A Look at Royalty

Excited children watch HRH Elizabeth II during the opening ceremony for the Lagan Bridge in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 09 March. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

What would it be like to live like a king (or Queen) and live in a castle? Here is a little peek into the royal line.

The oldest form of government in the United Kingdom, the monarchy with a king or queen as Head of State, resides with an elected Parliament to make and pass legislation for the country. Queen Elizabeth II represents her country well, as she travels all over the world, making speeches (as shown above) and addressing concerns that affect the citizens of the country. She is quite active in her role, meeting and greeting thousands of people throughout the year. Sometimes people are not sure how to address the Queen when given the chance to meet her. There are no hard and fast rules, just simple basic courtesy with a simple curtsy or bow. It’s all about respect for those who have the rule over you, which a lot of people have lost sight of today.  

Prince Philip met Princess Elizabeth in 1934 and started writing to her when she was 13 years old. He was born in Greece, educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; and, at the age of 18 years old, joined the British Royal Navy in 1939. It was 1947, after the war, when he married Elizabeth; but just before he married her, he was given three titles: Baron Greenwich, Earl of Merioneth, and Duke of Edinburgh. 

Having reached the rank of commander, Elizabeth became monarch in 1952; and in 1957, Philip was made a British prince. Together, they have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. Prince Philip developed the sport of carriage driving because he was a sports lover. At the age of 96, he retired from his royal duties on August 2, 2017 and is the oldest male ever to be a member of the British royal family.

Carriage Driving

A sport developed by Prince Philip, carriage driving is a competition of horse driving that involves pulling carriages with either two or four wheels by one or two horses up to a team of horses. There are many aspects of the competition. There are three tests of competition: Dressage, Marathon, and Obstacle Driving. The FEI (International Federation for Equestrian Sports) oversees the international shows to make sure the rules are followed in order to protect the horses and for fairness during the competitions. 

House of Windsor

The House of Windsor is the royal house of the United Kingdom where all the royal families have lived and still live. A royal proclamation was issued in 1917 by King George V stating that from that date, the castle was to be named the House of Windsor and the family was to be the Family of Windsor; and that all descendants in the male line of Grandmother Queen Victoria, who are subjects (other than female descendants who may marry), shall carry the name of Windsor. King George V also restricted titles for the use of British princes to his nearest relatives. When Prince Philip Mountbatten married Queen Elizabeth II, there was an issue of the name being changed. After they were married, Lord Mountbatten assumed that because it was the usual practice for the wife to take on the name of the husband that the House of Windsor was now the House of Mountbatten. When Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary, heard about it, she conferred with Prime Minister Winston Churchill who advised her to issue a proclamation declaring that the royal house was to remain the House of Windsor and all the descendants (other than female descendants who marry) shall bear the name of Windsor.  

Buckingham Palace

This palace, along with Windsor Castle, is part of the royal collection for the one that holds the crown. In the palace, there are 775 rooms that include 188 staff bedrooms, 52 principal bedrooms, 78 bathrooms, 92 offices, and 19 staterooms. Besides rooms and bathrooms, there is a pool, cinema, post office, a doctor’s surgery, and a jewelers’ workshop. 

A major ceremony, the Changing of the Guard, is conducted in the forecourt of the palace and is a tourist attraction from April to July daily and every other day in the other months. Garden parties, receptions, and banquets are held every year where over 50,000 guests are invited. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spend their weekdays here in this huge royal palace.

The Throne Room at Buckingham Palace

The Throne Room is a place of majesty where the King and Queen have sat upon their thrones for all types of events throughout history. Royal balls were held in this room during Queen Victoria’s reign. King George V held investitures, and today, there are a variety of other uses such as many national figures that come for political purposes and members of the Royal Family will host occasions for the general public as well as their own personal uses.

Living like royalty is a totally different world and a different cultural experience.