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Another view of “The Royal Wedding Kiss”

Ah, so this is what the balcony kiss looked like! A bit fuzzy, but still better than the view I had while crouching on top of a children’s playset in Hyde Park, peering through binoculars!

The Royal Wedding Kiss a la Lego

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Events Scheduled for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

While the Thames’ Diamond Jubilee Pageant has a robust online presence – website, a nice Facebook page, and active Twitter presence – it is challenging to find up-to-date information about the rest of the festivities. After surfing way too much, I finally found this link on http://royal.gov.uk. I’ve posted the information below for your planning pleasure. Will you be there? Leave a comment and let us know!

2. The Diamond Jubilee central weekend is 2nd-5th June 2012 and will consist of the following:

Saturday 2nd June, 2012
The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby.

Sunday 3rd June, 2012
The Big Jubilee Lunch: Building on the already popular Big Lunch initiative, people will be encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This may take the form of a traditional street party or a picnic lunch in small or larger groups. This event is being organised by the Big Lunch.
The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant: This event will take place on the Thames and consist of up to 1,000 boats assembled from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world. The Queen will travel in the Royal Barge which will lead the flotilla. This event is being organised by the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation.

Monday 4th June, 2012
BBC Concert at Buckingham Palace: There will be a televised Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace with tickets being available to UK residents by public ballot. The musical programme for the concert is still being planned and is expected to feature British and Commonwealth musicians. Details on how to apply for the concert will be available in due course. This event is being organised by the BBC.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons: A network of 2,012 Beacons will be lit by communities and individuals throughout the United Kingdom, as well as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, British Overseas Territories and the Commonwealth. As in 2002, The Queen will light the National Beacon. The beacons project is being organised by Diamond Jubilee Beacons Ltd.

Tuesday 5th June, 2012
Service of Thanksgiving and Carriage Procession: There will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and a formal carriage Procession by The Queen.

3. In addition, the Diamond Jubilee Pageant will take place on 10th, 11th and 13th May 2012 in Windsor. Horses and other acts will travel from all around the world to perform in celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

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Update: Prince Philip’s Release Confirmed via Video & Statement…

….but not online. After my last post, I checked the British press and found that indeed, the palace press office had issued statements about Prince Philip’s release from the hospital. They simply weren’t posted to the general public or royal bloggers via website or twitter. They must have been issued directly to accredited media organizations, such as Sky News and their royal tweeter, Paul Harrison.

And Princess Diana’s Gift is not an accredited news organization…yet!

Interesting…because in the States, my other two blogs are regularly issued press releases and statements…perhaps this site is too new or perhaps its simply not the way Buckingham Palace does things. Would very much appreciate  a comment below about the protocol behind this. Anyone?

Paul Harrison's tweets aka @SkyNews

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Prince Philip Leaves Hospital! What the Future Holds…And Where’s the Royal Confirmation?

The Wall Street Journal  runs a nice update on the Duke of Edinburgh’s release from Papworth Hospital – complete with a picture of a nattily dressed Duke being driven away in a Range Rover. Can you imagine leaving the hospital fully dressed in a suit and tie?  What a powerful image of the 90-year-old duke! According to The Journal, the Duke will need to take blood thinners and other medication, and have full check-ups every six months.

As much as I respect The Wall Street Journal’s reporting, of course I had to seek confirmation from the official royal press reports.  Surprisingly, although the American press carried this story four hours ago – with The Wall Street Journal’s royal report posted at 4:09 a.m. EST, there is yet no confirmation from online royal sources, as you can see below.

I’m a bit surprised…is this the norm for the official royal accounts? Can any royal watchers fill me in?

British Monarchy Official tweets re Duke's health

British Monarcy official website health updates Duke

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An American Blogger’s Perspective on the Queen’s Christmas Message

The Queen’s annual Christmas message, famous around the world, is one that could stand a bit more watching, and a lot less reading about.  I did both – first reading about the message in The Telegraph, then reading the text on the on The official website of The British Monarchy, and finally watching the YouTube video. My impression was vastly different after seeing this:

Whereas The Telegraph’s headline inferred that family was the key message in the Queen’s broadcast, to this observer, Christian faith was clearly what Her Majesty stressed. It was clear that the Queen spoke in her role as Defender of the Faith and Supreme Commander of the Church of England. As the Queen said, “It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

Telegraph Coverage of Queen's Christmas Message

Perhaps its simply my distance – watching as an American, over here in the shadows of our nation’s capital. Here, we’re so sensitized to separation of church and state, that even in our churches we wish each other “Happy Holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas!” (My own perspective? You invite me to your seder, and I’ll bake you Christmas cookies! Isn’t better to cherish the unique traditions of each faith, rather than to merge them in some blandly harmonious way?)

But the divergent viewpoints of the Queen’s annual Christmas message go further than simply the focus on family versus traditional Christian values.   The Telegraph’s royal reporting next emphasized the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s marriage – listing them in the subhead, and in the third paragraph. Yet go ahead – watch the Queen’s Christmas broadcast — and you’ll  see something different. Rather than single out Prince William and Catherine, Queen Elizabeth led her remarks with video footage of the wedding of her grand daughter Zara Phillips to Mike Tinsdale. Thereafter, one glimpsed the familiar images of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

How lovely! Without needing to use words, the Queen told us that she cherishes each of her grandchildren – and does not put William automatically ahead of Zara. So why did The Telegraph? Because any mention of William and Kate sells newspapers and attracts clicks, of course!

What did you think of the message!

And Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah by the way!

– Lynn

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Lovely Peek at the Queen’s Christmas Message

The UK’s Telegraph features a sneak peek of the Queen’s annual Christmas message, which will be broadcast tomorrow. I tried to upload it here for you, but technical difficulties are preventing me from doing so!

According to the Telegraph, the Queen’s message focuses on family, community and friends – a message made all the more poignant by the Duke of Edinburgh’s hospitalization.

Best wishes to all for a very merry Christmas.

– Lynn

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Introducing Princess DIana’s Gift

It’s no accident that this site is launching so close to Christmas. It may be called Princess Diana’s Gift, but really, this blog is a gift of whimsy to myself — and hopefully, to you.

Like billions of others around the world, I was captivated by Princess Diana’s life and legacy. Thirty years ago, as a teen-age girl, I woke early one morning to watch her fairy tale wedding on TV.  I vowed then to be there – to be in London – when her first-born wed.

Last April, I did just that.Wedding View of William and Kate from Trafalgar Square

I snapped this photo from Trafalgar Square, where I watched the wedding on a jumbotron, heard the peels of the bells at Westminster Abbey, followed the service in the official wedding program, and laughed and cheered with thousands of others.

While in London, I kept a travel journal and dreamed of starting a blog about William and Kate.

Then I flew home to the States, where my husband, two little boys, my business, and two other blogs competed for my attention.

I talked myself out of something so silly as a British royalty blog.

And then last night, one of my best friends visited. We’ve known each other for nearly 30 years – since our “Junior Year Abroad” in Europe. As he talked about how fast the time has gone, how he can’t believe he’s nearly 50 years-old, I thought to myself, “He’s right. Carpe Diem. Life is short.”

Life is short, dreams need to be realized. And if this blog can bring a smile to my face — and yours – well, why not?

Hopefully, the husband, children, business, and other blogs won’t suffer too much.

If you’ve read this far, please let me know, what would you like to read about in this blog?

Thanks for your support.

- Lynn

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