Entries in Diamond Jubilee (11)


Famous London Clock Tower Renamed in Honor of Queen

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Old habits die hard, so it's anyone's guess whether Londoners can call the clock tower of Britain's parliament anything but Big Ben.

They may not have much of a choice since it's been renamed Elizabeth Tower by the House of Commons in a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as Britain continues to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.

Members of parliament say the honor is "in recognition of Her Majesty's 60 years of unbroken public service on behalf of her country."

"Big Ben" actually refers to the bell in the clock tower, but people in London -- and everywhere else for that matter -- have called the whole thing by that name for as long as anyone can remember.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


WATCH: The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Message

Lewis Whyld - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Queen Elizabeth II waved to a cheering crowd outside of London's Buckingham Palace Tuesday, the final day of her Diamond Jubilee.

In a pre-recorded video, the queen thanked celebration organizers and well-wishers.

Watch the queen's message:

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Watch the ABC News special report:

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Diamond Jubilee Goes On with Prince Philip in the Hospital

Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince Philip celebrated his wife's Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday from the hospital, where we was admitted the day before with a bladder infection.

The prince, who turns 91 this weekend, will remain in the hospital for a few days as a precaution, palace officials say.

Prince Philip was "understandably, disappointed about missing this evening's Diamond Jubilee Concert," the palace said Monday.

Prince Charles noted his father's absence as he addressed the crowd.

"Only sad thing is that my father couldn't be here with us," Charles said.  "If we shout loud enough, he might just hear us in hospital."

His absence was also noticeable on Tuesday as Queen Elizabeth entered St. Paul's Cathedral on the final day of her celebrating 60 years on the throne.

"When you realized she was on her own and suddenly it reminded us that she's always with Prince Phillip, so very sad for her but he's a tough guy," British journalist and CNN TV-show host Piers Morgan said Tuesday on ABC's Good Morning America.

"I mean, it was brutal out there on Sunday.  It was a ghastly day so I suppose at the age of 90 it got a bit much for him but the family goes on.  They are incredibly stoic people," he said.

Prince Philip spent four nights in the hospital at Christmas after suffering chest pains and underwent a successful coronary stent procedure to clear a blocked artery.  Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, married Princess Elizabeth in 1947.  She took the throne as queen six years later.

The Diamond Jubilee went on as planned Monday despite the condition of Prince Philip, as many members of the royal family, including Charles' wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Princes William and Harry sat in a royal box to watch Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and others perform.

The festivities began on Saturday and will end on Tuesday, with the queen delivering a televised address from Buckingham Palace, where she will thank the public for the past four days of celebrations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Duke of Edinburgh, 90, Hospitalized with Bladder Infection

WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has been taken to the hospital to be treated for a bladder infection. He will miss Monday’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

"Prince Philip will remain in hospital under observation for a few days,” the Palace said in announcing the news.

"He is, understandably, disappointed about missing this evening's Diamond Jubilee Concert and tomorrow's engagements."

The concert is one of a series of events celebrating the queen’s 60 years on the throne, the second-longest reign in U.K. history.

Prince Philip, whose 91st birthday is this Sunday, was hospitalized last December due to chest pains. The palace said Philip was treated for a blocked coronary artery and a successful “invasive procedure of coronary stenting” was performed.

Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, married Prince Elizabeth in 1947. She took the throne as queen six years later.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Queen Elizabeth II Honored with Diamond Jubilee Flotilla

Danny Martindale/WireImage(LONDON) -- The weather certainly wasn’t fit for a queen, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of some 1.2 million people who lined the banks of the River Thames on Sunday to watch Queen Elizabeth II float past on a royal barge to mark her 60 years on the British throne. 

The barge was turned into a veritable floating garden for the Diamond Jubilee event, and was surrounded by a thousand smaller boats, including 10 carrying choirs and musicians.

The 86-year-old queen, dressed in a silver and white dress and matching coat, led a flotilla down a seven-mile stretch of the river to Tower Bridge, which was raised in her honor.

The royal family was on board as well, including Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who some say stole the show on the gray and rainy day by wearing a red-above-the-knee dress with a matching red hat.

Not everyone was thrilled about the celebration.  A small group of protesters gathered at the Tower Bridge to protest what one said was the "unaccountable power of the crown."  The protestors chanted "Democracy now"  but the group was drowned out most of the time by people who delivered impromptu renditions of "God Save The Queen."

Despite the protests, The Daily Mail reports a poll conducted Saturday found seven out of 10 Brits believe the nation is better off with the monarchy.

There is now a call amongst British lawmakers to formerly rename the east tower at the Palace of Westminster "The Elizabeth Tower."  The tower is commonly referred to as Big Ben because that’s the name of the bell inside the tower, but officials would like the tower itself to honor the queen for her Diamond Jubilee. 

The tower at the other end of Westminster was originally known as the King’s Tower, but was renamed Victoria Tower in honor of the late monarch.

The Diamond Jubilee celebrations continue on Monday with the Queen and the royal family attending a concert.  On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth will attend a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, followed by lunch and an appearance on a balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Diamond Jubilee: Queen Attends Derby as Celebrations Begin

John Stillwell-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It was a day at the races for the royal family today as Diamond Jubilee celebrations kicked off, honoring the 60 years Queen Elizabeth has spent on the throne.

The four-day festivities officially began with a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

The 86-year-old monarch waved to well-wishers lining the streets as she was driven to the Epsom racecourse to take in one of the year's biggest horse-racing events. She was accompanied by husband Prince Philip, her sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and her granddaughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

"Dancing With the Stars" runner-up Katherine Jenkins sang "God Save The Queen" before the race began.

"This is definitely a day that I will never forget," the Welsh singer told the BBC.

Queen Elizabeth watched from the royal box as a horse named Camelot won the race.

The queen, who is an avid horse breeder and racing fan, has been attending the Epsom Derby for eight decades. After the race, she presented prizes to some of the winners and chatted with jockeys and trainers while a cheering crowd waved mini Union Jacks.

Tomorrow, the monarch will lead a flotilla of 1,000 boats down the Thames River on the royal barge, which is draped in red and gold. She'll disembark at the Tower Bridge where she will watch the remainder of the floating tribute go down the river.

An estimated 20,000 well-wishers will line the banks of the river, but those at home are encouraged to share lunch with neighbors and friends as part of the celebration.

On Monday, the BBC will broadcast a concert from Buckingham Palace. At the end of the concert, Queen Elizabeth will light the national beacon. Around the country and in British commonwealths, 4,000 beacons will then be lit.

The four-day festivities will wind down on Tuesday with a Service of Thanksgiving for the queen at St. Paul's Cathedral. The monarch will close the opulent four days of celebrations by riding in a formal carriage procession.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


World-Record Attempts Mark Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The upcoming 60th anniversary of the reign of England's Queen Elizabeth II will be marked with festivities and ceremony, but for some, the historic Diamond Jubilee is a good time to break strange world records -- lots of them.

Jubilee-themed attempts to break records are already under way, according to Guinness World Records. A world record was set last week for the longest line of fanfare trumpeters: 91.

Participants will ratchet up their efforts this weekend when she hits the 60-year anniversary of her coronation Saturday. People will gather at Burnham-On-Sea beach Saturday to try to beat the record for the most sandcastles built in an hour. The record is 571.

And in the village of Cheddar, located in Somerset, others will attempt to create the longest line of bunting. It’s expected to stretch 2.8 miles through the village and beyond. The record is 2.1 miles.

The Camping and Caravanning Club will attempt Monday to set a new record for most people wearing paper crowns across multiple locations.

Jubilee celebrations will be in high gear this weekend in the U.K. through Tuesday.

Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne Feb. 7, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI.  She was crowned at Westminster Abbey June 2, 1953.

The only other British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897.

Watch ABC’s Concert for the Queen: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration With Katie Couric Tuesday, June 5, at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


A Family Affair: Prince Charles Pays Tribute to His Mother

Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Charles, Prince of Wales, will honor his mother with a televised personal tribute to Her Majesty the Queen of England, celebrating her 60-year reign and kicking off the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“The Diamond Jubilee gives us a chance to celebrate with pride all that the queen means to us, whether as a nation or as one of her children,” Prince Charles said in a news release announcing the tribute, which will be shown on BBC One Friday evening.

The tribute will include archived newsreels as well as priceless never-before-seen home videos and pictures, as Prince Charles celebrates the Queen’s accomplishments as the nation’s leader and as a mother.

The prince praises the queen, whom he calls “mama,” saying she “has provided an amazing record of devotion, dedication and commitment.”

Much of the film revolves around Prince Charles’ childhood memories, including a trip to the beach.

The prince recalls a childhood memory in which he and sister Princess Anne were buried in the sand at Holkham beach in Norfolk, accompanied by a corgi. As part of the BBC special, Prince Charles will share footage from the beach trip, which was filmed by the queen.

He also shares memories of his mother as she prepared for her coronation in 1953.

“I remember my Mama coming, you know, up, when we were being bathed as children, wearing the crown. It was quite funny -- practicing.”

Watching the footage 60 years later, Prince Charles admires his mother’s “amazing poise” and “natural grace,” as she prepares for her coronation while attending to her children.

“My mama takes great pride in her family, from being a young mother at the start of her reign, to now being a great grandmother twice over,” Princes Charles says.

He also celebrates his mother’s reign as queen, and the respect she commanded from leaders around the world. “I think just the sheer number of heads of state who are coming to the Jubilee celebrations shows the respect and affection with which my mama is held all around the world,” he says.

He also expresses admiration for his mother’s steadfastness during her 60-year reign. “The fact that my mama has been a constant feature on the scene has provided that sense, I think, of continuity in a time of immense change over 60 years.”

He recalled that Queen Elizabeth opened Parliament 59 times, adding a personal touch: “I’ve always thought my mama looks absolutely wonderful in that tiara.”

To watch Prince Charles’ tribute to the queen, tune in to BBC One Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince William Tells Katie Couric He’s Eager for Kids

Katie Couric interviews Prince William for the ABC network special, "The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric." (Credit: Mark Large)(LONDON) -- One year after their marriage, Prince William said that he and wife, Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, are eager to have children. What he didn’t say was exactly when the world could expect to meet the next British royal heir.

“I’m just very keen to have a family and both Catherine and I, you know, are looking forward to having a family in the future,” the Duke of Cambridge, 29, said in an interview with ABC News’ Katie Couric. Asked by Couric if there was anything else he wanted to share, he answered with a laugh, “You won’t get anything out of me. Tight lipped.”

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating her 60 years on the throne, Couric conducted several rare interviews with members of the royal family, including TRH Prince Harry, The Duke of Cambridge Prince William and The Duke of York Prince Andrew, which aired Tuesday night in an ABC News special, The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric.

Speculation about whether Kate Middleton is pregnant has been swirling for months. Meanwhile, whenever the royal couple does have children, it appears likely their first-born will be in line for the throne regardless of gender. Last year, the heads of 16 Commonwealth countries agreed to a change in the rules of succession so that first-born children of either gender -- rather than only first-born males -- can take the throne. (Queen Elizabeth II was only eligible to be sovereign because her father had no male children.) The British Parliament must still amend existing law to make the succession change official.

“Put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen,” British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters last year.

Prince William said he thought it was strange that his family planning was the subject of headlines, but he tries not to let it bother him.

What does bother the prince, however, is the decision he has to make by the end of this year: whether to take another tour of duty with the Royal Air Force -- where he is a flight lieutenant -- or assume royal duties full-time.

“I’m still trying to decide,” he said. “It’s a really difficult one because I really enjoy my time in the Air Force. And I’d love to continue it. But the pressures of my other life are building. And fighting them off or balancing the two of them has proven quite difficult.”

Like his older brother, Prince Harry has followed his family’s long-standing tradition of military service. He is a captain in the British Army Air Corps and famously had a tour in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008.

In Afghanistan, he said, he learned what it meant to fight for queen and country.

“Once you’re in the military, she means a lot more to you than just a grandmother. She is the queen. And then you suddenly, it’s like start realizing, you know, wow, this is quite a big deal. And then you get goosebumps and then the rest of it,” he said.

Prince Harry is still figuring out his personal life, he said. The 27-year-old prince shared with Couric his own desire for a family.

“I’ve longed for kids since I was very, very young. And so…I’m waiting to find the right person, someone who’s willing to take on the job,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince Harry Reflects on Queen Elizabeth II’s Legacy

WPA Pool photo by MARK LARGE(NEW YORK) -- To the world, she’s Queen Elizabeth II, the beloved British monarch who has reigned for 60 years.  But to her grandson Prince Harry, she’s just “Granny.”

“In a small room with close members of the family, then she is just a normal grandmother.  Very relaxed,” the prince said in an interview with ABC News’ Katie Couric.  “She obviously takes a huge interest in what we all do, that’s her children as well as her grandchildren.   She wants to know which charities we’re supporting, how life is going in our jobs and such.  So you know, she has a vested interested in what we do.”

Now, the prince has begun to see his most famous relative in a new light.

“When we were young it was very easy to take our grandmother for granted.  She was just a grandmother to us.  It’s only really sort of been over the last sort of five, eight to 10 years that I’ve actually really learned to sort of understand and accept the huge deal that she is around the world, especially within the U.K.,” Harry said.

The 27-year-old prince, who is the third in line to the throne, hit the road as his grandmother’s royal envoy for the first time this March, visiting the Caribbean, Central and South America to greet and thank her subjects.

The prince attended to royal business on the queen’s behalf, but was widely applauded for the fun and charm he brought to the task.  He took on Olympic great Usain Bolt in a friendly 20-meter race in Jamaica and boogied with locals in Belize.

To royal watchers, it looked like the prince had not only found his groove, but also his own unique way to express the values of his grandmother, 86, who became monarch when she was only 25.

While Harry excelled on his first trip, taking on the level of royal responsibility that his grandmother did is something he can’t imagine.

“No, not a chance,” the prince said on having the queen’s duties at such a young age.  “But this tour itself has been a brief insight as to what she had to deal with at a very young age … what she’s achieved and what she’s done and at the age of 25 … confronted with the world’s media.  And you can see it in her face now.  You can see it in the way that she parades herself is just immaculate.  And she’s learned it from all the years of experience.”

To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration of her 60 years on the throne, Couric conducted several rare interviews with members of the royal family -- including TRH Prince Harry, The Duke of Cambridge Prince William and The Duke of York Prince Andrew -- which will air in an ABC network special, The Jubilee Queen With Katie Couric, on Tuesday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET.  The broadcast will also include interviews with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and give viewers special access inside Buckingham Palace.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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