With Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle’s wedding approaching this May, royal weddings and love stories are on everyone’s mind. This love for the royal family is nothing new though. For decades the public has come to admire what royal weddings embody around the world, especially when it involves an unlikely couple getting together for a fairytale ending.
That’s why I’m loving this visual from Invaluable that shares different and unlikely royal love stories from around the world. No matter their background or social standing, it goes to show just how powerful true love is. From Prince William and Kate Middleton meeting in their college dorm to Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III meeting at a photo shoot, the love stories behind these iconic couples is inspiring to follow, especially during the month of love!
The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton made her first appearance after the recent exciting news of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle’s royal engagement news.
The most fascinating and interesting country that it is, it is the country with the most richest history. It has a very ethnically mixed population and is influenced by it’s history of Victorian times, Edwardian times, the Regency Period, the middle ages, the Tudor Period, and other periods like the Anglo-Saxona and Roman period.
It’s history is absolutely intriguing and widely looked at. I would love to do an overview of each period but that would take a VERY long time! From the Lancastrian period to the House of York, and House of Windsor, it is full of pomp and circumstance, which is a familiar motto used in the country.
It is defined by the distinct cultural standards of England and the “English” people. I particularly like the culture in London as it is widely believed to be the culture capital of the world, known for its music ( people like Ellie Goulding, Victoria Beckham, Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Paul McCartney just to name a few!), museums (V&A, Natural History, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery), festivals (Boomtown, Winchester, Bestival, Lulworth Castle – the Green Man Festival full of comedy, theatre, and literary worlds – there is also the Latitude Festival that is held at Hehla, Park which has DJ’s hidden in the woods, colourful sheep roaming, opera on the lake, and actors and dance troupes)
England is known for its traditional music halls, West End theatres, London has it all when it comes to entertainment! It is renowned for its theatre (just like Melbourne!) and an array of tours and attractions and sporting occasions.
2. Charming little towns and villages
There are many gorgeous little villages that hold character and charm, such as Chester (Cheshire in which I have talked about in previous posts) it is a county in the north west of England located on the River Dee with a population of around 300,000 and is one of the best preserved wall cities and full of medieval buildings, some, Victorian Restorations.
There is also Canterbury which has Canterbury Cathedral which is very special and is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury and is the mother church of the Anglican community throughout the world. it is a historical cathedral city and UNESCO world heritage site and a local government district of Kent. it lies on the River Stour. It was also a pilgrimage site in the middle ages. It is a very historic British town.
3. Beautiful Scenery
England has absolutely BEAUTIFUL scenery, and you can see ocean views from places like Eastbourne (a seaside resort), in the country and then you’ve got amazing, picturesque, gorgeous area of natural beauty at the Lake District. It is one of the most beautiful places of England, even though I haven’t been there I have heard so much about this huge area, and know a few people that live there or have been there on holidays. There seem to be incredible views! especially of glistening waters and valleys.
You have also got the South Downs National Park in Sussex
3. Enchanting Georgian Architecture
Apparently one of the most beautiful places in England is the gorgeous and harmonious location of Bath, Somerset. This is DEFINITELY on my “list of Travel Dreams”, and is so elegant-looking. It is known to be the place that Jane Austen used as a setting for her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persusasion, and apparently where Thomas Gainsborough (the painter) did his landscape paintings.
4. The Best Pub Walks
From its spectacular coastline to its mountain peaks, Britains diverse landscapes can also be the best for walking. Britain is known for its unique establishments ‘the pub’ – for example, you have, The Cob and Lobster, The Old Nags Head, Lister Arms, The Boatman, which is nestled below Windsor Castle beside the River Thames, overlooking Eton Bridge.
5. The Peak Disctrict
This is another piece of inspiration for Jane Austen, plus Charlotte Bronte, it has been a charming spot for Brits for centuries, with its billowed hills, desolated cliffs and eye-catching country houses.
6. Romantic Places
My idea of Britain is becoming more and more about having a stroll in the countryside, or munching on some Fortnum and Mason goodies, or reading in the park with some delightful macaroons from Pierre Herme Paris or L’Orchidee.
Also, my idea to take myself back to something evocative even though I haven’t been there is, Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. it is known to be one of the most greatest medieval sites in the entire country, and apparently is the birthplace of King Arthur. It looks simply enchanting. or such as Highclere Castle nestled in the countryside of Hampshire.
When I think of the word ‘romantic’ I think of ‘Derbyshire’, an abundant hinterland, the district of Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ looks absolutely breathtaking. This county is filled with stately homes and looks as green as ever!, and also in Pride and Prejudice the character Fitzwilliam Darcy was situated here as well, plus one of Georgette Heyers books, and quite a few others as well have used it as a novel setting.
7. It’s old castles
One of the most iconic of all fortresses is:
Dover Castle. From the Romans to the Cold War, you can roam through centuries of history here. You can also step into the Great Tower and immerse yourself in a medieval castle. In the 1180’s Henry the second remodelled it.
It is full of so much history of 900 years, an Elizabethan palace where the Great Hall played hosts to medieval monarchs and early Tudor Kings. You can also have a walk in the 400 year old, Elizabethan Garden, a haven of peace and tranquility, and bursting with full colour! There is also an exhibition, Leicesters Gatehouse a castle entrance built by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in 1571, as part of his plan to pursue Queen Elizabeth I.
There are so many other castles such as Tintagel, Bolsover, Portchester, Warkworth, Dunstanburgh and Carisbrooke, Middleham and Beeston.
8. The People
Full of friendly inhabitants, British people are citizens of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies. The ‘British’ can be referred to as the Celtic Britons, which were ‘The Celts’ who were an Indo-European people who inhabited Great Britain during the Iron Age right into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture/language diverged. They spoke Common Brittonic Lanaguage.
The British are a diverse, multi-cultural and bilingual society. The British are very polite people and say ‘thank you’ to everything!!! ‘Excuse me’ is used A LOT and are known to keep to themselves, generally ‘quite’ reserved!
9. Quality of Life
The U.K is a good place to live and work and is one of the best developed countries for quality of life.
Education is highly-ranked internationally and the U.K has spent billions of dollars on primary and secondary education plus tertiary. $83.4 billio was spent on education.
The median household income is about 23,556 pounds and the U.K is quite a wealthy country, what would it be without Lords and Ladies??? Income can vary considerably by location and a few of the most expensive suburbs are Chelsea, Kensington and the city of London itself, with median annual income of $58,000 pounds.
10. The BIG cities!!!!
From Manchester to Birmingham-Wolverhampton to Liverpool and Leeds-Bradford, London ranks as the highest in the hierarchy of British cities, and of COURSE I am going to include it!!!!!
There are currently 69 cities in the United Kingdom that have been granted city status by letters patent (which is a legal instrument issued by a monarch or head of state) and royal charter (a formal document granting right and/or power to an individual or an association or society).
There is SOOO much information on London alone and is the most populous city in England. It overlooks the River Thames and can also be known as ‘Londinium’ which came from the Romans as they were the ones that founded the city. It is a metropolis and a leading global city, in the arts particularly, and majorly in fashion, media and entertainment, and also known for its professional services and research and development. It is also the worlds largest financial centre and the worlds most visited city according to international arrivals.
Londons famous landmarks are:
The London Eye
St Pauls Cathedral
It has a population of 8 million people.
…. and these are the reasons why we can’t help but fall in love with Britain
The Duchess of Cambridge attended a gala dinner for the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) of whom she is a patron of, at The Orangery in Kensington Palace.
Recently I have been talking and collaborating with my very good friend, (a novelist and history enthusiast), an intelligent, studious and amicable lady who strives for greatness in her writing, Gabrielle Emmons. We have been talking a lot about writing in general and I came up with the idea of her doing a guest post on how she begins to write a novel. This is fantastic for those who are budding authors, ready for a new breathe of fresh air or something to their writing life.
I am proud to introduce her to my blog and with the upmost sincere thanks and gratefulness to have her feature on here.
You will find the full article here on her blog, Gabrielle M Emmons and you will also find that she works and keeps up with her own numerous blogs showcasing her work and authorship.
My absolute favourite blog of hers is Tea, Books and Britain because well, you know me! I have become the bit of an Anglophile! And the title is just Oh so perfect! And sums up my life basically. A cup of tea while watching “Escape to the country” or “60 Minute Makeover” has truly been the highlight of my afternoons.
Before I post her article I totally recommend for you to check out her excellent Book Review on “The Mark of the King”. This description on the back cover definitely makes me want to delve into it.
After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.
So, even if you haven’t clicked on that review, bookmark it or save it on your internet and make sure you get that little glimpse of a story of great and hopeful history. It truly has made me want to read it very soon!
In her Writing 101 – a new series blog post she states how we specifically have been discussing the idea on HOW to BEGIN writing a novel. It has truly been amazing talking with her about ideas and brainstorming and starting that novel in particular.
Now, let’s get started with her article which was published on September 12th 2017 on her History with Flair website. Grab yourself a drink (tea or water) and a notebook & pen or laptop. There is an activity at the end!
Many people have asked me how do I start the process for writing a novel. They have also asked me how do I find inspiration/ideas. So I thought I would do a blog series featuring writing. This is the first in the series and you can find more about it here.
So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage (mine is tea), and let’s get started. (Just a heads up there will be an assignment at the end of this post. But it shouldn’t be too bad).
First off, there is no one way to start the process of writing a novel. Each author has their own way of how to start that is unique to them. The key is to find one that works for you.
For example, some have a vague idea right away. Others have pictured a character or characters. Again, others have a couple of scenes already figured out.
It is all up to you.
For me, it varies. For my WWII novel set in England (which I have put on hold for now), I already had a vague understanding the plot.
For my Autumn themed story that is currently in the very early stages, I knew I wanted to have setting of the novel be during the Autumn months in MA because I love the Fall. I also knew who my main characters were.
Okay, homework time.
I want you to grab your favorite notebook and writing utensil. You can use your laptop if you prefer to type. I usually for this stage write it in a notebook and then transfer it to the computer later on.
Now, I want you to write down five ideas that could be potential stories. Don’t feel bad if you can only come up with one and two. It is a start.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Writing a novel should be fun.
How did you go with the activity?
I thought I would share one idea I came up with. Here is what I wrote:
Idea 5. Professor Wickman travels to London to start a new job at the City University of London. Committing his time and energy to his work and study is his priority and is all work, but through a period of time he learns to apply his work to excellence and focus on a project with his enchanting partner Lady Grosvenor from the affluent suburb of Mayfair. They eventually fall in love whilst working together and get married at St George Hanover Square.
It is not a complete idea but that is an example of ideas. First off starting with the main character, then a setting, place or particular location, the body and then the minor character fixed in there somewhere.
I skipped a whole part of what “could be” (a long plot) There could be so much more I could add to it and I am excited at the thought of creating a story again!
but I liked the idea of this so much I am thinking I am giving away a good story already! Well, that can be my next project!
This title is the first Chapter of “The Way to St. Werburgh’s”, and oh! Is it just the perfect title.
“It was 1819, perhaps a year of destiny. George III’s long reign was drawing to a close; his granddaughter Victoria was born, later to be one of the greatest rulers of the British empire; and soon the self-indulgent, sentimental reign of his son George IV would lower the past prestige of the royal family, despite the fact that he had served as Regent for some years.”
“The Northern spring was fast approaching, to gladden the hearts of all Englishmen Grand old oaks and spreading yew trees, majestic chestnuts and elegant birches vied with shy wood violets and bursting daffodils to greet the new season.
Blackbirds and sky larks, sparrows and finches, swallows and thrush, wrens and nightingales plied the air with ceaseless song, and the whole English landscape breathed new life with the melting snow” Continue reading “Oh, to be in England!”
Buckingham Palace recently paid tribute to the modern day Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer at the time of the 20th anniversary of her death parallel to some exhibition of gifts to the Queen.
The Royal Collection Trust announced the exhibition which was held in the palace’s Music Room, which is usually the location of royal christenings, including Prince William’s christening as well.
You may have seen in photographs that the display is of her desk, which has a blue leather notebook where she wrote on imprinted writing paper with photos of her sons also surrounding the writing paper exhibited on the writing desk (as per below.)
Prince William and Harry also had some of her private heirlooms such as her boarding school wooden chest, with “D Spencer” written on it.
She would take it with her to the private West Heath girls’ school which was close by Kent. And would also take with her her first ever typewriter which she kept in the drawing room of her apartment.
So, this summer in England indicates the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997. A date most people in the world will never forget……
The Princess managed many official duties and tasks in sustaining The Queen, when at home in the U.K. and overseas.
So, in tribute to Diana, her work is remembered by a remarkable display in the Music Room, which is one of the State Rooms open to the public as a portrayal of the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace.
The main centrepiece of the display is the writing desk where she would work in her sitting room at Kensington Palace, writing letters, and reading official press conference letters and information.
Many of these objects on and around her desk have been specifically selected by Prince William and Harry to show their mother’s dedication to obligations and their recollection of her.
The items on display are as follows:
Blue leather blotter and brown leather letter rack
Diana always wrote to thank the people who had welcomed her on official visits. The notebook and mahogany letter rack were a part of Diana’s desk accessories until her death. The letter rack contains her embossed writing paper and envelopes.
The Cartier calendar was a present to Diana from the President and First Lady Nancy Reagan on the occasion of the official visit to the USA with ‘The Prince and Princess of Wales’ in November 1985.
Leather photograph frame
This frame always sat on her desk which of course, contains photographs of friends and family.
The Asprey briefcase was a present from the “Worshipful Company of Glovers” to Diana on the event of her marriage in 1981.
Round enamel boxes
These small boxes were put in order as presents from “Halcyon Days of London” for Diana to give to her hosts on official trips overseas.
One displayed is one from the official visit to Brazil by The Prince and Princess of Wales – 1991 in April.
It is adorned with a picture of the sculpture of Christ the Redeemer.
Diana loved dancing but particularly loved ballet. These shoes, which she used, hung on the door of her drawing room in Kensington Palace. Apparently she was Patron of the English National Ballet!
Wooden school tuck box and typewriter
As mentioned previously with the name “D Spencer” written on it, this box was used by her for sweets and taken to boarding school. It was kept in The Princess’s sitting room at Kensington Palace. Her childhood typewriter was also kept in the sitting room.
Diana loved music and always listened to the radio and tapes when working at her desk. The tapes are albums by (Sir) Elton John, George Michael, Diana Ross as well as classical pieces of opera and piano music.
There is also a special major exhibition mounted this year, entitled “Diana: Her Fashion Story”, tracing the Princess’s life through her evolving fashion style across two decades.
I was deeply touched and moved by the recent program “Diana: Our mother – her Life and Legacy“. You can click on the link or just watch here.
This display will be open to the public from the 22nd of July to October the 1st.
Yesterday (today in Australia) we celebrated the fourth birthday of Prince George Alexander Louis, born on the 22nd of July 2013 at St Mary’s Hospital in London.
Once again we’ve been spoilt with a new official portrait of Prince George, released by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge themselves, to mark His Royal Highness’s fourth birthday.
Kensington Palace tweeted “The Duke and Duchess are delighted to share a new official portrait of Prince George to mark His Royal Highness’s 4th birthday tomorrow.”
Looking more grown up and beaming at the camera, Prince George looks charming in this special photograph. His parents were “delighted” to share the lovely photo with the world and “would like to thank everyone for all of the kind messages they have received,” Kensington Palace released in a statement.
Chris Jackson also said “I am thrilled and honoured that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen to release this portrait to celebrate Prince George’s fourth birthday”.
According to my recent post, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Garden Party in Berlin for Queens Birthday, Prince George is on royal tour with his parents, which is now finishing up.
To celebrate the special day, Royal Life Magazine collated a splendid selection of most Royal Life magazines where the young Prince has dignified the cover.
You can still purchase these magazines which are available either as a print (check out your local newsagents!) or digital copy online.
You can visit Royal Life Magazine on Facebook, Twitter @royallifemag or Instagram @royallifemagazine. See below.
You can share your own special message, or why not pop in an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent engagements of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in Berlin, Germany. Kate, 35, wore a chiffon maxi dress by Alexander McQueen, down from £2,075 to £1,453. The Duchess of Cambridge beamed and glowed in a voluminous red gown and a pair of Prada shoes 👠 which she wore to the Natural History Museum in London last week at a party held in honour of the Queen’s birthday.
There is a replica on Net-a-Porter, the Alice and Olivia off the shoulder embroidered cotton maxi dress which is $580.
I think she looks absolutely radiant!
At the garden party, Kate and Prince William mingled with British expats living in Germany 🇩🇪
Kate had a change of outfit from her busy day of engagements in Berlin.
After their arrival in Germany, the Cambridges attended a garden party to celebrate The Queen’s birthday. The Duke of Cambridge spoke at the Occassion, and the Duchess in attendance raised a toast as Prince William spoke.
He began (and finished) his speech with a piece of German as a show of respect for Germany.
“Thank you, Ambassador, and good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
“It is a pleasure for Catherine and me to be with you on this occasion as we celebrate the birthday of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen.
“It is just under a year since I was last in Germany, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Britain’s role in its creation. I am delighted to be able to return so soon – this time with Catherine, George and Charlotte.
“We have already had a fascinating first day here in Berlin. We have seen powerful symbols of the historical events which helped shape modern Germany and spoken with those who carry that legacy forward today. I thank President Steinmeier and Chancellor Merkel for welcoming us so warmly.
“We have also experienced the city beyond the monuments and corridors of power. This afternoon we visited the Strassenkinder project in east Berlin, which supports homeless children and young people. It reminds us of the difficulties faced by some of the most vulnerable people in society, even in prosperous countries such as Britain and Germany, and the value of both countries looking at examples of best practice in the other. We look forward to seeing more of this great city during our stay here.
“But we also want to get to know and understand Germany outside the capital. Tomorrow, we travel to Heidelberg, and on Friday to Hamburg.
“Our visit will reflect, and I hope reinforce, the strong and wide-ranging ties between Britain and Germany. These include political, cultural, historical, commercial, sporting, academic and scientific links.
“The United Kingdom and Germany proudly share the same values as open and democratic societies, and the same determination to champion those values and to defend them – not least through our very close defence and security partnerships. Today, we share a fundamental interest in the peace and prosperity of the continent of Europe to which we both belong.
This relationship between the United Kingdom and Germany really matters. It is the product of many years of working closely together. It will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union. I am confident we shall remain the firmest of friends.
“With this confidence in mind, I am particularly pleased that the British and German governments have agreed to double their funding of UK-German Connection, the bilateral initiative for school and youth links. UK-German Connection was established after the State Visit of The Queen to Germany in 2004, and it provides a wide range of UK-German activities, networks and funding for schools and youth groups. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and we want to establish friendships between our young people that will last a lifetime.
“I should like to finish with a message that my grandmother The Queen has sent to you all for this evening, and which she asked me to read to you:
“Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all of you gathered for this special Garden Party, on the occasion of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official visit to Germany.
“We have fond memories of our five State Visits to Germany, from our first in 1965 to our most recent in 2015. Over the course of those fifty years, British-German relations have thrived, allowing us to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the 21st century together.
“I am delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will experience the beauty of this country and the warmth of its people when they visit Berlin, Hamburg and Heidelberg.
“I hope you all have a most enjoyable evening.
Angela Merkel welcomed them when they first arrived at the Holocaust memorial to pay tribute to the millions of Jews which lost their lives.
Kate looked sophisticated in a blue Catherine Walker coat which she styled with Gianvito Rossi heels, a Jimmy Choo clutch bag and Kiki McDonough jewellery.