Somerleyton Hall is considered one of the
most impressive and well-preserved country houses in England. A manor house,
built in 1240 by Sir Peter Fitzosbert, stood where the present structure stands.
It passed on to different owners until prosperous entrepreneur and MP Samuel
Morton Peto purchased it and transformed it into the Anglo-Italian architecture
it is today. In 1863 the Somerleyton estate was sold to Sir Francis Crossley,
whose son, Savile, was created Baron Somerleyton in 1916. Since then, the
mansion has remained in the hands of the Crossley family.
The magnificent red brick and mellow stone
mansion, rebuilt in Anglo-Italian style in 1846 stands surrounded by 12 acres
of beautiful gardens.
Glamis Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, is
associated with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the thane of Glamis, who became King of
Scotland by killing Duncan. Glamis has been the family home of the Earls of
Strathmore since 1372 when Sir John Lyon was granted the thaneage by King
Robert II. He married the king’s daughter in 1376 and since then Glamis has welcomed
members of the Scottish and British Royal Families. The castle is believed to be
built sometime in the fourteenth century. Standing in well-manicured grounds
with borders by Dean Water, it was rebuilt in the style of a French chateau
during the seventeenth century by Patrick Lyon, 1st Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.
The wedding ceremony of Albert Edward,
Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, to Princess
Alexandra of Denmark was solemnized at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor
Castle on March 10, 1863. The Prince of Wales was 21 and his Danish bride was
18 at that time. Princess Alexandra immediately endeared herself to the
Englishmen. Her beauty was compared “to a beautiful rose or rare orchid or an
absolute faultless carnation.” Even Queen Victoria, in her self-imposed mourning, rejoiced with Albert Edward’s
engagement to Alexandra. “This jewel!”, she wrote of the princess: “How beloved
Albert would have loved her!”
Highgrove House is
the private home of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
It is situated south west of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England. Since the Prince of Wales came to Highgrove in 1980,
much work has been devoted to improve the gardens around the house to make it
as one of “most inspiring and innovative in the United Kingdom.”
The tradition of drinking tea in today’s contemporary period
is so closely associated with the British way of life. While it is not entirely
true that the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, who became queen-consort of
Charles II of England, introduced tea to Britain, she definitely set the
trend of making tea a fashionable and, today, a favorite beverage.
About eight miles from Balmoral, beside the
River Muick stands Birkhall,
a favorite royal residence of several generations of the Royal Family. Built in
the early 18th century by the owners of the nearby Abergeldie
estate, Birkhall was acquired by Prince Albert together with the Balmoral
estate in 1849. He gave to his eldest son, Edward Albert, Prince of
Wales who, instead, preferred staying at the more expansive Abergeldie
Castle. In 1884, Queen Victoria
bought the property from the Prince of Wales and lent it to her staff and
extended family. Dighton Probyn, Keeper of the Privy Purse and Queen
Alexandra’s comptroller, occupied the property in the late 19th century.
Castle was originally built in the 18th century as a simple country house for a
noble family. Today, it is the official royal residence in Northern Ireland. It
was also here that many of the formal and informal stages of the Peace Process took
Hill, the first Marquess of Downshire, commissioned the building of
Hillsborough Castle as a modest country house for his family in the 1770s. Situated
in the center of the Hillsborough village, the Georgian house is in view of the
original Fort and the Court House. The Hills were then among the largest
landowners in Ireland while family members held important positions in the
government: Wills Hill himself was Comptroller of the Royal Household during
the reign of King George II and Secretary of the American Colonies during the
Palace is the primary home of the British sovereign. It is open to the
public for two months a year, when the sovereign is not in residence from late July until the end of December. Aside from visiting the state rooms, the Changing of the Guard is another
spectacle that you shouldn’t miss. The ceremony lasts for about 45 minutes between
10.15-11.45am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from January to March, when the weather is fair.
Maria Theresa of Spain, Queen Consort
of France, was born on September 10, 1638, at the Escorial, the daughter of
Philip IV of Spain and Elizabeth of France.
Until her marriage to King Louis XIV of France, Maria Theresa was in line to the succession of the Spanish
Crown. The kingdom of Spain did not adhere to the Salic Law so when her brother
Balthasar Charles passed away in 1646, she became heiress presumptive to the Spanish
Empire, a position she held until the birth Philip Prospero, in 1657. She was
heiress presumptive once again, but only for less than a week, from,
from the death of Prince Philip in November 1, 1661, until the birth of Prince Charles, who later
became King of Spain as Charles II, on November 6.
In November 1953, Queen Elizabeth II together with Prince Philip embarked on the Commonwealth World Tour, the longest and most extensive trip of her reign. She arrived in New Zealand in December 1953, where she spent six weeks meeting government officials and locals alike. The trip was the first-ever to be made by a reigning monarch of New Zealand. Previous royal visits were either made by brothers or sons of a sovereign. It was in New Zealand’s Government House where she gave her annual Royal Christmas Message in 1953. The itinerary took the couple to 46 towns and cities and New Zealanders would flock to see them. Roughly three-fourths of the country’s population hurried to catch a glimpse of their new Queen.
European royals gather together at Oslo's Royal Palace for
the Royal Gala dinner to celebrate the official 80th birthday celebrations of
Norway's King Harald and Queen Sonja.
King Harald turned 80 on February 21 this year, while Queen
Sonja will reach the milestone on July 4.
Aside from the grand banquet thrown for the European guests,
the King and Queen will also host guests on their royal yacht the Norge.
The Royal Guarde will then march from the palace through the
city to the Oslo Opera House, and celebrations are set to end there with
The King and Queen of Sweden, the Crown Prince and Crown
Princess of Swedish, Prince Carl and Princess Sofia of Sweden, the Queen of
Denmark, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, the King and Queen of
the Netherlands, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the Grand DUke and Grand
Duchess of Luxembourg the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of
Luxembourg, the King and Queen of Belgium, the Earl and Countess of Wes…
Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne
on February 6, 1952, while on duty in Kenya. Since then, the Queen devoted her
life and reign to the service of the Crown and of the people. During the first
decade of her reign, the queen reached out to far-flung member-countries of the
Commonwealth and personally met millions of her subjects, one thing her predecessors
have not done.
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Prince Philip may have announced his retirement, but Queen Elizabeth II is not taking the backseat!
A few days after news that Prince Philip will cease to perform royal duties, Queen Elizabeth II was photographed driving her green Jaguar as she heads home following a Sunday morning service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Park. His security guard, meanwhile, comfortably seats as Her Majesty takes the wheel.
Once upon a time, King David I, was out hunting
when he fell from his stag. Just when the stag was about to slaughter him the
king grabbed the stag’s antlers and found himself holding a rood, or holy
cross. He was spared. That night the king dreamt that he was commanded to build
a house ‘devoted to the Cross’. And so, Holyrood Abbey was built. Today,
the Palace of the Holyrood House, the official royal residence
of British sovereign, is comfortably located at the end of the Royal Mile,
standing opposite the bleak Edinburgh Castle. It was King James II who built a
wing here just for the use of the Royal Family. Much of the present-day palace
though was built under the orders of Charles II, who never lived in Holyroodhouse.
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, was
hailed during her lifetime for her chic fashion sense and her dedication to her
duty. Born in Athens, Greece, on December 13, 1906, she was the youngest child
of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, the third son of George I of Greece,
and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia, a granddaughter of Tsar
Alexander II of Russia. The Greek Royal
Family was neither wealthy nor pretentious; and though as a child, Princess Marina
had glimpses of the splendor of the Imperial Russian Court, she was
nevertheless, brought in a simple yet strict environment.
It is business as usual for the British Royal Family,
following the announcement of Prince Philip’s retirement. However, things will
never be same again for the other members of the House of Windsor as they take
on his roles.
A tribe from a remote village in Vanuatu feared that the retirement
of Prince Philip would cause them bad luck.
The tribe learned about the prince’s retirement Saturday - three
days after it was announced. They pray to the Duke of Edinburgh, believing he
is the son of a local mountain god. With this, they are afraid that his retirement
means they will never see him again visit the Pacific Island where he and Queen
Elizabeth II are very much a fixture of the way of life in the village of
After more than 65 years of public service, Prince Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh, is retiring this autumn, Buckingham Palace has announced. (Read - Royal Profile: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh)
Prince Philip will turn 96 this June and has decided to step
down from royal duties. He has the Queen’s support for this, a statement from
Buckingham Palace revealed.