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Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, is retiring from royal duties this autumn, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The decision was made by the Duke of Edinburgh himself and is supported by the Queen, a palace spokesman said.

Prince Philip, who turns 96 next month, will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August but will not accept new invitations.

The Queen “will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements”, the palace said.

Prince Philip carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, according to Court Circular listings.

Image source Wikimedia

The duke is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organizations and will continue to be associated with them, but “will no longer play an active role by attending engagements”, Buckingham Palace said.

In the statement, the palace spokesman said the duke “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time”.

Prince Philip attended Lord’s Cricket Ground to open a new stand on Wednesday and was heard joking at the event that he is the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.

He is famed for off-the-cuff remarks he has made at royal engagements around the world over the years.

PM Theresa May said she offered the UK’s “deepest gratitude and good wishes” to the duke following his announcement.

She added: “From his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen to his inspirational Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the wider world will be of huge benefit to us all for years to come.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wished the duke “all the best in his well-earned retirement”, saying: “He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty.

“His Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations.”

Prince Philip set up the awards in 1956 and they have become one of the UK’s best-known youth programs, with young people carrying out challenges to earn bronze, silver or gold awards.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girls’ education campaigner who has found international fame since being shot by Taliban militants last year, met with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen and Prince Philip invited the young activist to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time.

Malala Yousafzai, who was accompanied by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, presented the Queen with a copy of her newly published memoir, titled I am Malala.

“It’s nice to meet you and it’s a great honor coming here, and I wanted to present you my book,” Malala Yousafzai said when she met the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth responded: “That’s very kind of you. Thank you very much indeed.”

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip invited Malala Yousafzai to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip invited Malala Yousafzai to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time

Malala Yousafzai, 16, said she hoped the two could work together to make sure all children receive an education, not just in Pakistan, but in the UK, too.

“I hope that we will all work together for the education of every child, and especially in this country as well, because I have heard about many children that cannot go to school,” said the Queen.

“So I hope that we will continue our work on youth empowerment.”

Prince Philip made a joke about children and education when meeting Malala Yousafzai at the palace.

“It’s one thing about children going to school,” he said, “they go to school because their parents don’t want them in the house.”

In an interview with CNN last week, Malala Yousafzai joked that she was going “because it’s the order of the Queen, it’s the command.”

Malala Yousafzai has been based in Britain since she was rushed there for major surgery after the Taliban shot her in the head in her native Pakistan because of her efforts to promote girls’ education.

Last Friday, as the world marked the International Day of the Girl, Malala Yousafzai met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

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Kate Middleton has given birth to a baby boy, Kensington Palace has announced this evening.

The baby was delivered at 16:24 BST at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, weighing 8lb 6oz.

Prince William said in a statement the couple “could not be happier”.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will remain in the hospital overnight.

The news has been displayed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in line with tradition.

A bulletin – signed by the Queen’s gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, who led the medical team that delivered the baby – was taken by a royal aide from St Mary’s to the palace under police escort.

The document said: “Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24 pm today.

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”

The news of royal baby boy arrival has been displayed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in line with tradition

The news of royal baby boy arrival has been displayed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in line with tradition

When the news was announced, a large cheer went up from well-wishers and journalists outside the hospital while a large crowd greeted the posting of the bulletin outside Buckingham Palace.

The Kensington Palace press release said Prince William was present for the birth of his son, who will be known as the Prince of Cambridge.

“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news,” it said.

And the Prince of Wales, in a separate statement, said he and the Duchess of Cornwall were “overjoyed at the arrival of my first grandchild.

“It is an incredibly special moment for William and Catherine and we are so thrilled for them on the birth of their baby boy,” he added.

“Grandparenthood is a unique moment in anyone’s life, as countless kind people have told me in recent months, so I am enormously proud and happy to be a grandfather for the first time and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the baby in the near future.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton spent time bonding with their son before they told the family their news, according to new reports.

Royal doctor Michael Setchell described the new arrival as “wonderful baby, beautiful baby”.

PM David Cameron, speaking outside Downing Street, hailed the “wonderful news”.

“It is an important moment in the life of our nation but I suppose, above all, it’s a wonderful moment for a warm and loving couple who’ve got a brand new baby boy,” he added.

He said the Royal Family could “know that a proud nation is celebrating with a very proud and happy couple tonight”.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said: “I am sure that people across Scotland will be absolutely thrilled to hear the news of the birth of a baby boy to the Royal couple and will want to join me in wishing the proud parents many congratulations.”

And Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones congratulated the couple “on behalf of the people of Wales” as “they enter their journey into parenthood”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, meanwhile, said he was “delighted to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the arrival of their baby boy”.

“Along with millions here and around the world, I share in their joy at this special time,” he added.

“May God bless this family with love, health and happiness in their shared life ahead.”

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Well-wishers have gathered outside Buckingham Palace as the world anxiously waits for Kate Middleton to give birth to the future king or queen.

Despite being the hottest day of the year so far, thousands of people have gathered in London to celebrate the royal baby’s arrival while the Queen is now waiting at her home for her great-grandchild to be born.

Kate Middleton, who has Prince William by her side, was driven from Kensington Palace to the private Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, at around 5.30 a.m. today.

A team of royal protection officers rushed Kate Middleton in via a rear exit, the same route taken by Princess Diana when she gave birth to Prince William in 1982.

This afternoon there was a large police presence around the hospital as royal fans gathered as they waited for news about the soon-to-be mother and baby.

Well-wishers have gathered outside Buckingham Palace as the world anxiously waits for Kate Middleton to give birth to the future king or queen

Well-wishers have gathered outside Buckingham Palace as the world anxiously waits for Kate Middleton to give birth to the future king or queen

Meanwhile, many more gathered outside Buckingham Palace, where the official announcement of the baby’s birth will be made on an easel to be placed at its gates.

Excitement reached feverish levels outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon when the Queen arrived home from Windsor Castle, where the huge crowd surged dangerously as she was driven through the gates.

Scores of people ran towards her vehicle screaming “The Queen!”, while others reached into their pockets to grab their camera phones in an effort to catch Her Majesty’s fleeting appearance.

The months of speculation and anticipation – dubbed the Great Kate Wait – built to a climax this morning amid news that the Duchess of Cambridge had been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labor.

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Kate Middleton and Prince William’s baby will become the first ever Prince or Princess of Cambridge, Buckingham Palace has announced today.

The official title of the royal baby, thought to be due on Saturday, July 13, will be His or Her Royal Highness the Prince or Princess of Cambridge.

The baby will be born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, where William was born in 1982.

The Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Paul Saunders, said it was a “great honor” for the historic city.

“It is a great honor and I’m sure the people of Cambridge will appreciate it greatly,” he said.

“I think it’s lovely to continue the close link with the Royal family. I think anything which helps to keep Cambridge in the public eye is a good thing as we rely on tourism.”

Former Cambridge mayor Cllr Sheila Stewart, who met Kate Middleton on the royal visit to the city last year, believes having a prince or princess is a first for the city.

“When we did a lot of research after it was first announced that the couple were to get the title, nothing like that was found. There were some dukes of Cambridge but not a prince or princess,” she said.

Kate Middleton’s baby will become the first ever Prince or Princess of Cambridge

Kate Middleton’s baby will become the first ever Prince or Princess of Cambridge

The Dukedom of Cambridge was created in 1801 but became extinct on the death of the 2nd Duke of Cambridge in 1904.

It was bestowed upon Prince William on April 29, 2011, by the Queen on his wedding day.

A palace spokesman said: “The royal couple’s child will officially be known as His or Her Royal Highness the Prince or Princess of Cambridge.”

He said any other children the couple have will also be known by the same title.

Anticipation is mounting around the imminent birth, with photographers already camped out outside St Mary’s Hospital.

Once the baby has been safely delivered, Prince William’s first call will be to the Queen on an encrypted phone.

At the same time, the Royal couple’s private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton will inform Prime Minister David Cameron and a small number of other highly placed individuals, including the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Back at Buckingham Palace, officials will notify the head of each of the 54 Commonwealth countries and the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For the public, an official notice announcing the birth will be placed in a glass-fronted easel and attached to the gates of the Palace.

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Kate Middleton made her last public appearance before the birth of her first child when she joined thousands of well-wishers to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday at the Trooping the Color parade today.

Wearing a pale pink Alexander McQueen coat and matching hat, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is eight months pregnant, travelled to the pageant in a carriage with the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.

Kate Middelton smiled and waved at the crowds lining the route as the carriage drove to the televised military spectacle which is held every year at Horse Guards Parade in London’s Whitehall.

But it would appear the chilly weather was a bit too cold for the royal family, and they covered their laps with blue blankets.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her birthday with traditional pomp and circumstance – but without her husband by her side.

Prince Philip remains in the hospital, recovering from exploratory abdominal surgery.

Instead the Queen invited her cousin, the Duke of Kent, to join her in her glass coach for the short journey from Buckingham Palace along The Mall.

It is thought to be only the third time that Prince Philip has missed the event after not attending in 1962 and 1968 when he was away on royal tours.

She first took the royal salute in 1951 – when she deputized for her sick father, King George VI – and has continued receiving the mark of respect every year except 1955 when there was a national rail strike.

Kate Middleton made her last public appearance before the birth of her first child when she joined thousands of well-wishers to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's official birthday at the Trooping the Color parade

Kate Middleton made her last public appearance before the birth of her first child when she joined thousands of well-wishers to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday at the Trooping the Color parade

The Queen, dressed in a royal blue Angela Kelly coat and hat with a matching lace dress, looked on under cloudy skies which parted now and then to reveal the sun.

Other royals watching included the Duke of York and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their daughter Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor.

The Queen took the royal salute as members of the royal family looked on.

Taking part in the ceremony on horseback are the Prince Charles – who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, the Princess Royal – who is Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and Prince William – who is Colonel of the Irish Guards.

More than 1,000 soldiers, horses and musicians are taking part in the parade known as “Trooping the Color”, an annual ceremony marking the queen’s official birthday.

The ceremony is also an important social occasion for the Guardsmen taking part and gives their wives, girlfriends, and relatives the chance to celebrate the achievements of the young men and enjoy the spectacle.

Many of the spectators in the stands overlooking the parade ground were dressed in morning suits or smart suits, while women wore dresses topped with hats and fascinators.

After the parade ended, the Queen was cheered by crowds gathered along the Mall as she was driven back to Buckingham Palace, where she watched an aerial display by the RAF.

Following the parade, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute in Green Park to mark the Queen’s official birthday.

The royals then gathered on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the traditional RAF flypast.

Thousands of spectators crowded around the front of the palace and on The Mall, many cheering as a succession of planes roared overhead.

Among the featured 32 aircraft were 13 different types – from the famous Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster aircraft of the RAF Memorial Flight – to modern multi-role Typhoon fighters.

The Red Arrows completed the flypast – leaving a trail of red, white and blue smoke which swept across the sky behind them.

After the splendid ceremony, the Queen paid a visit to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is recovering from exploratory abdominal surgery at a London hospital.

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Prince Philip has been admitted to hospital for an exploratory operation, Buckingham Palace has said.

The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to the London Clinic “following abdominal investigations” and is expected to stay in the hospital for up to two weeks.

The operation will take place on Friday under general anaesthetic. It is a planned, not an emergency, admittance.

Prince Philip, who will be 92 on 10 June, pulled out of an official engagement earlier this week.

In the past week, the duke has been having unannounced “abdominal investigations” at the hospital in central London, said BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt.

The Palace said in a statement that “further updates will be issued when appropriate”.

On Monday, Prince Philip pulled out of an engagement for the Royal National Institute of Blind People after becoming unwell ahead of last week’s service marking 60 years since the Queen’s coronation.

Prince Philip attended the service at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday and was present at a garden party attended by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Thursday afternoon.

Guests said he gave no signs of being unwell.

Prince Philip was driven to the clinic after the party and walked in unaided.

Prince Philip has been admitted to hospital for an exploratory operation

Prince Philip has been admitted to hospital for an exploratory operation

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “He is in very good health.”

She added: “He felt unwell on Monday and missed an engagement, but that was down to the fact he had temporarily lost his voice.”

A Palace spokesman at the London Clinic described the Duke of Edinburgh as being in good spirits.

The spokesman stressed it was not an emergency admission and the decision was taken by the duke’s doctors to carry out the exploratory operation after investigations and tests last week.

Police officers were standing guard outside the hospital ahead of Philip’s operation.

In April, Buckingham Palace played down fears about the Duke of Edinburgh’s health after he was pictured with purplish skin round his eye in Canada. It said he did not fall and simply woke up with the discoloration.

Prince Philip, 91, has been admitted to hospital three other times in the past two years after suffering health scares.

In August 2012, he was treated at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for a bladder infection.

The Duke of Edinburgh spent four days in hospital over Christmas 2011, following an operation to clear a blocked heart artery.

After attending events to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June, he was admitted to hospital for five nights missing several days of festivities after sustaining a bladder infection.

Writing on Twitter, PM David Cameron said: “My best wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh who is in hospital tonight. I hope he has a swift recovery.”

On Friday, Prince Philip was due to accompany the Queen when she officially opens the BBC’s New Broadcasting House building in central London. The Queen will now undertake the visit alone.

Prince Philip was at the Queen’s side at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday for the coronation service and on Wednesday toured a Victorian steamship, the SS Robin, in London’s East End.

Ahead of the garden party, Queen Elizabeth II invested her husband with New Zealand’s highest honor to mark the Diamond Jubilee making him an additional member of the Order of New Zealand.

The Duke of Edinburgh would miss the Trooping the Colour parade on June 15, marking the Queen’s official birthday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has been hospitalized as a precaution, while she is assessed for symptoms of gastroenteritis, Buckingham Palace says.

The 86-year-old monarch has been taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London, a palace spokesman said.

All official engagements for this week, including the Queen’s trip to Rome, will be either cancelled or postponed.

Queen Elizabeth was driven to hospital by private car on Sunday, and the palace said she was “in good spirits”.

She had earlier carried out a medal presentation at Windsor Castle, where she has been resting over the weekend.

A spokesman for the Queen said she was in “good health”, besides the symptoms of gastroenteritis.

He said: “This is a precautionary measure.

“She was not taken into hospital immediately after feeling the symptoms. This is simply to enable doctors to better assess her.”

The Queen will remain in hospital under observation for about two days.

Queen Elizabeth was last in hospital 10 years ago for a minor knee operation.

News of the Queen’s illness emerged on Friday night, and she was forced to cancel a trip to Swansea on Saturday to mark St David’s Day in a military ceremony.

Queen Elizabeth II has been hospitalized as a precaution, while she is assessed for symptoms of gastroenteritis

Queen Elizabeth II has been hospitalized as a precaution, while she is assessed for symptoms of gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis causes inflammation of the stomach lining and intestines.

The infection can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or contaminated food and drink. Symptoms can include vomiting, fever and stomach ache.

Commenting on the monarch’s medical condition, Professor Christopher Hawkey, of the University of Nottingham’s faculty of medicine and health sciences, said: “The likely cause with the Queen is the norovirus, the winter vomiting virus.

“Because it is infectious, we try to not admit people to hospital as it can start the outbreaks we hear of.”

“But not everyone can keep up with oral hydration, so it is pretty routine to go to hospital and have a drip and wait for the thing to pass and keep yourself hydrated,” he added.

The Queen had been due to spend two days in Rome with the Duke of Edinburgh next weekend, at the invitation of Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano.

It is not now clear whether the visit will be re-scheduled.

A reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday for MPs and MEPs will go ahead with other members of the royal family present.

The Queen may well have gone to hospital slightly unwillingly, as her inclination is not to make a fuss.

During last year’s celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen spent a rain-drenched day journeying down the Thames as part of the river pageant – after which her husband, the 91-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, was taken to hospital with a bladder infection.

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Kate Middleton was said to have cancelled all engagements this month so she could rest and recover from the bout of severe morning sickness that left her hospitalized.

But there are some events that not even a convalescing Duchess of Cambridge can get out of – Firm (a nickname for the British Royal Family) commitments.

Kate Middleton, who is less than 12 weeks pregnant, was seen today arriving at Buckingham Palace today to enjoy a pre-Christmas lunch with other members of the Royal family.

Fortunately Kate Middleton seems to have put the worst of her illness behind her and looked in good health for the annual event hosted by the Queen to ensure those family members she doesn’t have enough room for at Sandringham still get a chance to celebrate in style.

Christmas itself is spent at the private Norfolk estate where her immediate family celebrates the festive season each year.

Unusually, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived for today’s gathering separately, Prince William hitching a ride with his cousin Lord Linley.

Sources said it was more than likely because they had come from different venues that morning – perhaps Prince William was picking up some last minute Christmas presents at Linley’s eponymous Pimlico shop.

The couple were later seen being driven away together.

Kate Middleton, who is less than 12 weeks pregnant, was seen today arriving at Buckingham Palace today to enjoy a pre-Christmas lunch with other members of the Royal family

Kate Middleton, who is less than 12 weeks pregnant, was seen today arriving at Buckingham Palace today to enjoy a pre-Christmas lunch with other members of the Royal family

Yesterday the couple made a surprise appearance at their office Christmas party at a restaurant in London’s Notting Hill, showing that the pregnant Kate Middleton is clearly on the mend after being hospitalized for three days with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition which causes severe sickness in pregnant women, earlier this month.

Prince William, like the other male members of the Royal Family, was suited and booted to within an inch of his life.

Prince Charles arrived with his beaming wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. Only his younger son, Prince Harry, was absent as he will spend Christmas fighting on the frontline in Afghanistan as an Apache attack helicopter pilot.

Princess Beatrice, wearing a floral dress, drove herself in without fanfare – although she still, contrary to reports, had a police protection officer in tow – as did her sister, Princess Eugenie.

Their father the Duke of York was also present but not, unsurprisingly, their mother Sarah, Duchess of York, who has been barred from family events for several years following a series of scandals.

Princess Michael of Kent, who celebrates her 68th birthday in January, looked astonishingly youthful as she smiled for the camera.

The royal, who is married to the Queen’s cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, has admitted using botox in the past and once joked that “toyboys keep me young”.

Also present were the Earl and Countess and Wessex and their elder daughter, Lady Louise, a particular favorite of the Queen who even watches the children’s television channel CBeebies with her.

Princess Margaret’s daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto was there with her brood, as was the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

The reclusive Duchess of Kent did not appear to have accepted an invitation but her glamorous daughter, Lady Helen Taylor, was there with her art dealer husband Timothy.

The lunch lasted two hours with Prince William and Kate Middleton leaving together this time. Eugenie was the first to head off with Charles and Camilla following shortly afterwards.

The Queen is expected to leave for Sandringham, one of her favorite residences, after the lunch for an extended Christmas break with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Hopefully this year will be happier than the last, when elderly Philip was rushed to hospital for heart surgery shortly before his family was due to arrive.

In line with their German roots – and the fact that the Queen regards Christmas Day as a religious festival – the royals swap presents on Christmas Eve.

Everyone gathers in the White Drawing room at around 4pm where the Queen and the younger members of the family put the finishing touches to a Norfolk spruce cut from the 1,000-acre estate before exchanging gifts.

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The Olympic torch has been welcomed to Buckingham Palace by members of the royal family, including Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Large crowds gathered across London to see the flame on the penultimate day of its journey around the British Isles.

The torch relay also passed through Downing Street, where it was greeted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

David Cameron earlier said the London Games would show the world “beyond doubt that Britain can deliver”.

The flame ended the day in Hyde Park where the final torchbearer lit a cauldron in front of 60,000 people who have gathered for a celebratory concert.

London Mayor Boris Johnson wished the crowds a “wonderful” Olympics, and thanked them for their support.

“Are we ready? Yes we are,” Boris Johnson said, in a rallying cry to the audience.

The Olympic torch has been welcomed to Buckingham Palace by members of the royal family, including Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge

The Olympic torch has been welcomed to Buckingham Palace by members of the royal family, including Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s men’s football team is taking on Senegal at Manchester’s Old Trafford ground.

On Friday, the Olympics will be officially opened by the Queen and the torch’s journey will come to an end during the opening ceremony.

A unanimous decision has been made over who will light the Olympic Stadium’s cauldron, LOCOG said, but it will be kept secret until the ceremony.

Earlier, David Cameron told reporters during a news conference at the Olympic Park: “This is a great moment for us. Let’s seize it.”

And he said security was his main concern ahead of the Games – an area he said he takes “personal responsibility for”.

David Cameron described a blunder in which North Korean footballers’ images were shown next to the South Korean flag as an “honest mistake”.

The prime minister called the eve of the Games “a truly momentous day for our country”.

“Seven years of waiting, planning, building, dreaming, are almost over – tomorrow, the curtain comes up, the spectators arrive, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 can officially begin.”

David Cameron also met the Republican candidate for the US presidency, Mitt Romney, during his campaigning and fundraising visit to London.

Mitt Romney had earlier expressed concerns about “disconcerting” signs of a lack of readiness for the Games.

“The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging,” Mitt Romney told a US television station.

It is “hard to know just how well it will turn out”, said Mitt Romney, who managed the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.

David Cameron responded by saying: “Of course, this is a time of some economic difficulty for the UK. Everybody knows that.

“But look at what we’re capable of achieving as a nation, even at a difficult economic time.”

Mitt Romney, who also met Labour leader Ed Miliband, later said outside Number 10: “I expect the Games to be highly successful.”

In other developments:

• Long queues outside St James’s Park in Newcastle meant some football fans missed the start of Mexico v South Korea

• The PM met David Beckham at Downing Street to discuss how to tackle world hunger. It came ahead of a “hunger summit” on the final day of the Games, Sunday 12 August

• A planned strike by East Midlands Trains (EMT) during the Games was called off after a pensions dispute was settled

• LOCOG apologized after an official football programme listed Welsh footballer Joe Allen as English. It said the error would be corrected for Team GB’s next match

• A global investment conference in London kicked off a series of business summits intended to showcase the UK and attract investment during the Games

• A new record for arrivals at Heathrow is expected to be set on Thursday, with up to 125,000 incoming passengers

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The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations are to conclude with a glittering procession and service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

 

The Queen's Jubilee celebrations are to conclude with a glittering procession and service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral

The Queen's Jubilee celebrations are to conclude with a glittering procession and service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral

10:30 St Paul’s service begins

11:30 The Queen is driven to Mansion House reception

12:45 Livery hosts Diamond Jubilee Lunch at Westminster Hall

14:20 Carriage procession begins

14:40 Royal Family arrives at Buckingham Palace

 

The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations are to conclude with a glittering procession and service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Prince Philip is still in hospital with a bladder infection and will miss the final events marking the Queen’s 60-year reign.

A service at St Paul’s Cathedral will be followed by a carriage procession and, weather allowing, an RAF flypast.

Queen Elizabeth II recorded a message of thanks to the nation ahead of a star-studded concert at Buckingham Palace on Monday.

The two-minute message, filmed in her private apartments at the palace, will be broadcast at 18:00 BST on radio and television in the UK and across the Commonwealth.

Crowds have started building up outside St Paul’s and Buckingham Palace, which the Queen will leave at 10:15 BST in her state Bentley for the service.

The fourth day of celebrations will be a more formal affair, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, giving a sermon in front of the Royal Family and leading national figures.

Prime Minister David Cameron will lead the large representation from the government at St Paul’s alongside diplomats and foreign leaders.

After the service, the Queen will attend a reception at Mansion House – the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will attend a similar event at the Guildhall.

The Queen's Jubilee celebrations are to conclude with a glittering procession and service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral

The Queen's Jubilee celebrations are to conclude with a glittering procession and service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral

A City of London Livery companies lunch at Westminster Hall will follow, after which the royals will take part in a carriage procession through Whitehall.

Guests will dine on salmon, followed by Welsh lamb, grilled Isle of Wight asparagus, Jersey Royal potatoes and chocolate delice, bread and butter pudding and berry compote with apple sauce.

Personnel from all three armed services will line the streets for the procession, and the King’s Troop will fire a 60-gun salute.

As the royals arrive back in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, there will be a guard of honor. They will then gather on the balcony to watch a fly-past of World War II aircraft and a display by the Red Arrows.

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry are among the royal family members involved in the events.

Forecasters say the weather in central London will be cloudy and dry at first, with a top temperature of 14C, but there may be outbreaks of rain in the afternoon.

Prince Philip, 90, will remain under observation at King Edward VII Hospital in London, where he was taken on Monday as a “precautionary measure”.

In December, he was treated at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for a blocked coronary artery.

At the concert on Monday night, attended by 12,000 people, Prince Charles paid tribute to his mother, describing her as “mummy” and a “very special person”.

But he added there was a disappointing edge to the night.

“The only sad thing about this evening is that my father couldn’t be with us because, unfortunately, he was taken ill,” Prince Charles said.

Take That star Gary Barlow, who helped organize much of the concert and sang a duet with Cheryl Cole, said the prince’s illness was “sad, really sad”.

Robbie Williams opened the show with Let Me Entertain You and was the first to perform for the Queen when he sang big band classic Mack the Knife. Other performers included Kylie Minogue, Jessie J, Annie Lennox, Sir Tom Jones, Madness, Stevie Wonder and Sir Cliff Richard – singing a medley of his songs from six different decades.

The concert was brought to a close by Sir Paul McCartney who played hits including Magical Mystery Tour, Let It Be and a rendition of Live and Let Die, complete with fireworks and pyrotechnics.

After the show, the Queen pressed a diamond-shaped crystal into a pod, igniting a beacon in The Mall to mark her 60 years on the throne. It was one of more than 4,000 lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.

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The A-list concert for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is taking place outside Buckingham Palace.

The event kicked off with the Massed Bands of the Household Division playing for the 12,000 ticket holders and the thousands more on The Mall in London.

Pop star Robbie Williams then took to the specially-constructed stage around the Queen Victoria Memorial.

Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney are among the stars who have yet to perform before the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

The Queen was not present for the first 90 minutes of the concert, taking her seat in the Royal Box at 21:00 BST.

The evening will end with the Queen lighting one of 4,500 beacons across the world marking her 60-year reign.

The concert is being broadcast live on BBC One and BBC Radio 2 in the UK and to millions around the world.

It is a joint venture between the BBC and Gary Barlow, who co-wrote Sing, the official song for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney are among the stars who have yet to perform before the Queen and other members of the Royal Family

Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney are among the stars who have yet to perform before the Queen and other members of the Royal Family

Robbie Williams was followed on stage by Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am, his fellow Voice judge Jessie J and boy band JLS.

Gary Barlow then took to the stage himself to perform a surprise duet with Cheryl Cole.

Next on the bill was Sir Cliff Richard, who performed a decade-straddling medley of hits and his 1968 Eurovision track Congratulations.

Singer Grace Jones surely deserved some herself for performing Slave to the Rhythm while spinning a hula hoop around her midriff.

The world of classical music has been represented by Chinese pianist Lang Lang, US soprano Renee Fleming and English tenor Alfie Boe.

Other artists who have performed include Annie Lennox, Ed Sheeran and Sir Tom Jones.

Dame Shirley Bassey performed Diamonds are Forever, while Kylie Minogue – dressed as a pearly queen – was joined by street dance crew Flawless.

She was followed by Sir Elton John, who sang such tracks as Crocodile Rock and Our Song in a sparkly pink jacket.

Later pop veterans Madness will perform Our House from the roof of Buckingham Palace – the same place that Queen guitarist Brian May played the National Anthem during the Golden Jubilee concert in 2002.

Between the music acts, hosting duties are being handled by Rob Brydon, Miranda Hart, Lenny Henry and Lee Mack.

The Duke of Edinburgh is not attending the event after being taken to hospital with a bladder infection.

“We all wish him the best for a speedy recovery,” said Sir Paul McCartney.

“I hear it’s not too bad.”

Speaking backstage, Sir Cliff Richard said he had enjoyed a “fantastic” view while performing on the £200,000 ($320,000) stage, designed by world-renowned architect Mark Fisher.

“When I looked down The Mall, the crowd seemed to go all the way up to the Admiralty Arch,” he said.

Musician and presenter Jools Holland was similarly enthused following his appearance.

“The memory I’ll have was the feeling of love off all the people,” he said.

“It’s a great unifier for everybody all over the island.”

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An A-list concert, which will be held in front of Buckingham Palace later today, will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Sir Elton John are among the artists, and Madness will perform on the roof.

The audience will comprise of people who got tickets in a public ballot and those from charities with royal links.

At the end of the show, Queen Elizabeth II will light one of the last of around 4,500 beacons across the globe – in celebration of her 60-year reign.

In the afternoon, prior to the Jubilee concert, 10,000 ballot winners and VIPs will have a picnic in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

The concert follows Sunday’s spectacular River Thames pageant which attracted hundreds of thousands of rain-soaked people to watch the flotilla of 1,000 vessels.

Queen Elizabeth II travelled in a barge alongside senior members of the Royal Family as street parties were held around the country.

Buckingham Palace said the Royal Family were “touched” at the turnout, despite the weather.

The A-list concert, which starts at 19:30 BST (18:30 GMT) and will be broadcast by the BBC, also includes Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran, JLS, Kylie Minogue, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Dame Shirley Bassey and Annie Lennox.

And it will feature a special song – sung by 200 people from around the Commonwealth – co-written for the occasion by Gary Barlow and Lord Lloyd Webber.

An A-list concert, which will be held in front of Buckingham Palace later today, will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

An A-list concert, which will be held in front of Buckingham Palace later today, will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Motown legend Stevie Wonder has said: “It’s an honour to celebrate The Queen. It’s an honour to celebrate Great Britain. The time is overdue that I meet Her Majesty.”

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will join the Queen at the concert.

Pop veterans Madness will play their hit Our House on the roof of Buckingham Palace – echoing Queen guitarist Brian May’s performance of the National Anthem in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.

After the musical tribute, the Queen will greet the crowds and set the national beacon ablaze.

At 22:30 BST (21:30 GMT), Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to place a crystal glass diamond into a special pod, triggering the lighting of the last beacon in The Mall.

Beacons will be lit throughout the evening in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, the Commonwealth and other overseas territories.

Bruno Peek, pageantmaster of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacons, said: “We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion.

“To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the Queen and the desire to celebrate her 60-year reign.”

The network of beacons across the UK will be placed on historic landmarks, hill-top vantage points and famous mountains.

Beacons will also be placed on the battlements of the Tower of London, and at St James’s Palace, Lambeth Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham, Balmoral and Holyroodhouse.

Sixty will be lit in sequence on Hadrian’s Wall – one for each year of the Monarch’s reign.

And the highest peaks of the UK’s four nations will be lit up by teams from four charities.

Help for Heroes will conquer Ben Nevis in Scotland, Walking With The Wounded will climb Snowdon in Wales, Cancer Research UK will scale England’s Scafell Pike and in Northern Ireland, Field of Life will go up Slieve Donard in County Down.

The hotel in Kenya where the Queen was told in 1952 of her father George VI’s death – which meant she would become the monarch – will also light a beacon.

The first of the beacons will be lit on the south Pacific island of Tonga, while Tristan da Cunha, a British territory in the South Atlantic, is the location for the most remote lighting.

Like the conclusion of the Thames pageant, the evening will end with a firework display.

Diamond Jubilee beacons:

• About 4,500 beacons will be lit in the UK, Commonwealth and overseas territories

• Beacons in the UK and British dependencies will be lit in stages between 22:00 and 22:30 BST

• The Queen will light the National Beacon near Buckingham Palace at 22:30 BST

• Overseas beacons will be lit at 22:00 local time in countries including Canada, Australia and Kenya

• Two types of Beacons are used: Bonfires and the church tower beacon fuelled by bottled gas

• Beacons were lit on Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and for 1977’s Silver Jubilee

 

Celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in London with your neighbors by hosting a Big Jubilee Lunch.

Big Jubilee Lunch in London

 

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The Big Lunch is an annual nationwide event which encourages people across the UK to enjoy lunch with their neighbors.

This year The Big Lunch falls on the same weekend as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which is a four-day Bank Holiday weekend. So dust off the bunting and Union Jack flags from the Royal Wedding and enjoy a lunch fit for The Queen!

All you have to do is gather together your neighbors and choose what kind of an event you want – from a small gathering raising money for charity to a full-blown street party with music and a barbeque.

How to Organize a Big Jubilee Lunch

 

Every year since it began in 2009, The Big Lunch has been enjoyed by more than a million people, and this year’s special Big Jubilee Lunch is likely to attract even more participants.

If you want to get involved and set up your own local event, follow the “10 Steps to Organizing a Big Lunch Guide” on the Big Lunch website.

You can also request a Big Jubilee Lunch pack, containing advice as well as posters, leaflets and recipes.

 

The Central Weekend 2 – 5 June 2012

 

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The Central Weekend to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee takes place from Saturday 2 June to Tuesday 5 June 2012, with celebratory activities throughout the UK and across the Commonwealth

If you are considering visiting central London to join in with the celebrations, you may find it useful to visit the Transport for London website

Alternatively, you may wish to consider watching events on one of the many BBC Big Screens around the UK.

For information about the Official Diamond Jubilee Souvenir Programme click here.

Here is our run-down  of events over the Diamond Jubilee weekend, including approximate timings:

Saturday 2 June, 2012

 


The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby.

Sunday 3 June, 2012

 

The Big Jubilee Lunch: Building on the already popular Big Lunch initiative, people will be encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This may take the form of a traditional street party or a picnic lunch in small or larger groups. This event is being organised by the Big Lunch. Find out more.

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant: This event will take place on the Thames and consist of up to 1,000 boats assembled from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will travel in the Royal Barge which will form the centrepiece of the flotilla. Find out more

Approximate timings are as follows:

14:30BST – The Queen embarks the Royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, near Albert Bridge  

16:15BST  – The Royal Barge comes alongside HMS President (Royal Naval Reserve Unit), near Tower Bridge  

Monday 4 June, 2012

 

BBC Concert at Buckingham Palace: There will be a televised Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace with tickets being available to UK residents by public ballot. The musical programme for the concert is still being planned and is expected to feature British and Commonwealth musicians. Details on how to apply for the concert will be available in due course. This event is being organised by the BBC. Find out more

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons: A network of 2,012 Beacons will be lit by communities and individuals throughout the United Kingdom, as well as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth. As in 2002, The Queen will light the National Beacon. Find out more

Approximate timings are as follows:

19:30BST  – Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace begins

After 22:30BST – The Queen lights the National Beacon outside Buckingham Palace 

 

Tuesday 5 June, 2012

 


On Tuesday 5 June, the Diamond Jubilee weekend will culminate with a day of celebrations in central London, including a service at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by two receptions, a lunch at Westminster Hall, a Carriage Procession to Buckingham Palace and finally a Balcony appearance, Flypast, and Feu de Joie. Find out more.

Download the Order of Service

Approximate timings are as follows:

10:15BST – The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace by car

10:30-11.30BST – Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s  

12.30BST – The Queen travels by car from Mansion House to the Palace of Westminster

14:20BST – Carriage Procession from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace commences

Approximately 15:25BST – Royal Family appear on the Balcony at Buckingham Palace 

 

 

Top 10 Art Exhibitions in London

 

The_Diamond_Jubilee_London_Art_Exhibition

 

Don’t miss out on the best London exhibitions! Catch one of these great London exhibitions as chosen by our editorial team.

 

Damien Hirst at Tate Modern

 

 

A shark suspended in formaldehyde, a bisected cow and calf… Damien Hirst is well-known for his imaginative and sometimes shocking works. This April, Tate Modern unveils the first substantial survey of Damien Hirst’s work ever held in the UK, featuring more than 70 iconic pieces. Until 9 Sep

 

Picasso and Modern British Art at Tate Britain

 

The influence of Picasso on British art and artists has rarely been recognized – until now, thanks to Tate Britain’s new exhibition. Picasso and Modern British Art explore the Spanish artist’s reputation in Britain, and looks at how Picasso’s work affected British modernism and inspired British artists. Until 15 Jul

 

British Design 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age

 

In this Olympic year the Victoria & Albert Museum celebrates the best of British art and design since London last held the Olympic Games, in 1948. The exhibition brings together more than 300 objects from the fields of fashion, ceramics, graphics, photography, sculpture, product design, architecture, furniture and fine art. Until 12 Aug

 

Yayoi Kusama

 

 

One of Japan’s best-known living artists, Yayoi Kusama’s work spans more than six decades. Kusama is known for her immersive artworks and at this Tate Modern exhibition you can wander through a series of rooms covered in hallucinatory polka dots, mirrors and more. Until 5 Jun

Turner Inspired: In the Light of Claude

 

 

Turner’s daring painting technique dazzled audiences at the beginning of the 19th century and influenced future generations of artists. This National Gallery exhibition examines how Turner was inspired by Claude’s portrayal of light and landscape, and features pictures by Turner and Claude hung side-by-side. Until 5 Jun

 

Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames at the National Maritime Museum

 

As well as being The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, 2012 sees the 75th birthday of the National Maritime Museum. Royal River celebrates them both by exploring the relationship between British monarchs and the River Thames throughout history. Royal River is curated by one of Britain’s leading historians, David Starkey. Until 9 Sep

 

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist at the Queen’s Gallery

 

Don’t miss the largest-ever exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Da Vinci produced amazingly accurate anatomical drawings. His research included working in hospitals and medicals schools, where he dissected human and animal material. Until 7 Oct

 

Christian Louboutin at the Design Museum

 

This Design Museum offers a unique retrospective of famous shoe designer Christian Louboutin’s work and a preview of his next collection. Using items from Christian Louboutin’s personal archive the exhibition showcases his designs, methods and inspirations over the past 20 years. Until 9 Jul

 

The Queen: Art and Image at the National Portrait Gallery

 

To celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the National Portrait Gallery is bringing together 60 images from The Queen’s 60-year reign. See how The Queen has been portrayed through painting, photography and press images by renowned artists and photographers. Until 21 Oct

 

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

 

Don’t miss the highly popular summer exhibition at the Royal Academy, now in its 244th year. Displaying some of the best of contemporary art, the exhibition features more than 1,200 works by both new and distinguished artists, many of which are available to purchase. 4 Jun-12 Aug

 

 

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A. Celebrations

What is Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee?
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years since her accession in 1952. Royal Jubilees celebrate significant periods in monarchs’ reigns and national life. In 2012, The Queen will become only the second UK monarch to mark 60 years on the throne. Celebrations were previously held for Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Diamond_Jubilee_Carriage

 

When exactly is The Queen marking her Diamond Jubilee?

While Accession Day is on 6 February, celebrations will occur throughout 2012, with a special extended bank holiday central weekend in the United Kingdom on 2-5 June.

What events will take place over this bank holiday central weekend?
On Saturday 2 June, The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby. On Sunday 3 June the Big Jubilee Lunch and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will take place. On Monday 4 June a concert will be held at Buckingham Palace and a network of beacons will be lit throughout the UK and the Commonwealth. On Tuesday 5 June a Service of Thanksgiving will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which will be followed by a formal carriage Procession.

Will there be events at other times during the year?
There will be many other events held locally and on a national scale. For example, in May 2012 a Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be held, as part of the Windsor Horse Show, involving equine displays and other acts from around the world.

For more information and news on Jubilee events and activities, please visit www.direct.gov.uk/diamondjubilee or see national and local media as further details are announced.

I would like to organise an event in my local area. Whom do I contact?
People should make contact with the appropriate organisations or representatives – for example, one of the organisations involved with the central weekend, Lord Lieutenancies and local authorities.

Will Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee be marked in other Realm countries?
Her Majesty is Queen in 15 Commonwealth Realms in addition to the United Kingdom. The British Monarchy and UK Government websites will carry details only for those events and celebrations taking place in the United Kingdom. More details will be available elsewhere about activities taking place in Her Majesty’s other Realms.

Diamond_Jubilee_Carriage2

B. Central Jubilee Weekend Events

Big Jubilee Lunch
I would like to organise a street party or Big Jubilee Lunch. Who should I contact for more information?
The Big Jubilee Lunch is being organised by the Big Lunch, which is part of the Eden Project. It will be held on Sunday 3 June 2012. For more information please see www.thebiglunch.com or contact info@thebiglunch.com

Thames Pageant
From where can I watch the Pageant?
Details about where spectators can view the Pageant will be announced by the organisers in due course. Please see http://www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/ for more details.

Can I register a vessel to take part?
Boat registrations closed on 31 October 2011. Please see http://www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/ for more details.

Can I get tickets to be on a boat sailing in the flotilla?
Further details about the Pageant will be announced on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant website in due course.

Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace
When is the concert?
The Queen is hosting a concert organised by the BBC at Buckingham Palace on Monday 4 June.

Can I apply for tickets?
Details of how to apply for an invitation to the Concert will be announced in early 2012. Successful applicants, chosen by ballot, will be notified in writing.

Can I perform during the concert?
The content of the concert will be decided by the BBC.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons
Can I light a Beacon?
Details of how to take part in Beacon lighting ceremonies are available on www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk

When will the Beacons be lit?
The Queen will light the National Beacon on Monday 4 June. Further details about the lighting of Beacons will be announced by Diamond Jubilee Beacons Ltd.

Ceremonial Procession
Will there be a ceremonial procession to or from the Service of Thanksgiving, and if so, from where can I watch it?
There will be a formal carriage procession but details of the routes to and from the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral will be announced closer to the time and published on the Monarchy website.

C. Commemorative Articles

Can I produce Diamond Jubilee Souvenirs?
The Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace produces definitive guidelines on the use of the Royal Arms, Royal Devices, Emblems and Titles and of photographs, portraits, engravings, effigies and busts of The Queen and Members of the Royal Family.

Special guidelines for the use of protected Royal Devices on souvenirs have been produced for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and can be found here – http://www.royal.gov.uk/pdf/DJ%20Emblem%20Guidelines/Souvenir%20Guidelines%20DJ%202012.pdf

Where can I find the Official Diamond Jubilee Emblem?
The Official Diamond Jubilee Emblem is based on an illustration by 10 year-old Katherine Dewar who won a BBC Blue Peter competition. It is available to download, free of charge from the Monarchy website and comes in a number of electronic formats; in English and in Welsh; and in colour, black and white and whiteout.

Where can I use the Emblem?
The emblem is available for use for activities associated with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations including community and national events, publications, retail and merchandising.

Unofficial Publications
As you would expect, the Royal Household takes seriously any reports of individuals or organisations using the Jubilee to raise money in an inappropriate or unauthorised manner. If you are invited to donate money to “official publications”, please write to The Queen’s Assistant Private Secretary, at Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA.

D. Use of The Queen’s title, name and emblems

Can I name something after The Queen or the Diamond Jubilee?
As is customary in Jubilee years, the Deputy Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales have been given discretion to sanction the use of The Queen’s title and name. A blanket approval is in place for the use of “Diamond Jubilee” and “Jubilee” for community events and buildings (subject to the proviso that building works start or finish in 2012, and events take place in 2012). Permission need not be sought for the use of the titles “Diamond Jubilee” and “Jubilee” in these circumstances.

Applications to use “The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee”, “Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee” and “Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee” must be submitted in writing. Applications in respect of England, Northern Ireland or any of the Crown Dependencies – Parliament and Constitution Division of the Cabinet Office; applications in respect of Scotland or Wales where responsibility for the subject of the application remains with the UK Government – to the Scotland Office and Wales Office respectively.

Can I use an image of the Crown or The Queen’s Cypher (EIIR) for my Jubilee event/project?
Applications to use an image of the Crown, The Queen’s Cypher (EIIR) or Her Majesty’s Coat of Arms must be submitted to the Constitutional and Policy team in the Parliament and Constitution Division of the Cabinet Office.

E. Invitations to Visit

Will The Queen or other Members of the Royal Family be visiting my local area in 2012?
The Queen’s Programme and details of where other Members of the Royal Family will visit will be announced in 2012. Please continue to check the Monarchy website for updates.

I would like to invite The Queen to my Diamond Jubilee event. How do I do this?
The Queen will be extraordinarily busy during her Diamond Jubilee and it will not be possible for her to accept all of the many invitations she will receive. However, if you wish to invite Her Majesty to an event please write to The Queen’s Diary Secretary at Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA.

F. Other

I would like to compose a piece of music for The Queen for her Diamond Jubilee. Can I perform or dedicate it to Her Majesty?
We have been overwhelmed by generous offers to compose or perform pieces of music in celebration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee next year and while there would of course be no objection to musical events of this nature taking place, it will not be possible to associate The Queen directly with these events.

How do I find out more information about Diamond Jubilee projects and events between now and next year?
For those events listed above and taking place over the Jubilee central weekend, please see their individual websites for more details as they are announced. Alternatively, the Government DirectGov website will be updated with further news and announcements as they occur.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has left Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire after four nights.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Phillip will now return to the Royal Family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The Duke of Edinburgh had been in Papworth Hospital since Friday when he had a coronary stent fitted after being admitted following chest pains.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has left Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire after four nights

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has left Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire after four nights

Prince Philip, who left by road and waved to reporters, missed the royal Christmas celebrations and had to sit out the traditional Boxing Day shoot.

He sat upright and smiled broadly as he left the hospital.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “On departure, Prince Philip thanked the staff at Papworth for the excellent care he has received during his stay.

“He is very much looking forward to rejoining his family.”

The Duke of Edinburgh is said to have been advised by doctors to rest.

The Queen, 85, has been briefed regularly on her husband’s condition.

On his arrival at Papworth Hospital doctors discovered a blocked artery and went ahead with a “minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting”, which was declared a success.

Stenting involves inserting a tube called a stent into an artery, to improve blood flow.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s next formal engagement is not until 17 January when he is due to attend a dinner at the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge.

Usually on Boxing Day Prince Philip would lead the Royal Family’s shooting party.

But this year he was under doctor’s orders not to leave his bed while he was kept under observation.

This is the most serious health scare suffered by the normally spry nonagenarian.

Prince Philip usually accompanies the Queen and in the autumn he travelled to Australia on a 11-day official visit to Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

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Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been visited by The Queen at Papworth Hospital following his emergency heart surgery to treat a blocked coronary artery.

The Queen arrived at the hospital this morning from her Sandringham estate, where the Royal family is spending Christmas.

The Duke of Edinburgh was this morning recovering after being airlifted to hospital for emergency heart surgery.

Prince Phillip was flown to the specialist cardiothoracic unit, near Cambridge, in a RAF search and rescue helicopter after being taken ill at Sandringham with serious chest pains last night.

Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been visited by The Queen at Papworth Hospital following his emergency heart surgery to treat a blocked coronary artery

Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been visited by The Queen at Papworth Hospital following his emergency heart surgery to treat a blocked coronary artery

 

After “precautionary” tests, Prince Philip underwent what was described as a “minimally invasive procedure” known as coronary stenting.

This involves placing a tube in the coronary arteries that supply the heart, to keep them open in the treatment of heart disease. Stents reduce chest pain and have been shown to improve survival rates in the event of an acute heart problem.

Today Buckingham Palace said Prince Phillip “had a good night” and was currently under surveillance in the world-famous Papworth Hospital after emergency surgery for a blocked coronary artery.

He is expected to be visited by members of his family this morning.

There was no indication when he would be discharged, but medical experts have said that many patients can leave hospital a day after undergoing the procedure, providing there are no complications.

Dr. Simon Davies, a cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, said: “The pain was from the heart. It means that one or more of the coronary arteries was badly narrowed or perhaps blocked.

“That meant that the blood was not passing through that artery so the muscle was starving of oxygen and in danger of dying, in other words a heart attack, or was on the verge of one.”

In view of his age, Prince Phillip, who still conducts more than 350 engagements each year, will remain in hospital for a day or so for further monitoring.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement last night: “His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was taken to Papworth Cardiothoracic Centre this evening from Sandringham House for precautionary tests after experiencing chest pain.

“Following tests at Papworth the Duke of Edinburgh was found to have a blocked coronary artery which had caused his chest pains. This was treated successfully by the minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting. Prince Philip will remain in hospital for observation for a short period.”

It is believed the Duke of Edinburgh was flown to the hospital, which is around 60 miles away from the Sandringham estate, by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Wattisham, near Stowmarket in Suffolk, where Prince Harry is based.