Blog Posts

Delivering the Queen's Speech on behalf of his mother, May 2022. Photo Credit: © House of Lords 2022 / Photography by Annabel Moeller via Wikimedia Commons..

A Royal Tradition: The Coronation of British Monarchs

William the Conqueror was crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 after his defeat of the last Anglo-Saxon king Harold at the Battle of Hastings, the last successful invasion of Britain by a foreign power. Since then, every British monarch has been crowned at Westminster Abbey, with two exceptions, who were both named Edward – Edward the Eighth and Edward the Fifth.

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Crowd lining parade route London New Year's Day Parade. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

5 Fun Ideas for New Year in London

The end of December through January is a fun time to be in London.  Christmas may have passed, but the atmosphere is still quite festive, and there are loads of events to ring in the New Year and get you excited about the start of the year.   Below are some of the major events and activities to entice you to plan a visit to our fair capital London which continues to bounce back with an increasing number of tourists!

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Pediment Hebe, part of the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum. Photo Credit: © Edwin Lerner.

Should The British Museum Return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece?

In 1799 Thomas Bruce, the Seventh Earl of Elgin, was appointed ambassador by the British government to the Ottoman Court of Turkey, which at that time ruled Greece. Within twenty years of his appointment many of the carvings from the Parthenon, the Temple of the goddess Athena, were transported to London. These used to be referred to as the Elgin Marbles but are now normally called the Parthenon Marbles in honour of where they came from and not who was responsible for bringing them to London. The marbles can be seen in the Duveen Gallery of the British Museum, which has been open since 1962.

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Skate at Somerset House with Moët & Chandon. Photo Credit: © Somerset House.

Ice Skating in London – 4 Open Air Ice Rinks To Enjoy Over The Christmas And New Year

Christmas festivities in Central London usually start with the putting up of Christmas lights in the major shopping areas. But nowadays, the laying out of ice rinks in popular tourist attractions makes the visitor experience much more fun. Here are five places where you can enjoy skating in London with amazing scenic views.

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NHS Blue Rainbow Boy by Croydon street artist Chris Shea. Photo Credit: © Ursula Petula Barzey.

7 Hospitals in London and the National Health Service (NHS)

2023 sees the seventy-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. The idea of free health care paid through taxes had been around for some time but did not become a reality until the Labour government under Clement Atlee was voted in as the Second World War was coming to an end in 1945.

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Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square: Antelope by Samson Kambalu. Photo Credit: © Edwin Lerner.

Fourth Plinth In Trafalgar Square – Filling The Most Famous Empty Space In London

Blue Badge Tourist Guides who take their groups through the British Museum will often stop to point out some massive Assyrian sculptures before moving on to the nearby Parthenon Marbles. These represent the half-lion half-man figures guarding the entrance to the royal palace of King Ashurnasirpal the Second and were built in the ninth century BC. Now they can point out a modern version of the same creatures made from date syrup cans standing right in the centre of London – on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square.

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Tate Modern: View from the banks of the Thames River with Millennium Bridge in forefront.

New Uses For Old Power Stations In London

Britain used to rely almost exclusively on coal for its electricity generation, mining it in Wales and the north and central part of England, then bringing it, usually by train, to power stations where it could be burned to heat up water that would generate electricity. Then the water was cooled down in cooling towers that can still be seen in many parts of the country.

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Painting of Ira Aldridge (1807-1867), in the character of Othello by James Northcote. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Stepping Into London’s West End Limelight for Black History Month

London’s West End has long been a place of fun and entertainment – theatres, cinemas, and nightclubs. We look to the stages and large cinema screens to admire our modern-day idols and hope to meet them in the flesh. For Black History Month, we look at some familiar places in London’s West End and discover the people who were not just entertainers; but pioneers, performing on stages and working hard to increase the rights of Black citizens.

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Coffin for Queen Elizabeth II on gun carriage. Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Funeral at Westminster Abbey

They came from far and wide to pay their respects to a woman who had come to the throne as a young mother at the age of twenty-five when her father, King George the Sixth, had died suddenly in his sleep at the age of fifty-six in 1952. George had become king in 1936 because his elder brother had abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, an American woman who had been married and divorced twice and was not considered suitable as a royal consort.

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Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, 8th September 2022. Photo Credit: © The Royal Family.

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch Dies at 96

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second’s long reign as monarch of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth came to an end on the afternoon of 8th September, 2022. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair in London on 21st April 1926 in a house since demolished. She ascended to the throne on 6th February 1952 whilst in Kenya on a tour of African countries. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days was the longest of any British monarch, as she had passed the previous record of 63 years and seven months held by Queen Victoria in 2015.

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English footballer Alessa Russo with Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London. Photo Credit: © Historic Royal Palaces.

Football In London: Increasingly A Game For Women As Well As Men

Blue Badge Tourist Guides in London may conduct sport-themed tours – or they may just want to mention some British achievements in the world of sport to their groups and clients as a matter of general interest. While London has successfully hosted the Olympics three times – in 1904, 1948, and 2012, and contains famous venues such as Twickenham for rugby union, Wimbledon for tennis and Lord’s or the Oval for cricket, the England men’s national football team has won nothing since England won the World Cup at Wembley Stadium in 1966 when they last hosted the tournament. England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra time, and Geoff Hurst is still the only man to have scored three goals in a World Cup final.

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Dippy the Diplodocus at Natural History Museum. Photo Credit: © Natural History Museum.

Where To Find Dinosaurs In London

Dinosaurs first appeared on earth nearly 250 million years ago and survived until a mass extinction event around 65 million years ago. This means that they were dominant animals on the planet for over 150 million years – far longer than human beings. Most scientists believe that the mass extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a meteor landing on earth.

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