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It’s been a busy year for Queen Elizabeth II. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, hosted the Olympics, and “jumped out of a plane.” You’ll forgive her if she hasn’t been able to fit you into her schedule for a spot of tea or a plate of bangers and mash. She’s a busy woman with places to go and hats to wear. It might be a bit more realistic to just enjoy the company of suitable facsimile of Her Royal Majesty that you can display in your home, office, or automobile dashboard. We’re always looking for more international flair here at SkyMall Tuesday headquarters, so why not find a place for a woman with a taste for opulent jewelry and sensible shoes? Thankfully, SkyMall has just the thing to celebrate the monarch who never says no to a pearl necklace. Rather than trying to meet the Queen, bring her to you with the Diamond Jubilee Queen & Corgi.
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign, Buckingham Palace is gearing up for The Diamond Jubilee celebration, which kicks off on Saturday, June 2 and continues through Tuesday, June 5, 2012. During this official 4-day weekend, London will be abuzz with festivities.
There will be a Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, June 3 (a 1,000-strong flotilla on the Thames with the Queen’s royal barge as the centerpiece) as well as a Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral with a formal carriage procession by the Queen from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, June 5 (you can find details on Jubilee events here). London’s finest hotels are rolling out the red carpet and offering special packages to revelers. The following are a few of the best:
The British monarchy’s first Diamond Jubilee marked Queen Victoria’s 60-year reign in 1897. The second, celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s astonishing six decades on the throne, takes place throughout 2012, with key events centered around June 2-5. Hotels throughout London are getting into the spirit with special promotional packages and discounts, but one of my favorites is at the St. Ermin’s Hotel, an unfussy yet thoroughly dignified (i.e. still delightfully British) 4-star property just five minutes from Buckingham Palace – on foot even, not via swift royal carriage.
Inaugurated last October by actress Kristin Scott Thomas (the MGallery collection’s brand ambassador), the 331-room hotel has a jubilant history of its own. Built upon the site of a 15th-century chapel, the building that now forms the basis of the hotel was built eight years before Victoria’s big bash, in 1889 (needless to say, the architecture is distinctly, um, Victorian). Sir Winston Churchill held secret meetings at the hotel during WWII, and it’s rumored that a tunnel still exists between the hotel’s grand staircase and Parliament. The MGallery renovation retains all of this historic ambiance while introducing contemporary décor and amenities (like the lovely Caxton Grill, where I enjoyed the definitive English breakfast during a recent stay).
View package details and see what the hotel looks like today. Read more
There’s no doubt which new ship is stealing the limelight from the rest of the 2010 rookies. In an unrivaled move in this nautical game of chess, Cunard has unveiled that the Queen herself will be naming its latest vessel (the Queen Elizabeth). The naming ceremony will take place on October 11 in Southampton, England, and on October 12 the ship will make her official debut on a 12-night maiden voyage to the Canary Islands (which sold out in just 29 minutes). It’s only fitting that Her Majesty name the new Queen Elizabeth, as she was present in September 1939 for the launch of the original Queen Elizabeth. Although times have changed, Cunard’s ships continue to capture a chapter of maritime history full of sophistication, romance, and adventure on the high seas.
Elizabeth is being modeled after her sister ship, the Queen Victoria, with a few notable changes. The signature Todd English restaurant is being replaced with the Verandah, a new dining venue that’s a throwback to that of the original Queen Elizabeth – which was only available to first class passengers. The new ship also marks a return to the Yacht Club, a passenger favorite that went into retirement with the QE2. The last major highlight is a sports deck with paddle tennis and artificial grass for croquet.
For more information. Visit www.cunard.com.
Changes in a cruise line’s fleet are always exciting announcements, but in the case of Cunard, they’re monumental. During last year’s retirement of the Queen Elizabeth 2, throngs of people flooded the docks to send the beloved ship off with a dazzling fireworks display. Even the Queen herself came to Southampton to bid farewell to the infamous ocean liner. Cunard passengers have anticipated the unveiling of the line’s newest ship – which marks a return to the glory years of the three reigning queens – with the same loyal enthusiasm. Some details of the new Queen Elizabeth have now been released, and the countdown to April 2 when bookings are officially open for sale has begun. Read more
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