Archive for April, 2010

clever Mr Magpie

I just had to share this with you!  I put some dog biscuits out for the fox this morning, as she sometimes wanders through the garden about midday, and usually has a squizz to see if there is any food on the verandah.

Anyhow, I noticed the biscuits had been disappearing, but I hadn’t seen the fox at all and wondered where they were going.

So I am sitting here writing and something caught my eye. I looked up and there was the Magpie….picked up a biscuit, flew over to the birdbath and dropped it into the water!!!! Then he flew back a few seconds later and picked the biscuit up out the water! 🙂

How clever is that! I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to catch him at the waterbowl but nevertheless I got him on the verandah near the foxes plate.  Clever chappie.

it was the magpie, nicked the biscuits!

 ooo and there goes the fox, through the garden right on time and the biscuits have gone! 😦

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Goodness me! Poor Gordon Brown! What a faux-pax!!! Not that he is alone by any means, but the timing could not have been worse.

Now me personally I don’t like him at all, not sure why but he makes me nervous when he smiles.  I love his wife and think she is just brilliant but the man himself….uh uh. Although I am sure he is a perfectly nice guy.   Anyways, I read this morning’s article with great amusement and some sympathy.   You have to feel sorry for him.  He has kinda messed up…..as have many before him.  And if we wanted a good rant we could of course blame the whole mess of the economy etc on him.

Frankly I think all politicians should be brought down to earth now and then.  They get all airified (not sure if I spelt that right, or if it is even a word) and it’s good for them to get real now and then, and Gordon Brown to his obvious dismay was real.   It is a shame that politicians are unable to be honest.  He should have been able to speak his mind, after all his constituentee (?) did.  Perhaps she was being bigoted!  After all it would bear the British population well to keep in mind that Britian is made up of immigrants and as one comedian a few years back rightly pointed out, we are a mixed nation, created by the invaders of other European countries. (check your history folks).

What they should also keep in mind is that Britian became a great empire on the backs of immigrants and through conquering other perfectly happy nations, who were minding their own business till the conquering invaders came along and acquired their countries for the empire.  No that they were alone in that of course, they just did it better than anyone else.

Immigrants, like them or not (and I am one, of British decent mind you – a real mixed race person if ever there was one), are what help to shape and build an economy.  Many of whom are the people doing the manual labour and other such lowly jobs for minimum wage or less!

During a political discussion this afternoon with some visitors, they pointed out (and they are British) that Britian has become a welfare nation.  People are so used to expecting handouts and benefits that they have reared their children on this system, and those kids now expect it as their right to get the benefits.  What a load of bollocks!  I agree from the reports I have read that the system is a mess, but then again what isn’t in this wonderful world of ours right now.  It’s not all his fault and I am sure the other parties would probably have just as much of a struggle on their hands if they were managing it all.

Here in Britain, we are in fact a very priviledged bunch, with the most amazing amount of freedom of speech blah blah blah!  Try giving the leader of an Asian country a bollocking and see where that gets you!!

Back in South African (yeah, I’m one of those), we have 6 months of benefits.  You only get benefits for pregnancy, redundancy or illness.  After the 6 months, the monetary value of the payout reduces (not increases) on a sliding scale, and then it’s back to work or onto the streets. Now I’m not saying that is the ideal system, but it sure is an incentive to get a job.

So back to GB and his comments on air….bully for him, just a shame he did not tell her to her face and be real.  As for the apologising stuff….what on earth! People, seriously!!! This apologising stuff has been going on too long. So what if she wants to shift parties or not vote…who cares.  None of the other parties are any better, they are perhaps just a bit more slick.

So GB, sorry I can’t be a fan, but hey…..you are human. Good for you.

And his people should get a kick in the pants for not being on the ball and removing the microphone before he moved off.

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Ok, so I know the snow was a pain for a lot of people….but boy oh boy did we (my daughter and I) have fun.  Here is an example of how to NOT go sledding!!! 

In case you are wondering….that is my ‘delightful’ daughter laughing in the background!!

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You may or may not know it yet, but I love twitter.  To me it is one of the best internet inventions ever….well besides the internet of course 🙂

I’ve said before that I could quite happily spend the whole day on twitter; following links, retweeting quotes, chatting to friends around the world, connecting with new friends I noticed mentioned by current friends, having a laugh at the jokes, responding to mentions, having a peek into someone else’s life: finding out what they like, who they don’t like, what they think of Tiger Woods, who is visiting starbucks, who loves tea, who has been where, whose kids are on spring break, photo’s of gorgeous places, who is sitting on a carribean beach, what is happening 6,000 miles away, who is passionate about which cause, who supports those causes, who is selling what, and why, who writes poetry, whose baby has just been born, whose birthday it is, celebrating their achievements, who is passionate about their garden, who shares my interest in travel, which people lean towards religion and who doesn’t and much much more…….you know what I mean.

And this got me to thinking about the etiquette of twitter, about how it is we get to connect with the people behind the profiles and I wondered if twetiquette is the same as etiquette and do the same rules apply when we are relatively anonymous behind a computer screen as opposed to being face to face.

Etiquette (pronounced [,eti’ket]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word étiquette, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English in 1750.

So if I understand that correctly; etiquette in simple terms is a code of behaviour within a social class or group.  How then is etiquette practised in the world of twitter.

In a normal social setting it is good etiquette to introduce yourself, to shake hands in greeting (or whatever the correct social norm would be in your any particular country), to engage in polite conversation, to enquire after someones health and if you feel comfortable in the environment you then engage further and enquire as to career or family ties, do they participate in a sport, what sort of music they enjoy and so through a repartee of conversation within the norm of a social setting you get to find out more about the person you are communicating with.

On twitter your introduction is your profile: you have an opportunity to introduce yourself.  I come along, I have a look and if we speak the same language or like similar things we then ‘follow’ : we shake hands.

Next I post a tweet that I am about to go on holiday or I re-tweet an interesting link you have posted about travel tips or an exciting destination – you respond and as we engage so we get to learn more about one another: conversation.

Then perhaps a friend comes along and we think the person we are with might like to meet them, so we introduce them: @mention the person and if possible we say why aka #ff or #followfriday

Sometimes over the course of time we find that the things they say aka ‘tweet’ are of no real interest, so we move on : unfollow

When we first meet a new person in a normal social settings we dont just jump in with the company’s latest advert : marketing links

And I dislike the idea of ‘automated’ following programmes to build numbers : running down the street ‘shouting..be my friend’?!

So here is my idea of twetiquette:

Follow = I like you and think we may have things in common

Retweet your post = I find your post interesting and would like to share it with others

@mention you and comment on something you said previously = conversation

Click on a link you posted = taking an interest in what you have to say

Retweet the link = I think other people might also be interested

Retweet a comment you made eg a quote = repartee

#followfriday = I think youre a great person and would like to introduce you to my other friends

So, those are just some of my ideas!  What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Spring forward; Autumn back! Finally after 9 ‘springs’, I have got it.  The clocks went forward on 28th March BST (British Standard Time).  What this really means is that urgh! we have to get up an hour earlier than the day before.   Now this is not much of a surprise since it happens every year, as the days get light earlier and yay it means summer is on the way! We hope 🙂

Sunday 28th March was meant to herald the advent of Spring!  Or so one would think.  We had a burst of sun for an hour or so and then the rain fell; no surprise there!    After living in the UK for the last 9 years plus, I finally get why the Brits are so fixated on the weather.   It’s the promise of sunshine that keeps the eye on the heavens and gives the weatherman such a bad rep when we are faced with another rainy day.   I actually started writing this blog on the 7th April.  I did not get to finish it that day and saved it to draft with the intention of posting it the next day…..however, our ever fickle Mother Nature decided differently and the very next day was sunny and bright and so it has stayed ever since…..till today!!! So finally I can get to post this blog….it is raining!

One of the things that I love about the UK (and there are many) is that the seasons are so distinctive.   Unlike in South Africa where the days tends to blend and autumn is noted by cooler days and spring goes unnoticed except for the blossoms; here in the UK and I am sure in many other parts of the northern hemisphere, the seasons are quite distinctive.

Autumn is a glorious display of vibrant glowing colours; reds, yellows, gold and orange.  The days are brisk and windy, sending dried leaves scurrying about in whirls of colour.   The days shorten imperceptibly till suddenly you notice it’s dark by 5pm!  Misty days wrap skeletal trees in cloaks of mystery, the very sensible birdlife leave for sunnier climes and furry creatues both large and small burrow into cozy nests and snooze the colder days away.

Winter arrives with a flourish!  No politeness there…it just arrives – bang, one day you wake up and it’s bloody cold.  The temperatures drop and the folk in more northern countries send their icy winds our way.   The weatherman gets it in the ear and nothing he has to say is of any good cheer.   Like a baby’s bum, it’s wet and windy; and cold. Urgh.  The days deepen, the nights linger and getting up out of a cozy bed in the morning’s is hell….especially if you don’t have central heating.   Now clever me, my job entails living in old people’s homes and since they always feel the cold, the heating is usually (with one or two exceptions) way up high.  In an attempt to consider the planet and the ecology I spend a fair amount of time turning thermometers down 🙂 

Then the snow arrives!  Chaos decends and the kids go wild!!! No school; hooray!  After centuries of snow in winter, you would think that the government has figured out it needs to put plans in place to deal with this. But no, it always comes as a big surprise “Oh my gosh! Look at that it snowed!”   The country is torn between joy & annoyance.   Businesses lose money and people go out to play. 

Winter seems to last forever, long dark nights, short days and cold that seeps into the bones sending shivers along the spine.  Scarves and gloves, boots and jackets, thermals and caps.   No romantic liasons then!  Coughs, colds and sneezes abound, kleenex makes a killing for sure.

Then suddenly, the days start to lengthen and Spring  arrives with an array of colours, buds unfurl and the days are brightened by splashes of colour, snowdrops carpet the ground

snowdrops herald the approach of spring

 and daffodils brighten even the dullest of days with their sunny dispositions.

daffodils with their sunny faces

The world seems to stretch her arms in response to the warm stirring of the suns rays.   Spring heralds ancient pagan festivals and rituals, to welcome the promise of summer.

And then we have summer! Or do we.  Occassionally we have a rush of hot sunny days, when the parks are filled with lazy picnics, the beaches crowded with folk, eager to catch the sun’s rays before it dissappears behind the clouds.  So here’s hoping for a nice hot sunny summer.   The last 2 weeks have, except for the advent of the volcanic eruption and resulting ashy air been fabulous!  Blue skies, nary a cloud in sight and everyone went out to picnic. 

And now we have returned pretty much to normal….overcast and rain. It’s great to have such dependable weather 🙂

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UPDATE: 17.10.2012 – the Olympics are over so now all areas are once again accessible :). Hope you enjoy the walk.

UPDATE: 18.04.2011 – this post was written for a friend last year.  However, feel free to use the information herein.   I have a blog on London where you can find out a lot more about fun and interesting things to do and places to go while you are here – go to http://3daysinlondon.info/  Wishing you a fab time in the city.

So assuming your free time is the whole 6 hours I would suggest that you go to Green Park and visit Buckingham Palace to see the fabulous flowers (seasonal) and then take a walk to Big Ben & Houses of Parliament; so here goes:

Buy a one-day travel card for zones 1-6 at Heathrow Underground Tube station, off-peak Zone 1-6 £8.50 this will allow you unlimited travel from Heathrow to and in and around Central London and back again. If you travel before 09:30 the cost will be substantially higher. For further fare info click here which will take you to TravelforLondon website showing fares/zones.

Hop on the Piccadilly Line which runs from all Heathrow terminals. Allow an hour for the journey and go to Green Park (it’s direct).

Get off at Green Park and take the exit straight into Green Park.  Stroll through the park till you reach The Mall and on the right you will see Buckingham Palace = approx 10-15 minutes stroll allows you time to look around and enjoy the many features.

Buckingham Palace

At Buckingham Palace spend some time looking at the Victoria Memorial Gardens and the Queen Victoria Memorial fountains.

Victoria Memorial Gardens

then take a walk along The Mall towards Trafalgar Square.   On your way take a stroll through the park = St James’s Park.

tulips at St Jamess park

It is beautiful this time of year (April) and the tulips are magnificent = 30-45minutes or so. If you walk through the park, head to the Blue Bridge and cross over towards Birdcage Walk and stroll along towards Big Ben and Parliament Square.

Then at Trafalgar Square, spend 15 minutes or so if you wish to look around

fountain at Trafalgar Square with National Gallery in the background

While at Trafalgar Square why not pop in to The National Gallery, it’s free (they do appreciate donations) and the entrance is beautiful.  Although the Olympic Clock is now gone, I have left a photo in just because 🙂

london 2012 olympic games, olympic games london

The London 2012 Olympic Clock at Trafalgar Square

and then head along Whitehall (main road) towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace) = 15 minutes or so.  A pointer for direction is that Lord Nelson on his perch (column) faces towards Big Ben and Houses of Parliament along Whitehall (name of the road),

you will also pass Horse-Guards Parade (4pm to see the 4 o’clock parade; much lower key than say changing the guard but impressive and free. If you get there at any other time then all it is is a big square. Having said that there is a memorial to those killed in the South African campaign over 100 years ago which is both impressive and moving – thanks to Paul for the inserted contribution) as well as No 10 Downing Street on the right hand side of the road and the Cenotaph; a memorial to those killed in the 1st & 2nd WW situated in the middle of Whitehall.

At Big Ben, be sure to cross over to Westminster Abbey (looking towards the right & closed at 3.30 most days), the whole area is looking gorgeous.

royal wedding, westminster abbey,  things to do in london

Westminster Abbey the venue for the Royal Wedding on April 29th 2011

After that return to Big Ben

Big Ben

and walk up onto the right-hand side of the bridge (Westminster Bridge)  where you can view the whole palace alongside the river.

Houses of Parliament aka Westminster Palace

At that point you would be able to see the London Eye and the Aquarium.  Cross over to the opposite side for a better view.

the London Eye with the Aquarium in the background

be sure to stop and have a look at the statue of Boudicca on her chariot (Queen of the Iceni who ravaged the Romans).  There is an ice-cream stand on the corner there where you can buy a double cone soft vanilla ice-cream with flake for £? the prices changes regularly but it’s in the region of £2.00-£2.50) 🙂  If you take a walk along the Victoria Embankment, be sure to have a look at the Battle of Britain memorial…it’s stunning.

If you want to and have the time, take a walk along the Victoria Embankment (with the river on your right hand side), towards the next bridge (Hungerford & Golden Jubilee Bridges), where you can see the RAF (Royal Air Force) monuments alongside the embankment as well as all our gorgeous trees that are just about in their full greenery (assuming you are here in spring/summer). = 45 minutes.

At Embankment Station there are a number of coffee shops where you could stop off and have a cuppa = 30minutes or so. If not and its a hot day, then have an ice-cream instead 🙂  If you have time climb the stairs onto the bridge, for a magnificent view upstream of the river towards the London Eye etc.  From here you can take the District or Circle tube line to Earl’s Court and change for the Piccadilly line for Heathrow.

Heathrow to Green Park = 60-70 minutes give or take

Green Park station stroll to Buckingham Palace 15 minutes

Buckingham Palace through St James’s park to Trafalgar Square 60 minutes

Trafalgar Square 15 minutes

Walk to Big Ben and Houses of Parliament 15 minutes

Time at Big Ben and perhaps Westminster Abbey 60 minutes

walk along the Embankment (the London Eye will be on your right hand side) to Embankment station 15-20 minutes

stop for coffee (or not). There is a lovely park just behind the station; Victoria Embankment Park, a lovely environment to stop and rest for a while.  You will find a memorial to the poet Robert Burns in the park as well as many other statues and and interesting memorials = 30 minutes

Back to Heathrow from Embankment approx 60-70 minutes.

These are all estimated times and depend on how long you stay at each place or how slow/quickly you walk.  I have allowed extra time for each leg of the excursion, so you may find it takes a bit less for each. It’s up to you how long you want to take at each place. Good luck and have a fabulous time.   Let me know if this works for you. 🙂

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St George on Google 🙂

 Most countries which observe St George’s Day celebrate it on April 23, the traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD.

St George’s Day is celebrated by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint. St George’s Day is also England’s National Day.

Saint George is the patron saint of some important cities, mainly belonging to the territories added to the old kingdoms of Castille, Leon and Aragon in the historic period of the “Reconquista”.

The legend

St. George and the Dragon, wood sculpture by Bernt Notke in Stockholm’s Storkyrkan

St. George and the Dragon in Stockholm’s Gamla stan

Woodcut frontispiece of Alexander Barclay, Lyfe of Seynt George (Westminster, 1515)

According to the Golden Legend the narrative episode of Saint George and the Dragon took place in a place he called “Silene,” in Libya; the Golden Legend is the first to place this legend in Libya as a sufficiently exotic locale, where a dragon might be imagined. In the tenth-century Georgian narrative, the place is the fictional city of Lasia, and it is the godless Emperor who is Selinus.

The town had a pond, as large as a lake, where a plague-bearing dragon dwelled that envenomed all the countryside. To appease the dragon, the people of Silene used to feed it two sheep every day, and when the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery.

It happened that the lot fell on the king’s daughter. The king, distraught with grief, told the people they could have all his gold and silver and half of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, decked out as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.

Saint George by chance rode past the lake. The princess, trembling, sought to send him away, but George vowed to remain.

The dragon reared out of the lake while they were conversing. Saint George fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross, charged it on horseback with his lance and gave it a grievous wound.   Then he called to the princess to throw him her girdle, and he put it around the dragon’s neck.    When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash.    She and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the people at its approach.    But Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptised, he would slay the dragon before them.

The king and the people of Silene converted to Christianity, George slew the dragon, and the body was carted out of the city on four ox-carts. “Fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children.” On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.

Traditionally, the sword with which St. George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, a name recalling the city of Ashkelon, Israel. From this tradition, the name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II (records at Bletchley Park), since St. George is the Patron Saint of England.

How cool is that!   Thanks to Wikipedia for the above….a font of information as always. This story has fascinated me ever since I discovered that my birthday falls on the day of the Patron Saint of England, especially as I so love England.  It is quite thrilling. 🙂

So who was St George?

Quick Facts about St George

  • Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia)
  • Lived in 3rd century
  • His parents were Christian
  • Became a Roman soldier
  • Protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
  • Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine

St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.

When the pagan Emperor Diocletian started persecuting Christians, St. George pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. However, St. George’s pleas fell on deaf ears and it is thought that the Emperor Diocletian tried to make St. George deny his faith in Christ, by torturing him. St George showed incredible courage and faith and was finally beheaded near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, 303.

In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced Edward the Confessor as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day.

my thanks to woodlands-junior for the info

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Since that day in July 2000 when I had cause to call on you in haste, we have been close companions, never far from each other’s side as you have opened doors and guided me across borders.

I recall that when we first met it was under dire circumstance; my daughter had just been knocked down and run over by a golf-cart in Philadelphia, US of A, and I needed your help as a matter of urgency.   Fortunately she recovered after a short stint in hospital and although many laughed at the thought of someone being run over by a golf-cart….you hurried over and did not leave, mindful of the fact it was no joke at all.

As it turned out she swiftly recovered and in due course returned home so we did not have to leave the country.

Keeping close, we did eventually venture across the seas and our first port of call was Zurich in Switzerland.  There we did not tarry long, keen to be off and on our way to Dublin in Ireland, stopping briefly in London.    You saw me safely through Border Control and no-one doubted your authenticity.

Since then we have kept each other company as we travelled far and wide across the world.

We’ve made numerous crossings across the Irish sea, sometimes by plane, once by bus (an experience hopefully never to be repeated), and whenever we returned home to South Africa you were always there, sturdy in your constancy.

I thank you now for all those trips, holidays far and wide; first New York where we were met by my daughter and treated to a limosine ride from the airport, then taken on a tour of New York City. From there we flew to Florida, and you were always at my side.

Next we ventured into Europe: travelling first to Venice in Italy, then Paris in France via the Eurostar – to celebrate my 50th, Amsterdam in The Netherlands (just for fun), then Gibraltar (a British stronghold) to celebrate the Bi-Centennary of the Battle of Trafalgar, where to my dismay we were unable to cross into Spain :(. In between we went to the Bahamas on a cruise, and visited family back in South Africa.

A few years later we returned to Paris in France again and then onto Bruges in Belgium for a holiday. Since then we have been back to visit with my sister and brother-in-law in Ireland and to Phoenix Arizona for my Date With Destiny.

And now, as the times draws near for when you expire, I have to hand you over to the Authorities, hopeful that they will treat you with care.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to replace you.

And although this means that we will never travel together again, you will always hold a special place in my heart, fondly remembered for all the joy and laughter that has been mine to enjoy as we travelled to places near and far.

So to you I say; thank you – dear Passport…..farewell.

On the plus side; I get to change the photograph 🙂

On the negative side; I’m ten years older 😦

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Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth


The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year.   Her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June.

The Queen was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London.

The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park and a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park

The Sovereign’s birthday is officially celebrated by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour on a Saturday in June.

June 12 this year The tradition of Trooping the Colour

Trooping the Colour is carried out by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public.

Queen Elizabeth II was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The Princess, christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace, was named after her mother. Her two middle names are those of her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra, and paternal grandmother, Queen Mary.

The Princess’s early years were spent at 145 Piccadilly, the London house taken by her parents shortly after her birth, and at White Lodge in Richmond Park.

She also spent time at the country homes of her paternal grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, and her mother’s parents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.

In 1930, Princess Elizabeth gained a sister, with the birth of Princess Margaret Rose.

When she was six years old, her parents took over Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park as their own country home. In the grounds of Royal Lodge Princess Elizabeth had her own small house, Y Bwthyn Bach (the Little Cottage), which was given to her by the people of Wales in 1932.

Princess Elizabeth’s quiet family life came to an end in 1936, when her grandfather, King George V, died.

His eldest son came to the throne as King Edward VIII, but, before the end of the year, King Edward VIII had decided to give up the throne in order to marry the woman he loved, Mrs Wallis Simpson.

Upon his abdication, Princess Elizabeth’s father acceded to the throne as King George VI, and in 1937 the two Princesses attended their parents’ coronation in Westminster Abbey.

Princess Elizabeth was now first in line to the throne.

Shortly after the Royal Family returned from South Africa in 1947, the Princess’s engagement to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was announced.

Having known each other for many years, the couple were married in Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. 

As Britain was still recovering from the war,  the event was fairly simple and Princess Elizabeth had to collect clothing coupons for her dress, like any other young bride. They spent their honeymoon at Broadlands, Hampshire, the home of Lord Mountbatten, and at Birkhall, Balmoral

After her marriage in 1947, Princess Elizabeth paid formal visits with The Duke of Edinburgh to France and Greece, and in autumn 1951 they toured Canada.

On Wednesday, 6 February 1952, Princess Elizabeth received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the throne, while staying in a remote part of Kenya.

The Queen meets thousands of people each year in the UK and overseas. Before meeting Her Majesty, many people ask how they should behave. The simple answer is that there are no obligatory codes of behaviour – just courtesy.  However, many people wish to observe the traditional forms of greeting – For men this is a neck bow (from the head only) whilst women do a small curtsy.  Other people prefer simply to shake hands in the usual way.

On presentation to The Queen, the correct formal address is ‘Your Majesty’ and subsequently ‘Ma’am’

Thanks to http://www.royal.gov.uk/ a veritable mine of information

Thanks to http://purplerosee.blogspot.com/2009/08/worlds-richest-royals.html for the photo 🙂 it’s great

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