The Queen makes Diamond Jubilee address to Houses of Parliament

March 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Celebrations to honour The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee have been underway for a number of weeks. The Queen has been accompanied by members of the royal family in various outings on the Diamond Jubilee tour and Prince Harry recently returned from a royal visit to the Caribbean which he carried out on his grandmother’s behalf.

However, today saw a monumental milestone in the Queen’s Jubilee tour as she addressed the Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in a speech which celebrated her 60 year reign.

the Queen Addressing Houses of Parliament

The Queen making an address to Houses of Parliament

Dressed in a deep yellow coat and matching hat- a perfect choice for the first day of spring– Her Majesty spoke to MP’s, Peers and Prime Ministers from past and present. She thanked the nation, honoured the armed forces and expressed gratitude towards her family for the continued support throughout her reign putting a particular emphasis on the constant support of the Duke of Edinburgh.

diamond jubilee window

The Queen's jubilee window

During the rare address in Westminster, only her sixth time speaking to both Houses of Parliament, the Queen was presented with Diamond Jubilee window which was a gift from the members of both Houses. It is thought that the window will be installed into Westminster Hall later in the year.

The occasion is one which looks incredibly grand and appropriately notes the admiration which parliament has for the Queen and her tireless work. Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, said today, ‘Sixty years of stability. Sixty years of security. Sixty years of certainty. Sixty years of sacrifice. Sixty years of service.’

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International Women’s Day 2012

March 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Women across the world are today celebrating International Women’s Day. Recognising successful female figures that have inspired change, accomplished outstanding achievements and are leaders in their professional fields.

I find that International Women’s Day is a time to look back at the females who have inspired you. Classic female icons such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Mother Teresa and Emmeline Pankhurst are now being joined by women who have impacted the world that we live in today.

International Women's Day

Women have celebrated International Women's Day for many years

I’ve been thinking about the women who have inspired me and the variety is huge. As a business woman I feel inspired by other women in business. Karen Brady and Martha Lane Fox are women who are currently riding high on success and are aspiring figures to young women looking to make an imprint on the world.

Having led the country and common wealth for the past 60 years The Queen is a woman whose poise and grace in leadership is probably the best I’ve ever witness. She is a true example to anyone in a position of guidance or control whether that’s in government, the workplace or even at home. The excitement toward the summer’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations is a testament to the impact The Queen has had on people around the world.

Today’s Google Doodle pays homage to International Women’s Day

Today’s Google Doodle pays homage to International Women’s Day

The truth is I feel inspired by all sorts of women- novelist J.K Rowling, Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi, Drama Teacher Anna Scher, young Olympic hopeful Rebecca Adlington, actress Meryl Streep and even her most recent character Margaret Thatcher. These are women who have all made me stand up and take note of their achievements and most importantly are proof of the incredible things which women are able to accomplish.

Fittingly the theme behind this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Connecting girls, inspiring futures’. An incredible 430 events including seminars, afternoon tea, marches and even a reception at Number 10 are being held today to encourage women to come together and support each other which is what International Women’s Day is all about.  

Happy International Women’s Day from myself and all at Bath-Knight!

Annette’s Websites of the Week 6th-10th February 2012

February 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Annette's websites of the week

This week many of my blogs have focused around the start of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. As I’m sure you can tell I’m very much looking forward to the Jubilee in June and thought it would be a nice idea to share some Diamond Jubilee websites, which I’ve been browsing through this week.

www.thediamondjubilee.org – The Diamond Jubilee.org is the official website of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Sweetly the site is illustrated with an emblem created by 10 year old Katherine Dewar who entered her drawing into a Blue Peter competition.

A mostly fact based site it is incredibly informative and would be lovely to explore with grandchildren. As it documents the history of the Queen and previous jubilees, plus explains the role of the monarchy and how they help our country really well.

The Queens Diamond Jubilee wesbite

My favourite part of the site is the timeline which reviews the past 60 years in its entirety. From events within the monarch to general happenings which have been covered in the news. Cleverly designed with photographs and video footage you can easily scroll through each decade, recalling the pieces of history which you can remember yourself. I got a great sense of nostalgia from this section of the site and found it really enjoyable.

Overall it’s a pleasant and family friendly website which offers bucket loads of information and some fantastic photographs that I doubt you’ll see elsewhere. If you’re excited about the Jubilee I would definitely recommend checking www.thediamondjubilee.org out.

www.bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee – Earlier this week the line-up for the Diamond Jubilee concert, which will be held outside of Buckingham Palace on 4th June was released to the public.

With brilliant acts including Paul McCartney, Elton John and Tom Jones performing at the event, plus an invitation to have lunch in the Buckingham Palace Gardens prior to the concert, tickets are in great demand.

The Diamond Jubilee

However you can’t purchase tickets instead the event is open to everyone living in Britain. Those who would like to attend must enter a public ballot to be in with a chance of securing entry. You can sign up via post or alternatively apply online (this is the method which I chose to use).

The BBC Diamond Jubilee site is hosting the online application process, which will release ten thousand tickets. Easy to use and simply laid out the site only requires your name, email address and contact details for your application to be processed. But you should be aware that the application date closes on Friday 2nd March 2012.

www.2012queensdiamondjubilee.com – I’ve chosen to share 2012 The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee because it has an online merchandise shop where all manner of Diamond Jubilee themed goodies can be purchased. They are currently selling a collection of china wear, calendars and books, plus commemorative coins which are great keepsakes.

Diamond Jubilee Merchandise

Most excitingly they currently have a selection of themed street party goods, which would be prefect for a Jubilee gathering with friends and family. Their range includes Diamond Jubilee paper plates, napkins, flags and party bunting all embellished in regal designs, which are very reminiscent to the street party decorations used during the Royal Wedding.

If you’ve already got a Diamond Jubilee street or garden party planned I’d recommend bookmarking this page so you can return to it later in the year, who knows they might have more selection closer to the Jubilee weekend in June.

The Diamond Queen BBC series with Andrew Marr

February 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Last night I watched ‘The Diamond Queen’, a three part series on the BBC which was written and presented by Andrew Marr to mark the start of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The series looks back on the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II and includes exclusive footage of her as a child and young woman. Promising a well-rounded and true insight into the person behind the persona viewers are treated to candid interviews with those closest to the Queen and exclusive filming of her at work currently.  

The Diamond Queen

The Diamond Queen was created by Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr’s interview with the Queen’s grandchildren, about their grandmother was rather insightful as both Princes William and Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie all showed genuine admiration for their Grandmother and the work which she continues to do. This was echoed by Primes Minister, past and present who are said to have called on her wisdom and knowledge in times of need.

The Queen 2012

A recent photograph of the Queen

However, I was most taken with the surprise which waited in the garden as Princess Beatrice unveiled the Queen’s Wendy House which she received as a child. The beautiful thatched mini cottage, which Princess Beatrice gave Andrew Marr an exclusive tour of, was the whimsical play house of the Queen and Princess Margaret as children and has since been used by her own children and grandchildren.

If you’re getting excited about the Diamond Jubilee I’d definitely recommend catching up on The Diamond Queen– a brilliant insight into the world of the modern day monarchy.

Happy New Year. Here’s to 2012!

January 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’d like to once again wish everyone a very happy New Year and hope that your Christmas break was a relaxing and joyous time. Mine certainly was very enjoyable. I was fortunate enough to spend time with my friends and family and enjoy all things festive. Downton Abbey’s Christmas Special was most certainly a highlight, and my homemade Christmas truffles went down a treat!

downton abbey christmas

Today, as I’m sure many of you will have too, we’ve returned to the office. For some returning to the routine of work can be a little daunting. However, I always think it’s quite a nice time to get back to normal and look forward to what’s ahead.

With economic gloom hitting the headlines already this year I thought it would be nice to mention just a handful of things which we can all be excited about in 2012.

olympic-2012-torch

London Olympics 2012 –The most prestigious sporting event will undoubtedly take over the country when the London Olympics get underway in summer. I wasn’t lucky enough to secure tickets myself but nevertheless I’m still eager to watch as I think that the event will instil a great sense of solidarity in the country.

Olympic Torch Relay-.Before the games begin we’ll see the 70 day Olympic Torch Relay covering the country as a select group of Olympic Torchbearers travel up and down the United Kingdom with the iconic Olympic flame. Superbly the route, which covers many towns, cities and suburbs, ensures that everyone will be within a reasonable one hour journey of the torch. 

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee- After a triumphant year for the royal family in 2011 with two royal weddings, glamorous overseas tours and the excitement of new additions. It’s seems difficult to top however, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June has all the ingredients to be a real success and great chance to celebrate. Lucky for us we even get a celebratory Bank Holiday!

Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Tour London- Finally (and perhaps my favourite) is the grand opening of Warner Bros. Studio Tour of Harry Potter which opens its doors to the public in March 2012. An alternative to the Harry Potter based theme park in Florida, the studios are situated here in the UK only a short distance from Central London. The incredible sets and studios, which have so convincingly turned the wizardry and magic of Harry Potter into life, are set to be a fantastic day out which everyone will enjoy.

 

Remembrance Sunday 2011

November 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yesterday the country observed two minutes silence on Remembrance Sunday in honour and respect of Armistice Day.

The Queen and other members of the royal family, all of whom have served with the forces themselves joined Her Majesty to lay a wreath at Cenotaph in Whitehall.

The Duke of Edinburgh, himself a Second World War veteran, Princes’ Charles and Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince William were all dressed in full military uniform whist attending the service of remembrance.

the queen remembrance sunday

Along with the royal family and leading politicians were some 9000 ex-service personnel and members of the general public who paraded to Whitehall passing the memorial of which has an enormous significance on such an occasion.

With many services of remembrance taking place up and down the country it is astounding to see so many people showing their love and support to our troops past and present.

Visit The Royal British Legion for more information on Remembrance services.

Good Housekeeping’s Fabulous and Over 50 Hot List

September 7, 2011 at 11:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Like many other women I enjoy flicking through a glossy magazine with a cup of tea when I have the time. I particularly enjoy Good Housekeeping for its variety of excellent features, quality food section and well thought out travel features, which have lots of tips on beautiful places to visit in the world.

The September issue features the ‘Fabulous & Over 50 Hot list’, a poll which lists women over the age of 50 who have the ‘wow’ factor.

Topping the list is 2011’s ‘Body of the Year’ winner 66 year old Helen Mirren who is a great advocate for being beautiful, successful and the perfect example of how to age gracefully. Joining Helen in the top five are…

  1. Helen Mirren- 66       2. Joanna Lumley- 65       3. Dame Judi Dench- 76      
  2.  4. Carole Middleton-56      5. HRH The Queen- 85

Fabulous over 50

The top five may come as a surprise for some as no supermodels or enhanced beauties are featured. Instead five naturally aged beauties who carry their ages, roles and jobs out wonderfully.

For me it’s particularly great to see Joanna Lumley receive such a high position as she has achieved wonderful things having recently become well-recognised as a human rights activist thanks to the success of the Gurkha Justice Campaign which she was heavily involved with.

The nod to the Royals is quite spectacular too as the Queen is featured alongside the Duchess of Cambridge’s mother Carole Middleton in the top five and Princess Anne is also listed at number 20. Such suggests that the recent Royal Weddings have shone a positive light on the Royal family which I find rather endearing.

fabulous and over 50

Surprisingly the 100 over 50’s come from a huge variety of public arenas from royalty, the wonderful world of fashion, Anna Wintour is featured at number 22, numerous journalist, activists and politicians including the Home Secretary Theresa May are also included.

More predictably the hot list also embraces famous faces from entertainment like actresses Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep, musicians Debbie Harry and Lulu and TV personalities Fearne Britton and Carol Voderman.

I have to admit that poll like these wouldn’t usually grab my attention. However, this specific one is great as it focuses on women who are doing wonderful things regardless of age. I think that that is something we should all smile about.

The Queen described wedding dress exhibition as ‘horrid’

July 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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This weekend Buckingham Palace opened its doors for the annual summer exhibition. Its main attraction ‘The Royal Wedding Dress Exhibition’ was previewed on Friday by the Queen and Duchess of Cambridge.

Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen Dress Exhibition

The pair strolled around the exhibit together, chatting about the many pieces featured. It was fantastic to see the Queen and Kate talk as naturally together as it gave a great sense of friendliness between the two.

The exhibit looks incredible, however it came as quite a surprise when BBC footage caught the Queen comment on how ‘horrid’ the Duchesses now infamous wedding dress looks displayed on a headless mannequin.

Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen Dress Exhibition

An awkward but fetching moment, which made me giggle a little. I’m looking forward to see the exhibit for myself sometime over the summer.

For ticket infomration – click here

The UK’s 66 over 66 – Gold Age Power List by WRVS

June 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Putting HRH the Queen, Sir Alex Ferguson and Mick Jagger in the same sentence seems a little bizarre. However, today they have all being listed on the Gold Age Power List which recognises the contributions to society from people aged 66 and over.

The Gold Age Power list or ‘The UK’s 66 over 66’  includes some pretty impressive names and highlight the fact that elderly people here in the UK really are making a difference within all areas of society from arts and literature, business, public services, sports and local community help.

gold age power list

The judging panels, which  included Good Housekeeping editor Lindsay Nicholson and Gransnet editor Geraldine Bedell, had a tough job choosing the 66 featured (they went for 66 people over the age of 66 as it fitted nicely with the 1945 baby boom).

Of course, the panel did a fantastic job and have managed to include a hugely diverse list of people who have made outstanding contributions and proved that age doesn’t have to come with the stigma of becoming a burden to society.

Joining the Queen on 2011’s list includes Delia Smith, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, David Attenborough, funny man Billy Connolly, my favourite actress Dame Judi Dench, Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis, Sir Paul McCartney and scientist Robert Winston along with a host of others.

WRVS

Joining those familiar names is a selection of local volunteers who work tirelessly within their community to make where they work and live much better places. The inclusion of hardworking, ordinary people has really drawn my attention to the list. As it’s wonderful to be able to congratulation volunteers, who save Britain millions of pounds every year, alongside the Queen and other highly thought after figures.

What a great way to show that age doesn’t, and shouldn’t stop anyone from achieving great things!

The Queen hosts Royal Banquet for President Obama and First Lady- My thoughts

May 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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President Obama and his wife Michelle are currently here in the UK on their first state visit to the country.

I am really delighted to see the media attention which the visit has brought, as not only are we getting at glimpse at the President but also the Royal Family.

The visit has seen the Obama’s spend time with both the Royal Family and members of Parliament.

Royal Banquet

Personally I was really delighted to see the return of the Dutch and Duchess of Cambridge, who meet with the President and First Lady in Buckingham Palace in their first public appearance since their honeymoon.

Kate and William with the Obamas

The Queens Banquet dinner, which was held, last night in the Palace Ball Room of Buckingham Place looked to be quite exquisite. With a star studded quest list of 171 including royalty, politicians, actors and businessmen. The event provides a great display of companionship from the American Head of State and HRH the Queen.

obama cameron table tennisThe visit has really proven to be a pleasure to watch, with something for everyone from playful fun; I watched some brilliant news footage of President Obama playing table tennis alongside PM David Cameron yesterday, family BBQ’s at Number 10, royal engagement and fabulous fashion from all the ladies… and of course some politics.

I’m really excited to read more about the visit hope you have enjoyed it too!

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