Tag Archives: buckingham palace

London: Then and Now

London is one of the oldest cities in the world. It has been the home of some of the most influential people in history. The city has fostered artists, musicians, authors, monarchs, and some of the greatest thinkers in the Western world. William Shakespeare, the father of English literature, once directed his ageless plays from London’s own Globe Theatre. Queen Victoria, ruler of a planet-encompassing empire, reigned from the city’s Buckingham Palace. London’s fame started centuries ago, and its character has remained strong throughout the years.

image courtesy Joseph Plotz

In circa 1173, biographer William Fitz Stephen wrote of his beloved city:

Among the noble and celebrated cities of the world that of London, the capital of the kingdom of the English, is one which extends its glory farther than all the others and sends its wealth and merchandise more widely into distant lands. Higher than all the rest does it lift its head. It is happy in the healthiness of its air; in its observance of Christian practice; in the strength of its fortifications; in its natural situation; in the honour of its citizens; and in the modesty of its matrons. It is cheerful in its sports, and the fruitful mother of noble men … If the mildness of the climate of this place softens the characters of its inhabitants, it does not make them corrupt in following Venus, but rather prevents them from being fierce and bestial, making them liberal and kind.

London over the years has seen waves of change, but to this day, its citizens are proud and happy to call the city their home. Even now, they embrace its history, its culture, its ever-vibrant life – at least, some of them do. In the following video, vlogger Charlie McDonnell speedily walks by many of London’s most famous sites, braving the drizzly rain and the Tube like every other happy Londoner.

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Getting Ready for the Royal Wedding

Everyone loves a fairy-tale romance… and even though it is Prince William, I think most of us will try to forgive him for actually getting married. The fact that Kate Middleton wasn’t a princess to begin with… well, it could have been any of us. Since their engagement was announced last November, the details of the Royal Wedding have been leaking all over the place. From the fruit cake to the London Chamber Orchestra to the RAF flypasts – it will undoubtedly be a lavish affair. For a schedule of the events of the day, click here.

For some reason, I haven’t received my invitation to the wedding yet, but there are ways to celebrate from home, I suppose, as I watch from the telly. For instance, I could make my own Royal Wedding Cake – you can find the official cake recipe here.

Another option would be to buy my own Princess Diana engagement ring, but that might be a little extravagant…

Since I won’t be travelling to London for the wedding, I must submit to the indignity of watching the celebration on television. The wedding is scheduled for this Friday (April 29, 2011), but because I’m in Hawaii, live coverage may start at 11:30 the night before (if we even get live coverage). I hope to catch it on BBC America at some point.

William and Kate will be married in the gorgeous Westminster Abbey:

…with a reception following at Buckingham Palace…

courtesy Christian Horcel via Wikimedia Commons

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