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Dutch Royals lead energetic Queens Day celebrations May 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in The Royals.
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Members of the Dutch Royal family threw themselves into some very special festivities this week as they joined their subjects in marking a date close to their hearts, Queens Day.

Both the Dutch monarch and her son Prince Willem-Alexander got into the carnival spirit of the activities, which celebrate Queen Beatrix’s official birthday and the anniversary of her acension to the throne.

In line with tradition the royal matriarch chooses two centres for the celebrations, visiting both to share the colourful proceedings with her subjects. This year it was the turn of the historical town of Den Bosch, in the south of the country. And the Queen joined in the celebrations with gusto, enthusiastically throwing her arms in the air to thank the town’s inhabitants, including a group of colourfully dressed youngsters, for their efforts.

Prince Willem was also throwing himself wholeheartedly into the festivities. The 40-year-old, who recently became a dad for the third time to daugher, Princess Ariane Wilhelmina, showed off his sporty side by demonstrating his ball skills with the members of a young basketball team and then pulling on a pair of boxing gloves to tackle a punch bag.

The heir to the throne also joined locals for a game of vishappen, a traditional pursuit in which the blindfolded participant has to locate a fake fish, before kicking up his heels on the dance floor with a pretty local lass.

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Queen meets survivors of campus massacre May 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in The Royals.
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The Queen today expressed Britain’s “deepest sympathies” over the Virginia Tech massacre as she met survivors of the deadliest school shooting in US history.

“As a state, and as a nation, you are still coming to terms with the dreadful events at Virginia Tech,” she said in an address to the Virginia state legislature at the start of a six-day visit to the United States. “My heart goes out to all those who have been affected,” she said, before heading into a private meeting with some of the survivors of the campus rampage a fortnight ago which left 32 students and tutors dead. On behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, I extend my deepest sympathies at this time of such grief and sorrow,” the Queen told the state General Assembly, the New World’s oldest representative body.

On the steps up to the assembly building, the Queen earlier passed an honour guard that included 11 members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets in blue and white dress uniform and sabers. The contingent would normally have numbered 12 but a gap was left for Matthew La Porte, who was one of the victims of gunman Cho Seung-Hui’s killing spree. La Porte, 20, was a member of both the university’s main cadet corps and its US Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The 11 cadets taking part in the royal ceremony were all present on the campus on April 16 when Cho ran amok. None was injured, Corps commandant Major General Jerrold Allen said. “This is a very important event for the state of Virginia and for the entire United States,” he said. “We are extremely grateful that we were provided with the opportunity to take part and to honour one of our fallen comrades.”

A visit by the Queen to the Virginia Tech campus at Blacksburg, 350km west of the state capital Richmond, has been ruled out.

Royals not amused by souvenir hankies May 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in The Royals.
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Royal officials tried to stop souvenir handkerchiefs being made to mark the wedding of the Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947 because it was not appropriate for people to be blowing their noses on the future British monarch.

According to records just been released, Commander Dudley Colles in the Privy Purse Office wrote to the Home Office asking if it could prevent the Cheadle Fabric Co from making handkerchiefs featuring portraits of Princess Elizabeth and her groom.

“My own view is that it is not desirable for such a handkerchief to be made,” Cdr Colles wrote, according to a document released by the National Archives. But a Home Office official thought it was unlikely that any noses would be blown into the handkerchiefs.

“Hitherto, the Home Office attitude has been that where a handkerchief would, by virtue of its small size, design and material not be suitable for the ordinary purpose for which handkerchiefs are made, but would be purchased and laid away as a souvenir of an historic occasion, objection would not be taken,” the unidentified official wrote.

A higher official said there was nothing the government could do. “There are no enforceable rules prohibiting manufacture of articles which, it is considered, should not bear the royal portrait,” he wrote.

Spanish Royals celebrate May 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in The Royals.
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Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia have become proud parents for the second time. The royal couple’s second daughter, who they have named Sofia, was born on Sunday at Madrid’s Ruber International Clinic by Caesarean section, weighing a healthy 7lbs 5oz.

The new princess, who is third in line to the throne after her father and one-year-old sister Leonor, is named after her grandmother Queen Sofia.

Speaking outside the hospital, Felipe said: “We are very happy. I truly didn’t know how I was going to react to the birth of another baby girl, but I think that one loves each child the same.” He added that he had been a little nervous during the birth but mother and baby are both doing well.

Felipe married Letizia, a former TV anchorwoman, in a lavish ceremony in May 2004. Their first daughter, Leonor, was born in October 2005.

GoAntiques.com teams up with MyThings.com May 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Antiques.
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MyThings (http://www.mythings.com), the leading global online registry of belongings, today announced its partnership with GoAntiques (http://www.goantiques.com), the online marketplace for art, antiques, and collectibles. By integrating with MyThings, GoAntiques.com offers every customer automatic registration of their new purchase in a free, secure online portfolio, which provides access to additional relevant information and services. GoAntiques.com customers are invited to register all their valuables free of charge.

The GoAntiques.com partnership represents MyThings’ commitment to offer collectors the information and services they need to enjoy their collections. MyThings provides easy access to product materials, accessories, insurance, warranties, reviews, and community features such as forums and messaging. Further, MyThings’ sister website, Trace.com, allows members to report the details of lost or stolen property, thereby increasing the chance of recovery.

Once a customer completes a purchase, GoAntiques.com will provide each customer with a MyThings portfolio already populated with the details of their purchased items, including the image, item description, purchase price, and date. Once their free portfolios are activated, customers may take advantage of the wide range of services and information relevant to their new purchases.

MyThings.com has a number of channel partners in the UK. MyThings also enjoys due diligence agreements with the world’s leading auction houses which, taken together, account for more than 80% of the traditional auction market by value.