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British Royal Family
The British Royal Family - articles
It's a funny thing, but when I lived in England, I never really paid much attention to the Royal Family.
I don't know why exactly.They were just there - simply part of the fabric of British life.
It was when I moved away from the UK that I suddenly started to really notice them. Maybe that's understandable. Recently, I've written quite a few articles about them so decided to get them together in one handy place.
They are fascinating people in their own right but also royalty is an interesting concept. Part of this is,of course, the historical aspect ... but it's also part soap opera too.
My mum was born at much the same time as our present Queen (and I rather think that my middle name was determined by what the Queen named her own daughter) and I think that it's marvelous that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been married for such a length of time and still undertake a huge workload.
Let's start with our Queen
Isn't that a wonderful photograph?
Today, we see the Queen as an old lady (a 'senior' to be politically correct) and tend to forget what she was like as a young woman.
She was extremely good-looking and had a spectacular figure. She was also seen very much as a fashion icon, believe it or not.
Women of around her age, like my mum for example, emulated her style - in the same way that the Duchess of Cambridge influences style today, and Diana did in her time
She never expected to become Queen. It was only when her uncle, Edward, abdicated that her father unexpectedly became king and she became next in line to the throne. What's more, she married a handsome prince from a far off foreign land...
In the same way that some girls see Prince William as something of a heartthrob, so was his grandfather in his young days.
The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, met this dashing young member of the exiled Greek royal family when she was a young teenager.
When they married, Prince Philip became a British citizen and the Duke Of Edinburgh. There were a few mutterings about her marrying a Greek - the war was fresh in the nation's memory - but he soon won the hearts of the British people. Young women of my mum's generation saw him as a pin-up. Philip was always forthright and has his own eccentric sense of humour.
The forgotten princess
Do you know who this is?
To be honest, I won't be surprised if you don't.
Yet in the fifties, sixties and seventies she was constantly in the news. For this is Princess Margaret, the late sister of the Queen.
She had a tempestuous life and was torn between her duty to her sister and her own rebellious nature. Eager to perform her royal duties, she was also eager to have fun away from the established routine.The first time she had to choose between her country and her own life was when she fell in love with a married man. Even though he divorced his wife, he was not seen as a suitable husband for a princess.
She had to choose (rather like her uncle before her) whether to carry on as a royal or renounce her royal state for her true love.
Before we move on
This is one of the most popular members of the royal family in living memory. Do you know who this is?
This is our Queen's mother, popularly known in later years as 'the Queen Mum'.
In later life, she was seen as a lovely old lady who liked a drop of gin and wore flowery hats -everyone's favorite granny. But she was far more than that.
In fact, read the article to see what Hitler had to say about her. Have you seen the movie The King's Speech? She was the strong and forceful lady you saw. In addition, she brought up our current Queen.
She's a lady you need to know more about, I think..... she made the royal family real.
Captured in time
This is fascinating.
Let me ask you - how many people can you think of whose voice has been recorded on a regular basis for over sixty years? Recordings that still exist today?
I've racked my brains pondering this question and can only think of one person.This has given linguists a wonderful opportunity.
So in this article, you'll find videos of the Queen speaking in the 1950s as a newly-crowned monarch AND her speaking when opening parliament recently.
Early in her reign, for example, when talking about herself and the duke, she would say 'may hesbend end ay'. As the years have passed, she has become 'less posh'. This was admirably demonstrated during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics when she 'parachuted' into the stadium in the company of James Bond.
Yes, that video is on the article too.
An equestrian family
From their earliest days, both Philip and Elizabeth loved horses.
He was an excellent polo player, a skill that was later seen in his son Charles and grandsons William and Harry.
"Granny' too rode from an early age - and still does. She rides, privately now, but in earlier times rode in ceremonial occasions.
This too has passed through the generations as daughter Anne and granddaughter Zara have both competed successfully in equestrian Olympic events.
There is a video in the article that you must not miss - she was leading a procession through the public streets of London when a shot rang out, fired from the crowd. All the horses panic. See how our monarch handled hers. Fantastic.
Which leads me to...
...the younger generation.
This photograph shows Zara Philips, granddaughter of Elizabeth and daughter of Princess Anne.
She married a lovely chap - rugby player Mike Tindall - and in 2013 announced that they were expecting their first child early in the new year. They had a lovely little girl, Mia Grace.
This new generation of royals lead a far more 'normal' life than they had in the past and are free to pursue their owns interests in a more unrestricted way. She, like her mother before her, continued to ride during her pregnancy - something I would imagine would have been frowned on in previous years.
A new generation begins
Zara and Mike announced that they were expecting their first child just a few days before Prince William and his wife received their own son, George Alexander Louis.
Britain's new prince was born on July 22nd, 2013.The birth was announced to the press and to officials via email, showing that we truly do have a new generation. Twitter was going crazy all day as people all over the world knew that the Duchess, the former Kate Middleton, had entered the hospital that morning.
During the pregnancy speculation - and betting had been widespread - there were rumors and false information. The couple had decided that they didn't want to know the sex of the baby in advance ... everyone was sure it was a girl.
Image © Tropical Sun Design.
Find out more about the family and their history.
Now that we have another royal baby on the way (Catherine and William announced their second pregnancy in August 2014) more are more people are becoming fascinated by the British Royal Family.
The complete set - what a wonderful gift idea.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson