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World News in English. Mashed: Vanity Fair.Celebrity.Lifestyle.Money..

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World News in English. Mashed: Vanity Fair. Celebrity. Lifestyle.Money


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World News in English.
The Cheat Sheet
This is Meghan Markle's Diet
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It's an old Middleton family recipe.
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President Kennedy’s Favorite Waffle Recipe
Celebrity.  Lifestyle.
16 Hsting Rules Kate Middleton Never Breaks
Quotes about Life
Prince Philip to retire from public duties at age of 96
Vanity Fair.
All types of modern short stories are here with better language.
You are welcome to read these short stories so as to enjoy your time.
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Who was Princess Diana and what happened on the night of her death?

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Princess Diana of Wales - Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Who was Diana, Princess of Wales?

Born Diana Frances Spencer on 1 July 1961, her father, Edward John Viscount Althorp, was the only son of the 7th Earl Spencer. Her mother, born Frances Ruth Burke Roche, was the youngest daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy.

The Spencers had served the Royal Family for generations. Diana's great-grandfather, the 6th Earl Spencer, was Lord Chamberlain to both Edward VII and George V. All four of her great-aunts on the Spencer side became members of the Queen Mother's household and her father was equerry to both George VI and the Queen.

After her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, she became known as Lady Diana Spencer.

Princess Diana's most iconic fashion moments
How did she meet Prince Charles?

Lady Diana met Prince Charles at Althorp in 1977; she was 16 and he was 29. The Prince was a member of a shooting party as a guest of Lady Diana's eldest sister, Lady Sarah. The Prince and Princess both recalled later that the meeting could be seen as the first landmark on the road to their marriage three and a half years later.

After Lady Diana spent a weekend at Balmoral as the guest of Prince Charles, a tabloid headline of 8 September 1980 proclaimed: "He's in Love Again". This sparked the press' obsession with Diana, which would follow her until her death.

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The Prince and Princess of Wales on their honeymoon in Balmoral Credit: PA

Diana's wedding to Prince Charles
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Prince Charles and Diana leaving the church after their wedding Credit: Fox Photos

Charles and Diana married on July 29, 1981 at London's St Paul's Cathedral, three weeks after her 20th birthday.

The bride wore an Emanuel designed gown with 25ft train. Diana's nerves were clear to all - she mixed up the Prince's names calling him Philip Charles Arthur George instead of Charles Philip.

But that did not stop the Archbishop of Canterbury commenting that the marriage was "the stuff of which fairytales are made".

The wedding took place in front of a congregation of 2,500 and the largest worldwide television audience ever recorded at the time, some 750 million people.

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Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry in Austria in 1993 Credit:  Ian Jones

What were her Royal duties?

As Princess of Wales, Diana undertook royal duties with Prince Charles on behalf of the Queen and represented her at functions around the world.

Famous for her charity work, she was president of Barnado's and London's Great Ormond Street Hospital; plus, her patronages included the British Red Cross, Headway, the British Deaf Association and Help the Aged, among others.

The Princess is also well known for her work with AIDS victims, children with Leukaemia and for the removal of landmines. One of the most enduring images of her was taken on a visit to Angola in 1997 where she was photographed walking through a minefield cleared by The Halo Trust charity.
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Diana pictured in Angola where she walked through a recently cleared minefield. Credit: AP
The birth of her children, William and Harry

After their wedding, the royal couple took up residence at Kensington Palace and Highgrove House, near Tetbury and on 5 November 1981 they announced Diana was pregnant with their first child.

Born on 21 June 1982 in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, their first son and heir was named Prince William Arthur Philip Louis. William's children George and Charlotte, who were born in 2013 and 2015, were both born in the same wing.

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Diana and Prince Charles with Prince William six months after his birth Credit: PA

On 15 September 1984 Diana gave birth to their second son, Henry Charles Albert David - affectionately known by the Royal family and the public as Harry.

Diana was applauded as a refreshingly hands-on mother to the Royal children. She chose their nanny, schools and clothing, even taking them to school herself whenever she could.
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When did the marriage breakdown?

In December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced the couple's "amicable separation" to the House of Commons, with Diana announcing her withdrawal from public life on 3 December 1993.

This didn't come as a surprise because by the late 1980s, Charles and Diana's separate lives had become public knowledge.

The Princess famously signalled that her marriage was over in 1992 when she posed for pictures alone outside India's Taj Mahal - regarded as the world's most romantic building - while on a royal visit with her husband.
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Diana, Princess of Wales in front of the Taj Mahal in India in 1992.

When she was asked by the media what she had thought of the Taj Mahal, the Princess said: "It was a healing experience, very healing." Asked what she meant by that, she replied: "Work it out for yourself."

Two years after the separation, in November 1995, Diana took part in a famously open interview for the BBC current affairs show Panorama.

When asked about Prince Charles' affair with Camilla Parker Bowles - whom he met in 1971 and dated until 1973 - Diana famously quipped: "Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

She also cast doubt on the Prince's ability to rule, saying: "Because I know the character I would think that the top job, as I call it, would bring enormous limitations to him, and I don't know whether he could adapt to that."

Diana also confirmed her affair with James Hewitt, saying: "Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down [by him]."

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Diana gives her shock interview on Panorama in 1995.

The Queen swiftly advised Prince Charles and Diana to divorce, sending both a letter just one month later, on 20 December.

In February 1996, Diana irritated the Queen by issuing her own announcement on the divorce, stating: "The Princess of Wales has agreed to Prince Charles's request for a divorce. The Princess will continue to be involved in all decisions relating to the children and will remain at Kensington Palace with offices in St James's Palace. The Princess of Wales will retain the title and be known as Diana, Princess of Wales."

The Palace quickly contradicted this statement, saying: "We can confirm that the Prince and Princess of Wales had a private meeting this afternoon at St James's Palace. At this meeting details of the divorce settlement and the Princess's future role were not discussed. All the details on these matters, including titles, remain to be discussed and settled. This will take time."

The couple officially divorced on 28 August 1996; while Diana did keep the title of Diana, Princess of Wales, she lost the Her Royal Highness title.
How did Princess Diana die?

Princess Diana died following a horrific car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

The 36-year-old princess was being driven at high speed in a Mercedes S-280 after she left the Ritz Hotel when the vehicle crashed into a pillar in a tunnel under the Alma bridge at around half-past midnight.

Diana, her then boyfriend Dodi Fayed, 41, son of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, the former owner of Harrods department store, and driver Henri Paul, all died in the late-night crash. Her bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived.

Mr Paul and Mr Fayed died on the spot, while the princess died from her injuries in a nearby hospital a few hours later.

Investigations carried out by both French and British authorities concluded that Mr Paul was responsible for the crash. He was drunk and on anti-depressants when he lost control of the Mercedes as it sped through the tunnel that lies next to the River Seine, while trying to shake off paparazzi photographers.

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The mangled wreck of the Mercedes is removed from the scene of the Paris crash in 1997. Credit:  Abaca / FlynetPictures.co.uk
What happened at the inquest?

After six months of extraordinary claims and counter-claims from more than 250 witnesses, in April 2008 an inquest jury at the Royal Courts of Justice in London returned verdicts of unlawful killing for both the Princess and her boyfriend Dodi - the equivalent of manslaughter in a criminal court.

They said that the paparazzi who pursued the Princess's car and its driver Mr Paul were both to blame for the crash because of their "gross negligence".

The jury also concluded that the couple might have lived if they had worn seatbelts.

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Diana and Dodi's final embrace was caught on camera at Paris's Ritz Hotel as they waited for their car. Credit: PA
Conspiracy theories were rife

Conspiracy theories around Diana's death continued to circulate for years after her death. Here are some of the most persistent.

Diana's death was ordered by her family

Some of the most popular theories stem from the suggestion that Diana was pregnant with Dodi's child and the couple were about to get engaged. The story goes that the Royal Family could not bear the inevitable scandal - let alone the idea of Diana marrying a non-Christian. Therefore, one of the inevitable conclusions that has been drawn is that Diana's death was ordered by her own family.

MI6 was involved in her death

Richard Tomlinson was a former MI6 agent who was dismissed from the intelligence services and later served time in prison for breaching the Official Secrets Act 1989. Tomlinson alleged that agents had been monitoring Diana and that her death mirrored plans he saw in 1992 for the assassination of the President of Serbia. An inquiry was launched which eventually concluded that Tomlinson's claims were an embellishment.

Throughout the inquest, Mr Fayed, maintained that Diana and Dodi were "murdered" by MI6 on the orders of the Duke of Edinburgh.
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Mohammed Al Fayed is pictured at the start of the inquest into Diana and Dodi's death in 2007. Credit:  Geoff Pugh

Mysterious white Fiat Uno

Analysis of the wreckage of the Mercedes showed that it had come into contact with a white Fiat Uno, leaving traces of paint on the Mercedes bodywork. Mr Fayed alleged that the vehicle was used by the "security services" to block the road in front of the Mercedes, causing it to swerve and crash into the side of the tunnel. The vehicle was never found.

Lack of CCTV images

Mr Fayed stated in 2003 that there were about ten video cameras on the route taken by the Mercedes, including one on the entrance to the tunnel itself, but there are no recordings from any of these for the night in question. The Independent also stated in 2006 that there were more than 14 CCTV cameras in the Pont de l'Alma underpass, but none recorded footage of the fatal collision.

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Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in St Tropez on August 22, 1997 - just a few days before they were killed in the Paris car crash. Credit:  AP

Seatbelts were sabotaged

Both Diana and Dodi were not restrained by their seatbelts at the time of the crash prompting some to suggest that they may have been sabotaged. French investigators declared all the seatbelts operational in 1998. Analysis of the wreckage of the car after its repatriation to England in 2005 found that all the seatbelts were in good working order bar Diana's, although it is thought that the damage took place after the accident.

Henri Paul's involvement

The fact that he actually died in the accident would seem to provide fairly conclusive evidence that he was not behind the crash, but according to conspiracy theorists Mr Paul was in the pay of a national security service. The main piece of evidence for this is supposedly the fact that he had a lot of cash on his person at the time of the car accident.

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The scene at Kensington Palace in the days after Diana's death. Credit: Jeff Gilbert
How did the Royal family react to her death?

The Queen was accused by some of a failure to capture the mood of the nation in the days following the death.

Public anger began as a result of the decision to issue an apparent "business-as-usual" message by taking Princes William and Harry to church at Balmoral, a few hours after Prince Charles had broken the news to them of their mother's death.

There were also accusations that the Queen remained in Scotland for too long, and did not return quickly enough to London, which had become the focal point for public grief over the Princess' death.
How did the nation react?

The national outpouring of grief following Diana's death was unprecedented.

Diana was the first genuine royal celebrity according to Andrew Marr, and her death shook the British in a way no other royal event in modern times has done.

On the day of her death, Tony Blair, still fresh in his job as Prime Minister, addressed the nation from outside St Mary Magdalene Church in Trimdon in his Sedgefield constituency.
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The Prince of Wales and Princes William and Harry inspect thousands of bouquets of floral tributes to their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, outside Kensington Palace on September 5, 1997. Credit: AFP

"She was the people’s princess and that’s how she will stay, how she will remain in our hearts and in our memories forever," Mr Blair declared.

The speech, scribbled by Mr Blair on the back of an envelope, following discussions with Alastair Campbell, his director of communications, was watched by millions and featured in the film The Queen.

In the days, weeks and months that followed, hundreds of thousands of mourners flocked to London to sign the book of condolence and to lay flowers outside Kensington Palace which became a place of pilgrimage.
Where was Diana's funeral?

The Princess's funeral was held at Westminster Abbey on 6 September 1997. Attended by 2,000 people, 32.10 million people watched the service in the UK and an estimated 2.5 billion people watched it worldwide.

William and Harry walked behind her coffin in the funeral procession, as well as the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, her brother Lord Spencer and representatives of some of her charities.

In an interview earlier this year, Harry discussed his memories of the funeral: "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today."
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The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles in the funeral procession Credit:  JEFF J. MITCHELL

Elton John performed a re-written version of the song Candle in the Wind at the service as a tribute to the Princess.

Her brother Lord Spencer spoke at at the funeral, calling Diana "a very British girl who transcended nationality. Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic."

Earlier this year, Prince Harry exclusively told the Daily Telegraph that he sought counselling after enduring two years of "total chaos" while still struggling in his late twenties to come to terms with the death of his mother.

He told Bryony Gordon that he had "shut down all his emotions" for almost two decades.
Where is Princess Diana buried?

Princess Diana is buried on an island in the Althorp Estate, the Spencer family home in Northamptonshire. A private burial took place at the estate following the funeral.

The estate is the main visitor attraction for those wanting to find out more Diana, although there are many other memorials to her, including The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in London's Hyde Park.

The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk is a seven mile loop taking visitors through four of London’s parks: St James's Park; Green Park; Hyde Park; and Kensington Gardens.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground is located next to the Princess’ Kensington Palace home, and is tribute to her love of the innocence of childhood.

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31.07.17

Prince William and Kate Middleton look elegant as they arrive in Belgium for war commemorations

Royal family tour! Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in Belgium on Sunday to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele. The power couple is accompanying Prince Charles on a two-day visit to Belgium at the request of Queen Elizabeth, where they are scheduled to attend various events marking the First World War commemorations.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton arrived in Belgium for the ceremony
Photo: Getty Images

On Sunday evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are both 35, attended the Last Post ceremony, which has taken place every night since 1928. The royals were joined by 200 descendants of people that are named on the Menin Gate, as well as representatives from nations who fought on the Salient. Kate and William were graciously greeted at the event by Belgian royals King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the memorial
Photo: Getty Images

Kate stunned in a white Alexander McQueen ensemble, with her hair bunned back to show off dazzling earrings. The mother-of-two had a beautiful red flower pinned to her lapel, which matched the one on her husband's suit jacket. During the ceremony, Prince William gave a short speech before laying down a wreath, adorned with the same flowers they had on, with Belgium’s monarch.

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Prince William delivered a speech during the ceremony
Photo: Getty Images

Later that evening, Britain’s most famous couple visited the market square in Ypres, where they enjoyed a creative retelling of the story of the war in the Ypres region. The façade of the Cloth Hall was illuminated with projections, in addition to live performances. The royals were also given a tour of the In Flanders Fields Museum, and learned about the key aspects of the war on the Ypres Salient. William and Kate even had the chance to meet descendants of families of some of those who served on the Ypres Salient from 1914 to 1918.

The Duke and Duchess have left their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, back home in the UK while they carry out their official visit abroad. On Monday, the couple is set to join Prince Charles for another commemoration service at the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde will again be in attendance, as well as Prime Minister Theresa May.
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Kate and William were graciously greeted at the event
by Belgian royals King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

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Quotes about Life

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Prince Charles Made a "Joke" After Harry's Birth That Actually Broke Diana's Heart

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Princess Diana was many things to many people, but above all else, she was an adoring and doting mother of two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. While much is known about Diana's special connection with her boys, there's one thing people may not know about Harry's birth in particular: Prince Charles "desperately" wanted a little girl, and Diana, knowing that she was carrying a baby boy, kept the secret from her husband throughout her entire pregnancy.

About a year after Prince William was born in June 1982, Diana was under pressure to produce a spare to the heir. In September 1983, Buckingham Palace announced that Diana was pregnant for a second time, but sadly, she suffered a miscarriage later that week while at the Balmoral estate in Scotland. Cut to early 1984, when Charles and Diana found out that they were expecting again. During her difficult pregnancy, Diana told friends, "I don't think I'm made for the production line, but it's all worth it in the end."

Related
The 50 Most Fascinating Facts About Princess Diana's Life

In September 1984, Diana gave birth to a baby boy, Henry Charles Albert David Mountbatten-Windsor, after nine hours of labor and zero drugs. In Andrew Morton's Diana: Her True Story, the princess revealed her husband's "dismay" after welcoming their second child: "Charles always wanted a girl," she said. "Harry was a boy. His first comment was, 'Oh God, it's a boy.' His second: 'And he's even got red hair.'" Charles discounted the comment as a joke, but Diana was extremely hurt and offended: not only had she just endured nine f*cking hours of natural birth, but her older sisters and younger brother, Earl Spencer, all happen to have red hair, a trait that runs in the Spencer family. What's worse, at Harry's christening in December, Charles reportedly told Diana's mother, "We were so disappointed — we thought it would be a girl."

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Diana went on to explain that she and Charles were "the closest we've ever, ever been and ever will be" in the weeks before Harry was born, adding, "Then, suddenly, as Harry was born, it just went bang, our marriage. The whole thing went down the drain." She went on to admit that "something inside me closed off," after Harry's birth — especially because Charles had picked up his longtime affair with Camilla Parker Bowles. "By then, I knew Charles had gone back to his lady," she said of the rekindled romance.

Related
Princess Diana's Most Precious Moments With Prince Harry

Harry's red hair led many to believe that his biological father was actually James Hewitt, an English Army captain who was hired to teach Diana, William, and Harry horseback riding. While Diana and James did carry on an affair in the late '80s, they didn't meet until two years after Harry's birth. The prince's hair color is purely genetic. And Charles's desire for a baby girl has held strong after all these years, as evidenced by his excitement over the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015. "I was hoping for a granddaughter — someone to look after me when I am very old," he told reporters during a public engagement that year. "I am really rather thrilled."

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Sweet, Heartbreaking Things William and Harry Have Said About Princess Diana
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Princess Diana and Harry with William on his first day at Eton in September 1995.

It's been nearly 20 years since Princess Diana's tragic death, and the anniversary has brought a renewed interest in her extraordinary (and sometimes scandalous) life as a royal. When Diana passed away in a car accident in August 1997, she left behind her two sons, William and Harry, who were 15 and 12, respectively, at the time. The princes have begun opening up about their mother's death in recent years and have admitted that it took time for them to feel comfortable talking about the huge loss. William told a young boy at a charity event that he was "very angry" about Diana's death and "found it very difficult to talk about."

Related
Remembering Princess Diana's Sweetest Mom Moments

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William and Harry at their mother's funeral in September 1997.

Prince William

    "Time makes it easier. I still miss my mother every day — and it's 20 years after she died."
    "Twenty-one years ago, my mother attended the launch of the Child Bereavement charity. Fifteen years later, I was honored to be invited to become patron of Child Bereavement UK to continue my mother's commitment to a charity which is very dear to me. What my mother recognized back then, and what I understand now, is that grief is the most painful experience that any child or parent can endure."
    "I never realized quite how much of an impact she had. I applaud her for all her dedication and drive, and I think the infectious enthusiasm and all the energy she had really rubbed off on me for causes such as [AIDS research in Africa]."
    "Initially, there is a sense of profound shock and disbelief that this could ever happen to you. Real grief often does not hit home until much later. For many it is a grief never entirely lost. Life is altered as you know it, and not a day goes past without you thinking about the one you have lost. I know that over time it is possible to learn to live with what has happened and, with the passing of years, to retain or rediscover cherished memories."
    "Losing a close family member is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever endure. Never being able to say the word 'Mummy' again in your life sounds like a small thing. I too have felt — and still feel — the emptiness on such a day as Mother's Day."
    "Part of the reason why Harry and I want to do this is because we feel we owe it to her. I think an element of it is feeling like we let her down when we were younger. We couldn't protect her."
    "I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better. It has taken me almost 20 years to get to that stage."
    "I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people's grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her. It is a different situation for most people who lose someone they love, it can be hidden away or they can choose if they want to share their story."
    "When it came to the wedding, I did really feel that she was there. You know, there was times when you look to someone or something for strength, and I very much felt she was there for me."
    "I would like to have had her advice. I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up. It makes me sad that she won't, that they will never know her."
    "The very last memory I have is a phone call from Balmoral [Castle in Scotland]. At the time, Harry and I were running around, minding our own business, playing with our cousins and having a very good time. Harry and I were in a desperate rush to say 'Goodbye, see you later, can I go off?' If I'd known what was going to happen I wouldn't have been quite so blasé about it. That phone call sticks in my mind quite heavily."
    "It's hard because obviously Catherine didn't know her, so she cannot really provide that, that level of detail. I just try and remind [George and Charlotte] that there are two grandmothers, there were two grandmothers in their lives, and so it's important that they know who she was and that she existed."
    "She'd be a nightmare grandmother, absolute nightmare," William teased. "She'd love the children to bits, but she'd be an absolute nightmare. She'd come and go and she'd come in probably at bath time, cause an amazing amount of scene, bubbles everywhere, bathwater all over the place and — and then leave."
    "I want to make as much time and effort with Charlotte and George as I can because I realize that these early years particularly are crucial for children, and having seen, you know, what she did for us."

Related

Remembering Princess Diana's Sweetest Mom Moments

In addition to speaking about their mother in interviews, William and Harry have taken on a number of her charities and both consider her legacy as one of the driving forces behind their philanthropic efforts. Recently, William bonded with young children who have lost their own parents, telling a little girl, "I lost my mummy when I was young, too. It's very important to talk about it." He and Harry are also erecting a memorial statue in the public gardens of Kensington Palace this year to commemorate her death and her positive impact in the UK and around the world. See more of the sweet, heartbreaking things that Harry and William have said about their late mum.

Related
10 Family Traditions Princess Diana Passed On to William and Harry

Prince Harry

    "I never really dealt with what had actually happened. So there was a lot of buried emotion, and I still didn't even want to think about it."
    "I really regret not talking about it. It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it. It is not a weakness. Weakness is having a problem and not recognizing it and not solving that problem."
    "It's a huge shame she's not here. But I hope she'd be incredibly proud of what we managed to achieve."
    "I first came [to Africa] in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad told my brother and me to pack our bags — we were going to Africa to get away from it all."
    "We will do everything we can to make sure she's never forgotten, and carry on all of the special gifts and such that she had and that she portrayed when she was alive. I hope that a lot of my mother's talents are shown in the work that I do."
    "I hope she's looking down [at our family] with tears in her eyes being incredibly proud of what we've established. I'm sure she's longing for me to have kids so she can be a grandmother again . . . but I hope that everything we do privately and officially, that it makes her proud."
    "Losing your mother at such a young age does end up shaping your life massively, of course it does. And now I find myself trying to be there and give advice to other people who are in similar positions."
    "Every day, depending on what I'm doing, I wonder what it would be like if she was here, and what she would say, and how she would be making everybody else laugh. Who knows what the situation would be, what the world would be like, if she were still around."
    "Not to get too personal, if you lose your mum at the age of 12 then you've got to deal with it and the idea that . . . 15, 17 years later I still hadn't dealt with it, Afghan was the moment. I was like 'right — deal with it.'"
    "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don't think it would happen today."
    ""My mother died when I was very young. I didn't want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good."
    "My mother took a huge part in showing me an ordinary life, including taking me and my brother to see homeless people. Thank goodness I'm not completely cut off from reality. People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live."
    "I intuitively know what my mother would like me to do and want to progress with work she couldn't complete."
    "She had the most wonderful sense of humor and always wanted to make things fun for us, as well as protect us."
    "I think it's never going to be easy for the two of us to talk about our mother, but 20 years on seems like a good time to remind people of the difference that she made not just to the royal family, but also to the world."
    "I can't necessarily remember what I said but all I do remember is regretting for the rest of my life how short the phone call was. If I'd known that that was the last time I was going to speak to my mother, the things I would have said to her. Looking back at it now — it's incredibly hard. I have to deal with that for the rest of my life: not knowing that it was the last time I'd speak to my mum, how differently that conversation would have panned out if I'd had even the slightest inkling that her life was going to be taken that night."

Image Source: Getty / Anwar Hussein

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Prince William Reveals What Princess Diana Would Have Been Like as a Grandmother
July 25, 2017 by Terry Carter
First Published: July 23, 2017

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Prince William is making sure his children know who Princess Diana was. During an upcoming ITV documentary, Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, William revealed that he is "constantly talking about Granny Diana" to Prince George and Princess Charlotte. William also shared that he keeps photos of his mother around the house to remind his growing family of her presence.

"It's hard because obviously Catherine didn't know her, so she cannot really provide that, that level of detail," he said in the documentary, which airs on Monday. Instead, William says he talks about his late mom to the children at bedtime to "just try and remind them that there are two grandmothers, there were two grandmothers in their lives, and so it's important that they know who she was and that she existed."

Related
William and Harry Reminisce About Princess Diana: "She Was One of the Naughtiest Parents"

Prince William also reflected on what he thinks Princess Diana would have been like as a grandmother. "She'd be a nightmare grandmother, absolute nightmare," William teased. "She'd love the children to bits, but she'd be an absolute nightmare. She'd come and go and she'd come in probably at bath time, cause an amazing amount of scene, bubbles everywhere, bathwater all over the place and — and then leave."

According to William, the precious time he spent with her and the lessons he learned from his mother before her untimely death have made him a better father. "I want to make as much time and effort with Charlotte and George as I can because I realize that these early years particularly are crucial for children, and having seen, you know, what she did for us."

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Queen Elizabeth II Did Something at Diana's Funeral That the Public Did Not See Coming
August 8, 2017 by Brittney Stephens
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Princess Diana was honored with a public funeral on Sept. 6, 1997, seven days after her tragic death. The event brought in an estimated 2.5 billion viewers, while another three million crowded the streets of London to follow the route of Diana's coffin from Kensington Palace to her final resting place at the Spencer family home in Althorp. Diana's two sons, William and Harry, joined the funeral procession at St. James's Palace alongside their father, grandfather, and uncle Earl Spencer. The coffin, accompanied by eight Welsh Guards, passed Buckingham Palace, where members of the royal family waited outside. Queen Elizabeth II was one of them, and as Diana's coffin was carried past her, she made a very rare move: she bowed her head.

The queen's gesture is remarkable for a couple of reasons; first, while it is customary for others to bow (or curtsy) to her majesty, she is not technically required to bow or curtsy to others. She made a solemn, unexpected acknowledgment to her former daughter-in-law's casket that she rarely does for anyone else.

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Second, there was a huge amount of drama within the royal family after Diana's death, including the fact that Queen Elizabeth II had insisted that Diana's ceremony be private — she faced "fierce resistance" from Prince Charles, and then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair also agreed that Diana should be laid out at St. James's Palace with a public funeral held at Westminster Abbey. Because the queen was so highly criticized for her silence and "business-as-usual" behavior in the wake of Diana's death, her bowing at the coffin attempted to send a message of compassion, honor, and genuine grief.

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana pose with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in March 1981, shortly after their engagement. Image Source: Getty / Hulton Royals Collection

With the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's tragic death approaching, interest in her life — and especially her marriage to Prince Charles — has piqued in recent months. The relationship between Charles and Diana was tumultuous, to say the least; they met after Charles first dated Diana's older sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and only went on 12 dates before getting engaged in February 1981 and tying the knot five months later. By late 1992 (after collective affairs and embarrassing leaked audio conversations), Charles and Diana's 11-year marriage was a disaster — and the royal family couldn't hide it anymore.

Charles's parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, met with the couple for an intervention of sorts. Philip and Diana exchanged heartfelt letters that Summer in which he expressed his disappointment at both her and Charles's extramarital affairs and asked her to see both of their slip-ups from the other's point of view; at one point he seemed ready to give up, writing, "I will always do my utmost to help you and Charles to the best of my ability. . . but I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counselor." Their attempts at reconciliation were unsuccessful, and that December, Prime Minister John Major publicly announced the pair's "amicable separation," reading an official statement from the royal family.

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Diana and Charles looked less than enthused during their royal tour of Canada in October 1991. Image Source: Getty / Anwar Hussein

After their separation, more rumors of cheating emerged, and Diana conducted a tell-all interview with the BBC's Martin Bashir in which she disclosed details about her own infidelity and struggle with bulimia as well as Charles's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, making the famous quote, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." Ultimately, Elizabeth gave up too — likely fed up with doing damage control for Charles and Diana's cheating scandals and the blowback from Diana broadcasting their business, she sprung into action. On Dec. 20, 1995, Buckingham Palace announced that the queen had written separate letters to the couple ordering them to divorce ASAP, an unprecedented move at the time. "After considering the present situation, the queen wrote to both the prince and princess earlier this week and gave them her view, supported by the Duke of Edinburgh, that an early divorce is desirable," a palace statement said. It added that both Elizabeth and Philip would "continue to do all they can to help and support the Prince and Princess of Wales, and most particularly their children, in this difficult period." Charles agreed formally in writing soon after, but it took Diana until February to announce her agreement after negotiations with Charles and representatives for Elizabeth and until July for the couple to agree on the terms of their divorce.

Their divorce was finalized in August 1996, but some drama surrounding her title ensued. Queen Elizabeth reportedly wanted to let Diana keep the style of her royal highness, but Charles was "adamant" that she give it up — instead, she was given the title Diana, Princess of Wales. The loss of the honorific separated Diana from the rest of the family in such a way that she had to curtsy to those that had it, including her own children. Heartbreakingly, a 14-year-old Prince William is said to have comforted his mother after the loss of her title by saying, "Don't worry, Mummy, I will give it back to you one day when I am king."

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Diana, Harry, William, and Charles watch a parade in London in March 1995. Image Source: Getty / AFP

Diana was allowed to keep her apartment at Kensington Palace — which now serves as the official residence of William, Kate Middleton, and their two children — as "a central and secure home for The Princess and the children." She was given access to the royal family's jets and was able "to use the state apartments at St. James's Palace for entertaining," as long as asked the queen's permission first. She was also permitted to keep all the jewelry she amassed during her marriage, with the exception of the Cambridge Lover's Knot tiara, which Elizabeth gave to her as a wedding present after only wearing it once. It was lent to Kate Middleton in both 2015 and 2016.

Buckingham Palace publicly stated that as the mother of heirs to the throne, Diana would continue to be regarded as a member of the royal family and "will from time to time receive invitations to state and national public occasions" at the invitation "of the sovereign or the Government." She and Charles were granted equal access to Prince William and Prince Harry, who were 14 and 11 at the time, respectively, and the boys alternated holidays with each of their parents when they weren't attending boarding school. Things seemed to be civil between Charles and Diana as they worked together to coparent their boys after the divorce and up until Diana's death in August 1997. During an inquest into the tragedy in January 2007, Deputy Coroner of the Queen's Household Baroness Butler-Sloss said, "I am satisfied that at her death, Diana Princess of Wales continued to be considered as a member of the Royal Household."

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Prince Philip Is Officially Retired! The Royal Attends His Last Public Engagement
August 2, 2017

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Prince Philip is officially on retirement time. The 96-year-old royal attended his last official public engagement on Wednesday when he took part in a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge, which raises funds and awareness for The Royal Marines Charity, at Buckingham Palace. Despite the pouring rain, Philip met with representatives from the organization, veterans, and cadets before receiving the 1664 Global Challenge baton and three cheers from the crowd. The event certainly holds special significance to the prince, who was appointed captain general in succession to Queen Elizabeth II's late father, King George VI, nearly 64 years ago.

Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip's last duty in a statement in July, saying, "The Duke of Edinburgh will no longer undertake his own program of public engagements. The Captain General's Parade will bring His Royal Highness's individual program to a conclusion, although he may choose to attend certain events, alongside The Queen, from time to time." The royal first announced his decision to retire in May with full support from the queen. Over the past 70 years, Philip has carried out royal duties on behalf of over 780 organizations.

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Princess Diana grew up around royalty. She was born Lady Diana Spencer (her family had British nobility with royal ancestry), and she became a princess when she married Prince Charles in 1981.

But despite her various titles and obvious connection to the monarchy, it turns out that Diana never had any interest in one day becoming queen. As soon as she became an official member of the royal family, she majorly repaired what some people considered to be a huge divide between the British royals and the country's common people. She was affectionate, she was personable, and she deeply cared about the health and safety of others. And it was this passion that was her sole reason for not wanting to be anything other than the people's princess.

Diana spoke about why she never saw herself becoming queen during her infamous BBC interview with Martin Bashir in 1995. "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts, but I don't see myself being queen of this country," she said.

"I don't think many people would want me to be queen, and when I say many people, I mean the establishment that I'm married into. They've decided that I'm a nonstarter, because I do things different, because I don't go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart and not the head. And albeit that's gotten me into trouble in my work, but someone's gotta go out there and love people."


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Prince Charles and Princess Diana's 11-year marriage was fraught with scandals, affairs, and, well, the fact that they weren't really all that in love to begin with.

But after the birth of Prince Harry in 1984, Diana experienced what she called "some of the happiest years of her life" as a wife and mother — sadly, it didn't last too long. In 1986, Prince Charles rekindled his pre-Diana romance with Camilla Parker Bowles, a relationship that first started back in the early '70s. According to interviews and conversations with friends, Diana never believed that Charles and Camilla had fully broken things off; she even alleged to have found photos of Camilla in Charles's journal during their honeymoon and made the famous statement of there being "three of us" in the marriage, telling Martin Bashir in 1995, "It was a bit crowded."

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Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles at Ludlow Races, where Prince Charles competed in 1980. Image Source: Getty / Hulton Archive

In Andrew Morton's controversial biography Diana: Her True Story, first published in 1992, Diana recalled "one of the bravest moments" of her marriage — a calculated confrontation with Camilla herself at a 40th birthday party for Camilla's sister, of all places. The year was 1989, and Diana decided that, after putting the pieces together and realizing that Charles and Camilla were carrying on an affair, she would turn up at the event unannounced and talk to Camilla face to face, once and for all.

Nobody knew Diana was going to show up — she wasn't even invited — and in a truly badass move, the princess interrupted a conversation between Camilla, Charles, and another male guest to speak to Camilla. She looked "really uncomfortable and put her head down," and Diana continued: "OK, boys, I'm just going to have a quick word with Camilla and I'll be up in a minute." The two men "shot upstairs like chickens with no heads," Diana said, adding, "I could feel, upstairs, all hell breaking loose — 'What is she going to do?'"

What Diana did was exactly what she planned to do. Though she admitted to being "terrified" of Camilla, Diana recalled staying "deathly calm." "The voice inside me had said, 'just go for it,'" she said in a taped conversation. "I said, 'I know what's going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that.'" The princess called Camilla's reply "very interesting": "She said to me, 'You've got everything you ever wanted. You've got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you've got two beautiful children, what more do you want?'" "So I said, 'I want my husband,'" Diana said. "I said to Camilla, 'I'm sorry I'm in the way . . . and it must be hell for both of you. But I do know what's going on. Don't treat me like an idiot.'"

The aftermath from Diana and Camilla's standoff was swift. Diana said that after the party, Prince Charles "was over me like a bad rash, and I cried like I have never cried before," and that in the days after the confrontation there was a "tremendous shift" in their relationship. In frustration, Diana began her own string of extramarital affairs until she and Charles eventually separated, then divorced at the behest of Queen Elizabeth II. The couple managed to stay civil while co-parenting their sons until Diana's tragic death in August 1997. Prince Charles and Camilla were married in 2005.

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Quotes about Life

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he Way Prince Charles and Camilla Met Was Pretty Common — With a Twist
July 16, 2017 by Brittney Stephens

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Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles's highly publicized, scandal-filled relationship began how most do: at a party. In 1971, Charles and Camilla, then Camilla Shand, were introduced at a mutual friend's event by none other than Charles's college girlfriend, Lucia Santa Cruz. Lucia, the daughter of the former Chilean ambassador to London, was said to have carried on a brief but passionate romance with Charles while he was studying at Cambridge University years earlier and insisted that she had "just the girl" for the prince before hooking him up with Camilla.

While chatting at the party, they soon discovered a shared love of polo and being outdoors, and Camilla reportedly made a joke about her great-grandmother Alice Keppel having had an affair with King Edward VIII, telling Charles, "My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather. I feel we have something in common." The two began dating almost immediately, meeting at polo matches at Windsor Great Park, where Charles often played — but the two split right before the prince left for the Royal Navy. When he got back eight months later, Camilla was engaged to Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles.

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Camilla and Andrew tied the knot in 1973, and though the two stayed close, Charles began a relationship with 18-year-old Diana Spencer in 1980 (after dating her sister first, of course). He popped the question after only 12 dates, and even though the two were married in 1981, Diana had suspicions that Charles and Camilla had rekindled their romance behind her back — and the fact that Camilla was in attendance at their wedding didn't exactly quell those fears. And to celebrate the nuptials, Charles decided to buy gifts for a dozen of his close friends, including Camilla; he bought her "a gold bracelet personalized with a blue enamel disk engraved with the initials 'GF.' The monogram stood for 'Girl Friday,'" Charles's nickname for her.

By 1986, Charles and Camilla's affair had hit a fever pitch, and in 1989, Diana famously confronted her husband's mistress at a 40th birthday party for Camilla's sister, of all places. Despite her brazen attempts at getting Camilla to back off, Diana and Charles's marriage continued to falter — and by 1992, they had officially separated. In a televised BBC interview three years later Diana made the infamous statement, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." Shortly after, Queen Elizabeth II ordered Charles and Diana's divorce, and what was done was done. Diana tragically passed away in August 1997, and Charles and Camilla quietly continued their romance. The queen believed they should go public, so they formalized their relationship by attending Camilla's sister's 50th birthday party together in 1999. Elizabeth gave Charles and Camilla permission to marry in 2005, and during a speech at their wedding reception said, "My son is home and dry with the woman he loves."

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Popular Destinations for Flights

Amsterdam

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When millennials speak of Amsterdam, you definitely know it’s a party. This city is one of the best preserved in all of Europe with more than 50 miles of canals and more than 6,000 buildings. You cannot walk for long without noticing a masterpiece in the city. There are many museums here, art galleries for those who love art, as well as some of Europe’s hottest clubs. One interesting thing in Amsterdam is the love to ride bikes – you’ll find plenty of bike-rental shops where you can gear up and go out for a spin.

When visiting this remarkable city, it’s like time stops and you tend to forget your troubles just for a moment. With this travel guide, you will be able to go beyond the weed and the red lights and discover the real Amsterdam.
Amsterdam weather and best time to visit

People visit Amsterdam with different agendas; some tourists just want to see the tulips so they visit from mid-April to early May. Some visitors only come for the New Year’s celebration; there’s a lot of partying going on then. However, if you want to enjoy a quieter and more relaxed Amsterdam, visit from October to March. July and August are the busiest months.

In terms of weather, January is the coldest while August is the hottest.
Getting Around Amsterdam

As discussed earlier, you can rent a bike and use the bike lanes to go wherever you want to go. Public transportation is also convenient (trains, buses and metros). You can get a chip card for about $9. You could also ask for a tourist pass from your driver.
What You Should Know Before Visiting Amsterdam

It is advisable to plan ahead since during the summer most of the attractions are usually busy. Be careful with your wallets as the city is well known for pick-pockets. Also be cautious when you are riding the tram or buying something in the markets.

Best of Amsterdam

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Rijksmuseum

This museum is one of the finest in the world. Make sure you arrive before 10am to avoid big crowds.
Anne Frank Huis

Another beautiful museum that gets more than 1 million visitors every year. Don’t miss this powerful experience.
Vondelpark

If you are looking forward to relaxing and enjoying some peace and quiet, make a trip to this top choice park in the city.

Van Gogh museum

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The Van Gogh museum is very fascinating, you will definitely be moved as you see Van Gogh’s life and how he developed through art.
A’DAM Tower

If you want to get the inspiring views of Amsterdam, take the lift to the top of this tower. You can also climb aboard the giant four-person swing for some fun rides with your kids.
Other places to visit in Amsterdam

    Museum het Rembranthuis
    De Hallen
    Hermitage Amsterdam
    Amsterdam City Canal Cruise
    ARTIS Amsterdam
    De Duif
    Dutch National Opera & Ballet

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The Simple Reason Prince William Doesn't Wear a Wedding Ring

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When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010, he gave her the stunning 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire ring that his late mother, Princess Diana, wore during her marriage to Prince Charles. And when the two tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in London in 2011, Kate added a gold band to sit perfectly next to her sparkler. But despite the duchess of Cambridge's new jewelry, there was no big exchanging of rings, because Prince William never got one. The reason? It's just not his style. Shortly before the couple's big day, the palace released a statement about his decision to ditch tradition and go ringless, saying, "It is simply down to personal preference. It was something the couple discussed but Prince William isn't one for jewelry." Seeing as how William and Kate are one of the most famous couples on the planet, they would be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn't aware of their sweet romance. So there you have it.

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Prince George to start school with mum and dad by his side

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When Prince George starts school on Thursday, he will no doubt be just as nervous as any other four-year-old.

But the third-in-line to the throne will have some familiar faces by his side, as Kensington Palace announce both his mother and father will be joining him for the school run.

The Duke of Cambridge will be there to hold his son's hand for his first day at Thomas’ Battersea, as the Cambridge family settles full-time in London to support the Queen in her duties.

The decision makes good on a promise made by the Duchess when she met fellow Thomas’ parents earlier this year and told them: “I may see you at the school gates”.

The Duke and Duchess have spoken often of their wish to be hands-on parents, emphasising the importance of encouraging Prince George and Princess Charlotte of speaking about their emotions.

The young Prince William was taken to his first day at school, in January 1987 at Wetherby, by his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, while his father was unexpectedly stuck in a snowstorm.

Both the Prince and Princess took Prince Harry for his first day, accompanied for photographs by a lively Prince William. The Duke of Edinburgh accompanied the young Prince Charles for his first day at Cheam.

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Prince William on his first day of school, January 1987

The school run on Thursday heralds the start of a new era for the Cambridge family, as they base themselves at Kensington Palace full time.

A full programme of engagements through the autumn will see the Duke, along with other senior members of the Royal Family, step up support his grandmother The Queen, and continue his key charitable interests.

As well as an overseas trip in November, Kensington Palace said he would focus on initiatives dealing with homelessness, conservation, cyber-bullying.

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Prince Charles arrives at Cheam School in 1957 with his mother, The Queen, and father Prince Philip

The Duchess, who will also be helping Prince George settle into school and Princess Charlotte start nursery, will undertake engagements publicising addiction, family breakdown and the importance of early intervention.

Prince George, meanwhile, will be busy at Thomas's, described by The Good Schools Guide as "busy" and "slightly chaotic", with 19 different languages spoken in pupils' homes.

The school, where fees cost from £17,604 a year, was reviewed as "a big, busy, slightly chaotic school for cosmopolitan parents who want their children to have the best English education money can buy.

That is what they want and, to a large degree, that is what they get".

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Popular Destinations for Flights


Singapore

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Welcome to the Lion’s City, Singapore. A thriving cosmopolitan renowned for trade and commerce. There’s an abundance of world class attractions, restaurants and a very robust nightlife. Even though Singapore is a small island state, the diversity in their culture is truly remarkable.

There is a lot that you can do when you visit this city; touring tropical parks, sampling some of the best Indian and Chinese cuisines, shopping, you name it. You can also just relax along the beautiful beaches or even take a tour inside a world class zoo.

Getting Around Singapore

There are plenty of taxis as well as buses. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) runs throughout the entire state. Make sure you acquire a Singapore Tourist Pass to enjoy unlimited travel for some time. Expect to spend something around 4SGD when boarding the MRT. A day’s pass goes for 10SGD while a 3 day pass is 20SGD.
Activities in Singapore

In general, activities in this city are not that expensive, some are even free. Some of the free activities you can do include touring the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

Best of Singapore
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Singapore Zoo

This zoo is among the best in the world, hands down. It covers an area of about 70 acres and has so many animals (over 3600 mammals). There is also a night safari if you are interested in visiting the zoo at night.
Eat at The Boat Quay

This is the best place to go if you are looking for entertainment and food. The most ideal place to relax and go sightseeing. Make sure you bring a camera when you visit this place to capture the beautiful scenery.
Thian Hock Temple

When in Singapore, make sure you visit this stunning Temple. It is a national monument and quite honestly, one of the most photogenic constructions in Singapore.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is situated inside Singapore’s only remaining rain-forest. It is the top choice ecotourism attraction site. You’ll get to see lots of animals there. Just take a 30 minute drive from the city.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

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This is another great place to visit. And as we discussed earlier, it is free. This lovely Botanic Garden lies close to the city. Just take a cab and you’ll get there in less than 30 minutes. The 52 hectares garden also has forests in it. The most captivating place in the garden is the National Orchid Garden, where you get to see more than 1,000 species of orchids. There’s also a ginger garden, several streams and waterfalls that you can chose to explore.
Other places to visit in Singapore

    Chinatown
    Merlion Park
    Little India
    Sri Mariamman Temple
    MacRitchie Reservoir Park
    Palau Ubin

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Kate Middleton Honored Princess Diana's Life in the Sweetest Way Today
31.08.17

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In the wake of the 20-year anniversary of Princess Diana's death, Kate Middleton spent the day honoring her memory along with Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The three paid a visit to the former Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, which has been transformed into the White Garden and filled with white roses, lilies, gladioli, and cosmos flowers.

The new blooms were planted in dedication to the late Princess, and were inspired by her charitable work and her unforgettable style, including the famous white "Elvis" Catherine Walker dress. "The engagement will allow the Princes to pay tribute to the life and work of their mother the day before the twentieth anniversary of her death," an earlier statement from Kensington Palace said.

According to CNN, during their visit they met with various charities that were meaningful to the late Princess Diana, such as people from the U.K.'s homeless charity Centrepoint, the National AIDS Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Leprosy Mission and the Landmine Survivors Network.

The Duchess wore Prada's Poppy Silk-Crepe Dress (which retails for a cool $2,340) as she strolled through the garden with an umbrella and Prince William and Prince Harry by her side. We imagine the royal family has more plans to honor Diana's life tomorrow, on the exact date of the twentieth anniversary of her death.

Kate Middleton was in good spirits despite the dreary weather as she walked around the garden.

The royal family members were spotted in a conversation with gardener Sean Harkin.

Below are the delicate white flowers that were planted in Princess Diana's honor. The transformed garden will continue to be open for public viewing through September.

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Vladimir Putin Talks Ruling the World, Future Wars And Life On Mars

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Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed students back to class by imparting his wisdom on the future of war, the importance of cutting edge technology and surviving on Mars.

Putin began his address to a hall of students in Yaroslavl with a pep talk for the youngsters, urging them to take the “next step” in Russia’s future—a point in a vibrant, millennia-old continuum.

“If we continue to exist for over a thousand years and we are actively developing, becoming stronger, then it means that there is something that makes this happen,” he declared on Friday, in an event broadcast nationwide by the Kremlin, Russia's state media and Kremlin youth movements. “This something is the internal nuclear reactor of our people.”

Not dwelling on the past for too long Putin quickly gave his thoughts on where Russia and the world’s future lay.

“Artificial intelligence is the future not only of Russia but the future of humankind,” Putin said. “Here there are colossal possibilities and threats that are hard to predict today. Whomever becomes a leader in this sphere will be the master of the world and I would very much like it that there is no monopoly of this in any specific pair of hands.”

Putin vowed that if Russia were to attain this enviable position of supremacy over AI “we would share these technology with the whole world, as we share atomic and nuclear technology today.”

Another area for development where Russia cannot claim leadership yet, Putin said, is unmanned vehicles.

“And it is one of the most important directions (for development) that is important to us in all fields—in economics and in defense,” Putin stressed.

Russia is still working on developing a viable military drone programme beyond handheld, reconnaissance drones and increasing automation is a crucial goal in its military modernization strategy before 2020.

“Many countries have flying drones with quite large loading abilities. We are still working on this,” Putin said. Russian arms makers this year unveiled plans for a five tonne Russian drone though this is not in production.

If the future went as defense experts are now predicting, Putin said, one day “wars will be concluded when all the drones on one side are destroyed by the drones of another.

Putin touched on the topic of space technologies, hoping that space travel technology could one day be used in passenger travel, though not necessarily for journeys into outer space. He described the slashing of flight time from Russia’s westernmost major city, Kaliningrad, to its easternmost, Vladivostok, as “a dream.”

As far as space travel is concerned, Putin told students that there is hope for life on other planets in our Solar System.

“The flight to Mars would take no less than half a year, maybe even more,” Putin said. “If you fly to Mars and buried yourself somewhere in there, then you could exist for some period of time. But you have to dig yourself in because cells simply die on the surface,” he warned pupils.

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Queen Elizabeth
had an emotional message for victims of Hurricane Harvey

Tropical storm Harvey has wrecked havoc on parts of Texas and Louisiana all week, with one more devastating image after another. Donald Trump visited the region on Tuesday and pledged to rebuild, but its going to take a lot of time after the unprecedented amount of rainfall and flooding. The damage has drawn the attention of world leaders including Queen Elizabeth, who sent a message to Harvey victims that really puts things into perspective. She reportedly reached out to Trump, and then released an emotional statement on Friday, writing:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the devastation following the recent terrible floods caused by Hurricane Harvey. Prince Philip and I send our sincere condolences to the victims of this disaster, to those who have lost loved ones, and to those who have seen their homes and property destroyed. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected.”


The damage from Harvey is still being assessed, but the numbers are already staggering. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, at least 49,000 homes in Texas were damaged in the flood and 200,000 homes still don’t have power. Almost 800,000 people were evacuated from Texas and Louisiana in the storm, although authorities are starting to allow some people to return to their homes in order to get a handle on the damage to their personal property.

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