May 27, 2016

Drakensteyn Castle, Queen Beatrix’s Home, Will Wow You!

Drakensteyn Castle

It is in Drakensteyn Castle where the former Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands wishes to live happily ever after, writes Global Post. Drakensteyn is not the usual abode one would expect the status of Princess Beatrix to choose. But choose it she did anyway. After all, her unassuming and warm personality endeared her to the public.  

Drakensteyn is a small castle built from 1640–1643 for a certain van Reede Läm. However, as early as 1359, a manor house of the same name is believed to have existed in the castle present location.
The castle changed owners from the 17th through the18th centuries. In 1807, the castle came into the possession of Paulus Wilhelmus Bosch, mayor of Utrecht, and it remained with his family until his descendant, Frederik Lodewijk Bosch van Drakestein sold it to Princess Beatrix in 1959.

She started living here in 1963, even after her marriage in 1966 to Prince Claus. It was in Drakensteyn where her three sons were born. In 1981, Beatrix’s mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated, and she succeeded as Queen. The family had to transfer residence to The Hague but the castle remained a weekend getaway or a temporary home for guests.

Winnie the Pooh Meets the Queen – and Prince George too!

Queen Elizabeth II meets Winnie the Pooh

In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, a new Winnie-the-Pooh adventure was released featuring “the bear of very little brain,” and, course, the queen and Prince George.

In the story, Winnie the Pooh and his beloved pals Piglet, Eeyore and Christopher Robin all go to Buckingham Palace after receiving a "Most Urgent" letter informing them of the Queen's special day.
The adventure takes them to an open-top bus, on which they see Trafalgar Square before reaching the royal residence where they get to see the queen. Then, Pooh and friends had the chance to present their special birthday gifts to Her Majesty.

Prince George also makes his special appearance, described in the book as "much younger than Christopher Robin and almost as bouncy as Tigger." Piglet gives him a red balloon and he pats the adorable character on the head. He also tickled Pooh in the ears.

May 26, 2016

These 3 Private Residences of the Dutch Royal Family Will Make You Want to Say “Mooi!”

As Sovereign of the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander has on his disposal three state-owned palaces: the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, which is used for entertaining and official functions, the Noordeinde Palace, which serves as the king’s workplace, and Huis ten Bosch, the king’s principal residence. But there’s more. The Dutch Royal Family also owns impressive residences. Remember these are privately owned by the House of Orange.  They’re not only homey but definitely impressive and you’ll definitely fall in love once you see them!

Villa Eikenhorst and the De Hosten Estates

Villa Eikenhorst. Image: Wikimapia

The property has been in the ownership of the House of Orange since 1845. Prince Frederik, the second son of King Willem I,  purchased the estate and had it landscaped by landscape architects Petzold and Zocher. After his death, it was passed on to his daughter Marie von Wied until Queen Wilhelmina purchased the property. Here, Queen Wilhelmina would spend her quiet time painting. The property passed to Queen Juliana after her death. The 17th century farmhouse-inspired Villa Eikenhorst in the estate grounds was built between 1985 to 1987. Since 2003, it serves as home to King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and their children.  Until 1996, Queen Beatrix’s younger sister Princess Christina lived here until they vacated the place for renovation.

Chelsea Flower Show 2016 Gathers Royals, Celebrities, and Beautiful Flowers Altogether

Queen Elizabeth II at the New Covent Garden Flower Market display. Image: Telegraph

No other flower show in the world attracts as much attention as the Chelsea Flower Show does. Also known as the Great Spring Show, Chelsea Flower Show is organized by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London and lasts for five days every May. The first garden show took place in 1912 and has since then attracted visitors from all continents. An added attraction is the presence of the Royal Family, who themselves are lovers of beautiful gardens.

In fact, the Royal Family have not missed since it was first launched. Queen Elizabeth II is a patron of the Royal Horticultural Society and frequently attends the opening of the show. One of the most remarkable displays in the show’s history was the Coronation Empire Exhibition in 1937, designed in honor of the coronation of the queen’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The exhibit highlighted plants that came from all over the Commonwealth.

May 25, 2016

Prince Charles Visits Northern Ireland

Prince Charles at Queen's University in Belfast.
Image: Prince of Wales' official website

The Prince of Wales is now in Northern Ireland to embark on a two-day tour  from May 23 to May 25. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will join Prince Charles on May 24 before they proceed to Ireland on May 25 for a joint official visit at the request of the British Government. The couple also made a trip to Ireland this time last year.   

“The visits will recognize the warm friendship that exists between both countries, promoting understanding of their respective heritage and celebrating the best that each has to offer,” writes the Prince of Wales’ official website.

On the first day of his visit, Prince Charles paid a visit to the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast.

The heir to the throne was welcomed by First Minister Arlene Foster, East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson and Deputy Lord Mayor Guy Spence.

May 24, 2016

Never-Before-Seen Photos of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson on Holiday Months Before his Abdication

The King and Wallis Simpson with friend Katherine Rogers in the Balmoral estate,1936. Image: Kerry Taylor/BNPS.

Never-before-seen private pictures of King Edward VIII and his American mistress Wallis Simpson on cruise shortly before he abdicated the throne were recently unearthed. The controversial cruise eventually led to the crisis that culminated to Edward VIII's abdication in 1936.

In one of the photos, the king was snapped standing shirtless while on holiday in Greece, just like any carefree young Englishman.

The album is part of a private collection containing 200 pictures detailing the summer outing of the king with his mistress. Edward embarked on the trip even if the government went against it. 

Simpson was still married to her second husband, ship broker Ernest Simpson and her relationship with the British monarch was still unknown in public.

May 22, 2016

10 Books to Read About Queen Elizabeth II's Amazing 90 Years

10 Books to Read About Queen Elizabeth II's Amazing 90 Years

This year, Great Britain celebrates the 90th year of Queen Elizabeth II. Earlier in 2015, she surpassed Queen Victoria into becoming the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the British isles. Let us relish the life and times of one of the world's most adored monarchs with these 10 must-read books you shouldn't miss!

Queen Elizabeth II: A Celebration of Her Majesty's 90th Birthday by Tim Ewart


This book examines the remarkable events that have unfolded during the Queen’s rule, and how she maintains traditions that link the United Kingdom with a history stretching back more than a thousand years.

LIFE Jubilee! Queen Elizabeth II: 60 Years on the Throne


Contains not only grand photography of the Jubilee but of prior House of Windsor celebrations, including Victoria's own 60th anniversary celebration, Elizabeth's wedding, the so-called "Wedding of the Century" (Charles and Di's), and the recent marriage of Elizabeth's grandson to Princess Kate. It is a splashy, festive book. It fairly shouts: "Long live the queen!"

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith


This New York Times best-selling books provides a close-up view of the lively, brilliant, and steadfast woman we’ve known only from a distance, and a captivating window into life at the center of the last great monarchy. Indeed, this is “an excellent, all-embracing new biography.”

The Queen's Speech: An Intimate Portrait of the Queen in her Own Words by Ingrid Seward


Ingrid Seward uses the Queen's speeches as a starting point to provide a revealing insight into the character of the woman who has reigned over us since the days when Churchill was prime minister. Starting with her first ever broadcast, in December 1940, when the teenaged Princess Elizabeth addressed a wartorn nation, right through the annus horribilis, and on into the 21st century, the book highlights the most important moments in her life and how she has responded to them.

Royal Childhood (Souvenir Album) by Anna Reynolds and Lucy Peter


Royal Childhood takes a look back at the pint-sized princes and princesses who have called the palace home. From the time of the palace's purchase as a comfortable family home by George III in 1761 to the recent happy birth of Prince George of Cambridge, the book covers all aspects of childhood, from playtime and hobbies to birthdays, school days, and public outings.
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