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Old 11-25-2003, 03:37 PM
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From The Scotsman

Stars out for Royal show in capital


WITH its inimitable mix of rock, pop, opera and kitsch, the Royal Variety Performance came to Edinburgh last night for the first time in 75 shows.

And although singer Rachel Stevens may have been the talk of the tabloids, it was Osmondmania that carried the day as Donny and his five singing brothers staged a retro reunion at the capital’s Festival Theatre.

The night saw the opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti hobble on to the stage with a broken knee to sing for the Queen 40 years after performing for her at Covent Garden.

The former boxer, Frank Bruno, made a cameo appearance, his first since he was hospitalised with depression in September.

The Irish boy-band Westlife, chart-toppers Busted and Daniel Bedingfield, and the jazz pianist Jamie Cullum were among those who joined the musical pot-pourri.

Stevens, lately of S Club 7 and now a top solo artist, sang her single Sweet Dreams My LA Ex. She had promised: "I will raunch it up for The Queen."

The end result fell somewhat flat, with eight male dancers dressed in black doing suggestive press-ups with spindly whips and token chains.

Danny Bhoy, the Scottish-Indian comedian, a well-known name on the Fringe, used his minutes in the royal limelight to the full with a risqué and witty act.

Donny Osmond made his British debut with his brothers at the Royal Variety Performance in 1971. Now 45, he returned yesterday with Jimmy, Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Alan. The ran a medley of 70s hits, such as Love Me For a Reason and Crazy Horses.

Many of the performers enthused yesterday about sharing the stage with the Osmonds and visiting Edinburgh.

"Everywhere I looked, there was an Osmond," said Mattie Jay, of Busted, the chart-topping group who profess to be more than a boy band. "I love Edinburgh. We looked out of our hotel room as soon as we arrived and we said, like, a castle."

The Royal Variety Performance may not have the international youth audience of the MTV Awards, but once again Edinburgh got a touch of celebrity fever.

Donny Osmond signed autographs along Princes Street. "We care about this performance," he said. "A lot of people are going to be watching it, especially Her Majesty, and we have to please the Queen."

With all proceeds going to the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, the line-up included Latin music queen Gloria Estefan and New Zealand’s teen diva, Hayley Westenra.

Westenra, 16, had arrived in Edinburgh on the heels of performing for George Bush and the Queen at Buckingham Palace last week. She is to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone at Parkhead tonight for the Celtic versus Bayern Munich match.

Westenra, who picked up a winter coat at the Princes Street Mall, is a formidably well- spoken teen who was travelling with her mother.

"I love Edinburgh," she said. "It’s just so gorgeous, the castle, the cobbled streets. Everything is so picturesque."

But her performance proved one of the evening’s most bizarre. She opened with a traditional Maori tune, with nine tribal performers with feathers in their hair, then faded into Amazing Grace with a bagpipe accompaniment.

The idea of a Royal Command Performance was first aired in 1911, and Edinburgh was in contention to be the venue. But last night’s show, marking its 75th anniversary after interruptions for wars and royal funerals, was only the second time it has left London.

The night was heavy on Scottish flavour from the start, the ScottishPower, Strathclyde Police and Drambuie Kirkliston pipe bands bursting on stage with Flower of Scotland.

Barry Humphries arrived as Dame Edna Everage dressed as a Scottish thistle - the "national weed".

Ronnie Corbett joked about the Scottish parliament fiasco. "This is Edinburgh with the inspiring new parliament building," he said. "It has been described as a symphony of architecture. It’s a pity it’s an unfinished symphony".

There was heavy security around the Festival Theatre, from the thick-set bouncers hired by producers Granada Television to Lothian and Borders Police teams combing the building repeatedly with bomb-sniffing dogs. But organisers insisted the level of security was not unusual.

"We always have bomb-sniffing dogs, everybody’s bag has always been searched," said a spokeswoman for Granada.

The edited programme will be shown on ITV tomorrow night.
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Old 11-25-2003, 07:51 PM
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Polfoto 25-11-2003 The Duke of Edinburgh salutes as he arrives at the laying up of the Colours of the Queen's Own Highlanders, to remember fallen soldiers from the regiment, at the Scottish National War Memorial in Crown Square at Edinburgh Castle.
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Old 11-25-2003, 08:56 PM
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IBL - Queen Elizabeth II attends the Royal Variety Performance 2003 at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Scotland, Britain. 24 November 2003.
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Old 11-25-2003, 09:11 PM
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Couldn't help thinking that The Queen and Dame Edna have very similar hairstyles! Wonder who is emulating who??

Old 11-26-2003, 09:50 AM
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University fees shake-up announced

Long-awaited legislation enabling universities to treble their fees to £3,000 a year has been announced by the Queen at the official opening of Parliament.

Getting it past MPs and peers is expected to be one of the Government's toughest tasks over the coming months, as higher fees are opposed by more than 100 Labour backbenchers as well as Tories and Liberal Democrats.

The decision to press ahead regardless will please universities, although they are likely to be less happy with the confirmation of the plan to set up a watchdog to ensure they are doing enough to attract more working class students.

The Queen said: "A Bill will be introduced to enable more young people to benefit from full-time education.

"Upfront tuition fees will be abolished for full-time students and a new Office for Fair Access will assist those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"Universities will be placed on a sound financial footing."

The Higher Education White Paper published last January said the current £1,125 upfront fee would be abolished and replaced with a charge repayable once graduates were earning more than £15,000 a year.

The poorest students will continue to have the full amount of the old upfront fee paid by the state and they will also qualify for a grant worth £1,000, which is due to come into force next year.

The new maximum fee - provided it is permitted by Parliament - will come into effect in September 2006.

The Bill will also create a cheap mechanism for dealing with student's complaints about their university and set up an Arts and Humanities Research Council as a new funding mechanism.

And it will pave the way for the Welsh Assembly to take charge of student finance in the Principality.

Story filed: 11:39 Wednesday 26th November 2003
Old 11-26-2003, 10:53 AM
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"The Queen is furious with President George W. Bush after his state visit caused thousands of pounds of damage to her gardens at Buckingham Palace.

Royal officials are now in touch with the Queen's insurers and Prime Minister Tony Blair to find out who will pick up the massive repair bill. Palace staff said they had never seen the Queen so angry as when she saw how her perfectly-mantained lawns had been churned up after being turned into helipads with three giant H landing markings for the Bush visit.

The rotors of the President's Marine Force One helicopter and two support Black Hawks damaged trees and shrubs that had survived since Queen Victoria's reign.

And Bush's army of clod-hopping security service men trampled more precious and exotic plants.

The Queen's own flock of flamingoes, which security staff insisted should be moved in case they flew into the helicopter rotors, are thought to be so traumatised after being taken to a "place of safety" that they might never return home.

The historic fabric of the Palace was also damaged as high-tech links were fitted for the US leader and his entourage during his three-day stay with the Queen.

The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage.

"The Queen has every right to feel insulted at the way she has been treated by Bush," said a Palace insider.

"The repairs will cost tens of thousands of pounds but the damage to historic and rare plants will be immense. They are still taking an inventory.

"The lawns are used for royal garden parties and are beautifully kept. But 30,000 visitors did not do as much damage as the Americans did in three days.

"Their security people and support staff tramped all over the place and left an absolute mess. It is particularly sad because the Queen Mother loved to wander in the garden just as the Queen and Prince Charles do now.

"Some of the roses, flowers and shrubs damaged are thought to be rare varieties named after members of the Royal Family and planted by the Queen Mother and Queen.

"Other Royals had their own favourite parts of the garden as children and some of those areas have been damaged."

The Queen's insurers have told her she is covered for statues, garden furniture and plants she personally owns, but the bill for repairing damage to the lawns and the structure of the Palace will probably have to be picked up by the Government.

The Americans made alterations to accommodate specialised equipment. The mass of gadgetry meant the Royals couldn't get a decent TV picture during the visit"

I had also heard that some people at the Palace said that they had never seen the Queen this angry before
Old 11-27-2003, 10:23 AM
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Students are calling for Prince Philip to be removed from his post as chancellor of Edinburgh University.

The Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) plans to ask the Duke of Edinburgh to stand aside.

The student body backed a motion which said the position "might as well be filled by a piece of root ginger".

However, the university said the vote would have "no bearing" on the Duke's position, which its rules say he will hold for life.

About 800 students attended the student association's annual meeting on Wednesday evening.

The motion was proposed by 22-year-old student Jeremy Kemp.

It also stated: "HRH Prince Philip is not a suitable figurehead or representative of the university."

Mr Kemp said: "I am very happy but there is still a lot of work to do.

"It is still possible for the university and Philip to ignore the will of 20,000 students.

"But I am fairly optimistic he will take heed and we can change the constitution and allow for elections."

The EUSA, an amalgamation of the students' union and the Students' Representative Council, will now lobby for the university to ask Prince Philip to resign.

The student association's president, Will Garton, will also write to the Duke asking him to relinquish the post.

However, university secretary Melvyn Cornish said that the vote represented less than 5% of the total student population.

"I am rather doubtful that it reflects the general feeling on campus," he said.

"What we do know is that the vote has no bearing on the constitutional position.

"The Duke of Edinburgh remains the university's chancellor."

He said Prince Philip worked "extensively" as an ambassador for the university.

"We very much value his continued engagement with the university despite his many other commitments," he said.

The university's principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Timothy O'Shea, also voiced his support.

"The Duke of Edinburgh has held the position of chancellor for over 50 years and, in that time, he has worked resolutely on behalf of the staff and students here," he said.

Active interest

"Only last month, for example, he hosted a dinner to announce plans to develop a £40m facility which will help maintain the university's leading role in the emerging disciplines of informatics and e-science.

"He takes an active interest in all aspects of university life, and he continues to generate an enormous amount of goodwill for the university both at home and abroad."

Prince Philip was elected chancellor by the University General Council in 1952.
Old 11-27-2003, 04:10 PM
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets England captain David Beckham. England soccer captain and fashion icon David Beckham collected an OBE from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.(AFP/Pool/File/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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Old 11-30-2003, 06:10 AM
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From the Telegraph -

Queen plans to see the real Nigeria - but the 'villagers' will be actors

By James Robson and Bisi Abidoye in Abuja
(Filed: 30/11/2003)

When the Queen returns to Nigeria this week for the first time since its independence, a highlight of the royal itinerary will be her walkabout in the colourful market at New Karu, a small farming village just outside the gleaming modern capital, Abuja.

The Queen will be invited to meet and talk to market traders preparing and selling eje - a homemade moonshine - and aweina - beancakes - from a row of mud-brick stalls with shiny new zinc roofs. The images, of Her Majesty mixing with the locals, will no doubt be beamed across the world.

Yet not all will be as it seems: this will be a stage-managed spectacle rather than real Nigerian life.

The market has been specially built for the Queen's visit in the grounds of the local government secretariat. Many of the traders will be actors employed by the BBC for a new educational radio soap opera about "ordinary life" in Africa. The real residents of New Karu will be kept a safe 500 yards away, watching their star guest on a freshly erected giant screen.

Nigerians expressed disappointment last week that touring the set of Voices, the soap jointly funded by the BBC and the British Government, would be the closest the Queen comes to the "real Nigeria".

Ngozi Ajuonu, the president of the Rural Women Foundation, said it was a shame that the Queen would not see a genuine village, while acknowledging that reality could shock the royal guest. "She might collapse," Ms Ajuonu said.

The decision to use the market set for the Queen's walkabout was taken for security reasons in view of the heightened global terrorist threat. Plans for the Queen to visit the northern city of Kano, a centre of Islamic militancy, have been dropped, while the Duke of Edinburgh will make a solo day trip to the unruly commercial capital of Lagos.

Critics of the Nigerian government are suspicious of the motives for the Queen's visit to New Karu. Shehu Sani, the president of Nigeria's Civic Rights Congress, said: "They always do this when there's an international visitor - take them somewhere fake and wealthy-looking.

"Then they ask for debt relief. They should take her to a real village, with no electricity or clean water."

He claimed that the Nigerian government had done the same thing when President Bill Clinton visited the country in 2000.

Despite Mr Sani's scepticism, the security surrounding the state visit will be unprecedented. On Friday the Queen will open this year's Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM), which unites about a quarter of the world's leaders under one roof for a three-day summit.

Organisers of the meeting have drafted in tens of thousands of extra police officers to the capital and a 500-yard security cordon is being set up around the market set in New Karu. Hembadoom Iorfa, who sells beer and snacks from a stall just outside New Karu's newly refurbished town hall, still hopes that she might be able to sneak in to snatch a look at the Queen.

"I want to take my daughter to see her too. I can't believe that I will be seeing Wantor Inglan," she said, using the title given to the Queen in the Tiv language of the Benue valley.

The Queen's last visit to Nigeria was in 1956, four years before the country declared its independence. She spent three weeks on a tour that stretched from the arid north to the humid cities of Port Harcourt and Calabar in the south.

"My father was in the crowd during her last visit and he used to tell us that the Queen was the most beautiful woman he had seen. It is unfortunate he is dead for I would have gone to bring him from the village to see her again."

The set-up at New Karu has echoes of the so-called Potemkin villages built by totalitarian states to conceal unpalatable truths from both their own rulers and foreign dignitaries. Catherine the Great of Russia was the first monarch to receive such treatment: in 1787 her lover, Prince Grigori Potemkin, ordered cardboard facades of villages to be erected along the route of her visit to Ukraine and Crimea.

Stalin enthusiastically mounted the same ruse, building and populating fake villages in the Soviet Union in the 1930s to convince visitors such as George Bernard Shaw of the benefits of rural life when millions of peasants were dying of starvation. North Korea still takes foreign delegations to its similarly fake "Friendship Villages".

Even though his people will be forced to watch the Queen on television, Chief Bitrus Weongbe, the madawaki - deputy head - of Karu, says that they will give her a rapturous welcome. "That we are going to have her in Karu at all is enough glory to the people," he said.

"We have received the president and governor several times but the Queen is special. She is the mother of everyone," he said. He hoped that her visit would bring amenities - "roads, light and water" - to Karu. "The Queen does not need anything; she is rich," he said. "But she is our mother, too, so we shall give her our special native gifts."

Buckingham Palace said yesterday that the Queen was aware of the arrangements that had been made for her day in New Karu and that the market had been moved because of filming for an educational programme. "There are some actors there but the Queen will be meeting real stallholders," a Palace spokesman insisted.
Old 12-04-2003, 01:18 PM
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Hello Magazine

The maker of a classic line of plastic containers has received a sudden boost, thanks to the Queen.

American firm Tupperware, which closed its UK houseparty sales business last spring, is set to relaunch after a British newspaper story printed photos of Her Majesty's breakfast table, revealing that the Queen utilises Tupperware tubs.

"Obviously the Queen giving her approval has been a tremendous boost," head of Tupperware UK Jane Green told the Daily Mirror. "We will be restructuring and relaunching next year."

And the company has even offered to update the British monarch's collection of containers, in which she keeps porridge oats and cornflakes. "It looked like some of the Queen's Tupperware was very old," said Ms Green. "It probably dates back to the Seventies. One of the first things we'll be doing is sending her some – it's changed quite a bit since then."

Isn't that funny??
Don't squat with yer spurs on
Old 12-08-2003, 04:20 PM
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i didn't know that Prince William love Rugby! like his brother Harry!

Sara Boyce

p.s. please post pictures in William's
Old 12-08-2003, 04:35 PM
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Nice to see William doing a royal duty here and there. We hadn't really seen much of him lately.
Old 12-09-2003, 01:44 PM
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Apparently the Queen is due for a visit to the hospital for surgery in her left knee on Friday.
Queen faces knee operation

The Queen will be undergoing an operation at the King Edward VII hospital in London on Friday to remove a torn cartilage in her left knee.

The operation follows a similar one on the Queen's right knee on January 13 this year.

A spokeswoman said: "The Queen is expected to leave hospital some time during the weekend and she should be fully active again within a few weeks."

The Queen will spend Christmas with her family at Sandringham as usual, the spokeswoman added.
From Ananova.
Old 12-09-2003, 03:43 PM
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Some of these rugby players are good looking! Lucky Queen!

... When are they playing their next game so that I can see them in action!
Old 12-09-2003, 04:44 PM
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im so sure HM Queen had surgery again this friday! if Prince William know about his grandmother's surgery?

when i been visit my grandmother's surgery at her hospital she had right hip not same as Queen's its different! i saw her hip but its really little improvement but my grandmother not hurt after surgery i been sat into the waiting room for nearly 3 hours its 2 1/2 hours of my grandmother's surgery! but its bored!

Sara Boyce
Old 12-09-2003, 06:35 PM
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Wills is certainly happy!!
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Don't squat with yer spurs on
Old 12-09-2003, 08:38 PM
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The Queen will undergo an operation on Friday, 12 December at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, to remove a torn cartilage in her left knee. This operation follows a similar one on Her Majesty's right knee on 13 January this year.

The Queen is expected to leave hospital some time during the weekend, and she should be fully active again within a few weeks. The Queen will spend Christmas with her family at Sandringham as usual.

The operation was a planned one. Following the surgery on The Queen's other knee earlier this year, doctors decided that surgery was also required on her left knee. The decision on the timing of the operation was made to minimise the impact on The Queen's commitments, and to enable her to continue her recovery at Sandringham over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Queen will hold tomorrow's Investiture at the Palace, as scheduled. However,
as a consequence of this operation, The Queen's attendance at two public engagements has been cancelled and her hosts have been informed - a Carol Concert hosted by the WRVS on Thursday in London, and the rededication ceremony of HMS INVINCIBLE on Friday in Portsmouth. Although The Queen will not be able to attend these engagements, the events will go ahead in her absence. In the case of the HMS INVINCIBLE ceremony, The Duke of York will attend the rededication.

The Queen's remaining official commitments next week (including receiving Credentials from two new Ambassadors) will be postponed or cancelled.
Old 12-09-2003, 11:35 PM
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yeah i heard the news on the computer its her second surgery!

Sara Boyce
Old 12-10-2003, 01:03 AM
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I thought the following picture was great and just goes to show that whether you are queen or commoner your pets are going to show you up!
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Everything I write here is my opinion and I mean no offence by it.
Old 12-12-2003, 03:00 AM
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Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives at the King Edward VII Hospital in London, Thursday Dec. 11, 2003, in preparation for key-hole surgery to remove a torn cartilage on her left knee. The queen, 77, is expected to leave the hospital over the weekend, following the operation.(AP Photo/John D McHugh)
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