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Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. Show all posts

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth II

Statue of Queen Elizabeth II Outside Manitoba Legislative Building

 Location:
London, England
Address:  Kensington Gardens
Date:  August 2015
Website:  www.hrp.org.uk

  Queen Elizabeth II lived to be 96 years old and was Queen for just over 70 years.  She was not only the Queen of England but also other Commonwealth countries such as Canada.  Her reign was the longest of any British monarch.  Most of us have only been alive during her reign.  Sadly, she passed away on Sept 8 2022 and will now be succeeded by her son Charles.  In this post we look at a few of the places we have visited where the Queen was honoured.

 
Queen Elizabeth II statue in  Winnipeg Manitoba.

    This statue of the Queen above can be found outside of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnpeg, Manitoba, Canada.  We wrote a short blog about it during the Queen's 90th birthday.
 
Queen Elizabeth II Riding A Horse Outside Saskatchewan Legislative Building.

   In the next province over we found yet another statue of the Queen.  This time she was riding a horse outside the Saskatchewan Legislative Building.  The name of the horse is Burmese.  Burmese was born in Fort Walsh, Saskatchewan.

Queen Elizabeth II Statue Riding Her Horse Burmese.

    Burmese was given to Queen Elizabeth II as a gift from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969.  The Queen rode Burmese every year in the annual Trooping of Colour ceremony until 1987.  The Trooping of Colour happens each June and is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade.  It involves over a thousand officers and hundreds of horses on parade during the ceremonies.

Queen Elizabeth II Leaves Secret Garden Inn In Kingston Ontario.
 
   In Kingston, Ontario, Canada we once had afternoon tea in a place called the Secret Garden Inn.  After our tea, as we were leaving, we noticed a photograph in the front room.  The photo is of Queen Elizabeth II and was taken right in front of the inn.

The Spire Kingston Ontario.

      Had the Queen visited the Secret Garden Inn for tea?  Perhaps.  The photo was most likely taken as she visited the Sydenham Street United Church across the street.  This church is more commonly known as The Spire due to its long pointy top that can be seen all across Kingston.

Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Philip Photos Royal York Hotel Toronto

    At the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada there is a special book that can be found in the lobby area along the far wall.  The Queen has stayed at the Royal York many times and stays on her own floor in the Royal Suite.  The photos above are of the Queen and her husband Prince Philip.  Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died one year before the Queen in April 2021.

Queen Elizabeth II 7 Prince Philip Signatures In The Royal York Hotel

  In a glass case sitting below the photographs is a book signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip when they visited during the Golden Jubilee in October 2002.  They both signed using just their first names.

Queen Elizabeth Attends the 114th Queen's Plate.

    The Queen's Plate at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto was started with Queen Victoria's involvement in 1860.  Queen Elizabeth II has attended the event 4 times.  In 1973 she watched the horse races in a bright yellow dress.  The winning horse that year was named Royal Chocolate. 
 
Queen Elizabeth II Car Window Decal.
 
     We once thought we spotted the Queen sitting in a car outside a Toronto store.  It turned out it was just a fun window decal.
 
Toronto's First Post Office Stamps

    In Canada we are used to seeing the Queen's face everywhere we go.  She is on our money, our stamps and more.  The stamp pictured above is from a display on Adelaide Street East near Toronto's First Post Office.

Queen Elizabeth II Million Dollar Coin At The ROM in Toronto Ontario

    At the Royal Ontario Museum is a giant example of the Queen appearing on Canadian currency.  This million dollar gold coin weighs 100 kg and is made from 99.999% pure gold buillon.  The Royal Canadian Mint only ever made five of these in 2007.  At the time of release it held the Guiness world's record for largest gold coin.  Now that the Queen has passed we wonder what the coin's value is today.  Any new coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint will now feature King Charles on them.

The Queen's Cypher Over A Doorway In Windsor Castle.

    Aside from all the currency changes around the world there will also be changes to many structures throughout England and abroad.  This doorway at Windsor Castle has the Queen's Cypher hanging over it.  The letters stand for Elizabeth Regina.
 
The Queen's Cypher At Windsor Castle.
 
   Normally the letters in the cypher are shown as E II R for Elizabeth the second.  This wall at the Tower of London is only one of the thousands of places which will now be changed to C III R for Charles the third.
 
Guard Station With The Queen's Cypher.
  
   All of the guard stations will need to be repainted.  The Royal Guards are known to stand still and hold their post despite distractions or extreme heat.  Perhaps the painters will just set up a ladder and do their work around the stationed guard.

Post Box With The Queen's Cypher.

      Post boxes across the country will need to be changed.  Some of these marked for Queen Elizabeth II may have been around for 70 years.  We are not sure how quickly or if these changes will even be made.  King Charles is already 73 years old so he will be very lucky if he can serve as Head of the Commonwealth for even a quarter of the time that his mother served.
 
Souvenir Post Box Filled With Candy.

     Even souvenirs such as this post box shaped candy tin will see changes.  You will be able to tell from the cypher if your souvenir represents the Queen or the new King.  We predict that anything with the Queen's cypher on it will become highly sought after.
 
Solar Powered Waving Queen Elizabeth II.

    We also predict that souvenirs of the Queen will be around for many years to come just because she was so well loved.  Good news if you don't yet have your very own solar-powered, waving Queen figurine.

Queen Elizabeth II made out of Lego In Hamley's London.

     A Queen made completely out of Lego was once at Hamley's toy store in London, England.  It's too bad that this was not sold as a kit.  It might take a bit of time to build, but would be well worth it.
 
Mayflower Dinner Gown Worn By Queen Elizabeth II.

    In Kensington Palace we saw some more personal items belonging to the Queen.  This flowered dinner gown was worn by the Queen during a visit to Nova Scotia, Canada in 1959.  The mayflower is the provincial flower of Nova Scotia.
 
Dresses Worn By The Queen On Display At Kensington Palace.

    These two other dresses are a formal gown with beaded embroidery worn for the opening of the New Zealand parliament in 1963 and a yellow evening gown worn at the 1961 premiere of The Guns of Nazarene at the Odeon Leicester Square.
 
Memorial To The Queen Oakville Ontario

       These are just a few of the things and places that remind us of the Queen.  Memorials like this one at a British Grocery store in Oakville, Ontario will be showing up everywhere.  She will long be remembered by many people around the world.



Post # 315

Friday, 10 April 2020

Easter Island Dreaming

American Museum of Natural History Moai Easter Island Figure.

Location: New York City, New York, USA
Address: 200 Central Park West
Date: Sept 2007
Website: https://www.amnh.org

  Easter Island remains on our bucket list.  It is a small island located about 3220 km west of Chile and received its name from a Dutch explorer who found it on Easter Sunday 1722.  The island is famous for its large stone sculptures called moai.  Just because we have yet to make it to the island, does not mean that some of the island has not made its way to us.

American Museum of Natural History Moai Easter Island Figure.

  At the American Museum of Natural History in New York City there is a plaster cast of a moai statue on display.  The mold was made from one of the real moai during a museum expedition to Easter Island in 1935.  A copy of this cast statue comes to life and was featured in the movie Night At The Museum.  Brad Garrett voices the character that spends most of its time asking for some gum.  Sorry, gum gum.

Easter Island Statue At Sunset Park Las Vegas.

  Las Vegas always tries to copy everything so it makes sense that it has a replica of an Easter Island statue.  The Vegas strip has its own Eiffel Tower, Venice, New York City and even an active volcano among the copied structures.  The strip used to have two Easter Island statues outside the Aku Aku restaurant which was part of the Stardust casino.  The restaurant and casino are no longer around.

Easter Island Statue In Sunset Park Las Vegas

  One of the statues was moved off of the strip and placed in Sunset Park. It sits on an island in the pond at the center of the park.  Not quite Easter Island but it is still an island none the less.

Sea Life London Aquarium Shark Tank.

  London, England  has a few replica Easter Island statues as well as the real deal.  There are replica statues sunken in the shark tank at Sea Life London Aquarium.

Sea Life London Aquarium Shark Tank.

  Sand Tiger Sharks spend their days swimming around while these giant heads keep a close eye on them.  Unlike these replica statues the real Easter Island statues all reside on land although many have sunk deeper into the soil through the centuries.

Easter Island Statue At The British Museum.

  The closest we have ever come to Easter Island is at the British Museum where they have an actual statue that was transported from the island back in 1868.  This statue is called Hoa Hakananai'a.  Easter Island has requested that it be allowed to return home again.  If they let us know, we will gladly accompany it on the ride home and then we can cross another item off of our bucket list.

Map of Our World
Post # 283

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Penguin Beach

The Penguin Beach SIgn At London Zoo

Location: London, England
Address:  Regent's Park
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.zsl.org

  The penguins at the London Zoo were faced with a problem in 2004.  They could no longer stay in their old penguin pool and as a result needed a new home.  They were housed in many places including the sister zoo, Whipsnade Zoo.  Finally in 2011 Penguin Beach opened.

Humboldt Penguins at London Zoo's Penguin Beach.

    The penguins now reside in the biggest penguin pool in England.  The pool holds 450,000 litres of water.

A Humboldt Penguin at London Zoo.

  The exhibit is filled with a colony of Humboldt penguins.  Humboldt penguins are found in South America along the coasts of Chile and Peru.  One distinguishing feature to tell them apart from other penguin species is the pinky area between their beak and their eye.

Humboldt Penguin Colony At London Zoo.

  There is a large group of penguins living at Penguin Beach.  

Penguin Outside Nest Penguin Beach London Zoo

  At one end of the enclosure were many nests where breeding pairs of penguins can do their part to further increase the population.  Humboldt penguins usually lay up to three eggs twice a year.

Ricky The Rockhopper Penguin.

  One lonely bachelor was Ricky the rockhopper penguin.  He can be recognized by the long yellow feathers on his head.  Ricky was the only non-Humboldt penguin in the pool and seemed to really like attention.  He was there when we visited in 2015 but he has since moved to Whipsnade Zoo to join a group of other rockhoppers.  We will see if his personality can still stand out surrounded by similar penguins.

Feeding Time At Penguin Beach.

  Feeding time at Penguin Beach draws quite a crowd.  The penguins line up to be fed fish from a bucket or fight for the fish thrown into the pool.

A Grey Heron Stands At Penguin Beach In London Zoo

  As well as other penguins competing for food, the penguins have to look out for local intruders.  Seagulls swoop down at the pool to try and get some fish scraps.  A grey heron stood motionless waiting for its chance to do the same.  We saw grey herons stealing food from a group of Asian small-clawed otters later in the day.

Humboldt Penguin At Penguin Beach.

  Penguins are always entertaining.  We could watch them walk around and swim all day.  Penguin Beach is a great place to do just that.

Map of Our World
London Zoo (Penguin Beach)

Post # 244

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Lubetkin Penguin Pool

Old Lubetkin Penguin Pool At ZSL London Zoo

Location: London, England
Address:  Regent's Park
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.zsl.org

  In 1934, London Zoo opened its famous spiral-ramped Penguin Pool.  The pool was designed by Berthold Lubetkin who worked for an architectural firm called Tecton.  It is one of the first uses of reinforced concrete and is a grade I listed structure in England.  A grade I listing is reserved for buildings of exceptional interest.

  The movie About a Boy was released in 2002.  In the movie there is a small scene where Will (Hugh Grant) and Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) visit the zoo.  As they have their discussion they walk past the Penguin Pool.  There are still penguins in the enclosure as they did not leave until 2004.

Grade I Listed Lubetkin Penguin Pool At ZSL London Zoo

   We saw a few reasons for the penguins moving out of the pool.  One said that they were contracting bumblefoot due to walking on concrete.  Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection on the feet of birds.  Some people say there was originally rubber over the concrete and it should be put back.  We also read they were moved to a duck pond during some repairs and seemed to really enjoy their new location.  Another lesser believed theory was based on the popularity of the About A Boy movie and the inclusion of the pool in the film.  It was said that the pool attracted too many Hugh Grant fans and the penguins requested to move to a new location where people came just to see them.  Who knows?  At any rate you can now visit the London Zoo and see the old exhibit which sits empty.  You can also see the colony of penguins who are happily living in a new area of the zoo called Penguin Beach.


Map of Our World
ZSL London Zoo (Lubetkin Penguin Pool)

Post # 243

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Joey Goes Into The Map

Oh What The Hell Is That?  It's London Baby!

Location: London England
Address: Grosvenor Square
Date: Aug 2015
Website: www.marriott.com

  On the television show Friends, the whole gang headed to London, England for Ross and Emily's wedding.  Actually, Rachel and Phoebe stayed back in New York.  Joey is very excited to tour the city, but Chandler not so much.  They are staying at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.

If You See A Little Version Of Me In There.  Kill It.

  When they step out the front door of the hotel Joey pulls out his map.  It is a London pop-up map.  Joey tries to determine where in the city they are.  Finally it comes to him.  He places the map on the ground and declares "I'm gonna have to go into the map."

Duke Street

  Joey finds his bearings and carries the map into the street.  Chandler distracts him and he has to step into the map once again.  The green roofed building above is currently a restaurant called Spaghetti House.

Hands Down The Best Abbey I've Ever Seen.

   Joey and Chandler take a double decker bus tour and next they end up at Westminster Abbey.  Chandler does not want to be on camera and Joey declares him "Westminster Crabby" before chasing him towards the entrance.

Tower Of London Baby!

   Next the pair end up beside the Tower of London where Joey buys a Union Jack souvenir hat.  He buys it from souvenir stand run by billionaire businessman Richard Branson.  It makes one wonder how lucrative the souvenir market is in London.  It also makes one wonder how lucrative it is to make an appearance on a season finale of a top rated television show.  Anyway, the hat is the last straw for Chandler and he and Joey head their separate ways.
  Later, back at the hotel Chandler finds out that while he had a horrible time, Joey had the best time.  He ran into Fergie.  Not the Fergie of Black-Eyed Peas, but the original Fergie.  Sarah Ferguson is the Duchess of York and was previously married to Prince Andrew and she recorded a video greeting on Joeys camcorder.
  We have visited all the places Joey and Chandler visit in this episode.  While we didn't have a pop-up map to help us, we always grab the first map we see at the airport or hotel to help guide us through the city while on vacation.


Map of Our World
London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square , Westminster Abbey , Tower Of London

Post # 229