Monthly Archives: October 2011

QUEEN ELIZABETH AND PRINCE PHILIP END THEIR 11 DAY OFFICIAL VISIT TO AUSTRALIA

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip ended their eleven day official tour of Australia on October 29, 2011.  At a huge barbeque event in the city of Perth, the Queen told the large crowd gathered how she and Prince Philip “have been overwhelmed by your kindness and support.”   The visit was clearly a huge success, with eager crowds cheering on the royal couple throughout their tour.   The Queen and Prince Philip’s final event in Perth was no exception, as tens of thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of them   Though both the royal couple looked remarkably fit during the entire visit, there are some who have speculated that this may be the last or one of the last visits that the 85 year old Queen  and 90 year old Prince may pay to the land down under.  In her parting remarks in Perth, Queen Elizabeth said that, “”Once again we will return to the United Kingdom with fond memories of our time here and the warm Australian welcome we have received on our 16th visit to this beautiful country.”

The Queen greeting crowds at the Great Aussie Barbeque held at the Perth Esplanade (pohto: Stefan Gossatt/Getty Images)

A view of the huge crowd gathered in Perth on the Queen and Prince Philip's final day of their Australia tour, October 29, 2011 (photo: Stefan Gossatt/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave farewell to Australia from their British Airways plane (photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Queen holds on to her hat on a blustery day in Perth as she waves goodbye to the people of Australia, October 29, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II IN AUSTRALIA: PERTH & THE COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEET: CHANGES TO THE LINE OF SUCCESSION

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are at the end of their 10-day official visit to Australia.  On October 27, 2011 in Perth, the Queen visited Clontarf Aboriginal College  and attended a state reception at Government House.  On October 28th, the Queen opened a Commonwealth Summit in Perth.  This year’s meeting has proven significant in that the leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries of which Queen Elizabeth II is their head of state, agreed to set into motion, changes that will have a significant effect on the succession laws governing the British monarchy.   The leaders approved the introduction of new legislation at home that will overturn the current male primogeniture laws that has been in effect for hundreds of years.   Once all the necessary legislation is passed and amended (including the 1689 Bill of Rights, the 1701 Act of Settlement and the 1772 Royal Marriages Act), it will mean that  sons and daughters will have equal rights to the throne.  No longer will males have precedence over females in the order of succession.  Eleven previous attempts to change the succession have been unsuccessful until now.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that the changes would not be applied retrospectively and that they would apply to the descendants of the Prince of Wales.  “Put simply,” said Cameron, “if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen.”

Another radical change will take place.  Plans to scrap the long-standing law barring a potential monarch from marrying a Roman Catholic has also been approved, though the monarch still must be an Anglican by virtue of his or head role at Head of the Church of England.   In referring to this part of the proposed changes, David Cameron said, “the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is head of that Church.  But it is simply wrong they should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so.  After all, they are already quite free to marry someone else of any other faith.”

Signing the guest book at Clontarf Aboriginal College in Perth, October 27, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen is received with a respectful bow from one of her young Australian subjects (photo: Getty Images)

The Queen looks at an Australian Rules football on a visit to Clontarf Aboriginal College in Perth, Australia (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II with Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett during a reception at Government House, Perth, October 27, 2011 (photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Queen wearing a fashionable hat in Perth, October 27, 2011 (photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Queen arrives for the banquet held for Commonwealth Heads of Government, October 28, 2011 (photo: Stewart Allen/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II in Perth, Australia for the Commonwealth Leaders' Conference, October 28, 2011 (photo: Stewart Allen/Getty Images)

The Queen, resplendent in her tiara and necklace, makes a speech in Perth, Australia (photo: Stewart Allen/Getty Images)

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DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE IN FIRST SOLO ENGAGEMENT, FILLS IN FOR THE PRINCE OF WALES

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has hosted her first solo engagement at Clarence House, stepping in for her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, who flew to Saudi Arabia to extend his condolences on the death of the country’s crown prince.   Catherine stepped in as hostess in short notice at a formal reception held for the charity “In Kind Direct” which redistributes surplus goods.  The Duchess looked elegant in an aqua blue floor-length Amanda Wakeley Grecian style gown.   The Grecian style gown provided a stark contrast to a vivid red long sleeved gown worn by Catherine on October 13 when she and Prince William attended a function for the 100 Women in Hedge Funds in aid of the Child Bereavement Charity at St. James’s Palace in London.

On October 13, 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a charity reception at St. James's Palace (photo: Theodore Wood/Getty Images)

Catherine looking elegant in a new Grecian style gown (pohto: Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge carries out her first official solo engagement, October 26, 2011 (photo: Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge in hosting a reception at Clarence House, October 26, 2011 (photo: Getty Images)

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND PRINCE PHILIP CONTINUE THEIR 10 DAY VISIT TO AUSTRALIA: CANBERRA & MELBOURNE

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh continued with their 10 day official visit to Australia with visits to Canberra and Melbourne on October 25 and 26, 2011.   On her final day in Canberra, the Queen visited the Australian War Memorial and met with Australian Defence Force Personnel.   The Queen and Prince Philip then departed from Defence Establishment Fairbairn Base in Canberra for Melbourne.  On October 26th, the Queen officially opened the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

Queen Elizabeth II greeting crowds at the Australian War Memorial on a rainy day in Canberra (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen meeting with Australian Defence Forces personnel (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II visits the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, October 25, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen views a wall of poppies in the Australian War Memorial, October 25, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen leaves Canberra for Melbourne, October 26, 2011 (pohto: Pool/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II in vivid pink for her visit to open the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia She is visiting the meekrat enclosure located in the hospital, October 26, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen signs the visitor's book in of the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Prince Philip is on the right (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

A close-up of Queen Elizabeth II in Foundation Square, Melbourne, October 26, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

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HIS MAJESTY KING MICHAEL I OF ROMANIA CELEBRATES HIS 90TH BIRTHDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2011

King Michael I of Romania celebrated his 90th birthday on October 25, 2011.   The King is the only child of King Carol II of Romania and Princess Helen of Greece.  King Michael is descended from the German Hohenzollern dynasty.  He is also descended from Britain’s Queen Victoria through both his parents.  The king is the last surviving leader from World War II.  Michael reigned as king from 1927 to 1930 (under a regency) and then from 1940 until 1947 when he was forced to abdicate by Soviet backed communists.  In 1944, King Michael bravely staged a coup against the Romanian dictator, Marshal Ion Antonescu, who was an ally of Hitler.   Romania then joined the Allied side, a move credited by numerous historians for helping shorten the war and saving thousands of lives.  After the king’s abdication in 1947, he has largely lived in exile in Switzerland with his wife, the former Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.  King Michael and Queen Anne are the parents of five daughters.

On the day King Michael turned 90, he gave a historic speech in the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest, saying that “the time has come after 20 years to … break for good with the bad habits of the past”.   The king also denounced the “demagogy, selfishness and attempts to cling to power” as being unworthy or Romanian institutions.  The king elicited a standing ovation from those present, saying that,  “it is within our power to make this country prosperous and worthy of admiration”

I’m very grateful for the help King Michael gave me in my research for my first book, “Born to Rule.”  He kindly discussed with me his reminiscences and impressions of his grandmother, Queen Marie of Romania, who is one of the protagonists in “Born to Rule.”

King Michael has endured great challenges in his long life,  including having to battle the Nazis and Soviet communists as a young king.  The New York Times in a 2007 article on the king, summed up his difficult life, which the newspaper described as having been “marked by betrayal” “from the beginning.”   A dignified and quiet man, the King has led an exemplary life and it is hoped that in his twilight years, his wish for a prosperous, respected, and dignified Romania will bear fruit.

King Michael as a young boy. If his reign, which began in 1927, had been allowed to continue uninterrupted, King Michael would have reigned for 84 years up to the point of his 90th birthday. This would have been one of the longest reigns in history (photo: Underwood/Corbis)

A photo of twenty year old King Michael of Romania, 1941 (photo: Corbis)

In 1955 in England, King Michael of Romania and Queen Anne pose for a photograph with their daughters (photo: Corbis)

King Michael of Romania returns to Bucharest in 1997 (photo: Jacques Langevin/Sygma/Corbis)

King Michael I celebrates his 90th birthday in Bucharest, Romania's capital, October 25, 2011 (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

King Michael I on his 90th birthday in Romania's Parliament, Bucharest, October 25, 2011 (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

King Michael I of Romania receives a standing ovation in the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest on his 90th birthday. Also in the photograph are his eldest daughter, Princess Margarita and her husband, Prince Radu (photo: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND PRINCE PHILIP CONTINUE THEIR VISIT TO AUSTRALIA

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh continued their official visit to Australia.  On this day, the Queen and Prince Philip attended church in Canberra.  Afterwards, they went on a walkabout and greeted cheering crowds.  On Monday, October 24, 2011, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh left Canberra and arrived in Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city.  Nine months ago, 30,000 homes in Brisbane were submerged in floods.   The Queen paid tribute to the “resilience and courage of Queenslanders who bravely picked up their lives and rebuilt them.”   The queen also thanked Brisbane for the enthusiastic reception, commending their “energy and optimism.”  Thousands greeted the royal couple, packing the banks of the Brisbane River.

Queen Elizabeth II receives flowers from children in Canberra (pohto: pool/Getty Images)

After church on Sunday, October 23, 2011, the Queen went on a walkabout in Canberra, Australia (pohto: pool/Getty Images)

The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, waves upon their arrival in Brisbane, Australia, October 24, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II and Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensland, October 24, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen and Prince Philip in Brisbane, October 24, 2011 (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen and one of her famous handbags (photo: Pool/Getty Images)

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH VISIT THE ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE IN CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Royal Military College in Duntroon, Canberra on Saturday, October 22, 2011 during their ten day official visit to Australia.  The presided over the presentation of new colors and inspected  the troops.  Prince Philip also  attended, along with the Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, the Commonwealth Studies Conference at Government House.

The Queen inspects officers during the Presentation of the Colours to the Royal Military College in Canberra (photo: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images)

The Queen presides over the Presentation of Colours, Royal Military College, Canberra, Australia (photo: Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images)

The Queen inspects troops at the Royal Military College, Canberra (photo: Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II presents colours at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Canberra (photo: Alan Porritt/AFP/Getty Images)

The Queen and Prince Phlip stand at attention at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Canberra, October 22, 2011 (photo: Kym Smith -Pool/Getty Images)

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Governor General of Australia, Quentin Bryce at Government House (photo: Getty Images)

In the center of the photo, Prince Philip listens intently while the Governor General of Australia makes a speech at the Commonwealth Studies Conference at Government House, Canberra, October 22, 2011 (photo: Andew Sheargold-Poo/Getty Images)

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