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Friday, 30 November 2012

King George and Queen Mary


A four-part portrait of Elizabeth II's grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, which examines the lasting legacy of the couple who rescued the monarchy from potential disaster, and whose influence persists to this day. 


King George V. George could not have been a more unlikely moderniser. Born and brought up in the Victorian age he was conservative to his fingertips. Yet in the face of unstoppable social change after the First World War he turned out to be a remarkable innovator, creating the House of Windsor, embracing democratic reform, and reinventing many of the royal traditions that we know today. When he celebrated his silver jubilee in 1935 the monarchy was more popular than ever.

But as a parent King George V was far less successful - he bullied his children and alienated his eldest son and heir, Prince Edward. As one courtier remarked at the time, 'the royal family are like ducks, they sit on their children'. By contrast, King George had a loving relationship with his granddaughter, and much of Queen Elizabeth's style and commitment to duty can be traced back to this early influence.






Episode three focuses on Queen Mary, who came from a relatively humble royal background, but was picked as a future queen consort by Queen Victoria. At first she was betrothed to Prince Eddy, heir to the throne. But when Eddy died she was unceremoniously passed to his brother George. Despite the arranged marriage, King George and Queen Mary had a loving relationship. Mary revered the monarchy and obeyed her husband in all things - even the length of her dresses. She always put duty and service first. But when King George died in 1935, this once rigidly formal character emerged as a determined if eccentric royal matriarch with a mind of her own. When the abdication crisis threatened the future of the House of Windsor she was the rock to which the nation turned as a symbol of stability and continuity. Queen Mary died in 1953, having lived to see her granddaughter, Elizabeth, ascend to the throne.

   Episode four focuses on Queen Mary, who came from a relatively humble royal background, but was picked as a future queen consort by Queen Victoria. At first she was betrothed to Prince Eddy, heir to the throne. But when Eddy died she was unceremoniously passed to his brother George. Despite the arranged marriage, King George and Queen Mary had a loving relationship. Mary revered the monarchy and obeyed her husband in all things - even the length of her dresses. She always put duty and service first. But when King George died in 1935, this once rigidly formal character emerged as a determined if eccentric royal matriarch with a mind of her own. When the abdication crisis threatened the future of the House of Windsor she was the rock to which the nation turned as a symbol of stability and continuity. Queen Mary died in 1953, having lived to see her granddaughter, Elizabeth, ascend to the throne.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Prince Charles Celebrates His Birthday, New Zealand Style



Prince Charles attended a party to celebrate his 64th birthday in New Zealand's capital, Wellington on Thursday (November 14) along with 63 other guests celebrating on the same day. Charles's birthday cake consisted of 64 small cakes all portraying parts of New Zealand life, such as kiwi fruit and sheep. Earlier in the day the Royal couple were at the Wellington waterfront and watched a crew use a waka, a traditional Maori canoe that took part in the Thames Diamond Jubilees Pageant Charles also inspected members of New Zealand's Armed Forces at a ceremony at Government House with Prime Minister John Key. Charles and Camilla have two more days in New Zealand, which is the last leg of their Pacific tour, organized to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee.

Meryl Streep: Biography

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The tragic beauty of a beach full of plastic

Meet Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang. For more than ten years, they’ve been collecting plastic debris from a 1 km stretch of beach in Northern California, and creating art with it. They admit there is much beauty in the trash they find, but their message is one of concern about the Pacific garbage patch.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

President Barack Obama rolled to re-election and a second term in the White House


TRANSCRIPT
REPORTER: Celebrations in Chicago as U.S. President Barack Obama rolled to re-election and a second term in the White House with a clear victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. 

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "Tonight in this election you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of Amercia the best is yet to come." 
REPORTER: Romney conceded the race in his hometown of Boston. 
MITT ROMNEY: "I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations." 
REPORTER: The same problems that dogged Obama in his first term are still there to confront him again. He will face a difficult task of tackling deficits and a mounting debt and a gridlocked Congress. But after a hard fought victory, for his supporters it was time for celebration in Chicago and other parts of the country.