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Remembering Captain Sir Tom Moore

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Captain Sir Thomas Moore receives his knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony at Windsor Castle

Remembering Captain Sir Tom Moore

Today we’re celebrating the extraordinary life of Captain Sir Tom Moore who sadly passed away on the 2nd February 2021 at the age of 100.

Her Majesty The Queen has sent a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore and is said to have very much enjoyed meeting him and his family at Windsor last year. The Palace has said that ‘Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them.’

When Captain Tom Moore embarked on a personal challenge to complete 100 laps of the garden in his Bedfordshire home before his 100th birthday, he was hoping he might garner enough local support to raise a modest £1,000 for the NHS. What happened next, his daughter Hannah recalls, was “unimaginable”.

Clutching his walking frame for support and proudly wearing his WWII medals, the war veteran’s steely determination to keep lapping his garden, come rain or shine, quickly captured the hearts of wellwishers worldwide.

Donations, tributes and national news interviews poured in. By the time his 100th birthday (marked with a Spitfire flyover and more than 120,000 cards from fans around the globe) came around, Captain Moore’s status as a national hero was cemented.

To commemorate the life of Captain Sir Tom Moore, here are just a few of his amazing achievements…

  • Captain Sir Tom was born on 30 April 1920 in Keighley. His father, Wilson, came from a family of builders; his mother, Isabella, taught children at a local school.
  • His real passion was motorbikes. At the age of 12, Captain Sir Tom discovered one lying in a barn and bought it for half a crown. He proudly took it home, and lovingly did it up.
  • Conscripted into the British army in June 1940, Captain Sir Tom joined the Duke of Wellington’s regiment, an infantry battalion involved in the Burma Campaign from 1942 to 1945.
  • Selected for officer training, he became a second lieutenant on his 21st birthday, and – now part of the 146th Royal Armoured Corps – found himself posted to India.
  • With his knowledge of motorbikes, Captain Sir Tom was asked to train dispatch riders. Radio transmissions could be intercepted, so this was the best means of getting information to and from the front line.
  • Moore left military service in 1960, and took a job as a sales manager for a roofing company in his native Yorkshire.
Captain Sir Tom Moore during a visit to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire as part of his new role as Honorary Colonel of the Northern military training establishment.
  • As Captain Sir Tom turned to complete his final lap, the fundraising total stood at more than £12m. It would eventually surpass £32m. An honour guard from his old regiment saluted an extraordinary achievement.
  • His cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone, a duet with Michael Ball, raised even more – hitting the top of the charts in time for Captain Sir Tom’s 100th birthday and making him the oldest person ever to score a number one single in the UK.
A member of the press films a portrait of Captain Sir Tom Moore by artist Alex Chamberlin, as it is unveiled at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ day.
  • In July 2020, Captain Tom Moore became Captain Sir Tom Moore after receiving a knighthood from the Queen in her first official engagement since lockdown. Queen Elizabeth used the sword that belonged to her father, George VI, to present Captain Sir Tom with the insignia of Knight Bachelor.
Queen Elizabeth II (using the sword that belonged to her father, King George VI) confers the Honour of Knighthood on 100 year old Captain Sir Thomas Moore before presenting him with the insignia of Knight Bachelor during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on July 17, 2020. Captain Tom Moore raised over £32 million for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can learn more about the extraordinary life of Captain Sir Tom Moore in issue 48 of Royal Life magazine.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

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Queen's Christmas broadcast
Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle, Berkshire 2019

We’d like to wish all our Royal Life readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thank you for all your support over what can only be described as a very challenging 2020.

From radio to television, this year the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast will also be available via Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. Amazon Echo owners can tune in to the Queen’s address on December 25th at 3pm (GMT) by saying: “Alexa, play the Queen’s Christmas Day message.”

You can also view the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast via the BBC, YouTube or by visiting either our Facebook or Twitter page.

To celebrate the holiday season, we’re sharing some fun facts you may not have known about the Royal Family and Christmas…

  • The consort of George III, Queen Charlotte, is thought to have introduced the Christmas tree to the Royal Family. But it was the enthusiasm of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for the custom that helped spread the popularity of a Christmas tree throughout the country. 
  • Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh send around 750 Christmas Cards each year, usually featuring a family photo. The Duke of Edinburgh sends a further 200 Christmas cards to different regiments and organisations close to him.
  • The first Christmas Broadcast was delivered in 1932 by George V and since then has evolved into an important part of the Christmas Day celebrations for many in Britain and around the world.
  • Continuing the tradition from her father and her grandfather, The Queen also gives Christmas puddings to her staff.  About 1500 Christmas puddings, paid for by The Queen, are distributed to staff throughout the Palaces, staff in the Court Post Office and Palace police.
  • Each Christmas The Queen donates money to several charities in Windsor, as well as giving Christmas trees each year to Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Giles’ Cathedral, and the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh. Churches and schools in the Sandringham area also receive a tree from Her Majesty.
  • Her Majesty famously used to do her Christmas shopping at Harrods in London. The iconic store would reportedly stay open after hours just for Her Majesty, so she could shop in peace.

Wishing you and your family a very happy festive season, 
The Royal Life Team

Happy Birthday Prince Charles

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during the national service of remembrance marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

Today we’re celebrating the 72nd birthday of His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, born on the 14th November 1948 at Buckingham Palace.

The Prince of Wales will no doubt be spending the day preparing for his trip to Berlin, Germany on Sunday the 15th November, at the request of The British Government. His Royal Highness, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, will attend The Central Remembrance Ceremony in Berlin to commemorate the annual National Day of Mourning.

To celebrate His Royal Highness’s special day, we’re sharing some fun facts you may not know about the heir to the throne…

– After each of the tree planting ceremonies The Prince of Wales attends, His Royal Highness gives a branch of the tree a friendly shake to wish them well.

– Contrary to popular belief, Prince Charles purchased his Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2 Volante in November 1970 himself. It was not in fact a 21st birthday present from Her Majesty The Queen. In 2008 the Aston Martin was converted to run on E85 bioethanol made from by-products of the wine and cheese industries.

– The Prince of Wales, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench, Paapa Essiedu, Tim Minchin, Dame Harriet Walter, David Tennant and Rory Kinnear, marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth by appearing in ‘Shakespeare Live! From the RSC’ (see below).

– In 1975, after passing his audition with a “cup and balls” trick, Prince Charles became a member of the Magic Circle, a society of stage magicians founded in London in 1905.

– The Prince has made cameo appearances in popular comic The Beano, soapie Coronation Street in 2000 and presented the BBC Scotland weather forecast in 2012 (see below).

– The Prince undertook his first official Royal duty in June 1965, attending a student garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

– Prince Charles was given the title, “Keeper of the Cows”, by the Masai in Tanzania in 2011 to recognise his work as a farmer.

– The Prince of Wales learned to ice skate at the Richmond Ice Rink, receiving a Certificate of Merit in March 1962.

As always, we’d love to hear your birthday messages for Prince Charles, so please be sure to visit us on Facebook or Twitter to share your special message.

THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN: A SERVICE OF ROYAL REMEMBRANCE
Royal Life Magazine – Issue 48
Royal Life Magazine - Issue 47
Royal Life Magazine – Issue 47

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Visit Berlin, Germany

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The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during the national service of remembrance marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL WILL VISIT BERLIN, GERMANY TO COMMEMORATE THE NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING

15th November 2020

At the request of The British Government, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will attend The Central Remembrance Ceremony in Berlin to commemorate the annual National Day of Mourning on Sunday 15th November. This follows an invitation from the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, (Patron of the War Graves Commission). Their Royal Highnesses will also attend the wreath-laying ceremony at the Neue Wache Memorial, before joining the Central Remembrance Ceremony at the German parliament, where The Prince of Wales will deliver a speech.

The National Day of Mourning will this year focus on the German-British friendship, which has grown in the 75 years since the end of the Second World War. The event pays tribute to the Allied commitment to the liberation from Nazi occupation and to the reconstruction, re-democratisation and subsequent reunification of Germany. It remembers all victims of war and tyranny.

Official Portrait Released of New Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles

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Colonel-in-Chief
The Duchess’ Official Colonel-in-Chief photograph, captured 13th October at Clarence House. Photo credit: Chris Jackson, Getty Images.

Following the transfer of the role of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles from The Duke of Edinburgh to The Duchess of Cornwall, a new official portrait of Her Royal Highness has been released. (See above)

The Duchess received General Sir Patrick Sanders, Colonel Commandant of The Rifles, at Clarence House on 12th October, during which he formally presented The Duchess with a brooch commissioned by The Rifles. This is featured in the official portrait.

General Sir Patrick Sanders’ audience - Clarence House
The Duchess received General Sir Patrick Sanders, Colonel Commandant of The Rifles, at Clarence House on 12th October, during which he formally presented The Duchess with a brooch commissioned by The Rifles. Photo credit: Clarence House

About the brooch

Central to the heritage of the Regiment is the silver Bugle Horn used as the cap badge of The Rifles. The bugle horn, easily carried, and sonorous and penetrating in sound, was the ideal replacement for the drum and was therefore adopted by Light Infantry and later Rifle Regiments from the early 1800s to pass orders across the battlefield. Today, every Rifleman wears a silver bugle as their cap badge. 

Colonel-in-Chief personal message to all Riflemen

The Rifles are extremely thankful to have Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall as their new Colonel-in-Chief who has already visited some of the battalions. She hopes to visit the remainder once the COVID-19 restrictions ease but in the meantime this video is her personal message to the Regimental Family.

‘Riflemen, with the rest of our nation, I am profoundly in your debt for all that you do, especially during these troubled times.  Continue to uphold those qualities of discipline, courage and sense of humour that my father spoke of and be proud of all that you represent.  Wherever you may be viewing this message, on operations in Afghanistan, deployed to Estonia, on exercise in the U.K. or indeed, enjoying some much-deserved leave, thank you from the bottom of my heart.’

The Royal Family Champion Action on Climate Change and Conservation

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This week Members of The Royal Family are championing global action on climate change and conservation. 

Earlier in the week, The Prince of Wales launched the Climate Week NYC 2020 with a virtual keynote speech (see above). HRH also launched RE:TV, a new global platform for compelling films and articles by the Sustainable Markets Initiative, showcasing solutions from around the world to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future.

ITV has also released a preview of a special documentary showing The Duke of Cambridge, joined by a film crew two years ago, on a search for ways to protect the natural world. The ITV documentary will air in October 2020 – Prince William: A Planet For Us All.

To highlight their efforts, here are a few facts you may not have known about The Royal Family and their links to conservation and climate change…

– Since 2014, spearheaded by The Duke of Cambridge and The Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife has been working to combat the illegal trade in animal products around the world by bringing together conservation organisations, law enforcement, governments and global corporations.

– The Prince of Wales has co-authored a Ladybird Expert book on climate change. The book explains the history, dangers and challenges of global warming and explores possible solutions to reduce its impact.

– Combined Heat and Power has been in use at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle since 1994-95. These units convert natural gas into electricity, with the heat produced by this process being used to provide heating and hot water.

– Sandringham has been committed to maintaining the environment and the habitat to support a thriving flora and fauna, adopting sympathetic farming practices. Since 1952 over two million trees have been planted; 45 new woodlands created; 40 km of new hedges planted; 200 km of field margins established; 160 hectares of wild bird cover established; 200 hectares of uncultivated and wildland maintained; and 10 wetlands created.

Emergency Services Day

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This week, we’re celebrating the amazing and vital work of the emergency services.

Not only is today Emergency Services Day but this whole week is Air Ambulance Week and the Royal Family have been one of the first to recognise the incredible life-saving work these services provide across the UK.

The Duke of Cambridge marked the start of Air Ambulance Week with an open letter (see below) written to the UK’s 21 air ambulance charities thanking all who work, volunteer and support them in their tireless efforts.

Here are some facts you may not have know about the Royal Family and their connection to the emergency services…

– The Duke of Cambridge is Patron of London Air Ambulance, The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of Cornwall Air Ambulance and The Countess of Wessex is Patron of Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

– The Duke of Cambridge worked as an air ambulance pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance between March 2015 and July 2017, where he flew Helicopter Emergency Medical Service missions.

– Prince William holds his Airline Transport Pilot Licence (H), this involved a total of 14 written exams on a range of aviation topics including the Principles of Flight, Navigation, Flight Planning and Air Law, and an Airborne Skills Test. 

– While working for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, the salary The Duke of Cambridge earned was donated to charity in full. 

– The Countess of Wessex in fact required the services of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance back in December 2001, after she suffered an ectopic pregnancy.

The Duchess of Cornwall Visits Ivydale Primary School on International Literacy Day

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Literacy
The Duchess of Cornwall, patron of the National Literary Trust, during her visit to North Swindon Library, where she learned about the Trust's Swindon Hub and met children involved in the Lost Words project, 2019.

THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL VISITS IVYDALE PRIMARY SCHOOL ON INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY 

Tuesday 8th September 2020

The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron, The National Literacy Trust, will visit Ivydale Primary School on International Literacy Day to open the school’s new library and launch the National Literacy Trust’s Virtual School Library.  

Arriving at Ivydale Primary School, The Duchess will meet a class of Year 3 students engaged in a literacy activity in the playground. Her Royal Highness will also be introduced to parents who have helped to fundraise and donate their time and skills for the new library. In the school hall, author Chris Smith will be engaged in a series of fun activities with another class of Year 3 pupils, linked to his and Greg James’s poem, The Hope-o-potamus, which was published in The Book of Hopes (Bloomsbury Children’s) earlier this year. The Duchess will then be shown the school’s new library and record a video message which will be broadcast on 14th September to launch the National Literacy Trust’s Virtual School Library. 

Ivydale Primary School 

Enabled by three years of PTA fundraising and parental support, Ivydale Primary School has built a brand new school library to use the power of stories to excite, inspire and educate its pupils, staff and the wider community. Many parents also gave their time and expertise – from architecture, painting and decorating, to the creation of soft furnishings and cataloguing books, many of which have been donated by families and publishers, including Penguin Random House and HarperCollins, and via a partnership with Rye Books, a local independent bookshop. 

National Literacy Trust 

School libraries will play a vital role in supporting the literacy and learning of all children as they return to school after such a significant disruption to their education, as research from the National Literacy Trust shows that school libraries nurture a love of reading that can enrich children’s literacy skills, academic achievements and mental wellbeing1. However, not every child has a library at their school and, for those who do, the possibility of future local lockdowns could restrict their access. Indeed, 1 in 10 (10%) schools in England does not have a school library, rising to almost half (44%) of schools serving the most disadvantaged communities2; while new research from the National Literacy Trust, shows almost 1 in 4 (22.5%) children did not have access to print books of their own or library books during lockdown3. 

The Virtual School Library 

Officially opening on Monday 14th September, the National Literacy Trust’s Virtual School Library will be free for all primary schools in the UK to access. Each week, a different children’s author or illustrator will be a guest ‘school librarian’ and provide children with an exclusive video, a free ebook or audiobook, engaging activities and three recommended reads. The National Literacy Trust has worked with a wide range of publishers, including Bloomsbury and Penguin Random House, to ensure the books and activities featured on the Virtual School Library will support every child’s wellbeing through reading on their return to school. The Virtual School Library’s first guest school librarians will be children’s authors Greg James and Chris Smith. From Monday 14th September, all primary schools in the UK will be able to access an exclusive video, a free Kid Normal audiobook and engaging activities on the National Literacy Trust’s Virtual School Library. 

The Book of Hopes 

The Book of Hopes, hosted exclusively on the National Literacy Trust’s website is a collection of poems, short stories and pictures from more than 110 authors and illustrators to comfort, inspire and entertain children. To date, the extraordinary collection has been viewed more than 441,000 times by families. 

References: 

1 National Literacy Trust (2019) Understanding the impact and characteristics of school libraries and reading spaces 

2 Great School Libraries Campaign (2019) Great School Libraries Survey Findings 

3 National Literacy Trust (2020) 1,619 parents of children aged 0 to 18 in the UK were surveyed about their children’s literacy during the COVID-19 lockdown, between May and mid-June 2020 

The Duchess of Cornwall, Colonel-in-Chief, Visits 1st Battalion, The Rifles

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The Duchess of Cornwall with staff during her visit to the Jasmine Villa Hospice as part of her tour of the Cayman Islands.

THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL, COLONEL-IN-CHIEF, VISITS 1st BATTALION, THE RIFLES, GLOUCESTERSHIRE 

Monday 7th September 2020

The Duchess of Cornwall, Colonel-in-Chief, The 1st Battalion, The Rifles, will undertake her first visit to the Battalion, following her new appointment as Colonel-in-Chief. 

Her Royal Highness will be greeted with a Royal Fanfare on arrival at the barracks. HRH will then receive a short private briefing by the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Shercliff. 

HRH will then meet with Riflemen who will have recently completed their initial training course at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick and are currently undertaking further training at The Rifles Training Team, based with 1 RIFLES at Beachley Barracks, before they join their Battalions. HRH will be shown some of the equipment that they have been using during their training. HRH will also present The Rifles Coin (in a socially distanced manner) to the best Rifleman from the overall training course. 

HRH will then join a small reception (outside) where she will meet Riflemen and their families. Including Riflemen who have been deployed throughout Wales in support of the Welsh NHS and many communities during the pandemic. 

Following the reception, The Commanding Officer will say a few words before HRH departs. 

This will be the first visit The Duchess of Cornwall has undertaken to The 1st Battalion, The Rifles since taking up the position as Colonel-in-Chief. Her Royal Highness took over the position from The Duke of Edinburgh on the 22nd July 2020. There was a short ceremony at Windsor Castle and Highgrove House to mark the occasion. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel-in-Chief since its formation in 2007 and was connected to successive Regiments, which now make up The Rifles, since 1953. The Duchess of Cornwall is also Royal Colonel of The 4th Battalion of The Rifles having taken up the position in 2007. 

Over the past few months The 1st Battalion, The Rifles (1 RIFLES) has been deployed throughout Wales supporting the fight against Coronavirus. The assistance the battalion has provided to the civil authorities has included: the installation of hospital beds at the Dragon’s Heart Hospital in Cardiff, the deployment of ambulance drivers to support the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) and the deployment of COVID testing teams throughout Wales. 

1 RIFLES returned from their most recent operational deployment in Afghanistan (Op TORAL) in October 2019 having supported the UK’s contribution to NATO’s mission in Kabul. The battalion contributed to the Kabul Security Force (KSF) providing protection to NATO’s advisers who transited through Kabul’s districts. 

Royal Taste Tour

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall browse a fruit stall during a visit to Swiss Cottage Farmers' Market in London.

This week, we hope you’ll join us as we take a taste tour around the United Kingdom with TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Charles and Camilla are taking a look back at some of their visits across the country, featuring all things food. They may even share a recipe or two along the way.

To whet your appetite, here are some fun facts about The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and their love of food…

– The Duchess of Cornwall revealed that her husband loves cheese, “He loves local cheeses. He’s a huge cheese fan. Anything to do with cheese, he’ll love.” She went on, saying, “And eggs, with a bed of local vegetables — he’d love that…You’d definitely see a smile.”

– Inspired by the Greek classic moussaka, Prince Charles, who enjoys cooking with grouse, has replaced the lamb with the game bird and called the culinary creation “Groussaka.”

– One of Prince Charles’ favorite dishes is pheasant crumble pie.

–  According to Tom Parker-Bowles, Camilla’s son, his mother is a huge fan of scrambled eggs. Clarence House has also shared one of Prince Charles’ favourite brunch recipes – cheesy baked eggs.

– The Prince of Wales has admitted that he skips lunch most days and takes his Darjeeling tea with a splash of milk and honey.

– Former royal chef, Carolyn Robb, commented on the eating habits of Prince Charles and Camilla: “They were always very thrifty and economical. If we made roasted lamb and there were leftovers, we’d probably go and make shepherd’s pie the next night.”

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