The Royal Tour 2014

Prince George officially declared ‘Adorable’ and Kate’s ‘Tour-drobe’ a royal hit!

CambridgesThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have wrapped-up a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia that began on 16 April 2014. It was the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge, who carried out his first public royal duty when he was introduced to ten babies at an organized ‘playdate’ in New Zealand. 

Prince William and Kate had a full itinerary including: yacht racing around Auckland harbour with Team New Zealand in their Americas Cup racing yachts; a friendly game of non-contact ‘rippa rugby’ with youngsters in Dunedin; meeting those affected by the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, South Island, as well as those affected by the recent bushfires that tore through communities in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, Australia; a trip with Prince George to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney; visiting a children’s hospice; paying tribute to armed forces; tree plantings, wreath layings, official receptions, and short speeches.

While Prince William and Kate’s Royal Tour was meant to bring attention to New Zealand and Australia’s ‘arts, sciences, sporting achievements and the role it plays in global trade and affairs’, social media and news reports were busy officially declaring Prince George ‘adorable’ and keeping a close daily watch on Kate’s ‘Tour-drobe’: 


(All photos lifted in kind from The Daily Mirror)

Shakespeare turns 450!

DSC_0162bb2Although the exact date of Shakespeare’s birth is debated, it is believed to fall between April 23 and 26, 1564. Today, Shakespeare’s 450th birthday will be commemorated around the world, and celebrations will continue through 2016, marking 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy since his death on April 23, 1616.

A few of the tributes marking the 450th anniversary of the birth of the world’s greatest playwright include: an elaborate firework display by The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon that will feature an epic ‘fire-drawing’ depicting Shakespeare’s face; a reciting of every one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets sponsored by The V&A Museum in London; and the kick-off of the newest interpretation of Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe in London before the show embarks on a two-year world tour, visiting every country on the planet.

Shakespeare is credited with penning 40 plays and 154 sonnets over his lifetime, and they have been translated into almost every language on Earth — including Klingon. From school groups to famous Hollywood stars, it is estimated that Shakespeare’s works are being performed somewhere in the world every minute. The London theatre scene is already buzzing with anticipation for the upcoming appearance of the stars of BBC’s Sherlock series who will each appear in the 2014-15 season: Benedict Cumberbatch will play Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre in 2015 while his Dr. Watson co-star, Martin Freeman, will play Richard III at Trafalgar Studios this summer.



The Queen’s Birthday Portrait

queenA new official portrait has been released in honor of Her Majesty The Queen’s 88th birthday today, 21 April 2014.

The black and white photo was taken by renowned English photographer David Bailey who has previously taken photos of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Beatles, Sir Mick Jagger and model Kate Moss. Bailey, a fan of the Queen, says ‘She has very kind eyes with a mischievous glint’.

The Queen has sat for more than 140 official portraits during her lifetime. She was just seven years old when she sat for her first portrait in 1933, and she sat for her first and only hologram portrait in 2003. The latest photograph, taken at Buckingham Palace in March, was especially commissioned on behalf of the government’s GREAT Britain campaign, which aims to generate jobs and growth through highlighting the UK as a world-class destination for trade, tourism, investment and education.

Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April 1926. She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. On the death of her father George VI in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Queen at the age of 25. The Queen is the second longest serving monarch. Only five other kings and queens in British history have reigned for 50 years or more. The Queen is set to overtake her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria in September of next year as the longest reigning British Monarch of all time. Queen Victoria reigned for over 63 years until her death in 1901.

The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on a Saturday in June when she is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour ceremony. The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes throughout central London and in Windsor Great Park.

photo copyright David Bailey

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