QUEEN ELIZABETH II BECOMES LONGEST REIGNING MONARCH IN BRITISH HISTORY

September 9, 2015 marks a milestone in British history as Queen Elizabeth II surpasses her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, as Britain’s longest reigning monarch.  Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI, when he died on February 6, 1952.  She was twenty-five years old at the time.  Queen Victoria’s reign lasted 63 years, 212 days (June 20, 1837-January 22, 1901).  The Queen has remained a steadfast symbol of stability during a reign marked by tremendous changes.  Photos by Getty Images.

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THE BAPTISM OF PRINCE JACQUES AND PRINCESS GABRIELLA OF MONACO

Prince Jacques of Monaco and his twin sister, Princess Gabriella, were baptized on May 10, 2015 at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Monaco.  The ceremony was presided over by the Archbishop of Monaco, assisted by the Papal Envoy to Monaco.  The infant prince was baptized first and given the names of Jacques Honore Rainier.  The infant princess was baptized next and given the names Gabriella Therese Marie.  Both babies stayed awake and did not cry when holy water was poured over their heads.  Princess Charlene, looking elegant in Dior, had seen to various details of the ceremony including the choice of music that included pieces composed by Faure and Vivaldi.  After the ceremony, the babies’ parents, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene, greeted the cheering crowds on the cathedral steps.  The royal couple also met with more well-wishers after the ceremony and accepted gifts and congratulations.  Photos by Getty Images.

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H.R.H. PRINCESS CHARLOTTE OF CAMBRIDGE

The names of the newborn daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been revealed: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.  The baby, born on May 2, 2015, in London, is fourth in line to the throne and bears the names Elizabeth and Diana in honor of the child’s great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the mother of the Duke of Cambridge, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.  The name Charlotte is a French diminutive of ‘Charles’ the name of the baby’s paternal grandfather.  The names George and Charlotte, chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their son and daughter, evoke the Hanoverian era with the reign of King George III (in the eighteenth to early nineteen centuries) whose consort was Queen Charlotte.  Photos by Getty Images.

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A DAUGHTER IS BORN TO THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby girl on May 2, 2015 at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.  The baby princess, who was born at 8:34 in the morning local time, weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces.  The Duke of Cambridge brought his son, Prince George, who delighted the crowds with a wave, to the hospital to meet his new baby sister.  The baby is the fifth great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth II and is fourth in line to the throne.  Ten hours after giving birth, the Duchess of Cambridge, accompanied by her husband, left the hospital after posing for photographs cradling her newborn daughter.   Photos by Getty Images.

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The Queen, dressed in pink, on the day of the birth of her fifth great-grandchild, May 2, 2015.

The Queen at Richmond Castle on the day of the birth of her fifth great-grandchild, May 2, 2015.

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PRINCE ALBERT & PRINCESS CHARLENE OF MONACO PRESENT THEIR TWINS

In an eagerly anticipated event, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco officially presented their twin babies, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, to the citizens of Monaco.  The event took place at the principality’s royal palace on January 7, 2015.   The royal couple appeared on the palace balcony, with Princess Charlene holding Princess Gabriella, and Prince Albert holding Prince Jacques.  After their balcony appearance, the couple mingled with the crowds who had come to offer their congratulations.  Photos by Getty Images.

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King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain at the Pascua Militar

King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia attended the annual Pascua Militar ceremony in Madrid on January 6, 2015, the feast day of the Epiphany.  The ceremony dates back to 1782 during the reign of King Carlos III.   This was the first Pascua Militar ceremony presided over by King Felipe, who ascended the throne last year.  A military review took place which was followed by a reception at the Royal Palace.  For her first Pascua Militar event, Queen Letizia wore a floor length teal Felipe Varela gown.  Photos by Getty Images.

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Merry Christmas to Everyone

To everyone, I send you all good wishes for a a blessed and Merry Christmas!  Painting of the nativity by Fra Filippo Lippi, courtesy of wikicommons.

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