The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour

June 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This weekend saw another royal occasion as the Queen and Royal Family enjoyed the annual Trooping the Colour Parade to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday in London.

I watched the ceremony on the television at home on Saturday morning and was thoroughly impressed. How lovely to see Prince William join his father, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Kent in the Parade. And Prince Phillip back at the Queen’s side and in good health after a spell in hospital during the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Here are my favourite pictures from the Trooping the Colour Parade 2012- enjoy!

Trooping the Colour Parade

Trooping the Colour Parade 2012

The Queen and Prince Phillip tropping the colour

The Queen and Prince Phillip at Tropping the Colour Parade

The Queen in carriage Trooping the colours

The Queen in carriage Trooping the colours

Duke of Cambridge and Prince Charles

Duke of Cambridge and Prince of Wales in Trooping the Colour Parade

Guardsmen assemble at Trooping the colour parade

Guardsmen assemble at Trooping the Colour Parade

Prince Harry, Camilla and Kate

Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge

Princes William, Charles and Duke of Kent

Princes William, Charles and Duke of Kent in the Parade

Royal Family Balcony 2012

The Royal Family on Buckingham Palace Balcony

Red Arrows Trooping the colour fly

Red Arrows Trooping the Colour flypast

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The School Games 2012

May 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Over 1600 school children who play sport at an elite level have been invited to attend The 2012 School Games taking place in Olympic venues across London this week.

The School Games offer a chance for school children to get a feel for the Olympic Games as they have exclusive access to brand new facilities including four venues which will be focus points during the summer Games; The Olympic Stadium, The Velodrome, The Aquatics Centre and ExCel Centre.

wheelchair basketball The School Games

Wheelchair Basketball at The School Games 2012

Much like professional athletes at the Olympic Games school competitors will face stiff competition from athletes who are expected to be future Olympians. The School Games consist of tradition sporting events found at the Olympics and Paralympics including cycling, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, fencing, wheelchair basketball, judo and table tennis.

With over 30,000 spectators in attendance and opening and closing ceremonies The School Games is a rare and exciting opportunity for youngsters. But what I think makes The School Games so special is that children don’t have to be athletic to take part as the event has been designed to utilise a wide range of skills which school children possess.

Over 700 volunteer opportunities were available and aspiring journalists taking part in BBC News School Report (pupils aged 11-16) have been on hand to report all of the action from the Games. They’ve created multimedia footage of the sporting events, written up articles and interviewed athletes taking part in the Games which is all available to read and watch online.

Fencing The School Games

Fencing at The School Games 2012

The School Games has been an annual event for a number of years but 2012’s event seems all the more relevant as it coincides so nicely with the London 2012 Olympic Games. I’m sure that access to Olympic stadiums, equipment and even former Olympic athletes (ambassadors include Denise Lewis and Darren Campbell) will inspire the school children taking part to cherish every moment of the event and encourage them to take their sporting ability seriously. 

It’s fantastic to see children really getting stuck into a project and enjoying sports so much. The School Games ends today but you can catch up on all of the activity online. Excitingly this is the final event to take place in the Olympic grounds before the Opening Ceremony on July 27th – only 79 days to go!

The Queen names Royal Jubilee barge Gloriana.

April 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This summer’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations are getting ever closer and excitement is beginning to mount as finer details as to what we can expect from the Jubilee weekend are starting to be unveiled.

Today the Queen has visited docks in London where Gloriana, the royal barge built specifically for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, is currently anchored. This was the Queens and the Duke of Edinburgh first look at the royal barge, the first to be built in 100 years.

The Queen on board royal jubilee barge Gloriana

The Queen on board royal jubilee barge Gloriana

Constructed over a four year period with the help of over 60 skilled craftsmen, Gloriana epitomises the grandness of such a rare royal occasion. With exquisite carving and an elaborate gold leaf design it will lead The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant along the River Thames on Sunday 3rd June.

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant is set to be one of the most pivotal points of the Jubilee celebrations with over 1000 boats siling down the Thames in honour of the Queen’s 60 years on the throne. Although the Royal Family won’t travel on the royal barge it will be the main exhibit and manned by a team of 18 skilled oarsmen, one of whom will be British Olympian, Sir Steve Redgrave.

Gloriana practice run

Gloriana, royal barge in practice

Preparations to ensure that the river pageant is as spectacular as possible are already underway as Gloriana was taken for its first practice run along the Thames last week. Photographs of its first outing show just how vast and regal the royal barge is. I can’t wait to see it in action on the day.

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Waxworks- Madame Tussauds

April 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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New waxwork figures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been revealed at Madame Tussauds in London this morning. The figures, which depict the moment that the royal couple announced their engagement, are the first in a series which portray the royal couple in their first year of marriage.

After seeing photographs of the waxworks I was stunned to see just how realistic the figures look. Every single detail of the couple has been catered to from Prince Williams and Kate’s height, their clothing, hair, jewellery and even stance.

Full length Will and Kate Waxwork

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Waxwork

Kate’s waxwork sees her wearing the navy blue dress which women across the country rushed out to buy and the sapphire engagement ring, which previously belonged to Princess Diane. Whilst Prince William is dressed in a suit and tie to match what he wore on the day their engagement was announced and true to form even includes his fading head of hair.

I think that the figures are a lovely way to celebrate the couple’s first wedding anniversary and are the perfect photo opportunity for royal enthusiasts who may never get the chance to meet them in person.

Kate and William waxwork finishing touch

Madame Tussauds artist putting finishing touches on waxwork

Wills and Kate will be on display alongside other royal waxworks including figures of The Queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Prince Harry and the late Princess Diana. It’s also been noted that a new waxwork of The Queen will be created to note her Diamond Jubilee in the summer.

I’m sure that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will bring lots of visitors to Madame Tussauds.  I’d like to go along and see them for myself as the craft work put into creating these waxworks is fantastic. I’m truly intrigued to find out how Madame Tussauds artists create such magnificent pieces.  So if you’re heading to London for the Easter break check out Madame Tussauds– an indoor activity which is a great option if the weather doesn’t perk up.

Kensington Palace reopens to the public after £12 million renovation

March 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Kensington Palace, the birth place of Queen Victoria and royal residence to Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales, was reopened to the public yesterday after a two year renovation projection that cost £12 million.

Steeped in history Kensington Palace has been a tourist attraction for years; it first opened its doors to the public in 1899. But the royal palace had a reputation for being ‘stuffy’ and visitors were often left disappointed by the number of restricted areas.

The recent renovation hopes to not only showcase the history and heritage of Kensington Palace but also bring the palace up to date with the modern royal family. To do such, a new Jubilee Garden has been created, which will now be used as the official entrance, and once inside visitors will be greeted by a contemporary light sculpture called ‘Luminous Lace’.

Luminous Lace light sculpture

‘Luminous Lace’ light sculpture

Visitors are also promised a detailed insight into Kensington Palace and the royals who have resided there over time. The renovation has introduced a number of new exhibitions which are set to be popular amongst tourists- I’m hoping to make it to London over the summer to visit Kensington Palace myself.

Queen Victoria is heavily focused upon in public areas as visitors will be able to view ‘Victoria Revealed’ an exhibition that delves into the life of Queen Victoria. A collection of the Queen’s childhood treasures, including her childhood dolls, sketchbooks and even shoes will be on display alongside the wedding outfits which she and Prince Albert wore on their wedding day.

Queen Victoria wedding dress

Queen Victoria's wedding dress on display

Visitors will also be able to enter the Red Saloon room where Queen Victoria held her first Privy Council and view a collection of video footage from her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 which is fitting for 2012.

Kensington Palace has also revealed that the exhibition ‘Diana: glimpses of a modern princess’ will be on display until September. Dedicated to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, the exhibition showcases the fashion of Princess Diana and includes a number of dresses which she wore at royal engagements.

Princess Diana kensington palace wallpaper

Wallpaper design by Julie Verhoeven is featured in the Diana exhibition

The Palace has noted that this exhibition is small in comparison to others but significant because Kensington Palace was her royal home. I believe that although small in size this exhibition may draw the largest crowds because Diana was the people’s princess.

After an enormous renovation in the public areas of Kensington Palace it would seem that the work doesn’t stop there as a private wing of the palace is now under renovation for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who will be residing there from next year.

Creative Knitting- Yarnstorming

March 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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For years crafting has been seen as a hobby for ladies of a certain age but it would seem that knitting is finally becoming trendy. So much so that creative knitting groups are getting together across the country and their work is popping up in the most peculiar places.

Earlier this month residents of Saltburn, in North Yorkshire, woke up to find a 50 yard long Olympic themed scarf fixed to their local pier. It can only be described as an utterly spectacular scarf featuring hand-knitted woolly figures of athletes who will be taking part in the London 2012 Olympics– swimmers, runners, gymnasts and weightlifters.

Saltburn Olympic knitted scarf

Olympic Scarf in North Yorkshire

What makes the scarf so magnificent is that its creator(s) remain completely anonymous. Nobody knows who painstakingly knitted the masterpiece or why. And this notion of mysterious crafty work isn’t unique to the Olympic scarf knitter in North Yorkshire.

As “yarnstorming” aka knitting something and secretly leaving it for passers-by to enjoy is becoming more and more popular. An exclusive knitting group in London called “Knit the City” have been yarnstorming since 2006 and have created some of the most creative knitting I’ve ever seen.

Knitted olympic athletes

Knitted athletes - Olympics 2012

Knit the City’s work includes everything from telephone box cosies, hand-knitted characters and randomly placed knitted graffiti which has appeared across London landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and London Bridge. Their work also made an impromptu appearance in Tate Britain during a 2011 exhibition for those lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

Knit the city telephone box

Knit the City- Telephone Box cosy in Parliament Square

I’ve spent years knitting and have created everything from baby clothes, tea cosies, scarfs and even teddy bears, many of which I’ve passed on to the charity Teddies for Tragedies. But I’ve never seen such a creative and fun approach to knitting. Yarnstorming adds a great sense of excitement which I’ve not seen before and it’s definitely giving knitting, and crafting in general, a new lease of life.

So I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more yarnstorming in the future and fingers crossed we’ll find out who these secret knitters really are. I’m so intrigued to find out how they produce pieces in such secrecy.

Riot Clean Up

August 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s extremely refreshing to see www.riotcleanup.co.uk – a website which was created shortly after the London rioting began. The site simply aims at getting people together to clean up communities affected by riots and looters.

riot clean up

Scores of people in London restoring shops and walkways

The site has seen an enormous amount of success from people who want to restore their communities. Many people have also taken to Twitter today, tweeting under the hash tag #riotcleanup, where hundreds volunteered to spare their time to help the clean-up operation.

Seeing people pull together so positively is extraordinary and provides proof that people do care about their communities, town and cities. It’s great to see people regain normality after such destructive unrest. Good for them!

riot clean up

People gathered with brooms to clean their communities

Find out more about www.riotcleanup.co.uk here. Including when and where clean-up operations are taking place and how you can help.

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