The 200th Anniversary since Charles Dickens birth

February 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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When I was a child I loved to read. Often I would read classic children’s books and lots of poetry-Rudyard Kipling was a real favourite of mine. However, at the tender age of 11 I began to read Charles Dickens novels and my love for classic literature began.

Today on the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens birth, I wonder how on earth I enjoyed his novels at such a young age. However, I did and still do today. Like many pointing a finger at my favourite is a little tricky but if I had to choose I would probably go with Great Expectations, as it truly is a wonderful piece of literature.

Charles Dickens portrait

Novelist Charles Dickens was born 200 years ago today

Being one of the most popular novelists in history today’s 200th anniversary of Dickens birth is a chance for people to celebrate and revisit his work. It is also a brilliant opportunity for those who are yet to read any of the classic novels to get started.

A series of services are being held to commemorate Charles Dickens life and his enormous contribution to literature today, the largest taking place at Westminster Abbey where Charles Dickens is buried in Poets’ Corner.

The Princes of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are leading the service where they will lay a wreath and read a message of remembrance. The royal couple will be joined by a collection of authors, poets, actors and descendants of the Dickens family. Actors Ralph Fiennes and Shelia Hancock are said to be reading extracts at the service also.

Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall and Gillian Anderson

The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall & Gillian Anderson

In other commemorative events being held today, actress Gillian Anderson, who recently played Miss Havishman in a BBC adaptation of Great Expectations, will be reading an extract at The Charles Dickens Museum– a great place to visit if you like literature as it gives a feel for the environment which Charles Dickens worked in. And actor Simon Callow is in Portsmouth, the birth place of Charles Dickens, to lay a wreath and honour the work of the novelist.

Charles Dicken Stamps

Royal Mail stamps featuring Mr Pickwick & Nicholas Nickleby

However, celebrations of Charles Dickens don’t stop there as I noticed this morning that Google has dedicated their daily ‘Google Doodle’ to iconic Charles Dickens characters. The Guardian has created a ‘Charles Dickens at 200’ online segment exploring people’s perceptions of Dickens work. Plus the Royal Mail have today unveiled a collection of Charles Dickens inspired stamps featuring characters such as Nicholas Nickleby and Mr Pickwick, which will be available to purchase in June.

Finally a Charles Dickens Read-a-thon is taking place now, organised by the British Council the read-a-thon, which has 24 countries involved, is enabling Dickens books to be enjoyed internationally. Proving how well loved Dickens literature has become not just here in England but worldwide.

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Kate’s Bouquet on display of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey

May 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I previously blogged about traditions that are carried out at royal weddings and I am pleased to hear that Prince William’s bride Kate followed tradition and has displayed her wedding bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

Duchess of Cambridge wedding Bouquet Tomb of unkown warrior

Kate’s bouquet that included sweet William, as well as myrtle, lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth was returned to Westminster after the ceremony and put on display for the public to view along with other flowers and trees which the couple had at their wedding.

Prince William and Kate in carriage

The tradition was set by the Queen Mother, who lay her bouquet down at the ceremony itself in honour of her brother. I was a little surprised to see that Kate did not do this too, however the bride travelled back to Buckingham Palace with her bouquet in hand and it was later returned to the Abbey.

The bouquet and a selection of other flowers will be on display in Westminster Abbey until 6th May.

Official Royal Wedding Photographs

May 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It is wonderful to see the official royal wedding photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The photos were taken by photographer Hugo Burnand shortly after the newlyweds arrive from their wedding service at Westminster Abbey.

Offical Royal Wedding Photos Prince William and Kate

William and Kate posed in the Throne room in Buckingham Palace for the formal photographs, which show the couple together as husband and wife.

Official Royal Wedding Photos Family photoAnother photograph includes the whole family and in the final shot Prince William and Kate are joined by their young bridesmaids and pageboys.

The images are beautiful and really reflect how well suited the couple are to each other.

Official Royal Wedding Photo William Kate bridesmaids and Pageboys

Royal Wedding Traditions…

April 22, 2011 at 12:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Royal wedding traditions

After catching up with ‘British Royal Weddings’ on BBC iplayer from earlier this week I discovered some fantastic traditions that occur in royal weddings.

Queen mother King George VI weddingI am very much looking forward to the next instalment as I found the programme fascinating. During part one I discovered that since the wedding of the Queen Mother and King George VI it became tradition for royal brides, who marry in Westminster Abbey to lay their bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

The Queen Mother unknowingly created the tradition when a guard fainted as she was about to make her way down the aisle. Whilst waiting as the gentleman was attended to, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons laid down her bouquet in remembrance of her brother who has lost his life in the Battle of Loos.

Since it has become a royal tradition that royal brides do the same, however, unlike the Queen Mother brides place their flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior as they walk out of the abbey instead of on entering.  

Other traditions…

Queen Elizabeth & Prince Phillip Wedding

Following tradition the royal bouquets laid down at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior traditionally have a sprig of the herb myrtle. This tradition began at the wedding of Queen Victoria who married in 1840. Brides such as Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana carried on the tradition.

Finally, royal wedding bands contain a piece of gold from a nugget of Welsh gold. All royal brides since and including the Queen Mother have received a band with a piece of the same welsh gold. It is thought that Kate Middleton’s ring will do to.

The ‘British Royal Wedding’ is a great programme, offering so much detail and intimate accounts of royal weddings. I really liked that the programme is documented by people who were there and saw the occasions themselves. Hope you enjoy…

Tomb of the unkown warrior westminster abbey

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