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Posts tagged ‘Royal Family of England’

Britain’s new princess named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

May 04, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s newborn princess has been named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana — seen as a tribute to Prince William’s parents and grandmother.

The princess is the second child of Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. The baby will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, royal officials said Monday.

Charlotte, the feminine form of Charles, appears to be a nod to the newborn’s grandfather, Prince Charles. The middle names honor Queen Elizabeth II, the infant’s 89-year-old great-grandmother, and the late Princess Diana, William’s mother.

The princess is fourth in line to the throne after Charles, William and her older brother Prince George. William and Kate introduced the baby princess to the world Saturday evening, just 12 hours after Kate checked into a London hospital to give birth. The baby weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces (3.7 kilograms).

The couple had kept the world guessing about the name until after both sets of grandparents got a chance to visit Kensington Palace on Sunday to meet their granddaughter. Bookmakers had taken huge amounts of bets on the name, and Charlotte had been a favorite choice, a front-runner alongside other guesses like Alice and Victoria.

Earlier Monday, Westminster Abbey’s bells pealed and gun salutes were fired across London in honor of the newborn princess. In a display of traditional pageantry, dozens of deafening volleys were fired from Hyde Park and the Tower of London to mark the occasion.

Royals traditionally look to their family tree for name ideas, and Britain’s royal history has seen several Charlottes. Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, was a keen botanist and founded London’s Kew Gardens. Born in 1744, the queen had 15 children.

George IV also named his only child Charlotte in 1796, but she died in childbirth at the age of 21 in 1817, leading to a mass outpouring of grief in Britain.

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New royal baby: Destined to be a ‘spare to the heir’?

May 02, 2015

LONDON (AP) — When Prince William and his wife, Kate, announced the arrival of their first child in 2013, Britain jubilantly celebrated the birth of a future king. Two years later it’s a different story.

A second child was born Saturday to the royal couple — a princess who will surely delight the public but face life known half-jokingly as “the spare to the heir.” Her name was not immediately announced.

Royal succession rules dictate that the throne always passes to the eldest child, and royals born second in the line of succession rarely have to worry about one day becoming king or queen. It’s a position that brings far less responsibility, but also fewer privileges than those enjoyed by the heir apparent. It’s also one that attracts relentless public scrutiny.

While eldest children have their destinies carved out from birth, many royal “spares” have struggled to find meaningful public roles. “It’s always been a rather unenviable situation. There are often shades of jealousy, evident in the current queen and her sister,” said Joe Little, managing editor at Britain’s Majesty magazine, referring to Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Margaret.

Not all younger royal children spend their lives waiting in the wings, heading charities and cutting ribbons. Elizabeth’s grandfather, George V, inherited the throne in 1910 after his elder brother died of pneumonia. George VI, another second son, became king after his brother abdicated in 1936.

Here’s a look at some younger royals.

PRINCE HARRY (born 1984)

The second son of Prince Charles and Diana, Harry is often seen as the mischievous one, the fun-loving counterpart to the more staid — some say dull — William.

Harry came of age under full public scrutiny, and through the years he has sparked some scandalous headlines. He admitted to smoking cannabis and drinking in his teenage years, and in 2004 he was photographed scuffling with a photographer outside a London nightclub.

A couple of incidents were particularly embarrassing for the royals: When the prince was photographed wearing a Nazi-themed costume to a fancy dress party, prompting the headline “Harry the Nazi,” and more recently when he was pictured partying naked in Las Vegas.

Like many other royals, Harry chose a military career and has served in Afghanistan. That will likely continue to be his main role as he gets bumped further down the line of succession. The new royal baby will see Harry relegated to fifth in line.

PRINCE ANDREW (born 1960)

Andrew, the queen’s second son and Charles’ younger brother, gets more press than fellow siblings Anne and Edward — largely for the wrong reasons.

Andrew, the Duke of York, enjoyed a successful naval career as a helicopter pilot and served in the Falklands War, yet that record has been overshadowed in recent years by headlines about his friendship with several controversial figures, notably U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender. Andrew stepped down from his role as a trade envoy in 2011 as questions mounted, and this year he had to publicly deny claims that he had sex with an underage woman.

Andrew’s chaotic marriage to Sarah Ferguson — known as Fergie — ended in divorce. He has long been criticized for his opulent, globe-trotting lifestyle, and his romantic links to a number of models and starlets have attracted unwelcome nicknames like “Randy Andy.”

Andrew will become sixth in line to the throne with the baby’s birth.

PRINCESS MARGARET (1930 -2002)

Four years younger than the queen, Margaret was Elizabeth’s only sister. With her film-star looks and vivacious personality, Margaret lived a glamorous life, and many remember her best for her turbulent romances.

The princess’s relationship with divorced pilot Peter Townsend was frowned upon by Winston Churchill and the Church of England, among others. In 1955, aged 25, she declared she had decided against marrying him, “conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth.”

Margaret later married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner, and the couple became the heart of a fashionable set in the Swinging London scene of the ’60s and ’70s. The princess was often snapped dancing late into the night, threw famous parties in the Caribbean and mixed with pop stars like Mick Jagger.

Before the couple divorced, Margaret met Roddy Llewellyn, 17 years her junior, a relationship that prompted huge media coverage.

Margaret’s health declined in her 60s, and she died in 2002 at 71.

KING GEORGE VI (1895-1952)

The father of the queen, George VI — born Albert — became the unexpected king when his elder brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 after a reign that lasted just 11 months. Edward, often portrayed as a raffish playboy, had abandoned the throne to marry his mistress, the divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.

A shy man with a stammer, George had to restore public faith in the monarchy and be the symbolic leader of a country at war with Germany. The Oscar-winning film “The King’s Speech,” which dramatized the story of how he overcame his initial struggles as monarch, reignited interest in his often overlooked life.

George died at 56 in 1952.

Britain has a new princess; and eagerly awaits her name

May 02, 2015

LONDON (AP) — From Prince Charles to the bettors at the corner store, everyone in Britain was hoping for a girl.

The Duchess of Cambridge delighted her nation and royal enthusiasts around the world Saturday by delivering one such princess. The royal birth was greeted with cheers and elated cries of “Hip, hip, hooray!” outside St. Mary’s Hospital in London, where fans and the world’s media have waited for days.

The baby — Prince William and Kate’s second child — was born Saturday morning and weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces (3.7 kilograms), officials said. She is fourth in line to the throne and the fifth great-grandchild of 89-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. Britain hasn’t welcomed a princess born this high up the line of succession for decades.

It may be a day or two before the world knows what to call her. When Prince George, her older brother, was born in 2013, royal officials waited two days before announcing his name. Speculation about the new royal’s name has been frenetic, and all the top bets for the baby’s name have been for girls: Alice and Charlotte are the clear favorites, followed by Elizabeth, Victoria and Diana — all names with strong royal connections. Royal children are usually given several names — the baby’s brother was christened George Alexander Louis — so the princess’s name could incorporate more than one of those guesses.

Anticipation had been building for weeks after Kate, 33, told a well-wisher she was due around late April. Still, journalists were caught slightly off guard when she delivered barely three hours after checking into the hospital at dawn Saturday. William, 32, was present at the birth.

The couple later emerged on the hospital steps with the infant to briefly pose for photographers before leaving for their home at nearby Kensington Palace. Kate, who wore a yellow-and-white floral shift dress by British designer Jenny Packham, held the sleeping baby wrapped in a white shawl.

The couple looked relaxed but didn’t answer any questions. William earlier told reporters he was “very happy” as he brought young George to the hospital to meet his baby sister. George, looking slightly alarmed by all the cameras, waved dutifully at the adoring crowds.

The queen and senior royals were “delighted with the news,” officials said. The queen marked the occasion by wearing a pink ensemble while carrying out an official engagement in North Yorkshire, 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of London.

Cheers and chants of “Princess! Princess!” rang out from the hundreds of well-wishers and tourists gathered outside the palace and the hospital as soon as the news was announced. One fan who had camped out outside the hospital for days danced with joy.

“I’m top of the world,” said royal camper Terry Hutt, 80, decked out in patriotic Union Jack gear. He did not expect the birth to happen as soon as it did but said: “Babies come when they’re ready.” “If Diana was here, she’d be very, very proud,” he added, referring to the late Princess Diana, William’s mother.

The news was announced on social media sites like Twitter as well as by a traditional bulletin on a gilded easel in front of Buckingham Palace — a practice that dates to 1837. A town crier in an elaborate costume — with no official connection to the royal family — shouted out the news at the hospital’s door, clanging his bell to welcome the new royal.

“May our princess be long-lived, happy and glorious,” said Tony Appleton, reading from a scroll in a booming voice. Britain’s political leaders — facing a hard-fought general election in just five days — rushed to congratulate the couple on the baby. Goodwill also poured in from the rest of the world: President Barack Obama said he wished the family “much joy and happiness,” while Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper said the British royal family held a “very special place in our country.”

At 21 months, George is third in line to the throne, after his grandfather Prince Charles and his dad William. The newborn princess becomes the fourth in line, bumping Uncle Harry to fifth. The last princess born so close to the throne was Princess Anne, the queen’s second child, in 1950. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, were fifth and sixth in line at the time of their birth.

Thanks to a recent change in the law, the new princess will hold her place in the line of succession that for centuries had put boys ahead of their sisters. That means no younger brother will be able to overtake the new princess in the order of preference to inherit the throne.

Nonetheless, the princess probably doesn’t have to worry about one day becoming queen, since royal succession rules dictate that the throne always passes to the eldest child. Younger siblings only step up to the job in rare circumstances — in case of an illness, death, or an abdication.

The birth of their second child marks a new phase for William and Kate, who were wed in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey in April 2011. The royal couple is expected to spend more time in their country digs, a 10-room brick-faced mansion known as Anmer Hall on the queen’s estate in Sandringham, 120 miles (190 kilometers) north of London. Their apartment at Kensington Palace in central London, where much of their staff is based, will still remain their official home, officials said.

Anmer Hall is also better located for William’s new role as a pilot for Bond Air Services, a helicopter operator that works with the East Anglian Air Ambulance service. He will work with doctors responding to emergencies ranging from road accidents to heart attacks.

Greg Katz in London also contributed.

Prince William and Kate face transition: new baby, new job

May 02, 2015

LONDON (AP) — It is a period of transition for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, with the birth of a daughter even as William adjusts to a new job as a helicopter ambulance pilot.

Palace officials said Saturday morning that Kate gave birth to a baby girl hours after she went into the hospital. The new arrival was expected to spur the royal couple to spend more time in their country digs, a 10-room brick-faced mansion known as Anmer Hall on grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s estate in Sandringham, 120 miles (190 kilometers) north of London.

They are planning to spend less time in their apartment at Kensington Palace in central London, although officials say that will remain their official home. Much of their support staff is based there.

The country home is also better located for William’s new role as a pilot for Bond Air Services, a helicopter operator that serves East Anglian Air Ambulance. He will work with doctors responding to emergencies ranging from road accidents to heart attacks.

The 32-year-old William, second-in-line for the throne, is on paternity leave after starting the new position in late March. He is expected to help care for his new daughter. William has been training for his new role, including spending time in a flight simulator and getting specialized in-flight instruction.

Kate has admitted she is sometimes frightened when he flies in foul weather but is proud of his work. He was involved in numerous helicopter rescues while serving at a Royal Air Force base on Anglesey off the coast of Wales.

Palace officials have said the new air ambulance role will be William’s main job, although he will still have royal duties in Britain and overseas. He has recently represented the queen at official events and made official visits to Japan and China.

 

It’s a girl! Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to princess

May 02, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has given birth to a baby girl, royal officials said Saturday.

Kensington Palace said in a brief statement that Prince William’s wife “was safely delivered of a daughter” at 8:34 a.m. London time (0734 GMT), less than three hours after she was admitted to central London’s St. Mary’s Hospital.

The announcement was greeted by cheers outside the hospital, where die-hard royal fans dressed in patriotic Union Jack gear have been camping out on the sidewalk, eagerly awaiting news. A town crier in elaborate costume loudly declared the news at the hospital’s door, clanging his bell to welcome the new royal.

The baby weighs 8 pounds 3 ounces (3.7 kg). The palace added that Kate, 33, and her child are both doing well, and that Prince William was present for the birth. The princess is fourth in line to the throne and the fifth great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II.

The statement said that senior royals have been informed, and “are delighted with the news.” Kate, who wed William in April 2011, gave birth to Prince George at the same hospital in July 2013. The name of the newborn wasn’t expected to be announced immediately. When George was born, officials waited two days before announcing his name.

Betting had for weeks ran heavily in favor of the child being a girl, despite any apparent evidence to back that up. All the top bets for the baby’s name are for girls. Alice and Charlotte are the clear favorites, followed by Elizabeth, Victoria and Diana — all names with strong connections to royal tradition.

Prince Charles has signaled — twice — that he’s hoping for a granddaughter, which led some to speculate that Charles had some inside information. The monarchy has not welcomed a princess born this high up the line of succession since Princess Anne, the queen’s second child, was born in 1950.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, were fifth and sixth in line at the time of their birth. At 21 months, George is currently third in line to the throne, after his grandfather Prince Charles and William. The newborn becomes the fourth in line, bumping Uncle Harry to fifth place.

William and Kate mark 4th anniversary waiting for 2nd child

April 29, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Wednesday marked their fourth wedding anniversary while waiting for the birth of their second child.

The former Kate Middleton is expected to give birth in the coming days. Palace officials have said she is due in late April without providing further details. Parking restrictions outside the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital where she is expected to give birth were extended for five more days Wednesday as the media and royal fans gather.

Officials had initially imposed the restrictions until April 30 but have now reserved them until May 5. They said the parking ban could be extended past that date if Kate has not given birth. William and Kate planned a low-key anniversary celebration at Kensington Palace unless she was required to go to the hospital.

Their first child, Prince George, was born at the Lindo Wing in 2013. The couple say they do not know the gender of the baby. British bookmakers say the public is betting this infant will be a girl. Under new laws governing succession, the new baby will be fourth in line for the British throne regardless of its sex behind Prince Charles, William, and George.

The prospect of a royal birth has brought international news media and royal enthusiasts to the hospital steps. They were briefly entertained by a lookalike couple dressed up as Charles and his wife Camilla.

Prince Harry will train with Australian army next month

March 17, 2015

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Prince Harry will be embedded in Australian army units on the north, west and east coasts of the country during the British royal’s hectic four-week secondment to the Australian defense forces next month before he ends his decade-long military career, officials said Tuesday.

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, who is Australia’s Defense Force Chief, said that Captain Harry Wales, as he is known in the British Army, will be embedded with a number of Australian army units and regiments in the cities of Sydney, Darwin and Perth.

“We have prepared a challenging program that will see Capt. Wales deploy on urban and field training exercises, domestic deployments, as well as participate in indigenous engagement activities,” Binskin said in a statement.

“While all our units are highly capable, we have selected those units that best utilize Capt. Wales’ skill sets and give him some experience of the diverse range of capability we have within the ADF,” he said.

The Australian tour is an extension of prince’s regular British army duties, he said. The fourth in line to the British throne will also attend centenary commemorations of the World War I Gallipoli campaign in Turkey on April 25.

In a statement confirming he would leave the army in June, Harry said that leaving the army had been “a really tough decision” but he was excited about the future. “From learning the hard way to stay onside with my Color Sergeant at Sandhurst, to the incredible people I served with during two tours in Afghanistan — the experiences I have had over the last 10 years will stay with me for the rest of my life,” he said. “For that I will always be hugely grateful.”

Neil James, chief executive of the Australian Defense Association think tank, said the prince would likely be attached at an armed reconnaissance helicopter squadron in the northern city of Darwin and possibly an aviation unit supporting a commando regiment in the east coast city of Sydney.

The west coast city of Perth is the base of the elite Special Air Service Regiment which extensively uses helicopters in training exercises, James said. Tropical Darwin is also a training hub for U.S. Marines and the base of a predominantly Aboriginal infantry regiment, the North-West Mobile Force, better known as NORFORCE.

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