30 for 30 – Counting Down ‘Til Harry’s Big Birthday!

With one big royal birthday down for this year, it’s almost time to light the candles on another cake. That’s right – Prince Harry turns thirty-years-old one month from today. So, how does one celebrate the king of celebrations? With an entire month dedicated to him, how else?!

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Over the next thirty days, I am going to tweet out a special moment, event, anecdote or photo from throughout Harry’s life until September 15th. As much as I’d like to say I’ll be blogging each day until his birthday, we all know that is not happening… but it’s safe to say you will get your fair share of H on this blog in the coming weeks.

In addition to the @RoyalReview “The Month of Harry” on Twitter, I want to hear from you – what is your favorite Harry moment over the past thirty years? I know, this is an impossible task – it’s like asking what you like more, sunshine or rainbows, but I have faith that you’re all up for the challenge. Tweet me, comment, etc. using the hashtag #harrysdirty30 and share your favorite Harry memory.

Happy Harry Month!

Visiting Royal Britain: All About George

Yes, I realize Prince George’s first birthday was two weeks ago, but in my family we celebrate for weeks, so I am continuing that tradition here for this edition of “Visiting Royal Britain.”

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We have taken a look at the palaces and parks where George will frequent throughout his life, but what about those locations specifically tied to his birthday and first year? Let’s take a look!

The Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum, via VisitBritain Images

Natural History Museum, via VisitBritain Images

The three photos released for George’s birthday might just be the cutest thing we see all summer, but did you know that you can visit the very spot that the little prince marched about for the portraits? While The Natural History Museum itself is a staple in London culture (the museum has served as the backdrop for several films, reportedly including the upcoming Paddington Bear movie), but the Sensational Butterflies exhibit is for a limited time only – September 14 to be exact. Tickets are just £5.50 and free for Georgie’s cohorts (children under three).

Buckingham Palace – Royal Childhood Exhibit

Buckingham Palace, via VisitBritain Images

Buckingham Palace, via VisitBritain Images

Families visiting London this summer will be able to experience the first-ever Royal Childhood exhibit at Buckingham Palace,which opened just four days into George’s second year.Some of the Royal family’s most treasured possessions from childhood will be on display, giving visitors an unprecedented glimpse into life as a young member of the royal family growing up at Buckingham Palace – including the christening gown George wore last year. Spanning more than 250 years, Royal Childhood brings together objects from the Royal Collection, the Royal Archives and the private collections of members of the Royal Family, including family gifts, clothing and toes, as well as previously unseen photographs and film footage. The exhibit will be open for two months only, closing on September 28, and concluding with a one-time educational session on growing up in a royal palace.

Buckingham Palace was also an important location for George’s celebrations – he reportedly went swimming there the morning of his birthday. Adult supervision provided by The Duchess of Cambridge.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace, via VisitBritain Images

Kensington Palace, via VisitBritain Images

This is an obvious one. Prince George’s home, where he will likely do a large portion of his growing up, and one of the many royal palaces open to visitors (no, you cannot actually go into the Cambridge’s apartment). While Kate has been spotted walking George along in his stroller during his newborn days, you’re not all that likely to catch a glimpse. However, if you happened to be in the hood on July 22, you may have seen his family driving in for his first birthday party – including his great-grandmother, The Queen. One can only imagine what this celebration entailed (I may have alluded to it before he was even born cough*shamelessplug*cough).

 

Happy Birthday Prince George!

Can you believe Prince George is one-year-old today? I know everyone says things like this all the time, but honestly, the ‘Great Kate Wait’ of July 2013 feels like it was yesterday. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the news Kate had gone into labor (broken by Jesal Parshotam) and blogging before the sun came up while listening to the Circle of Life, then coming home from work (where I screamed very loudly when the birth announcement was made) to my sister decorating my room and baking for me (yes, I was that #royalbabycrazed)…and now George is walking!

Via @SPerryPeopleMag

Via @SPerryPeopleMag

A lot has happened in a year – least of which being my inability to keep up with this blog.. seriously, was I on something the week George was born? At least two posts a day – that’s not normal. I digress, back to the Prince of Cheeks! Although we all fell instantly in love with George, it seems as though we discover or are made light of something new on a regular basis that increases our love exponentially. Thank you, William and Kate, for sharing your beautiful son with the world. On the eve of Georgie’s birthday, the parents released the following statement:

“We would like to take this opportunity on George’s first birthday to thank everyone over the last year, wherever we have met them, both at home and overseas, for their warm and generous good wishes for George and our family.”

We’ve all been loving the “Year of George” the past couple of weeks, so instead of doing a full look back on the past year of royal cuteness, I’m taking a look at what I’d like to see happen before July 22, 2015. Some of these may or may not be realistic..

First Words – obviously this will happen this year, can I put in a request for ‘cheeks?’ How epic would that be!?

Photo with Uncle Harry – okay, we have waited long enough. Joke’s over, the world needs this.

Accompanying mom and dad on a tour of America (err, New York) – yes, very unlikely…just let me have my dream.

..but since that probably won’t happen, any tour will do. Preferably one in a convenient time zone?

Royal Play Date – Baby Mia and Prince George… we need a royal cousins photo, just like in New Zealand..minus the grabbing of toys from strangers.

A laugh – is there any cuter sound in the world than a baby laughing? No. Yes, of course he has laughed before..but we wanna hear it!

Chubbier Cheeks – enough said.

Here’s to you Prince George, thanks for making this year burst with cuteness… Happy Birthday!

Gushing over George – A Year in Quotes

A year ago, we all had our phones glued to our hands and eyes on Twitter 2/47 as we awaited the arrival of the “royal baby.” Would it be a boy or a girl? Would it look like William or Catherine? What would its name be? Well, quite a lot has changed in the past year – not only did we get our answers, but as expected, we all fell absolutely head over heels in love with HRH Prince George of Cambridge. At the center of all of that love and devotion? The royal family.

Via SIMON PERRY Twitter - @SPerryPeopleMag

Via SIMON PERRY Twitter – @SPerryPeopleMag

It’s been a year of smiles, laughs, “oohs” and “ahhs” as we’ve watched Georgie grow up from a distance, but we’ve had some serious help from his proud parents and extended family as we seemed to learn a bit more about the young prince each time they stepped out. Although it’s nearly impossible to narrow down, let’s start the birthday celebrations on the blog with a parade of the firm’s best quotes about the third-in-line to the throne.

Harry – The “Fun” Uncle

Just days after Prince George’s birth, Uncle Harry was asked what his duties will entail – “To make sure he has a good upbringing, and keep him out of harm’s way and to make sure he has fun. The rest I’ll leave to the parents.”

Not one to let a joke slip by, on that same night he said –  “It’s fantastic to have another addition to the family. I only hope my brother knows how expensive my babysitting charges are.” 

While on his recent tour of South America, an onlooker had a chance to speak to Harry about his nephew – “He’s growing up. He is walking, and he has big, chubby cheeks. He looks like a young Winston Churchill.”

Catherine, The Proud Mum

On her son’s looks – “Like most babies, he’s got a mix of both of us.”

In Australia, remarking on their first tour as a family during a speech – “To be here together as a family has been very special.

Prince William – The Doting Dad

Perhaps one of the first big quotes ‘heard around the world’ –  “He’s got a good pair of lungs on him that’s for sure. He’s a good boy, he’s quite heavy.”

He gets it from his mama – “He’s got her (Catherine) looks, thankfully.” Sorry William, George is the spitting image of you!

A month into fatherhood describing his son’s liveliness –  “He’s a little bit of a rascal, I’ll put it that way. He either reminds me of my brother or me when I was younger, I’m not sure, but he’s doing very well at the moment.”

While on tour in New Zealand, making a speech at the governor’s residence – “I hope that George doesn’t keep you up. He has been known to be particularly vocal at 3 a.m.”

Just recently on a visit to the the British Sub-Aqua in London – “At the moment, bath time is quite painful, but hopefully donning a snorkel mask might calm him down.”

During a visit to Coventry’s War Memorial Park last week – “I think George will be running faster than me very soon.”

Prince Charles

Following his first grandchild’s birth, Prince Charles very correctly predicted George’s nickname, saying he would be called “Georgie in no time.”

BONUS round – Aunt Pippa

“He’s amazing. He’s very a dear boy. He’s brought a lot of pleasure and fun for all us, the whole family. He’s very characterful. He’s sort of brought us all together and we love spending weekends with him. He’s very funny.”

What was your favorite quote about George from this year?

Prince Harry – Melting Hearts and Taking Names

The royal family often faces criticism for their work – many don’t understand why public engagements are considered a job, or why international travel on behalf of the monarchy is necessary. I can see how those who aren’t “royalists” wouldn’t quite get it, especially with the release of the annual royal finance report, but to those people I say – take one look at Prince Harry. The 29-year-old royal’s just-wrapped official visit to Brazil and Chile was a week of smiles, tears, inspiration – and bad dancing. Although it may not have received nearly as much media attention as his previous overseas tours or that of his older brother’s family visit down under, it was equally as important and extremely beneficial to the royal family and Great Britain. Why? By simply being himself, Harry was able to make each person he met across the two nations feel as though they were important to him. And you know what? They were. He’s an ambassador for Queen and country, perhaps the best there is.

Harry has proved time and time again that he is a personable, down to earth man who just happens to have a title. Sound familiar? I don’t think there is a doubt in anyone’s mind that his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, is among the proudest angels in heaven. Her youngest son’s moments of playing soccer with children, waking babies up from their naps to say hello and visiting the most underprivileged areas of cities are a page out of the Diana handbook.

Courtesy of Emily Andrews, The Sun, @byemilyandrews

Courtesy of Emily Andrews, The Sun, @byemilyandrews

Courtesy of Emily Andrews, The Sun, @byemilyandrews

Courtesy of Emily Andrews, The Sun, @byemilyandrews

While Prince Harry has had these moments everywhere he goes – playing baseball with kids in Harlem, holding hands with ill children in the Bahamas, this South American tour seemed to have more than ever. He danced to Katy Perry with disabled children, was smothered in kisses from locals, fixed a woman’s TV during the Brazil-Chile World Cup match, talked about losing his mother and his nephew, the Prince of Cheeks, and made everyone laugh. In short, he was the definition of ‘Prince Charming’ on this tour. The unprecedented mobile video message HRH recorded thanking the people of Brazil for their hospitality is proof of that. He knows that his status provides him with a vehicle for making a true difference in the world, and he refuses to let that go to waste.

So, from now on when people look at me and say I only like Prince Harry because he’s a hot, single prince or my admiration for the royals is ridiculous, I will point them to these photos and challenge them to keep from smiling. Whether you’re 102 or 2, a wounded war veteran or a child suffering from illness, Harry will charm you to the point that your heart feels like it might literally melt. He doesn’t need to try, or put on a show for the cameras – we would have seen through that by now. He’s the Prince of Hearts, and grandmother is blessed to have such a positive representative to spread the royal love around the world.

In closing, Prince Harry for president.

Many thanks to Emily Andrews for sharing her fabulous photos with me!

Visiting Royal Britain – Summer at the Palaces

I know this may seem like my most obvious “Visiting Royal Britain” post yet, but as our favorite family prepares to head off on summer holiday, why don’t we all think about visiting their homes while they are away? No, not in a creepy, stalker, stealing the crown jewels type of way. BUT, there are two homes in particular that will see notable royal action in the next couple of months…

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

Keep Calm and Harry On

Keep Calm and Harry On

Chances are, if you’ve ever been to London, this is the first place you headed. Whether the royal standard is flying, indicating that The Queen is in residence, or the Union Jack, you most likely haven’t been inside. No, that’s reserved for small windows throughout the year when The Queen is away for an extended period of time. The annual summer opening will be July 26 – August 31, September 1 – 28. This year will see a special exhibit, Royal Childhood; aptly opening just days after Prince George turns one. Spanning more than 250 years of objects from the Royal Collection, Royal Archives and personal effects from the Royal Family, this is not to be missed!

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arrive at this Scottish residence next week for Holyrood week. On June 30, the palace will transform to a colorful parade ground and The Queen, accompanied by her husband, will attend the ceremony of the keys, officially marking the opening of the special week. The week will include several engagements from the royal couple throughout Scotland – mainly in Edinburgh, however a visit to Glasgow will also take place. Most notably, the Order of the Thistle will be on July 3, a prominent date on the royal calendar. While new members were appointed in November on St Andrew’s Day, the pomp and pageantry of investiture will happen next week.

Obviously, you are not welcome inside when Her Majesty is hanging her hat, however you can visit The Palace of Holyroodhouse from April – October and November – March, with the exception of June 24 – July 5 and July 20 – 23 this year.

 Have a royal summer!

Your Guide to Prince Harry in South America

Time for another royal tour! Although it may feel like Prince Harry just got back from Italy and Estonia, everyone’s favorite redhead is hitting the road again tomorrow for an official visit to Chile and Brazil. Harry will be in the Southern Hemisphere from Monday, June 23 – Sunday, June 29.

You may recall the beauty that was Prince Harry steering a literal horse-drawn carriage at a polo match in Brazil in 2012 as part of his Diamond Jubilee tour (this is is his first visit to Chile, however), and while we may not get a repeat of that, we will get to see HRH taking in the World Cup. Sadly, the match won’t be as climatic since England is now out of the running, but it will still be exciting. Just stay away from the those questionable legal activities in Rio okay, H?

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Here is your complete guide to what Prince Harry will be up to over the next week, via the royal’s official website:

Brazil

• June 23, Brasilia: A hospital specialising in rehabilitation, orthopaedic and neuropsychological work. Also, the Cameroon v Brazil World Cup match
• June 24, Belo Horizonte: The training base for Team GB and Paralympics GB during the Rio 2016 Olympics. Also, the Costa Rica v England World Cup match
• June 25-26, Sao Paulo: An environmental project to help protect the Atlantic Rainforest; a community programme supporting disadvantaged children; The Queen’s Birthday Party hosted by the British Ambassador to Brazil at the GREAT Britain House; and a social project to help reduce crime and drug abuse.

Chile

• June 27, Santiago: A wreath laying at the monument of Chile’s founding father Bernardo O’Higgins; the Presidential Palace for a meeting with President Michelle Bachelet. Also, a kindergarten for underprivileged children; a visit to a military unit;  and The Queen’s Birthday Party, hosted by the British Ambassador to Chile.
• June 28, Valparaiso: The firefighters of the 11th Fire Company (the British volunteers), representatives of the city’s other fire services and members of the British community; families affected by the Valparaiso fires in April 2014; and an NGO which provides emergency housing for those living in poverty.
• June 29, Santiago: A charitable foundation, that provides day care for children with mental and physical disabilities.

While I will do my best to keep up with His Royal Hotness, I make no promises! Be sure to follow the usual royal suspects on Twitter and most importantly, the official government entities that will be supporting his visit including @ukinbrazil and @UKinChile. The official hashtags for the visit are #HarryinBrazil and #HarryinChile.

Happy Harry on tour week!