Amazing Guitar Skills – performing ‘Sing’

The song ‘Sing’ by Gary Barlow is an incredible one. It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. The power of children and adults singing together from around the world. Amazing!

Here is the Gary Barlow video. If you have never seen it then sit back and enjoy.

I was on YouTube looking for an instrumental version of it and came across this video. One man in his house, performing over the backing track with his guitar.

What talent!!! It’s brilliant.

Here is the video.

The Queen rocks!

60 years on the British throne.

She’s pretty amazing.

I like this new side to the Queen too.

For more great shots and captions, look here.

I have blogged about the Queen before. She is on Facebook (just in case you didn’t know). Check that post here.

I saw HRH The Queen at her boat flotilla – yay! I was so pleased. If you want to see how I’m getting on with my 2012 ‘To Do’ list – check here.

The King’s Speech: A British Historical Drama

The 2010 film, The King’s Speech looks back at the British Royal Family back in the 1920s and 1930s. The story focusses on ‘Bertie’ (Prince Albert), who then became King George VI, and his struggle against his stammer.

Image from Wikipedia

 

There are moments in the film where the audience is taken back in time and can almost share the discomfort that crowds of people must have felt. The scene where Bertie is speaking at the close of the 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium shows just how difficult his public life must have been. His duty to speak to the public cannot be avoided and as history shows, it would only increase with time.

Image from Wikipedia

It is amazing to watch how the film progresses. The techniques used by Lionel Logue are extremely unorthodox, and for anyone who knows anything of the British Royal Family, completely unthinkable. I sat open-mouthed at the ways in which Logue spoke to the prince. I was astounded to think that elements of the film had historical truth.

It is not surprising that the film has been nominated for BAFTAs and Academy Awards (Oscars). A truly deserving film!

“As the actor of the year in the film of the year, I can’t think of enough adjectives to praise Firth properly. The King’s Speech has left me speechless.”
— Rex Reed, New York Observer

This film is yet another example of the popularity of films regarding British Royals. ‘The Queen’, ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Young Victoria’ have all be great successes.

“Not a great deal was written about His Majesty’s speech therapist, Lionel Logue, certainly not in the official biographies. Nor was much published about the Royal stutter; it appeared to be a source of profound embarrassment.”
— David Seidler

 It is not surprising that official biographies failed to mention Lionel Logue. His personality and work ethic tend not disagree with royal protocol.

King George VI

Films such as this always make me want to find out more about the historical facts. I wanted to read more about the abdication of King Edward VII.

I was surprised and shocked to discover that he had met Adolf Hitler against the advice of the British Government in 1937. I was also shocked that it has been suggested that Hitler planned to reinstate Edward as the British monarch had history turned out differently.

The amazing support of King George’s wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother), really came across well in the film. It is amazing to think that she outlived her husband by almost 50 years. She had not planned for a life in the public eye, yet she went on to be such a figure of resistence in the Second World War and then in recent times helped to stabilise the popularity of the monarchy as a whole.

The film also depicts the shift from Edward to George which ultimately resulted in Queen Elizabeth II being one of the greatest British monarchs of all time.

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William and Kate: The royal engagement.

As it was number 29 on my list (for proof, click here) I think it only right that I join in with the ‘wedding fever’ and say “Wahooooo! Finally!” I am genuinely pleased that the William and Kate will be getting married, finally…in the Spring or Summer of 2011. It has been a long time coming. When I got home from work yesterday I switched on the TV and saw the announcement for the first time.

Living as an expat (I’m a Brit in The Netherlands for those of you who didn’t know) I often find myself in a little bubble of my own, totally detached from reality of life back in the UK. It is not a problem, as such, but it can mean that day-to-day chat here doesn’t cover the same things as the ‘word on the street’ back home. That is one of the things I do miss about being away from home.

The ‘First TV interview’ with the happy couple (Will and Kate…just in case you thought I’d lost my thread) was great viewing. I really enjoyed watching them talk together and answer personal questions about their time together. It was a refreshing interview with a member (and future member) of the British Royal Family. They sounded normal. I liked that. In fact, William was the one who actually sounded more down to earth out of the two. Chatting about the posters that they each had on their bedroom walls when they were younger made me laugh. Kate telling the world that she had “the Levi guy (sorry Will, not you)” on her wall was a classic line.

The news item, the proposal, the interview and everything with it will be forever captured in history. In 30 years time that same interview will be replayed and discussed time and time again on TV. I am glad I saw it go out live. The royal engagement does have similarities with the engagement of William’s mum, Diana to Prince Charles. I was astounded that the same engagement ring had been used and thought it was a fantastic idea and gesture. I just couldn’t believe that the royal family has gone with the idea. I read in a news article today that comparisons were being made between Kate and Diana… Was it coincidence that they both wore royal blue dresses for the announcement of their engagements? Blue to match the ring… Kate even sounded similar to Diana (or so I thought). The difference being that they are better matched. They love each other; they have lived together and they are not a generation apart. I hope that the marriage lasts…They will be the most famous royal couple.

I am looking forward to next year. I have never been in London at the time of a royal wedding and can’t wait to be there celebrating with millions of others. I’ll have my flag at the ready! I predict August for the wedding. I will be surprised if it’s earlier. I also think the venue will be Westminster Abbey (where the Queen got married). Diana and Charles married in St. Paul’s and that would just be too much of a coincidence… Don’t tempt fate!

HRH The Queen is now on Facebook.

It’s been in reported in the British news and so I had to investigate and follow suit with joining the pages for ‘The British Monarchy’. Yes HRH Queen Elizabeth II has joined Facebook along with the other millions of people around the world. I now have an image of her sitting, in her slippers, in her study in Buckingham Palace updating her status and adding friends. I doubt it’s like that in real-life though.

With The Queen now online via various other sites, Facebook seemed to be the next natural step. It’s a great way for the Royal Family to reach out to the younger generation and I’m all in favour of that. The UK is divided when it comes to opinion of the Royals but, that said, they flock in the millions to London when there is a big event. I am counting down to London’s celebrations in 2012 when The Queen has been on the throne for 60 years!

So, what can we do now that she has joined Facebook? There are a few disappointing things to note….Before you even ask – you cannot ‘poke’ her Majesty. You cannot add her to your friends list, but you can ‘Like’ her.

It’s a shame that I can’t add the royals to my friends list. It could be like collecting football player cards… It would be great to collect the full set. However, just like football cards there would be those that you didn’t want to have in your set (a.k.a. Camilla, the one married to Charles).

235,607 people ‘Like’ her Majesty’s British Monarchy on Facebook and that’s all within the first week. Pretty impressive! This got me thinking and I went onto Facebook to do a little more research. (These stats were correct at 17:00CET on 13.11.10).

15,894,287 people ‘Like’ Barack Obama (wow, that’s some statistic).

461 people ‘Like’ the Pope.

21 people ‘Like’ Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands (c’mon Bea, you’ve got some catching up to do).

….and….

16 people ‘Like’ Camilla Parker-Bowles (I’m stunned!!).