According to the results of a recent survey by The Discovery Channel, the majority of Britons would rather see Prince William succeed the Queen as the next Monarch, rather than his father Prince Charles. Apparently the fact that Prince William has recently rekindled his romance with his girlfriend Kate Middleton has boosted his popularity even more.
Despite the fact that Prince Charles is one of the most experienced and well trained heirs to the throne we have ever had, the public are still reluctant to accept him as King. Many remain unforgiving over his marriage breakup and are still reluctant to accept Camilla as a possible future Queen, preferring the late Princess Diana, whilst others have warmed to Camilla since her marriage. Three quarters of Britons are in favour of retaining the monarchy, whilst the same percentage question whether it gives value for money. One of the things I particularly like about England is the fact we have a Royal family and a Monarch to rule over us. Despite having just celebrated her 80th birthday, the Queen shows no signs of slowing down and is still one of the hardest working members of the Royal family. Her Majesty will be a hard act to follow for whoever succeeds her to the throne. Long may she reign over us!
Bad news for Britain's beer lovers. The cost of a pint of beer is set to rise to as much as £4 in the coming year. The rising prices of barley and hops are the main reason for the sharp price increases. In addition rising fuel costs and the price of metals used in the production of beer cans and kegs have also led to the increases. Beer kegs have now become so valuable that they are a prime target for thieves. On average over 60 million are stolen every year and melted down for their metal.
Madeleine McCann’s distraught parents released a special Christmas video broadcast showing the missing toddler opening her Christmas presents last year, as part of a new appeal to find her. In a special message to Madeleine, the couple stated that their only Christmas wish was to have her back with them. They have vowed never to give up hope of finding her.
It is now over 240 days since the youngster went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal. However the McCanns still continue to receive cards, presents and messages of support from around the world. Thousands of toys left by wellwishers for Madeleine at a memorial near her home, have been donated as Christmas presents to East European orphans by her parents. A family friend said that the couple had been touched by all the gifts they had received for Madeleine and wanted to pass them on to other little boys and girls who need them more.
Nearly 350 phone calls from people with information about Madeleine have been received since the special Christmas broadcast. We can only hope and pray that one of the calls leads to the discovery of the missing toddler. Until then the anxious wait for news goes on for her distraught parents.
If you have seen Madeleine or have any information please call 0034 902 300 213.
The Queen is set to gain a whole new audience for her traditional annual Christmas address to the nation, by posting it on the video sharing website You Tube. By doing so, Her Majesty hopes to make the broadcast more widely available to the younger generation and also people in other countries of the world. She is the first Monarch to do this. By taking the decision to post on You Tube, The Queen has shown everyone how she is very much in touch with the changing trends of the nation and is definitely a Monarch of our times. It is now 50 year’s since the Queen’s first Christmas broadcast. Technology has certainly moved on since then.
The Queen’s speech will go out at 3.00pm on Christmas Day and will appear on a special Royal Channel on You Tube. The Royal Channel also features a special regal homepage, showing archive footage of Britain’s royal family. Click on the link shown below to find out more:-
I'm also adding this to the British links in the left hand column of this blog. It has also been revealed that the Queen likes to watch her traditional speech on her own, so that she can monitor her own performance and decide if her speech came across in the right way. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Queen’s speech and Her Majesty addressing the nation. Long may she reign over us!
A bottle containing a message written and thrown into the Atlantic by a 12 year old girl in New Jersey has washed up in Bude, Cornwall. Sounds like it had a long journey to get here! As a child I was always fascinated with the thought of finding something like this. We used to release balloons with a name card and phone number attached to them. Sadly nobody ever got in touch with me though. I think mine must’ve got lost by the wayside!
If you're looking for hotels in London and you aren't sure of the quality of various hotels there then using the Internet to read hotel reviews may be helpful in choosing between one of the luxury hotels available or instead opting for cheap hotels to save a few bucks.
Hollywood movie star Will Smith braved the cold to meet fans at the U.K. premiere of his new movie, “I am Legend”, in London’s Leicester Square. The actor’s daughter Willow co-starred with her father, appearing in flashback scenes of the film. Will Smith expressed his delight that his kids wanted to follow their parents into acting, saying it was beautiful working with his daughter. The actor’s son Jaden appeared alongside him in the 2006 movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness” and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith is also an actress.
“I am Legend”, which broke box office records during its first weekend of release in the U.S., is due to open in U.K. cinemas on Boxing Day. In the movie, Will Smith plays the only survivor of a virus that wipes out New York. The trailers look really good. I’m looking forward to seeing the film myself.
Congratulations to Sophie and Edward (the Earl and Countess of Wessex) on the birth of their baby son. James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor was born by Caesarean section on Monday and weighed in at 6lb 2oz. Sophie and Edward are said to be “absolutely thrilled” at their second child’s safe arrival after his sister Louise's traumatic birth in 2003 almost resulted in the deaths of both mother and child. Prince Edward described his son as, “small, cute and cuddly”. Baby James, who will carry the title Viscount Severn is the Queen’s eighth grandchild and eighth in line to the throne.
As some of you know, I recently became a member of Fuel My Blog. Myself and Diary From England are featured in their new book, “Fuel My Blog – Revealing the Human Behind the Avatar”. To find out more and to preview the first few pages of the book, follow the link shown below:-
The book is a charity initiative with 15% of all the proceeds from every copy sold going to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. The idea behind the book is that it shows bloggers are human just like the rest of us, even if we do sometimes hide behind our avatars or blogs.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of visitors to Diary From England recently, which is nice. As some of you know, Diary From England is listed on Blogburst, a syndication service that makes premium blog content available to major publishers like Reuters, USA Today and Fox News. Well it seems that Reuters have taken a fancy to some of my posts, giving Diary From England some more exposure and bringing in some more readers. You can see the posts in questions and let Reuters know what you think of them and this blog by following the links shown below:-
I can’t believe that this blog has been running for nearly 3 years now. I only intended to keep it running for 1 year when I started but enjoyed writing on it so much I kept it running for longer. I’ve met some really lovely people along the way, from all corners of the globe. As some of you know, I have a busy work schedule with some weeks busier than others. Sometimes I’m lucky to find time to write one post in a week. That’s why I’m so grateful to all the faithful friends and readers of Diary From England who visit here regularly, leaving lovely comments and giving me lots of support and encouragement. You know who you are and it is much appreciated. I’d like to say a big thank you to you all. I'm looking forward to another happy year of blogging at Diary From England.
Congratulations to XFactor winner Leon Jackson! His new single, a rewritten version of Mariah Carey’s, “When You Believe” is the bookie’s favourite to be the Christmas No. 1. The 18 year old Scot has certainly come a long way from his days working in a Gap clothing store and is now celebrating landing a £1million recording contract. Good luck to him! You can read all the latest news about Leon and hear his new single by following the link below.
Meanwhile last year’s winner Leona Lewis continues to go from strength to strength. Her new album Spirit has sold a monumental million copies, whilst her hit single Bleeding Love has been No. 1 in the U.K. singles chart for 8 weeks.
Prince Charles is set to appear at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi as a hologram! The Prince is determined to reduce his carbon footprint by not flying and will be following in the footsteps of former Vice President Al Gore, who appeared as a hologram at Wembley Stadium at the beginning of the Live Aid concerts. The Prince has already recorded his special summit message at Highgrove last month.
The technology used to create holograms is based on an old music hall technique called “ghosting”. An image is beamed by video projector onto the floor and then reflected onto a paper thin sheet of foil. This will then create an optical illusion of Prince Charles, making him appear as a 3-D virtual image on stage. Technology is a wonderful thing. Sounds very futuristic to me! Like something out of Star Trek!
Thousands of Brits descended upon Las Vegas to support British boxer Ricky Hatton’s quest for glory in his big fight against Floyd Mayweather. Sadly it was not to be and Hatton was floored by Mayweather in the 10th round, shattering his dreams of success.
However Ricky Hatton although visibly disappointed, vowed to fight on, despite his defeat, telling his army of supporters, “Knock me down but I keep coming back. Ricky Hatton is not finished.” Ricky showed tremendous fighting spirit throughout the contest. Unfortunately the supreme ring intelligence of Mayweather was just too much for him to overcome. I’m sure he’ll bounce back and be even better at what he does. Go Ricky – your legion of fans are rooting for you!
I’ve been following the story of the “teddy teacher” Gillian Gibbons who was imprisoned in Sudan for naming a teddy bear “Mohammed” and unwittingly insulting Islam. According to recent press reports it was actually the children in the class who were asked to name a teddy, who decided to call it “Mohammed”and not Gillian herself. To imprison a western schoolteacher for something as trivial as this when there are so many far more serious and heinous crimes going on in the world is I personally believe a gross injustice. I’m so glad the Sudanese government came to their senses and released this poor woman.
Gillian herself said in a Press Conference after her release how she had enjoyed her time in Sudan and was sorry to leave. She also said that she was upset to think she had caused any offence to the Sudanese people, saying that she never imagined that anything like this would happen as she was just an ordinary school teacher. As Gillian was smuggled safely out of Sudan, some gangs of religious fanatics were calling for her to be executed by firing squad. Gillian made an innocent mistake which she paid for with imprisonment. Now it's time to draw a line under the whole sorry business so this poor woman can move on with her life. Thank goodness the whole sorry state of affairs is now over and Gillian is now safely back with her family in Britain.
I always enjoy watching the Queen’s traditional Christmas Day broadcast to the nation. However it should be extra special this year as it’s due to be broadcast in High Definition on Sky Movies HD2. Oh the wonders of modern technology!
On another note ITV are planning to screen a documentary to mark the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s Xmas broadcast. They have managed to secure lots of archive footage of Her Majesty’s broadcasts over the last 50 years. Should make for interesting viewing!
You can find music lessons online but there are plenty of other subjects out there. For history buffs you can find plenty of history information, or if you happen to be a law school student then there are lots of law resources online.
The queen of country music Dolly Parton added a touch of glitz and glamour to a Yorkshire steel town when she made a flying visit to Rotherham last week. Dolly was over here to meet with council officials for the launch of a special children’s book programme. Dressed in a sparkly dress and killer heels, Dolly treated her 250 strong council audience to a rendition of her “Nine to Five” hit song.
Dolly chose Rotherham as the first town in Britain to benefit from her Dollywood Foundation’s “Imagination Library”, as it has a lower than average literacy rate with high rates of poverty and unemployment. The “Imagination Library” scheme, designed to help improve children’s literacy skills, has proved hugely successful in the States, since its launch there in 1996 and has now spread to more than 40 states. Funded by the Dollywood Foundation, it involves posting out one book a month to pre-school children, to help and encourage them to read. Dolly stated that she believed reading “sows the seeds of dreams” in children to become doctors, writers or whatever they choose to be.
Rotherham Council will be sponsoring the new scheme which is due to be launched in the New Year, after the council leader, a big country and western fan, suggested the idea after a trip to Dolly’s hometown of Tennessee. The first book chosen to be sent to Rotherham’s children will be Beatrix Potter’s “The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Friends”. Dolly is hoping that the scheme will soon spread to other British towns and cities.
Like many Brits, my brother loves tomato ketchup. Over 73 million bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup have been sold over the past 12 months alone and this lucrative market is continuing to grow. It seems that Britons can’t get enough ketchup, even though I myself hate it and much prefer brown sauce. Finnish researchers have now discovered that eating tomato ketchup every day actually helps to lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Apparently Britain’s favourite sauce works by attacking so-called “bad” cholesterol. Good news for my brother and other ketchup lovers everywhere!
The Queen is looking forward to a very special Christmas present this year, the birth of her eighth grandchild. Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex (the Queen's youngest child) and his wife Sophie (the Countess of Wessex) are expecting their second child which is due on Christmas Day. The couple already have a four year old daughter Louise and are eagerly awaiting the newest addition to their family. Sophie is being closely monitored, after Louise's traumatic birth in 2003 which almost resulted in the deaths of both mother and child. The new baby will be eighth in line to the throne.
British house prices have fallen sharply this month, the fastest rate for 12 years. However that has not deterred Britain's most expensive house from being put on the market with a record price tag of £90million! Wow that's expensive! The six storey house is situated in picturesque Belgrave Square and boasts 12 bedrooms, basement swimming pool and garaging for four cars! The house is currently being refurbished and is set to enter the marketplace in the New Year. Offers invited!
Ministers have called for the Union Jack flag to be revamped to include the Welsh emblem of a dragon. The main reason being that they don't believe that Wales is properly represented on the current flag. However the Union Jack flag has stood as a symbol of the British Empire for over 200 years and is steeped in history. Many ministers are reluctant to change it.
The original Union Jack flag was created by merging three heraldic crosses together, a design challenge in itself. The three crosses represent the three kingdoms of the U.K., England, Ireland and Scotland. Now ministers are calling for the Union Jack to be combined with the Welsh flag to reflect the status of Wales within the U.K.
Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, XFactor judge Sharon Osbourne are set to host next year's prestigious Brit Awards ceremony. The ceremony will bring them face to face with some of the biggest stars in the music industry. It will also be going out before the watershed so the couple will have to mind their language. An excited Sharon said, "Ozzy and I have been asked to host many awards shows in the past but this is by far the most prestigious. We are incredibly honoured."