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David Hockney Self Portrait, 22 November 202, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 30 inches, © David Hockney. Thanks for permission.

David Hockney, English Painter & National Treasure

The English painter David Hockney was born in July 1937 in Bradford, Yorkshire. At the time of writing, he is still going strong in his mid-eighties and a new exhibition of his work is on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. It includes a recent self-portrait by Hockney.

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Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall. Photo Credit: © KoronaLacassePhoto via Wikimedia Commons.

10 Facts About Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess Of Cornwall & Future Queen Consort

Queen Elizabeth II has publicly announced that it is her “dearest wish” that Prince Charles’s wife Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall be known as Queen Consort when he ascends to the throne of the United Kingdom. Here are ten facts about Camilla Parker Bowles, the woman who will in the future be known as Queen Consort:

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Gun Salute for the Royal Birth, held in Hyde Park on 24/04/2018. Photo Credit: © Richard Symonds via Wikimedia Commons.

The Story Behind Royal Gun Salutes

Regular and Reserve British Army soldiers marked the seventieth anniversary of the Queen’s Accession to the Throne on Monday,  7th February, in London with a celebratory gun salute. The Queen ascended to the throne on 6th February 1952 but, when the day itself falls on a Sunday, as happened in 2022, the salute is not fired until the following day.

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Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Photo Credit: © British The Royal Household © Crown Copyright.

Medals, Coins & 10 Events For Celebrating The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  came to the throne of the United Kingdom on the death of her father King George VI on 6th February 1952. This means that on the same date in 2022 she celebrated the seventieth (or platinum) jubilee of her accession.

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Buckingham Palace. Photo Credit: ©London & Partners.

Touring Buckingham Palace During The Summer Opening

The Summer Opening at Buckingham Palace for 2022 will be from Friday, 22 July – Sunday, 2 October.  Visitors will see the 19 magnificent State Rooms, which provide the setting for ceremonial occasions and official entertaining. All rooms are furnished with many of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection.

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Queen Elizabeth the ll during her 2015 visit to HMS Ocean in Devonport. Photo Credit: © Joel Rouse/ Ministry of Defence via Wikimedia Commons.

10 Facts About Queen Elizabeth II

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the seventieth anniversary of her ascent to the throne of the United Kingdom on 6th February 2022. Throughout the year this platinum anniversary will be celebrated with a series of events by people the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.  She provides a measure of constancy in sometimes troubled times and a link with Britain’s past.

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Whisky bar in London. Photo Credit: © Jonathan Cohen.

Where To Find Good Whisky in London

One drink that is very much in fashion in the bars around London is whisky, but that is nothing new. Londoners have been drinking the spirit since the middle of the eighteenth century. As a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, I have taken one for the team in researching and exploring London’s whisky scene.

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London skyline with Big ben and the London Eye at dusk. Photo Credit: © Julian Love/Visit London Images.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement & Updates

London’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides, members of Guide London/Association of Professional Tourist Guides are acting in the best interests of visitors and locals alike by restricting our work in line with the latest advice from Public Health England. Furthermore, most tourist attractions, including museums and galleries and many pubs and restaurants, are closed. This is because the UK government has advised against all inessential travel as they work to contain COVID-19 and minimise community spread.

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Winter Solstice At Stonehenge. Photo Credit: © Richard Ing.

The Winter Solstice At Stonehenge

I was excited to be visiting Stonehenge on the day of the winter solstice (21st December) and the sun was shining! At around 3.50 pm the midwinter sun set in the southwest and its rays flooded through the centre of the monument on the axis that Neolithic peoples understood 5000 years ago.

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Margaret Campbell Duchess of Argyll. Photo Credit: © Allan Warren via Wikimedia Commons.

A Great British Scandal: The London Of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll

Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, was a name that everyone knew at the time of her divorce in 1963 but during her lifetime she had three names, each one making her a legend, Margaret Whigham, Margaret Sweeny, and when a Duchess, Margaret Campbell.

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Ben Big uncovered after renovations near completion. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Big Ben Restoration: London’s Most Famous Bell And Clock Can Be Seen And Heard Again

London saw in 2022 to the traditional sound of the bells of Big Ben at Westminster. Although the annual fireworks display which is a part of the New Year festivities was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Londoners and visitors to the capital were able to see as well as hear Big Ben for the first time in four years since it was covered with scaffolding and silenced as a result of the restoration programme at the Palace of Westminster, better known as the Houses of Parliament.

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London Chinatown - Chinese New Year Parade - Dragon Dancers. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in London

The wonderful Christmas lights in Central London are coming down, and red lanterns are beginning to appear around Soho and in particular Chinatown. This is part of the celebration for Chinese New Year which is also known as the Spring Festival. This year it falls on the 28th January, the first day of spring in the lunisolar calendar.

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