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Posts Tagged ‘Prince William’

He met the Queen, my husband, John, did. As in Her Majesty, The Queen. Elizabeth II. Mother of Prince Charles. Grandmother to Princes William and Harry. Great-grandmother to the little royals. John grew up in a small fishing community in the Northeast of Scotland, far from the gilded elegance of London. But it’s one of those things, I suppose, that the longer one lives in the United Kingdom, the more likely one is to meet, bump into, or at least see one of them–a member of the royal family.

It’s like being an American in L.A. Sooner or later you’ll recognize someone from the Silver Screen. Two of my siblings lived there, and seemed to post weekly pics of famous people they’d helped in their retail jobs. Jackie Chan, Helena Bonham Carter, and the list goes on. My brother ended up with a part in a YouTube video with Richard Simmons (which thankfully didn’t involve exercise). My sister made a friend who lives in the same gated community as Reese Witherspoon. He let my sister use his house for her birthday party one year (which I got to attend!). We all chuckled at the story of Reese coming to his house trick-or-treating with her kids. He handed out Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and in her sweet Southern voice, she replied, “Very funny.” I can just hear it.

There’s something just a bit different, though–a little more magical and surreal–about meeting The Queen and all her family. And stories, both magical and surreal, are what I mean to tell.

Wouldn’t we all have loved to be a university student at St Andrews, where Prince William and Catherine met and fell in love? The daughter of a minister at a church we attended was a student there, and one day got a lovely surprise when Prince William himself opened a door for her. Always the gentleman. Sigh.

And wouldn’t the scenery in the hills of the Scottish highlands have seemed all the more green and glorious had a group of poshly dressed people come along the trail–and one of the them was Prince Charles, who bid you good day? That’s exactly what happened to a woman from our church.

But not all of my stories are of chance encounters.

John met the Queen at 14. He was active in the Boys’ Brigade, a sort of Boy Scouts with Christian roots, and one summer his troop was on parade at Windsor Castle. As the Queen inspected the ranks, she stopped every so often to speak with one of the boys. I like to think it was my husband’s bright crop of ginger hair that caught the Queen’s attention.

“And where have you traveled from?” she asked him, in the way only the Queen could.

He answered, all earnestness and Scottish brogue.

“My,” she smiled, “you have come a long way.”

It wasn’t the lengthiest of interactions, but quite special none-the-less, and a story I surmise we’ll pass down to our grandchildren.

My sister got to see the Queen and Prince Charles. John’s great aunt had secured tickets for the Royal Highland Games (think bagpipes, and kilted men tossing large logs called cabers). The games were held at Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s highland residence, which first belonged to Queen Victoria. John and I had only been married a year, and as he had the day off, I decided to forego Balmoral and stay home with him. Ah, young love. And so I missed my chance to see the Queen, although my sister showed me her photos!

And what of the younger royals? University friends of ours attended a charity event and got near enough to Prince William and Catherine Middleton to snap some close-ups (which they kindly shared with me–hope you like them!).

But my stories don’t end here. Next time–your personal invite inside the gates of Buckingham Palace for The Queen’s Garden Party, and even more up-close and personal stories of the Royal Family.

And if you didn’t catch the story of the weekend I spent in England with some almost royals and totally embarrassed myself, you can find that here.

Avonlea xo

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Finding beauty in the everyday 

 

 

 

 

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The newly wed Prince William and Kate Middleton were in Prince Edward Island, Canada, earlier this week. Prince Edward Island, as in home of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, by Canadian author Lucy Maude Montgomery.

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Prince Edward Island, as in the setting for the Sullivan Entertainment program Road to Avonlea, also based on Lucy Maude Montgomery’s books. I can’t help but think that if Mrs. Linde and Aunt Hetty were alive . . . and, em, real people, this royal visit would have made their year!

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A royal visit to P.E. Island–now that is my sort of headline! Click on the link below to read about the visit and learn Kate’s opinion of Anne.

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Royal-Tour/2011-07-05/article-2631740/Duchess-says-she-read-Anne-of-Green-Gables-as-a-girl/1

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Do you suppose that as Prince William slipped the gold ring onto his bride’s finger last Friday that her mother might have turned to Kate’s father and whispered, “I was sure she could not be so beautiful for nothing!” just as Mrs. Bennett said to her eldest daughter Jane after the announcement of her engagement to the wealthy Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice.

Even more than we like the princess getting the prince, we do so like it when the Cinderella–the common girl–gets the prince, do we not? So long as she is good and worthy, of course, and from what we can tell, Kate Middleton–or the Duchess of Cambridge, I suppose we must now address her–does seem to fit the shoe very well.

As Kate stepped onto the Buckingham Palace balcony and saw the crowds waving and cheering below, her first word was “Wow.” I smiled to myself, for it gave me the tiniest glimpse of what it must be like to be in her real life princess shoes. To be suddenly moved from just another middle class girl to the wife of the future king. Wow indeed.

He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: "What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?" ~ I Capture the Castle

And speaking of first lines, how well-acquainted are you with some of our other favourite literary heroines? Can you identify the below novels by their first lines?

  1. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
  2. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
  3. Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow . . .
  4. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
  5. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
  6. “The Signora had no business to do it,” said Miss Bartlett, “no business at all.”
  7. The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex.
  8. I wish I could write that I began my journey by train.
  9. It is a truth universally acknowledged,  that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
  10. To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood.
  11. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
  12. ‘HASTE TO THE WEDDING’ ‘Wooed and married and a’.’
  13. When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.
  14. Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day.
  15. Once on a dark winter’s day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.
  16. I have just returned from a visit to my landlord–the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.
  17. Scarlet O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
  18. No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.

~ ANSWERS BELOW ~

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot

2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

3. Anne of  Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

6. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

8. Beyond the Castle by Avonlea Q. Krueger *

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

10. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

11. Emma  by Jane Austen

12. North  and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

13. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

14. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

15. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

17. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

18. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

*Ah, I couldn’t help but add the first line to my own novel, Beyond the Castle. My heroine’s name is Florence Elliot, and I think you shall like her very much. I hope to give you the chance to get to know her better in the weeks to come!

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Coming up in my next post, more on the life of Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre, as well as film locations and other information on the most recent adaptation of the novel.

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There’s to be a wedding–a royal wedding! And I’m more than a little pleased to be living in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for this fairytale event. For what could be more fairytale-like than an average girl marrying a real prince? Prince William, heir to the throne, met Catherine Middletone, or Kate, as she is called, at St Andrews University in Scotland. She’s not a princess, a duchess, or lady (though she will inherit a title after the wedding), and yet she is marrying a prince. The last time a commoner married a future king of England was in 1660. Sigh . . .

They’re a handsome couple, are they not?

Prince William and Kate Middleton at their engagement photo shoot.

Love, weddings, and things of beauty are worth celebrating, and I do believe that this wedding will be a beautiful event. It’s also a truly good excuse to dust off your china (or your mugs) and have some friends round for a cup of tea. Add some Scottish shortbread, scones with jam and clotted cream, and perhaps a few cucumber sandwiches, and your spread will be British enough to feel you’re joining in on Kate and Wills’s big day.

For those of you who aren’t regular tea drinkers, but would like a British experience, Britain’s favourite tea is black tea (Tetley or Scottish Blend are two favourite brands), one tea bag per cup or three to a pot. It’s usually served with a splash of milk (though I take mine black), and very occasionally with a bit of sugar. Shortbread can be found the world over, I believe. I’m not so sure about clotted cream, but this can be replaced with mascarpone cheese. Either taste delicious when combined with a good strawberry or raspberry jam.

Don’t forget a pretty tablecloth and napkins, along with some fresh flowers for your table.

If you’d like to do a bit more, ask your guests to dress up in your favourite British era, be it medieval, Georgian, Victorian, or even the 1960s.

If children will be present, decorate some fairycakes (cupcakes) with little crowns or the Union Jack (our flag). To keep them busy, click on the following link for free colouring sheets of Prince William and Kate and other fun activities centred around the royal wedding.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the_royal_wedding.htm

Scones with clotted cream and jam

Although the guests will begin to arrive at the abbey at around 9am, the bride will arrive at 11am on Friday, 29th April. This is 6am for the eastern part of the United States, so if you live in America, or another part of the world where the wedding is at a time that makes it difficult to watch, then record it to watch later.

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Some other details from the wedding:

  • The fashion savvy Kate Middleton will wear a dress which she designed herself! The design is rumoured to be reminiscent of the Renaissance period, taking inspiration from her History of Art degree.
  • Kate will be driven in a Rolls Royce through London to Westminster Abbey along the traditional processional route of the Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square.
  • Prince William will travel in a Bentley, accompanied by his brother, Prince Harry.
  • The service will be conducted by the dean of the abbey, the Very Rev John Hall. The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will marry the couple and the Right Rev Richard Chartres, the bishop of London and a longstanding friend of the royal family, will give the address.
  • Prince Harry is to be the best man and Kate has asked her younger sister Philippa – known to her family as Pippa – to be her maid of honour.
  • At the end of the service, the couple will travel by carriage to Buckingham Palace.
  • The Queen will give a lunchtime reception a Buckingham Palace. During the reception the couple will appear on the Buckingham Palace Balcony.
  • In the evening, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, will give a dinner at Buckingham Palace for the couple and their close friends and family.
  • Details on the honeymoon have yet to be announced!

For more information, photographs, and videos about the music, menu, and magic of this royal event, visit the official royal wedding website at http://www.officialroyalwedding2011.org/tag/homepage/page/1

~ Do tell me how  you celebrated the day!

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