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  #21  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:30 AM
Mary Anne
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"In Diana, (Charles) found a young, beautiful woman who indeed was embraced by the English people. In that sense, she was the perfect choice. In the sense of marriage, she was the wrong choice."
-- People magazine senior editor Anne-Marie O'Neill
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  #22  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:31 AM
Mary Anne
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"She brought some sort of freshness into the royal family."
-- Royal genealogist Marlene Eilers

Picture caption:

Royal kiss: Charles and Diana on their wedding day in 1981
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  #23  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:33 AM
Mary Anne
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Royals, Part 3: Troubled times


By CNN's Richard Quest

LONDON, England (CNN) --It should have been a time for joy -- 40 years of dedicated service to her country.

The queen had much to celebrate. Instead, 1992 turned into the worst year of her reign. And for the most part, there was no one else to blame but the royals themselves.

"I think it was a very important year in the queen's life," says royal watcher Robert Jobson. "I think it was the year that she realized and the people realized that the royal family was not really a family that one should look up to in moral terms."

By 1992, all the queen's children except Edward were married. Most ceremonies, such as the marriage of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson, had been major national occasions. The public still had an appetite for these larger-than-life events.

In the end, though, it was the children and their spouses who proved to be too rich even for the British stomach.

Sarah Ferguson loved to live life to the full. Used to royalty but not aristocratic herself, initially she fit in well with the modern royal family. Yet soon the strains showed.

"I think the public was fascinated with Fergie because here was this good-time party girl who found herself in the royal family," says People magazine senior editor Anne-Marie O'Neill. "She didn't really exhibit the required stature of dignity whatsoever."

With her husband away on naval or royal duties, scandal soon beckoned.

A series of photos published in early 1992 left the British in no doubt that Sarah had been playing around -- from the pictures of her with Texan Steve Wyatt, to the famous "toe sucking" pictures that scandalised even a public used to naked women on Page 3 of their national papers.

"I mean, sucking toes. ... It's not like it was pornographic. It was just so undignified," says O'Neill. "And the tabloids had such a good time with it that it really was the first time that the royal family was opened up to such ridicule."

Andrew and Sarah agreed to separate -- and it was only January.

'Why are they there?'
Another royal marriage -- this time Princess Anne's -- was also finished off in 1992.

Although the Princess Royal, as she was known, and her husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, had lived apart for several years, the final decision to divorce was tainted by salacious tittle-tattle -- for her, love letters from a palace staff member; for him, claims of fathering an illegitimate child.

"I think that whole year, and all of those scandals, really opened the royal family up to criticism and made people wonder: 'Why are they there? They're not so different from us. They are not really this dignified symbol of our country. So why do we have them?' It made them much more vulnerable as an institution," says O'Neill.

If all this was good for gossip, the breakdown of Charles and Diana's marriage was far more serious stuff.

After all, this involved the future of monarchy. Any illusion that the palace had created of a couple still in love went right out the window with two foreign visits -- a trip to South Korea, where they were nicknamed The Glums; and a journey to the Taj Mahal, the temple to love, where Diana sat alone.

"The mess about Charles and Diana overtook all other perceptions of the royal family," says O'Neill. "You didn't really care that year what the queen had to say in her Christmas address.

"All you cared about was what other illness Di had developed because she was so depressed with her marriage to Charles. And really, it just became a soap opera about Charles and Di."

The publication of a semi-official book, "Diana, Her True Story," ended the illusion for good. The year continued with scandal after scandal, including more photos of Sarah and tapes of Diana's extramarital flirtations. Leaks and rumours filled the British papers.

"The private lives of the royal family dominated the news more than their public duties," says former Buckingham Palace aide Charles Anson.

"And the function of the monarchy is to perform public duties. It's not to have their private lives played out in public ... but inevitably that happened."

Windsor burning
Then the event that hit the queen really hard: Her favourite home went up in flames.

Windsor Castle is the queen's weekend retreat -- the oldest inhabited castle in the world. The queen and Andrew joined the firefighters and household staff to rescue treasures as flames consumed the historic building.

It wasn't enough that the castle had burned -– there was also a nasty row over who would pay for the renovations.

The public rebelled at the $100 million bill. A compromise was reached -- the queen would open up Buckingham Palace for the first time, and the paying visitors to the palace and the castle would foot the bill.

The queen also agreed she would pay income tax for the first time.

With her family and her castle in ruins, it was an ill and sorry-sounding queen who gave a speech that defined the year:

"1992 is not a year that I shall look back on with undiluted pleasure," she said. "It has truly been ... in the words of one of my more sympathetic chroniclers, my annus horriblis."

And then at the end of the year, just when it seemed it couldn't get much worse, came the announcement that everyone was expecting. It had just been a question of when.

"It is announced from Buckingham Palace that with regret, the Prince and Princess of Wales have decided to separate," then-Prime Minister John Major told Parliament.

1992 will go down in royal annals as a truly terrible year, where scandal and scrutiny pummeled the monarchy. This wasn't the country's No. 1 family; they had turned royalty into an international joke.

"It's rather like being on a very small boat on a heavy sea in a big storm," says Anson. "I mean, there comes a moment where you just have to fasten all the ropes down and wait for the storm to pass, and that's what 1992 felt like."




picture caption: For Queen Elizabeth, 1992 was "rather like being on ... a heavy sea in a big storm," a former palace aide said
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  #24  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:35 AM
Mary Anne
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The fire at Windsor Castle became a metaphor for a royal family that appeared to be disintegrating
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  #25  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:36 AM
Mary Anne
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Royals, Part 4: Shock and sorrow


By CNN's Richard Quest

LONDON, England (CNN) --As parts of Windsor Castle crumbled in flames, a royal marriage also headed for ruin.

By the end of 1992, Prince Charles and Diana were legally separated. Diana said the media spotlight was partly to blame.

"I realize their attention would focus on our private and public lives ... but I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become ... and how it would affect my public duties and my personal life," Diana said.

After the separation, Diana appeared more at ease with the press and herself and was acting more confident.

"The freedom she had, once out of her cage -- it empowered her," says Diana biographer Lady Colin Campbell.

And although Diana said she'd rather not divorce Prince Charles, she received a letter from the queen which suggested that for the sake of the children, Diana and Charles should be divorced sooner rather than later.

The divorce was final in August 1996. Diana won a settlement estimated at $27 million but lost the right to the title "Her Royal Highness."

After the divorce, Diana dug deeper into charity work, making appearances in support of a ban on anti-personnel land mines.

"I don't think people would have signed up ... (against) landmines if she hadn't focused on it," said Diana's brother, Charles Spencer.

Diana was linked romantically to Dodi Fayed, the 42-year-old son of wealthy businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed.

"He was very soft, sweet and he gave Diana all the attention she lusted after," Campbell said.

Dubbed "the princess and the playboy," the couple were pictured in Britain's tabloid newspapers.

'Diana is dead'
In August 1997, eight weeks after her 36th birthday, Diana joined Fayed for a vacation in Paris.

In the early morning hours of August 31, Diana and Fayed died in a car crash as their driver sped to elude paparazzi, including photographers on motorcycles.

"I called my middle sister, Jane, whose husband works for the queen," said Spencer. "I heard him say 'Oh no' and then Jane said, 'I'm afraid that is it ... She's dead.'

"I was sitting there, and my daughters came in, and I said, 'Aunt Diana is dead,' and then one of my little girls said, 'Not in real life, Daddy.'"

In the hours after Diana's death, the royal family remained stoic. But public outcry -- including newspaper headlines such as, "Where is our queen? Where is her flag?" and "Show us you care" -- eventually pushed the monarchy to acknowledge the pain.

On the day of her funeral, millions lined the streets of London to say goodbye as a gun carriage took Diana's body from her home at Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey.


Prince Charles, Princes William and Harry and Diana's brother, Charles Spencer, walked behind. Attached to a wreath on her coffin was a letter from Harry to his mother.

Diana's grace, her generosity, her kindness epitomized all that the people of Britain wanted from royalty. In their grief, many subjects hoped the Windsors might take a lesson from Diana's life.

"They should take a ... few leads from Diana's book," said one Briton. "She said it all. She'd done it all. She belonged to us. ... She was a normal person."

Though the woman affectionately known as "The People's Princess" was gone, her legacy lived on.

Honouring her work
"It was easy to see the cover of People magazine -- she was on the cover 80-odd times -- and see the glamorous dresses or the marital difficulties," says Spencer.

"But to get to the substance of her work -- it's almost that she had to die before people realized what she had done."

To honour Diana's humanitarian efforts, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund was set up five days after her death.

"We try to prioritise some of the most disadvantaged people of all who have to struggle with stigma and prejudice as well as physical suffering, because she did," says the foundation's Andrew Parkis.

The foundation, which has raised more than $67 million, distributes funds to dozens of causes Diana took up, including AIDS prevention, the hospice movement and land mine clearance.

"We do that in difficult areas on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan," says Parkis. "But we feel that is in the tradition shown to us by Diana, Princess of Wales."

But it is Diana's living legacy that gets most of the attention: Prince Harry and the man who will be king, Prince William.
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  #26  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:37 AM
Mary Anne
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"She'll never grow old, just as the movie icons James Dean and Marilyn Monroe."
-- Diana's brother, Charles Spencer
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  #27  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:38 AM
Mary Anne
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Diana and Dodi Fayed died on August 31 in Paris, when their car crashed while trying to elude photographers
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  #28  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:39 AM
Mary Anne
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"I'm not so sure that there will ever be another Diana. ... I think in some ways she was like Jackie -- someone who is absolutely perfect for the time."
-- Diana biographer Lady Colin Campbell
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  #29  
Old 12-19-2002, 08:41 AM
Mary Anne
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Royals, Part 5: Coming of age


By CNN's Richard Quest

LONDON, England (CNN) --"I will go on."

With those words from Queen Elizabeth II ringing in the British ears this spring, no one was left in any doubt: Fifty years on, and this Elizabethan era is not over yet.

The queen intends to stay on the throne; it is a job for life.

"I think the queen -- I worked for her for seven years -- enjoys her work. But even if she didn't enjoy it, she would gauze it as her duty to do what she vowed to do," says former Buckingham Palace aide Charles Anson.

Adds royal watcher Robert Jobson: "I think as she gets older ... she will hand more and more responsibility towards Prince Charles and her other children. But she will continue to reign as monarch until she dies."

Buckingham Palace has been the London headquarters for the British monarchy for more than a century, since Queen Victoria established it as her home.

As Queen Elizabeth II now looks forward to her final years on the throne -- however many they may be -- so the British public looks forward to the next monarch: Prince Charles.

And they consider what will come after him. What will Prince William bring to the British royal family?

Take away the name, and fiddle with the facts, and the very description of Prince William's life could be a sign of modern times.

Feuding parents, a broken home, and then being brought up by a single parent -- Prince William probably has more in common with his subjects than most would first see.

But there, of course, the similarity ends. He is being trained to lead.

"Since Diana's death, I think William has really become the media's focus, certainly the people's focus," says People magazine senior editor Anne-Marie O'Neill. "But in the Royal Family he must be considered with some import because he is an heir to the throne."

The princes' protector
Access to the prince has been carefully controlled. Since the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, "photo ops" are few and far between. The children are no longer an accessory to the war between the parents.

Now limited access is allowed only when there are major changes in his life, such as going abroad for a year between school and university. Even then, carefully staged answers are released to the world.

More recently, when he started university in Scotland, precious time with William was doled out to the media. The questions were banal, the answers good-humoured.

Afterwards, most cameras were turned off. But Charles' younger brother, Prince Edward, felt royal wrath when his production company, Ardent, didn't obey the rules and continued to film William in the following days.

"Prince Edward's role has just changed quite significantly," says O'Neill. "For years he was battling to be the 'working royal.' He wanted to be an actor, then he wanted to be a TV producer. And he did so with some success.

"And then he made the fatal mistake of allowing one of his crews to follow Prince William at college. And that was pretty much the death knell for his career."

Prince Charles has become the protector, often seen as the dotty father being run ragged by his sons -- who give him more than his fair share of grief.

"I think the two princes probably are quite different in temperament," says Anson. "But they're close to each other. They're very close to their father."

If Prince William has a role, it is Prince Harry where there's more work to be done. As sibling to the future monarch with no formal role, all he has to look forward to is a grand title and secondary royal duties.

As Prince Edward has recently discovered, you can't get involved in everyday business -- but you have no hope of ever getting the top job. It's a life at the side.

"Harry's like the spare," says O'Neill. "He's more rambunctious. He looks like he's got a little bit more mischief in him. He's having a good time. He's getting in a spot of trouble, and you know, he can get away with that."

'Baby steps'
Prince Harry's recent marijuana use sent a shudder through the royal ranks. There are many examples of royal siblings who have gone off the rails.

But Prince Charles took charge, dispatching Harry to a drug abuse centre to learn about how those less fortunate handle the scourge.

"I think it's just one of those things," says Anson. "One child always takes a slightly different route from the other. If they get into trouble from time to time, I think people are quite sympathetic.

"I think there's a feeling that there but for the grace of God, these sort of problems could easily happen to your own children."

For the children, nothing can have been more daunting than that dreadful day in 1997 when their mother died. The nation howled when they saw the boys being taken to church within hours of the death, then wept when days later the princes stoically had to walk behind their mother's coffin.

Billions of eyes watched as, composed, they made their way to Westminster Abbey. It was a walk they were to make again only a few weeks ago -- this time following the coffin of their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Getting the balance right -- between the strictness and discipline needed to be a royal, and allowing the teenagers to have the life enjoyed by everyone else -- has been the goal.

Still, the public is fascinated with the royal sons. Of particular interest has been the princes' reaction to their father's continued relationship with his old flame, Camilla Parker Bowles.

"While not exactly embracing Camilla as their second mother, it's quite clear that they recognize that she is someone who makes their father happy," says O'Neill.

"She did meet the boys several years ago and has spent time with them. So, baby steps. You know, there have been baby steps towards her acceptance into the royal family."

'Sense of continuity'
It is easy to see the Windsors as nothing more than a soap opera played out for the world to see. But that ignores the very fact that this isn't about royalty, but about monarchy -- the constitutional head of a nation and government.

The queen has acted her part with perfection for more than 50 years, putting duty before family, country before person. It will be an extraordinary person who can do better.

"What has become clear from the huge crowds on the street for the queen ... is that they do appreciate the sense of continuity, of steadiness that the queen gives by having been in that role for a very long time," says Anson.

"And I think in the sort of modern society in Western Europe where everything's changing all the time, to have something that doesn't change quite so quickly is actually a useful glue in our society."

Through the centuries, Britain's royal family has survived by adapting -- by gauging the national mood and changing the way members of the family behave.

As the United Kingdom celebrates 50 years of Queen Elizabeth's rule, the Windsors again have to decide: What do the British people want? How will the monarchy deliver?

The answers to those questions will channel time-honored traditions and shape the future of the world's most famous royal family.


picture caption: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II "will continue to reign as monarch until she dies," says royal watcher Robert Jobson
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  #30  
Old 12-19-2002, 01:41 PM
Gentry
 
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What a lovely picture of Her Majesty a proper Queen, she is one of my favourite royal's and one of the last "real" too me.
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  #31  
Old 12-21-2002, 06:26 PM
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Queen sells land at Kensington palace

First sale of royal grounds for 300 years

David Hencke, Westminster correspondent
Monday December 16, 2002
The Guardian

The Queen is to get a windfall of up to £100,000 from the first sale of land by a royal palace for 300 years. A deal is being brokered between the government, on behalf of the royal household, and the owners of the Royal Garden hotel in London over the sale of a plot of land owned by Kensington Palace.

Hitherto it had been illegal for any of the grounds of the royal homes - Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace, and Windsor Castle - to be sold. In 1702 parliament forbade William of Orange to sell any of the palace land, in order to stop him joining in the property speculation rife at the time.

A wheeze has been devised by the parliamentary agents Winckworth Sherwood to get round the ban. The agents, who draft bills and promote them through parliament, have had passed a private act giving the owner of the Royal Garden hotel, the Imperial Tobacco pension fund, dispensation to buy the land.

The procedure could be copied in future and has implications for development of royal palaces at a time when the royal household is looking at rationalising its residences; Kensington Palace is largely empty, and once vacated by its last royal tenants, including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the building could be redeveloped.

Plans to lease some of the empty flats to selected, security-cleared tenants, such as foreign ambassadors or military figures, have foundered because of laws preventing any property in the palaces being leased for longer than 31 years.

The new legislation, under the unwieldy title of Land at Palace Avenue, Kensington (Acquisition of Freehold) Act, got through parliament virtually without debate in June. It gets round the 31-year lease by allowing Imperial Tobaccoto to start negotiating to buy a parcel of the most valuable estate in the capital.

The back of the hotel (designed by Richard Seifert, who built Centre Point) straddles the palace land. A 31-year lease agreed in 1987 cost £5,000, plus a ground rent of £200 a year, which will soon rise to £300.

The pension fund, through its property advisers, DTZ, opened negotiations with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport within days of the act getting the royal assent. It is understood that an opening bid of £25,000 for the land, six yards by 60 yards, was turned down by the department; it is reported to want a six figure sum more in line with land prices in Kensington.

A spokesman for the department said yesterday: "The money raised is expected to go to the royal household."

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/monarchy/story/0...,860766,00.html
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  #32  
Old 12-21-2002, 06:30 PM
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Princess Margaret's palace home to be open to public

Princess Margaret's former apartment at Kensington Palace will be opened up to the public as an education centre and extra exhibition space for the royal ceremonial dress collection, it has been announced.

In addition, Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen will pay £120,000 a year from her own funds in rent for Prince and Princess Michael of Kent to remain at Kensington Palace.

No decision had yet been made on the future of the former Kensington Palace apartment of Diana, Princess of Wales, said Buckingham Palace.

The former home of Princess Margaret, who died in February, will be taken over by the Historic Royal Palaces, a self-funding charitable trust.

As well as administering the Kensington Palace State Apartments, already open to the public, the trust manages the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House in London's Whitehall and Kew Palace.

All running costs will be paid by the trust, which receives no government funding, and the new arrangement will, therefore, use no taxpayers' money.

Link: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_730110.html?menu=
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Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. -Virginia Woolf
  #33  
Old 12-21-2002, 07:36 PM
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Lots of interesting news coming from Great Britain! Elizabeth seems to be cracking down on some of her realtives a bit...

Julia
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  #34  
Old 12-21-2002, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jacqueline@Dec 21 2002, 04:26 PM
The procedure could be copied in future and has implications for development of royal palaces at a time when the royal household is looking at rationalising its residences; Kensington Palace is largely empty, and once vacated by its last royal tenants, including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the building could be redeveloped.
KP is still the home of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Kent and Duke and Duchess of Gloucester along with his mother Princess Alice, who won't be going anywhere for a long time to come. The Duchess of Gloucester could live another 40 years. The Duchess of Kent another 30. But this is the same paper who said the Queen Mum died in June, so I'm not surprised.
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  #35  
Old 12-21-2002, 07:47 PM
Julia's Avatar
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Very interesting! This paper tends to be unreliable, I am guessing?

Julia
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  #36  
Old 12-21-2002, 08:37 PM
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They are a republican paper, so the only time the cover the royals is when they do something wrong. They have a whole section devoted to the monarchy on their website, though. Take everything they say with a grain of salt. They don't research much of anything and it shows. I've seen mistakes in their coverage on other topics, not just the royals.
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Kelly D
  #37  
Old 12-26-2002, 01:12 PM
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From the BBC....Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas Message in its entirety.

Wednesday, 25 December, 2002, 15:01 GMT
Queen's message in full

As I look back over these past 12 months, I know that it has been about as full a year as I can remember.

But Christmas itself still remains a time for reflection and a focus for hope for the future. All great religions have such times of renewal - moments to take stock before moving on to face the challenges which lie ahead

Many of you will know only too well from your own experience, the grief that follows the death of a much-loved mother or sister. Mine were very much part of my life and always gave me their support and encouragement.

But my own sadness was tempered by the generous tributes that so many of you have paid to the service they gave to this country and the wider Commonwealth.

At such a difficult time this gave me great comfort and inspiration as I faced up both to my own personal loss and to the busy Jubilee summer ahead.

'Sense of community'

Anniversaries are important events in all our lives. Christmas is the anniversary of the birth of Christ over 2000 years ago, but it is much more than that.

It is the celebration of the birth of an idea and an ideal. In a different way I felt that the Golden Jubilee was more than just an anniversary.

The celebrations were joyous occasions, but they also seemed to evoke something more lasting and profound - a sense of belonging and pride in country, town or community; a sense of sharing a common heritage enriched by the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of our 21st Century society.

I hope it also provided an occasion to acknowledge the progress of the past 50 years and the contributions of those who have done so much to make this country what it is today - their leadership and example, their achievements in science, the arts and many other fields.

These celebrations also gave opportunities to recognise the valuable work undertaken by so many people in service of their communities.

'Pressure of modern life'

It was a time to remind ourselves, as the Christmas story does every year, that we must never forget the plight of the disadvantaged and excluded, that we must respond to the needs of those who may be in distress or despair.

Our modern world places such heavy demands on our time and attention that the need to remember our responsibilities to others is greater than ever.

It is often difficult to keep this sense of perspective through the ups and downs of everyday life - as this year has constantly reminded me.

I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad.

Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.

Like others of you who draw inspiration from your own faith, I draw strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel.

Fortified by this and the support you have given me throughout the last 12 months, which has meant so much to me, I look forward to the New Year, to facing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and to continuing to serve you to the very best of my ability each and every day.

A Happy Christmas to you all.

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2603637.stm
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Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. -Virginia Woolf
  #38  
Old 12-26-2002, 01:15 PM
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Summary of Queen's message and few details about her injury obtained a few days earlier from Yahoo News.

Queen reflects on mixed year in Christmas speech
Wed Dec 25,11:37 AM ET

By Emma Ross, Associated Press Writer


LONDON - Queen Elizabeth II reflected on "as full a year as I can remember," Wednesday, speaking of her grief following the deaths of her mother and sister and of the success of national celebrations marking her 50 years on the throne.

For her annual Christmas broadcast, the queen sat in a powder blue dress in front of a table with framed photographs of her sister, Princess Margaret, who died in February, and her mother, the Queen Mother Elizabeth, who died in March.

She wore a hand-painted rock crystal brooch, set on 100 diamonds, that she had given to her mother for her 100th birthday.

"Many of you will know only too well from your own experience, the grief that follows the death of a much loved mother or sister," she said. "Mine were very much part of my life and always gave me their support and encouragement.

"But my own sadness was tempered by the generous tributes that so many of you paid to the service they gave to this country," she said. "At such a difficult time this gave me great comfort and inspiration as I faced up both to my own personal loss and to the busy Jubilee summer ahead."

Against a montage of film footage showing the Queen's hectic Golden Jubilee year, she said: "As I look back over these past 12 months, I know that it has been about as full a year as I can remember."

"Our modern world places such heavy demands on our time and attention that the need to remember our responsibilities to others is greater than ever.

"It is often difficult to keep this sense of perspective through the ups and downs of everyday life — as this year has constantly reminded me."

This year's broadcast was, for the first time, publicized in advance by Buckingham Palace with a television trailer.

The unprecedented promotion of the address appeared to be an attempt to boost the speech's declining ratings.

Watching the queen's address used to be a holiday fixture for many British families, but the British Broadcasting Corp. said that while about 30 million people had watched in decades past, last year only about a third that many tuned in.

Earlier in the day, the queen, 76, attended a Christmas Day church service with other members of the royal family on the royal Sandringham estate, showing signs of a knee injury she suffered last week.

She did not use a walking stick but did appear to have a slight limp and used a handrail as she walked up the steps into the church.

The Queen injured her leg during a private visit to Newmarket, Suffolk, on Friday and has since been walking "with the occasional use of a stick," according to Buckingham Palace.

A crowd of about 300 people lined the path leading to the church to watch the royals and the royals were joined at the service by a number of local people.

As the royal family left the church, an American woman ducked under a rope keeping back crowds.

Mother-of-three Marlene Ponce, 42, of Ruby, South Carolina, dashed up to Prince William, hugged him and handed him a block of chocolate before being led back behind the rope by police.

Prince William smiled and resumed his walk back to nearby Sandringham house after the incident.

Link: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...een_christmas_1
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:17 PM
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Photographs from the Royal Family's Attedance of Christmas Services at Sandringham Church in Norfolk on Christmas Day.

All Photos are From Yahoo News.

Queen Elizabeth II
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:17 PM
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Queen Elizabeth II and the Countess of Wessex
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