- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Queen to host royals’ Christmas, Kate’s first
LONDON (AP) - It will be a traditional Christmas weekend for Queen Elizabeth II’s extended family, which now includes the former Kate Middleton, with the quiet holiday break to be followed by a year’s worth of festivities to mark the queen’s 60th year on the throne.
Most of the senior royals, including Prince William and his wife, now formally known as the Duchess of Cambridge, will be dispatched across the globe to help the aging monarch celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in grand style.
Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, are planning to mark the event with a series of tours throughout England to culminate with a celebration in London in early June that will include an unprecedented pageant on the River Thames with up to 1000 boats taking part.
In a carefully choreographed scenario, the flotilla will be led by the queen aboard the Royal Barge.
“They’re hoping the Diamond Jubilee will be as successful as the Golden Jubilee in 2002,” said Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine. “The media then thought the public wasn’t interested, but by the big weekend there were 1 million people in the streets celebrating. I think that will happen again.”
He said the queen was surprised by the outpouring of affection in 2002.
“Even after 60 years she is very self-effacing, and she’s always amazed when people turn out to celebrate her achievements,” he said. “You’d think by now she’d know how loved she is.”
The Diamond Jubilee will mean extra overseas travel for many royals: Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will jet off to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea; William and Kate will represent the queen in Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and the tiny island of Tuvalu; while Prince Harry is being sent to the Caribbean to tour Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas.
The queen and Philip plan a series of trips throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from late March to mid-July. She is then expected to help open the Olympic Games in July before beginning her summer holiday.
Palace officials said Friday that the royals plan to attend a Christmas service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the estate grounds. This gives well-wishers a chance to see the royals briefly, and also provides photographers a chance to snap pictures of the queen _ and Kate.
The family traditionally exchanges gifts at Sandringham on Christmas Eve.
After the church service, the royals usually walk on the grounds, have a gala lunch, and gather to watch the queen’s prerecorded television broadcast, a tradition that began with a radio address by King George V in 1932.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- EDITORIAL: As jobs vanish, Obama wants more of same
- Stolen European passports on Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again