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The Duchess of Kent and the Koala

In 1988, Australia celebrated its Bicentenary, which marked the 200th year since the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip with the 11 ships of the First Fleet in Sydney Harbour in 1788, and the founding of the city of Sydney and the colony of New South Wales. The Queen and Prince Philip visited Australia and on April 30, she opened the World Expo in Brisbane before opening the new permanent Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May. Other members of the British Royal Family followed suit: The Prince and Princess of Wales, The Duke and Duchess of York and The Duke and Duchess of Kent came to Australia to join the festivities. When the Duchess of Kent (her husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, was The Queen's cousin) visited the World Expo, she was particularly overjoyed when she saw the koala and was much too happy to hug the animal herself! Her upbeat mood was caught on camera and her vibrant outfit was just lovely not to be mentioned!



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2011 – The Queen and her “Farewell Tour” in Australia

Through the years of her reign, The Queen has forged a strong and special relationship with Australia, especially with the locals whose devotion to the head of State has never wavered. In Australia, she is not Queen of the United Kingdom, but she acts and speaks as Queen of Australia. Thus, whenever she is Down Under, she is addressed as “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.”

The Queen has developed a very personal relationship with Australia through regular visits. She has travelled throughout the different states to meet people from all cultures, walks of life and regions of this enormous and fascinating country.
In 2011, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, embarked on a 10-day visit to Australia. This was the Queen’s 16th official visit to Australia. Their trip brought them to Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne before heading to Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government mee…

In Pictures: The Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977

The year 1977 saw The Queen achieve a milestone - she celebrated the Silver Jubilee of her reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Head of the Commonwealth.
Church services throughout Great Britain were held on February 6, 1977 and by March. An extensive overseas tour was made, beginning in Glasgow and taking her to 36 counties including Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, West Indies and Canada. No other monarch in the history of Great Britain could surpass Queen Elizabeth II’s record of visiting as many country as she did in a span of six weeks!
A Thanksgiving Service was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral on June 7. She was joined by members of the Royal Family other leaders including U.S. President Jimmy Carter and then-Prime Minister James Callaghan.
The celebration was, indeed, a Commonwealth affair. Street parties were organized in many parts of the country. London alone had over 4,000 street and neighborhood parties all chee…

All the Queen's Tiaras!

Sparkling, glittering tiaras, the Queen has them all! Rich in history and worth more than any fortune in the world, these tiaras catch the attract the attention of the crowd - a stunner indeed!


In 1958, The Queen wears the Vladimir Tiara for the state banquet held in her honor during the State Visit to the Netherlands in 1958. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands donned the Stuart Diamond Tiara.


Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, visited Australia  for the Captain Cook Bi-Centenary Celebrations. At the state banquet, the Queen wore Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara. Photography by Maurie Wilmott. State Library of New South Wales.


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip welcome Romania President and First Lady Ceausescu at Buckingham Palace in June 1978. For this gathering, the Queen wore Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara. Image from Phototeca.

The Queen wears the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara when she met the Australian entertainers…

In pictures: Queen Elizabeth II in Action

Queen Elizabeth II, whose illustrious reign began in 1952, has seemingly never put a wrong foot forward. Her impeccable work ethic is beyond compare and she has scoured the world over, meeting heads of states, leaders of governments, and adoring fans and subjects eager to get a glimpse of her. She has remained the most traveled sovereign in the world and has, in many ways, redefined the British monarchy, transforming it into a respected institution that it is today.


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during their visit in the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.


Queen Elizaberth II and Prince Philip enjoying a chat with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Ambassador Louis Susman, and Mrs. Margaret Susman before a dinner in the Queen's honor at Winfield House in London, England, May 25, 2011.Image from the Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.


Mrs. Lynne Cheney is greeted by the Queen in 2007 during 400th anniversary …

The Ladies of Llangolen, “the two most celebrated virgins in Europe”: Lesbian Lovers or Queer Eccentrics?

Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Charlotte Butler were the renowned Ladies of Llangolen—two upper class Irish women whose desire to live together in “delightful retirement” during the late 18th century and early 19th century fascinated and scandalized their contemporaries. The Ladies of Llangolen were “the two most celebrated virgins in Europe”.

Eleanor was born on May 11, 1739, Sarah, in 1755.  Sarah was an orphan raised by her father’s cousins, Sir William and Lady Betty Fownes. She lived with them in Woodstock, County Kilkenny, Ireland. She had to suffer the unwanted attentions afforded to her by Sir William, whose wife’s failing health had him eagerly anticipating for the day when Sarah could take Betty’s place and become the second Lady Fownes.

Eleanor resided 15 miles from where Sarah lived. She was the youngest daughter of the Earl of Ormonde of Kilkenny Castle. She was educated in a convent in France, thus she spoke French. She was considered by her family as an over-educated bookw…

In Pictures: the Beautiful Gardens of Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, today the oldest remaining Tudor palace in England, boasts of its internationally-renowned gardens that span 60 acres of formal gardens and 750 acres (304 hectares) of parkland that lie within a loop of the River Thames. Garden history tours are offered to guests, which cover over 500 years of history. The gardens are home to the world's oldest puzzle maze, the record-breaking grape vine, three National Plant Collections and a huge variety of wildlife, including the descendants of Henry VIII’s deer herd. There's really so much to see in this historic palace!


When springtime comes, the gardens bloom with the spectacular herbaceous border in the East Front Gardens at its best. Queen Mary II's Exoticks bud in profusion at the Lower Orangery Garden. Towards the end of summer, the Great Vine grapes are harvested and with the coming of autumn, the Tiltyard, Wilderness and 20th Century Garden burst with hues of red and orange. Winter sees the trees of Home P…
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