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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.

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Queen Elizabeth II has not attended a New Year’s Day church service at Sandringham because of a “lingering heavy cold”.

The Queen also missed the Christmas Day service at her Norfolk estate and has not been seen in public for 12 days.

Meanwhile, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the Queen was “still recuperating”.

Image source Wikimedia

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip left for their Christmas break a day late on December 22, travelling by helicopter instead of train, because of colds. The Duke of Edinburgh has made a full recovery.

When she arrived at the church, Princess Anne was asked how her mother was, to which she replied “better”.

Princess Anne attended the New Year’s Day service alongside her father, Prince Philip, and her brother, Prince Edward, as well as other members of the Royal Family.

Queen Elizabeth’s absence from church on Christmas Day was the first time she had missed the service in many years.

According to the Buckingham Palace, that was a “precautionary measure” in the cold and wet conditions and it had “no sense of undue concern”.

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Prince Philip has been finally introduced to his great-grandson, Prince George, for the first time since his birth in July.

The eight-week-old future king flew to Scotland on a private jet with his parents yesterday afternoon.
Prince George was taken to Balmoral, the Queen’s private Highland estate, to meet Prince Philip, 92.

Prince Charles and Camilla are at their nearby home, Birkhall.

Prince Philip was the only senior royal not to have met the third in line to the throne.

Prince Philip has been finally introduced to his great-grandson, Prince George, for the first time since his birth in July

Prince Philip has been finally introduced to his great-grandson, Prince George, for the first time since his birth in July

At the time of Prince George’s birth he was recuperating at Sandringham after an abdominal operation.

Now Prince George is at Balmoral, there is a rare opportunity for a unique family photo to be taken.

For the first time in more than a century, three generations of heirs to the throne are alive: Prince Charles, 64, Prince William, 31, and newborn George.

The last time such a picture was taken was in 1894 when Queen Victoria was photographed with her son Edward VII, grandson George V and great grandson Edward VIII.

A royal insider said: “Everyone has been waiting for this photo to be taken, and of course the Duke of Edinburgh has been looking forward to seeing his great-grandson.

“It’s wonderful that the family have finally got together.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton flew to Scotland after the prince attended the wedding of friend James Meade to Lady Laura Marsham in Norfolk on Saturday.

Kate Middleton had surprisingly stayed in London where she was spotted shopping for baby clothes in Sloane Square.

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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 joined 2,000 guests for a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years since her Coronation.

Some of those who took part in the 1953 service were among the congregation.

Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby said the event honored “60 years of commitment”.

The Queen was accompanied by more than 20 members of her family, including Prince Philip who pulled out of an engagement on Monday night because he was feeling unwell.

Several key items from the Coronation were placed in Westminster Abbey for the service.

They included the heavy, solid gold St Edward’s Crown, displayed on the High Altar – the first time it has left the Tower of London since 1953.

Beside it was the Ampulla, the gold, eagle-shaped bottle from which the holy oil was poured for the Queen’s anointing.

The Coronation Chair, one of the oldest pieces of English furniture still in use, was also on show.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh entered Westminster Abbey to the same music that greeted her in 1953.

Back in 1953, at the age of 27, she was the 38th sovereign to be crowned in an abbey that has been the scene of such ceremonies since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066.

The Archbishop of Canterbury told those gathered in the abbey that the Coronation had been “an ordination, a setting aside of a person for service”.

Dr. Justin Welby said that during the ceremony the Queen knelt at the abbey’s altar and prayed.

“We do not know what was prayed. Her Majesty knelt at the beginning of a path of demanding devotion and utter self-sacrifice, a path she did not choose, yet to which she was called by God.

“Today we celebrate 60 years since that moment, 60 years of commitment.”

Queen Elizabeth II has joined 2,000 guests for a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years since her Coronation

Queen Elizabeth II has joined 2,000 guests for a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 60 years since her Coronation

At the time the Coronation was a major television spectacle, with an estimated 27 million Britons tuning in.

The weather was dull and wet, but warm sunshine greeted those gathering in London for the anniversary on Tuesday.

The Archbishop said the Coronation had been “the first time the whole nation had watched anything as it happened”.

He called it “pomp and ceremony on a rainy June day, all so very British, wrapped in time and custom”.

Her Majesty wore an Angela Kelly dress, hat and coat – made from oyster-colored silk-satin brocade – for the anniversary service.

The Queen was joined at the abbey by the Prince of Wales – who was just four in 1953 – and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as the Duke of Cambridge and the pregnant Kate Middleton.

It is the first time Kate Middleton and Prince William, whose first baby is due next month, have attended a public event at the abbey since they married there two years ago.

Other royals present include Prince Harry, the Duke of York, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, the Princess Royal and Zara Phillips with her husband Mike Tindall.

The congregation sang the National Anthem before UK Prime Minister David Cameron gave a reading from the Book of Kings.

Secretary general of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma also gave a reading.

Actress Claire Skinner read a poem called The Throne, written for the anniversary by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend John Hall, said the service marked “60 years of duty done with a glad heart”.

Lady Glenconner was one of the Queen’s six maids of honor in 1953.

She said: “I remember standing by the door… I remember a roar coming round, we could hear everybody shouting. Then suddenly around the corner came this amazing golden coach, it was like a fairy tale.

“She was so beautiful. When she got out of the coach, the tiny waist she had, the wonderful complexion, she just looked the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”

The Queen, whose reign began in 1952, practiced wearing the crown around Buckingham Palace in the weeks before her Coronation, including at her children’s bath time.

The Coronation was a strictly Anglican Christian event, but 60 years later Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other faiths were represented.

Last year’s Diamond Jubilee marked the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.

Prince Philip had been due to accompany the Queen to a gala reception for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) at St James’s Palace in London on Monday but was unwell.

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Prince Philip has been taken to hospital as a “precautionary measure” after a recurrence of a bladder infection, Buckingham Palace has said.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who is 91, was driven by ambulance to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while staying at Balmoral with the Queen, a spokesperson said.

The duke originally suffered the infection shortly before the Diamond Jubilee concert on 4 June.

Prince Philip is likely to remain in the NHS hospital for the next few days

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are at their private residence of Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex are at Balmoral with the Queen.

It is not known whether other royals are there, but a palace spokesman said it was usual for members of the royal family to be in residence at Balmoral during the summer period.

Prince Philip has been taken to hospital as a "precautionary measure" after a recurrence of a bladder infection

Prince Philip has been taken to hospital as a "precautionary measure" after a recurrence of a bladder infection

The duke has been seen at public engagements in Cowes over the last few days.

Michael Dunkason, from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, saw him come ashore from the Galatea to Cowes at about 09:00 BST on Wednesday morning. He said Philip was “steadily walking up the steps and walked briskly along the jetty”.

He said: “The duke seemed in very good spirits and gave a final wave before entering the car.”

It is the third time Prince Philip has been in hospital in the last nine months: he also spent four days in hospital over Christmas, following an operation to clear a blocked heart artery.

In March, Prince Harry said the operation – which was successful – had given his grandfather a “new spurt of life”.

Later, in June, after braving the elements during the Jubilee boat pageant to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign, Prince Philip was forced to miss several days of festivities after being admitted to hospital for five nights with the bladder infection.

Since then he has been in apparently good health, joining the Queen at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics on 27 July, and touring the Olympic Park.

Prince Philip had travelled to Balmoral after viewing a number of Olympic events, including his granddaughter Zara Phillips’s equestrian competition on 29 July.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “He has been resident at the castle for a short while, but whilst he has been there, he has also undertaken engagements on the Isle of Wight.”

As Admiral and member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the duke has been taking part in Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight this week.

On Tuesday, he watched races in the Solent and accompanied Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White, for a lunch on board a yacht.

The previous day, he also met members of Newport’s Chamber of Commerce and visited manufacturers AJ Wells and Sons.

Earlier this month, he was at the Queen’s side for engagements in Scotland, helping to host a garden party for around 3,000 guests at Balmoral, marking the end of the Jubilee celebrations.

Prince Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British royalty.

In the Queen’s Jubilee address to Parliament in March, she praised her husband for his devotion.

She said: “During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure.

“Prince Philip is, I believe, well known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.”

 

Last night, at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, Queen Elizabeth II appeared in her first movie acting role and proved herself an instant comedy hit.

Her Majesty was seen in a film alongside James Bond actor Daniel Craig before apparently “parachuting” into the stadium for the opening ceremony.

The recorded sequence opened at Buckingham Palace, where a tuxedo-wearing Daniel Craig as 007 was presented to the Queen by her personal footman as she was writing a letter and training her corgis Monty, Willow and Holly to roll over.

Greeting him with an “Evening, Mr. Bond”, the Queen, in a rose-pink dress, was seen striding briskly through the palace with the action hero before climbing into a helicopter emblazoned with the Union Flag.

Queen Elizabeth II appeared in her first movie acting role and proved herself an instant comedy hit

Queen Elizabeth II appeared in her first movie acting role and proved herself an instant comedy hit

The two were depicted as soaring over the streets of London and through Tower Bridge until they finally reached the Olympic Park.

As the film reached its climax, spectators inside the east London stadium heard an Agusta Westland AW139 helicopter, which finally appeared hovering above.

As the aircraft steadied in the movie sequence, James Bond was seen opening the door and appearing to hesitate. While he dithered, the figure of the Queen pushed past him and dived out into the air followed by 007 – Union Jack parachutes streaming behind them. Meanwhile, from the real helicopter above the stadium, the same two figures appeared to plunge to earth.

And, with the familiar Bond theme tune sounding around the stadium, the spotlight shone on the Royal Box to reveal the Queen in exactly the same dress she wore in the film.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, she entered to rapturous applause with Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee.

The Union Flag was then carried into the stadium and raised by representatives of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF.

Director Danny Boyle said: “The Queen made herself more accessible than ever before.”

Organizers said that having to secure permission to fly along the Thames through Tower Bridge – which had never been done before – was a challenge in itself.

The two parachutists who actually leapt from the helicopter last night were Gary Connery, a professional base jumper, and Mark Suttan, a former officer in the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

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According to newly-updated “protocols” approved by Queen Elizabeth II, Duchess of Cambridge has been placed firmly down the royal pecking order.

A document is said to have been circulated privately in the Royal Household, clarifying Kate’s status.

Despite being the future Queen herself, as a former commoner, the once Kate Middleton must apparently show reverence to the “blood princesses”.

This means Kate is expected to curtsey to those born royal, such as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie – both in public and in private.

The rule only applies when her husband, Prince William, is not present.

Royal observers suspect Kate will not mind the new rules as she is keen to please everybody, but Prince William may be less happy.

In his absence, Kate must also curtsey to other blue-blooded women in the Royal Household including Princess Anne and Princess Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin.

In the case of the Countess of Wessex, it is she who will have to curtsey to Kate – even though she is a generation older and is married to the Queen’s son, Edward.

According to new protocols, Kate Middleton is expected to curtsey to those born royal, such as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, both in public and in private

According to new protocols, Kate Middleton is expected to curtsey to those born royal, such as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, both in public and in private

The Earl of Wessex’s wife was once the second-highest ranking woman in the Royal Family because neither of the Queen’s other sons, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, were married.

This is effectively Sophie’s second “demotion”, having been pushed down the list in 2005 after Prince Charles married Camilla, and finding she was expected to curtsey to the Duchess of Cornwall.

The complex new rules come in a little-known edict entitled the Order Of Precedence Of The Royal Family To Be Observed At Court, which the Queen has updated to take into account Prince William’s wife.

When Prince William is with her, Kate does not need to bend the knee to either Beatrice or Eugenie.

But she must always curtsey to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, whether Prince William is present or not.

The thorny question of how Kate would fit into the UK’s first family has long been a subject of speculation among royal observers.

The Princess Royal, for example, is said to have refused to ever curtsey to Princess Diana or to Camilla, on the basis they were outsiders whereas she had given her whole adult life to royal service.

In an effort to avoid an epic battle of royal egos, the Queen drew up the first Order of Precedence in 2005, after Prince Charles married Camilla.

Its effect was to change the order along “blood lines” so that Princesses Anne, Beatrice, Eugenie and Alexandra – the granddaughter of George V – were all ahead of Camilla.

The etiquette, though arcane to some, is taken very seriously by the royals, who bow and curtsey to each other in public and behind closed doors.

The Order of Precedence affects other aspects of royal protocol too, such as who arrives first at an event. For example, Camilla was forced to wait in the drizzle outside the Guards Chapel, Windsor, for the arrival of Princess Anne at a memorial service in 2006, because Prince Charles had not accompanied her.

Royal historian Brian Hoey, an expert on court protocol, predicted when Prince William married Kate that: “Kate will take the rank of her husband, which means that when she’s at court, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie should curtsey to her. But I don’t think there’s a chance they will.”

While Prince William feels warmly towards his cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie, he’s conscious of the fact that they are lesser royals.

“As future King, he will wish to see them behaving correctly towards their future Queen – but their attitude is likely to be: <<Why should I? I was born royal – Kate wasn’t>>.”

 

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Queen Elizabeth II is to give Prince William and his wife one of the cottages on her beloved Sandringham estate to mark his 30th birthday.

The property will be made available to the couple later this year.

Prince William, who reached the milestone last Thursday, is said to be celebrating privately with family and friends this weekend.

It is understood that he is particularly delighted about the house because he and Kate spent their first Christmas as husband and wife at Sandringham last year.

The 20,000-acre Sandringham estate near King’s Lynn in Norfolk has been owned by the Queen since her accession in 1952 and by the Royal Family since 1862.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh stay in the main house, an Edwardian mansion, every Christmas with the rest of the Royal Family.

Although much of the land is open to the public, the paparazzi are no longer allowed to photograph the Royal Family relaxing there.

New laws were introduced after pictures of Prince Philip were published overseas and Prince Edward was photographed apparently striking his two gun dogs with a wooden stick during a pheasant shoot.

Queen Elizabeth II is to give Prince William and his wife one of the cottages on her beloved Sandringham estate to mark his 30th birthday

Queen Elizabeth II is to give Prince William and his wife one of the cottages on her beloved Sandringham estate to mark his 30th birthday

It is not known which of the 150 residential, commercial and agricultural properties on the estate that the Queen intends to give to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Among the options are York Cottage, which is currently used as an estate office.

Built by Edward VII soon after he moved to Sandringham, it was the first home of King George V and Queen Mary after their marriage in 1893.

Sandringham was a favorite of George V, who declared it “the place I love better than anywhere in the world” and Prince William’s great-grandfather, King George VI, was born there in 1895.

Kate and William have also previously stayed at Wood Farm Cottage in Wolferton, a modest cottage set in a secluded part of the estate that is often used as an informal weekend retreat by the Royals.

William and Prince Harry regularly host shooting parties at the cottage, while Kate and William have treated friends to a weekend there. Prince Harry also stayed at the cottage with his former girlfriend, Chelsy Davy.

The cottage is often used by the Royals when there is not enough accommodation in the main house.

Previously, Wood Farm was used by the Duke of Edinburgh to host private parties during shooting weekends, and the Duchess of York stayed there following her divorce from Prince Andrew.

Prince William already has several properties across the country. When he was a student at St Andrews University, the Queen handed him a cottage called Tam-na-Ghar on the Balmoral estate in Scotland, where he used to take Kate for romantic weekends.

The Duke and Duchess currently live on Anglesey in Wales, where Prince William works as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot. The Prince has previously spoken of how he and the Duchess, 30, can live “normal lives” on Anglesey. However, he has been told that he must decide by the end of the year whether he wants to continue with his flying career.

 

Prince Philip appeared to be in good spirits as he attended the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who has resumed official duties after recovering from a bladder infection, attended the parade in London with the Queen.

Thousands of people watched the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge ride to the ceremony at Horse Guards Parade.

The military event came as the Queen’s Birthday Honours list was published.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip rode in a glass coach down the Mall to the ceremony. They were due to travel in Queen Victoria’s 1842 ivory-mounted phaeton carriage but this was changed due to the “unpredictable nature of the weather”, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

The coach, built in 1881, was first used by the Queen and Duke on their wedding day when they travelled from Westminster Abbey to the palace on 20 November 1947.

The Duke of Cambridge, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards and the Prince of Wales, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, were joined on horseback by the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and the Duke of Kent, Colonel of the Scots Guards.

Prince Philip appeared to be in good spirits as he attended the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony in honor of Queen Elizabeth's official birthday

Prince Philip appeared to be in good spirits as he attended the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony in honor of Queen Elizabeth's official birthday

The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall travelled in a horse drawn carriage.

The parade was Prince Charles’ first public appearance since being awarded the highest rank in all three military services by the Queen.

The prince becomes a Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Royal Air Force. His appointment to the honorary five-star ranks recognizes his support for the Queen as Commander-in-Chief.

Also honored in the Birthday Honours list are actor and director Kenneth Branagh who has been knighted, ex-Olympic minister Tessa Jowell is made a Dame while Take That singer Gary Barlow is made an OBE.

Soul singer Omar receives an MBE for services to music, under his full name Omar Lye Fook, and Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet becomes a CBE.

Thousands of people, including friends and family of those taking part, watched the precision marching by hundreds of Guardsmen.

Queen Elizabeth II, wearing her Brigade of Guards brooch, took the royal salute as senior members of the royal family looked on.

After the parade, thousands of well-wishers swarmed down the Mall to get into position in front of Buckingham Palace to see the royal family gather on the balcony for the flypast.

The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year is the flag of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.

More than 1,600 officers and soldiers took part in the display.

More than 240 horses were be on parade, with 290 musicians who marched and played as one.

The traditional display of pomp and pageantry originated from traditional preparations of battle.

Colours, or flags, were carried or “trooped” down the rank so that it could be seen and recognized by the soldiers.

In the 18th century, guards from the royal palaces assembled daily on Horse Guards to “troop the colors”, and in 1748 it was announced that the parade would also mark the Queen’s official birthday.

The Queen’s actual birthday was on 21 April, when she turned 86.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II, who has recently celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, has attended Trooping the Colour every year except in 1955, when it was cancelled because of the national rail strike.

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Prince Philip has left London’s King Edward VII hospital after a five-night stay receiving treatment for a bladder infection.

He was admitted to London’s King Edward VII hospital on Monday, a day after attending the rain-drenched Jubilee river pageant with the Queen.

On Friday, the Duke of Edinburgh was visited by the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, the latest in a series of visits from his family.

Prince Philip will celebrate his 91st birthday on Sunday.

Prince Philip has left London's King Edward VII hospital after a five-night stay receiving treatment for a bladder infection

Prince Philip has left London's King Edward VII hospital after a five-night stay receiving treatment for a bladder infection

Earlier this week, Buckingham Palace said the duke’s condition had “improved considerably” and that he was being treated with antibiotics and was in “good spirits”.

Clarence House said Prince William and Prince Harry paid a “short private visit” to see their grandfather on Friday.

They made no comment to reporters outside as they left after 20 minutes.

Prince William visited the duke while on leave from his RAF search and rescue duties.

On Thursday, it was announced that he had qualified as a Royal Air Force search and rescue captain, after passing his tests on 29 May.

Meanwhile, his brother Prince Harry – a captain in the Army – has spent this week on pre-deployment training at RAF Wattisham in Suffolk.

The Queen and the Duke of York visited Prince Philip on Wednesday. Prince Andrew said that his father was “mending very well”.

Prince Philip had appeared to be in good health when he accompanied the Queen on Sunday on the royal barge the Spirit of Chartwell, which formed part of the Jubilee river pageant.

His admission to hospital meant that he could not join the Queen at the final Diamond Jubilee events to mark her 60 years on the throne.

Prince Philip is not due to attend his next scheduled engagement until Tuesday, when the Queen hosts a garden party at the Sandringham Estate as part of Jubilee celebrations.

 

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew have visited Prince Philip in the London hospital where he is being treated for a bladder infection.

Earlier, Buckingham Palace said Duke of Edinburgh’s condition had “improved considerably” but he was likely to stay in the King Edward VII Hospital for a few days.

Prince Philip, 90, has spent two nights in hospital, missing the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the duke was in “good spirits”.

The duke was admitted to hospital on Monday, hours before the Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew have visited Prince Philip in the London hospital where he is being treated for a bladder infection

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew have visited Prince Philip in the London hospital where he is being treated for a bladder infection

On Wednesday, the Queen attended a lunch with Commonwealth leaders, as she continued to mark 60 years of her reign.

Prime Minister David Cameron was among the 70 guests at the lunch, at Marlborough House on Pall Mall.

The engagement saw a protest by some members of the UK’s Tamil community, as Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived. They were demonstrating about the country’s record on human rights.

The duke, who had treatment for a blocked coronary artery in December, turns 91 on Sunday.

A palace spokesman said earlier: “The treatment of his infection continues with antibiotics.

“He is likely to remain in hospital over the next few days. He is in good spirits.”

The Queen arrived at the hospital, in central London, at 17:10 BST and left at 17:55. The Duke of York left the hospital at about 18:40 BST.

Prince Andrew told reporters that his father was “mending very well”.

Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales, who earlier opened a sheep industry show in Scotland, told well-wishers the duke was “doing well”.

Dorothea Holland, 60, from Stranraer in Galloway, said she asked Prince Charles how the duke was.

“He said he was doing well and thanked me for asking. He just said it was a shame that he hadn’t been able to take part yesterday, and said they had all had a very busy few days,” she said.

On Tuesday, the Earl of Wessex, his youngest son, said the duke was “feeling better” and had been watching the Jubilee events on television.

Asked how the Queen was coping without her husband, Prince Edward added: “She’s bearing up but missing him, obviously.”

As well as the concert, which saw performances from artists including Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney, the duke missed the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury said “our prayers and thoughts” are with the duke.

The service was followed by receptions at Mansion House and the Guildhall, a lunch at Westminster Hall and a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, then by a balcony appearance by the Queen, the Royal Family and a flypast.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip was “understandably disappointed” about missing the rest of the celebrations.

On Tuesday evening the Queen released video message to the nation, describing the four days of celebration as a “humbling experience”.

“It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbors and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere,” the Queen said.

 

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

 

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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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John and Frances Canning, a delighted British couple, have told how their wedding day was given the royal seal of approval when Queen Elizabeth walked in on the ceremony.

John and Frances Canning could hardly believe their eyes when Queen Elizabeth accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh walked into the room moments after they had tied the knot at Manchester Town Hall.

The royal couple had been attending a lunch with 200 local volunteers in an adjacent room, and the Queen had asked if she could pop in to congratulate the bride and groom.

Delighted bride Frances Canning said: “It was bizarre that she knew our names. She said: <<Hello John, Hello Frances>>.”

Around 40 guests watched in amazement as the Queen, Prince Philip, and several royal dignitaries lined up to congratulate the couple.

Groom John Canning, 48, from Prestwich, a big fan of the royal family, described the Queen’s visit as the “icing on the cake”.

Businessman John Canning said: “She commented on how beautiful Frances looked in her dress and wished us all the best for the future.”

John and Frances Canning could hardly believe their eyes when Queen Elizabeth accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh walked into the room moments after they had tied the knot at Manchester Town Hall

John and Frances Canning could hardly believe their eyes when Queen Elizabeth accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh walked into the room moments after they had tied the knot at Manchester Town Hall

He chatted with Prince Philip while his bride posed with the Queen for a few photos.

John Canning added: “He was lovely man. He even asked where in Italy we were going on our honey moon.”

The couple had booked the town hall for their civil wedding in 2011 and were told they would be sharing the venue with an “V.I.P.”.

When they discovered who it was John Canning, jokingly wrote to Buckingham Palace to invite the them to the celebration, but had received a reply politely declining the offer.

But the Palace decided to make their dream come true and got in contact with Manchester City Council to arrange the surprise.

Frances Canning told the Manchester Evening News: “We never dreamt we would be able to meet her.

“When we had our ceremony, the staff asked us to wait for a moment in the corridor and just a few minutes later the Queen arrived.

“She knew both our names and apparently we had been especially added to her rota.’”

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in November last year.

They wed at Westminster Abbey in 1947 with the ceremony broadcast by BBC radio to 200 million people around the world.

During her day in Manchester and Salford the Queen visited four hospitals and toured the BBC’s new headquarters at MediaCityUK.

 

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.