end of the English Civil War. Banqueting House is available for weddings, conferences, receptions, dinners and other celebrations. Inquire for rental fee. Tour of Banqueting House: http://www.hrp.org.uk/BanquetingHouse/TicketsAndPrices.aspx
Spencer House in St. James’s is London’s only great 18th-century private palace to remain intact. Built in 1756-66 for John, first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Eight State Rooms have been restored and furnished with antique and neo-classical furniture. www.spencerhouse.co.uk Take the tube and get off at Green Park.
Westminster Abbey is one of Britain’s finest Gothic buildings. The Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor in the 11th-century. The Abbey holds coronations, marriages and burials of British monarchs. Tours of Royal Tombs, the Coronation Chair, Lady Chapel, Poets’ Corner and the Royal Chapels. The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales were held here. The marriage of Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton will take place in Westminster Abbey April 29, 2011. The same horse-drawn 1902 State Landau golden carriage that carried Princess Diana in 1981 on her marriage day will carry Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th. The carriage is open. In case of rain, the 1881 Glass Coach Princess Diana used to travel to her wedding will be used by Prince William and Kate Middleton. http://bit.ly/fDME3E www.westminster-abbey.org Take the Tube to Westminster station.
St Paul’s Cathedral celebrated the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981. Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in St Paul’s in 1897. Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee was celebrated at St Paul’s Cathedral in June of 2002. www.stpauls.co.uk Take the Tube to St Paul’s station.
St Bartholomew The Great Church in Smithfields is London’s oldest church. Founded in 1123, the church boasts a 15th-century monument to Rahere, a jester at the court of Henry I. Shakespeare in Love used the church for film location shoots. www.greatstbarts.com Tube/Rail Barbican.
You’ll be quite fortunate indeed if you see the Queen or Prince William’s Royal Wedding. Failing your luck, try Madame Tussaud’s waxwork. Henry VIII with his six wives is also on display. So, too is Queen Elizabeth I and Diana, Princess of Wales. In March of 2011 teen singing sensation Justine Bieber was welcomed in life-size wax. http://www.madametussauds.com/London/OurFigures/Royalty/TheQueen.aspx
Changing Of The Guard at Buckingham Palace. At 11:30 be prepared to be regaled during the 40-minute regimental ceremony in front of the palace; it’s one of London’s great spectacles. The Guard departs the nearby Wellington Barracks at 11:27 accompanied by a band and marches via Birdcage Walk to the Palace. Early April into the summer the ceremony takes place daily, and on alternate days prior to April. Take the Tube to Green Park station and walk through the park to the street (about 10 minutes’ walk). Near the time of the parade you’ll hear the band.
Trooping The Colour – The Queen’s Birthday Parade – takes place June 11, 2011. The Queen is saluted by members of the Household Division who “Troop the Colour’, present the battalion’s flag, a ceremony which dates to the early eighteenth century. The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace at 10:00 in the morning and proceeds down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade. The event covers about two hours. The Queen appears on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a flypast by the RAF at 1: PM (1300 hours). Tickets for seats are allocated in March. Make application in January: Brigade Major, HQ Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX. Standing room in St. James’s Park.
Enjoy afternoon tea out and about, on land or at sea. Grand hotels and ocean liners are the way to go for the simple reason these sorts of venues are used to pomp and ceremony. The Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, British Columbia has served an elegant tea service since the hotel’s opening in 1908. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth dined in the Empress Room in 1939. Two-hundred and fifty guests attended the luncheon on the 30th of May. The Queen’s china has not been used since the luncheon…until now. Special dinner is scheduled. $150. April is Royal Month at The Fairmont Empress. Many special events taking place throughout the month of April for Empress guests, including a contest for the “best dressed” pooch on the Empress lawn, April 29. $20. (includes tea, scones, jam, sandwiches). Historic hotel with all modern conveniences overlooks Victoria harbour. You are in the heart of Victoria when staying at The Fairmont Empress hotel. http://www.fairmont.com/empress/vanity/royalty
Le Meridien King Edward hotel in downtown Toronto celebrates the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G. to Miss Catherine Middleton with a Royal Breakfast, April 29, 2011, in the Sovereign Ballroom. Full English Breakfast with viewing of the wedding ceremony broadcast live from London’s Westminster Abbey. Reservations: 1-877-782-0116. Mention “RoyalPkg”. Welcome aboard for a most civilized high sea adventure. Afternoon tea on any of Cunard’s ocean liners spells luxurious comfort, and white-gloved waiters, serving scones, clotted cream, jams and jellies, honey from far off lands, finger sandwiches, and teas of the highest quality. All this in a spacious and enchanted ambiance like none other to be found anywhere in the world.
Piccadilly Big Jubilee Lunch – The street party on Sunday 3rd June celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee along the whole of Piccadilly.
Wanna join the 500-seat street party table for a picnic? Register now! Thank me later for the information and website. Cheers!
Involving the arts and business organistations of Piccadilly, including the Royal Academy of Arts, BAFTA, The Ritz London, The Wolseley, Fortnum & Mason, St James’s Church, at its heart will be a 500-seat street party table, for which members of the public can register to bring their picnic baskets and hampers at www.piccadillybigjubileelunch.org
Bombay Sapphire gin royal cocktail inspired by Catherine Middleton’s engagement ring. Served on Cunard Queens. Here’s the recipe!
The Royal SAPPHIRE®
1oz BOMBAY SAPPHIRE
½ oz elder flower cordial or liqueur
½ oz lemon juice
Shake all, double strain and serve in a champagne flute. Top with
Cunard Prosecco. Garnish with an edible flower.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/features/royal-wedding/index.html Everything you need to know from a Canuck standpoint, perhaps.
http://www.highgroveshop.com/ Royal Wedding Products, including the Diamond Jubilee Tea Cup & Saucer.
British Airways UK: Share your hints and tips for a Perfect Day for London 2012 with our new iPhone app: http://bit.ly/OQ8l3V
How to get around London or Europe like a pro! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV-S_MOusMI&feature=share&list=UUYLzScyXuSNHf72lBI6iRNQ
Find out where the London 2012 Games Torch Relay will travel. Get a jump on the Olympic Games. Great spots to visit outside London. http://www.yorkshire.com/olympics/torch-relay-map
For information on Art on the Underground see http://art.tfl.gov.uk
If you are visiting London and intend to use the Tube and other forms of public transport, you can buy a Visitor Oyster Card, delivered to you before you travel. Start using it from the moment you land in London, avoiding queues at the airport to buy tickets. The Visitor Oyster Card calculates the cheapest fare for your journey. You can purchase a Visitor Oyster Card before your trip to Britain at the VisitBritain shop www.visitbritainshop.com.
Get your BritRail Pass by calling ACP Rail’s Call Center today at 1 866 938-RAIL (North America) or by visiting www.ACPRail.com or www.BritRail.com. Remember to buy before taking flight as BritRail Passes cannot be purchased in Britain. Travel to Scotland and Wales, too.
BIG BUS TOURS will drop you off at Westminster Abbey! Many locations around London, England to hop on board this sightseeing tour bus. Entrance at Green Park station (underground) near The Ritz London hotel. What a snap! http://www.bigbustours.com
The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 Years The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 Years exhibition, Saturday, 04 February 2012 to Sunday, 28 October 2012 at Windsor Castle, London, England. Sixty photographs of The Queen, including the work of leading press photographers of the past six decades, are brought together for display at Windsor Castle to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. To purchase tickets online for this exhibition and/or tours please visit: www.rceltickets.com If you have disability access needs and would like to visit within the next 48 hours please do not proceed with this online ticket application. Instead, please telephone the Specialist Sales team on +44 (0) 20 7766 7324. The office is open from 9am – 5pm every day.
Photos courtesy of The Ritz London
Photo courtesy of Cunard
Wedding dress photo © copyright Press Association