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Showing posts from December, 2016

These Castles Look Lovelier on Wintertime!

Castles forevermore invite our imagination to dream of fairy tale romance. These lofty structures that have withstood the test of time do not only evoke bygone eras but also give us a glimpse of how it is to live the lives of princes and princess, of knights in shining armour and damsels in distress. But wait until wintertime and you'll see these castles are much lovelier! Check out our all-time favorite fairy-tale castles when snow begins to fall.

Queen Elizabeth II skips Christmas church service due to 'heavy cold'

Queen Elizabeth II skipped the annual Christmas church service last Sunday at the Sandringham estate for the first time since 1988 due to a heavy cold, a source from Buckingham Palace said. Both Her Majesty and Prince Philip suffered terribly from cold last week. Their trip to Sandringham was actually delayed and they had to be taken to the estate by helicopter on Thursday.

Watch: Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Message 2016

This year’s Christmas message of Her Majesty The Queen focused on “inspiration,” urging millions of Britons to “take a deep breath” to face the “world’s big problems” after a tumultuous political year that was 2016. In fact, the word “inspire” and its derivates appeared 10 times as the Queen highlights UK’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and those from the Commonwealth. The Queen, however, made no mention of Brexit, however, her carefully coded message aims at telling her subjects to stay calm amidst the Brexit’s uncertainty.

Watch: A Queen is Crowned

When Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, the only-feature length Technolor available recorded was given a facelift and watching it would make you feel like you’re right there and then, joining the throng of crowd as they witness the young queen as she officially took the reins of monarchy.

Watch: A Royal Journey

In 1951, Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, went to Canada for a visit representing the ailing King George VI. Their trip took to various Canadian provinces, including Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick.

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll: Queen Victoria’s Artistic Daughter

If there was one princess who was avant-garde enough to be ahead of her generation, then that would be Princess Louise. Artistic, unconventional and free spirited, the princess was both admired and criticized, but in the end, all that we can is be awed at the life she’d lived. Louise Caroline Alberta was born on March 18, 1848, at Buckingham Palace. She was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's fourth daughter and sixth child.

The Adventures of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester

On December 25, 2001, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, celebrated a feat not too many royals—and even commoners—enjoyed: she celebrated her 100th birthday. Frail and confined to her wheelchair, she nevertheless enjoyed the event dedicated not only to honor that milestone in her life but possibly to serve as a last hurrah to a lady who spent most of her life in service to the British Royal Family and to the public in general. Indeed, that was the last time she was seen in public; that would also be the last public engagement of her niece, Princess Margaret, younger by three decades but weaker than her.

Chateaux in the Loire Valley: Part 1

French chateaux have definitely caught the imagination of travelers, not only for their fairy tale appeal and expansive gardens but also the colorful history that transpired on its halls. And when talking about chateaux, where else to visit that the majestic Loire Valley? In the first part of our Loire Valley chateaux series, we bring you to 10 chateaux that will truly make you  awe in amazement!

Watch—Queen Elizabeth II: In their Own Words

In September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II reached another milestone in her life and reign: she surpassed Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
On September 1, 2015, PBS premiered “In their Own Words: Queen Elizabeth II,” a film following the colorful and profound life of Queen, from the childhood—a time when nobody else was expecting her to become Queen someday—to her uncle King Edward VIII’s shocking abdication, her father’s coronation as King George VI, the troubles and fear of World War Two, her own sudden ascension to the throne, and her eventful reign of that spanned over six decades and counting.

Princess Feodora of Leiningen: Queen Victoria’s Half-Sister

While the young Princess Victoria was not allowed to play with other children her age, she was blessed enough to have with her the care and affection of her older, half-sister, Princess Feodora of Leiningen. She was born on December 7, 1807 and was baptized Anna Feodora Auguste Charlotte Wilhelmine. Her father, Emich Carl, was Hereditary Prince of Leiningen, while her mother was Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfed.

1992—the British Royal Family’s Annus Horribilis

The year 1992 could have been a happy year for Queen Elizabeth II. After all, that marked her 40th year on the throne. But it will always be remembered as an “annus horribilis” in the annals of the British Family. Three events happened that placed the monarchy at its most troublesome year: the Charles-Camilla affair that led to the separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the scandal involving the Duke and Duchess of York, and the fire at Windsor Castle.

Meet Great Britain’s Georgian Kings

The reign of George I ushered in the Georgian years in the history of Great Britain. The reign of four Georges would begin in 1714 and end in the death of King George IV in 1830.
George I (born 1660, ruled 1714-1727). George Louis succeeded his father as elector of Hanover, a north German state, in 1698. His mother, Sophia, was a granddaughter of James I if the English Stuart line. The English act6 the settlement (1701) had barred Catholics from the throne and exiled the Catholics heirs of the Stuarts. When Queen Anne died, in 1714, George succeeded to the British throne as the nearest Protestant heir. In 1715 a rebellion in Scotland in favor of the Stuart “pretender” was easily put down.

Watch: The Wedding of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium

The wedding of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde on December 4, 1999, was hailed as Belgium’s wedding of the decade.
The King, then Duke of Brabant, is the eldest son of King Albert II and Queen Paola. Mathilde, meanwhile, is the daughter of Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz, a Belgian nobleman. Her mother, Anna Maria Komorowska, traces her lineage to the Princes Sapieha and Counts Komorowski of Poland. It is not known how the two met and little is also known of the prince’s relationship with Mathilde, a speech therapist, until their engagement was announced in September 1999. She easily won the hearts of millions of adoring Belgians, thanks to her “youth, charisma, and beauty.” Interestingly, upon their accession to the throne in July 2013, Mathilde became the first-ever Belgian queen to be born in the country.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Europe’s Most Dangerous Woman

It was 1941, the height of World War II and London was facing the toughest days in her history. The Blitz pounded the British Empire’s capital. While thousands of Londoners fled for their safety to the countryside, Great Britain’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, were adamant. They would never leave London.  Instead, they became lasting symbols of the country’s fight against Nazism and all the horrors it brought. They already sent their two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, to Windsor Castle. Despite the urging of the Cabinet to evacuate to Canada, she declared, "The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave."

The Strength of Maria Theresa’s Fighting Spirit

Maria Theresa’s reign as ruler of the Hapsburg dominions started out as a tumultuous one. October of 1740 saw a bitter winter. By December, Frederick II of Prussia, who took the crown of Prussia that year, marched to the mineral-rich Austrian province of Silesia to occupy it. The following year, Charles Albert of Bavaria occupied Bohemia and proclaimed himself its King. Worst, he was elected Holy Roman Emperor, a title held by the Hapsburgs since the 1500s. For a lady without experience  and left to inherit an empire nearly bankrupted, the darkest days of her life has arrived.
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