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Posts tagged ‘Royal Family of England’

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.

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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.

No more soldier prince: UK’s Harry to leave army in June

March 17, 2015

LONDON (AP) — It’s a soldier’s life no more for Britain’s Prince Harry.

Royal officials said Tuesday that the 30-year old prince will leave the armed forces in June after 10 years of service that included two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Harry’s final army duties will include a four-week assignment in April and May with the Australian Defense Force. The prince will spend time in Darwin, Perth and Sydney and attend centenary commemorations of the World War I Gallipoli campaign in Turkey.

Harry said that leaving the army had been “a really tough decision” but he was excited about the future. In a statement, Harry said he felt “incredibly lucky” to have had the chance to serve in the armed forces.

“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.”

Harry, who is fourth in line to the British throne, graduated from Sandhurst officers’ academy in 2006 and joined the Household Cavalry as an armored reconnaissance troop leader. He served in Afghanistan as a battlefield air controller for 10 weeks in 2007-2008 until a media leak cut his tour short.

Keen to return to the front lines despite fears he would be a top Taliban target, Harry retrained as a helicopter pilot and served in Afghanistan in 2012-2013 as an Apache co-pilot gunner. Most recently he has served as a staff officer in the army’s London headquarters, playing a big role in bringing the Invictus Games — an international sports competition for wounded troops — to Britain.

Kensington Palace said that after leaving the army Harry will volunteer with the British military’s Recovery Capability Program, which helps wounded service members, “while actively considering other longer-term employment opportunities.”

Harry was the first British royal to see combat since his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters during the 1982 Falklands War. His older brother Prince William also attended Sandhurst before training as a Royal Navy search-and-rescue helicopter pilot. He has since left the navy to become an air-ambulance pilot.

Harry has often seemed more comfortable as a soldier than in his royal duties, although he has been visibly energized by his work with charities for wounded veterans. “It’s very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the army. Everyone’s wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing,” Harry said in an interview after returning from Afghanistan in 2013.

Queen christens new mega cruise ship

March 10, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has christened P&O Cruises’ 141,000-ton liner Britannia — a 473 million pound ($714 million) mega ship that’s longer than four superjumbo jets.

With a gloved hand, the monarch pressed a button that swung a bottle of Sussex sparkling wine against the hull of the 1,082 foot ship at a ceremony in Southampton. The queen is likely to have a special affection for the new ship’s name. Britannia was also the name of the royal yacht, which saw service from 1954-1997.

The new ship can carry over 3,600 passengers and 1,350 crew. It features 15 passenger decks, 13 bars, four swimming pools and a 936-seat theater. It is decorated by 308 foot (94 meter) Union flag painted on its bow.

P&O is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.

British royal couples’ 2nd child due in April

October 20, 2014

LONDON (AP) — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have confirmed that their second baby is due in April — the first time they have offered a month for the royal birth.

Kensington Palace also said in a statement Monday that the duchess, who has been sidelined by prolonged morning sickness, continues to improve. There was no word on the baby’s gender. The former Kate Middleton and Prince William are scheduled to welcome Singapore President Tony Tan when he arrives on a four-day state visit this week. She is also expected to attend the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 award ceremony.

The duchess canceled several engagements after her second pregnancy was announced in September. She also had acute morning sickness during her pregnancy with Prince George, who was born in July 2013.

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