Tag Archives: royal wedding trivia

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: And yet more royal wedding trivia

On Google, there are some 3,330,000 websites dedicated at least in part to royal wedding trivia. Surely, they have covered it all. England’s royal family must be the most intimately known group of people on earth. Of course, Princess Diana herself was a prime example of the phenomenon of prying. The difference is that she knew how to use the media to advance her own ends, including her extensive charity work.

That commentary aside, it is time to join the herd and trot out a few more trifles about the royal family. These factoids have been taken from sources that include zoomermag.com and voxmagazine.com. An effort has been made to stay away from the salacious and hold to the higher road.

For example, it is not true that Kate Middleton and Prince William are too closely related to be married. They are actually 12th cousins, once removed. They shared a great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Leighton, 12 generations ago (for William) and 11 generations ago (for Kate). Sir Thomas was an Elizabethan (the first Queen Elizabeth) aristocrat. William Shakespeare was writing his plays and sonnets at the time.

This is unfortunate but hardly scandalous: Kate and William share their wedding date with an infamous couple from the fairly distant past. Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler were married in a Berlin bunker on April 29, 1945. Shortly afterward, the unhappy couple committed suicide.

The digital age has taken a turn for the romantic. Kate and William’s engagement was announced via Twitter.

William and Kate will not be accepting gifts. They have asked their wedding guests to donate to the Zoological Society of London. Both of them are dedicated to animal conservation, the Zoological Society is very active in that area, helping preserve elephants in Asia and Africa and rhinos in Kenya. By way of contrast, when Diana and Prince Charles were married, they asked for, among other things, a gourmet barbecue set and a pair of cockatoos.

As is well known by now, Kate’s 27-year-old sister Philippa Charlotte Middleton (Pippa) will be maid of honor at the ceremony in Westminster Abbey.  What might be less well-known are Pippa’s plans for the prenuptial experience. Rumor has it she is hosting a top-secret “hen party” in London and a Dirty Dancing party in Berkshire at the family home.

Stepping back into history for a moment: Prince William is only the second eldest son of a Prince of Wales to be married before his father became king of England. George V did it in 1892. He married Princess Victoria Mary of Teck. Princess Victoria Mary had been engaged to George’s older brother Albert Victor. However, Albert Victor died before he married Princess Victoria Mary, thus making George the eldest son. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Prince Albert Edward, George’s father, became King Edward VII.

Of course, it was the eldest son of George V and Victoria Mary who would become King Edward VIII briefly. He abdicated the throne so he could marry Wallis Simpson, an American. His brother George then became King George VI, he of The King’s Speech fame.

Obviously, part of the problem with royal family trivia is how complicated it can become. However, if one can at last commit the previous bit of information to memory, it is certain to impress a crowd, if not completely befuddle everyone present.

Whatever the case, it should be unfurled like Princess Diana’s 25-foot train at the Union Station Royal Wedding Watch Party, beginning at 3:00 a.m. on April 29 — the Big Day. Time should be saved also to pay a visit to Diana, A Celebration. Admission is free from 3:00 to 6:00 a.m. and just $5.0o from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. Harvey’s Union Station will be serving coffee, and live coverage of the royal wedding will be shown. Many other contests, giveaways and other activities are planned.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration, for other days are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and www.unionstation.org.


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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Royal wedding trivia continued

Here are a few more trivia tidbits picked from aolnews.com and royal-weddings.org.

Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and his bride are to be married is the favorite site for coronations. In fact, kings and queens of England have been crowned there since William the Conqueror in 1066. Seventeen monarchs have their final resting place there. The building that stands now was started in 1245. For Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, tiers and galleries were put in so that 8,200 people could fit in instead of only 2,000.

Many people are surprised when they find out that a royal can marry a commoner like Kate. But that is not a problem. The difficulty arises if the intended is a Catholic. The Act of Settlement, passed in 1701, states that royals cannot marry a Catholic. Kate is not Catholic, but Autumn Kelly, who married Peter Phillips, Prince William’s cousin, had to convert to Anglicanism. Otherwise, Peter would have had to give up his succession rights to the crown.

Kate Middleton rivals Princess Diana in the style department. She is viewed as one of the best-dressed women in England and regularly shows up on the lists that keep track of such things. She also appears in magazines such as Vanity Fair and People.

Curtsying might not seem like such a big deal. But there is a strict protocol that goes with the gesture. There is even an order to the curtsying that depends on the distance of the royal ladies and the consorts from the throne. When Kate marries William, the curtsy order will be the following:

Queen Elizabeth, Kate, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, Zara Phillips, Lade Sarah Chatto, Lady Davina Lewis of Gloucester, Lady Rose Gilman of Gloucester, Lady Helen Windsor.

As it turns out, Kate’s step-mother-in-law Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and second wife of Prince Charles should curtsy to Kate. But this only holds if Prince Charles is not in the room. Then there is no curtsying.

May 6, 1960 marked the first televised royal wedding. On that day, Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth, married Antony Armstrong-Jones. There were about 20 million viewers. The couple divorced in 1978, and Margaret died in 2002.

It has been a while since a foreign princess married a British royal. The last on was Princess Marina of Greece, who married Prince George, Duke of Kent, in 1934. Prince George was the fourth son of King George V. Prince George was killed in a plane crash during World War II.

It is facts like these that can make an event like the Royal Wedding Watch Party at Union Station even more fun. Showing off one’s knowledge can help pass the time as the guests file in to wait for the ceremony to begin.

The Watch Party begins at 3:00 a.m., so there will be plenty of time to trade trivia. Of course, many people will want to take advantage of the free admission to Diana, A Celebration, until 6:00 a.m. and the $5.00 admission from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. Union Station will show the wedding live and repeat the broadcast all day. A reception in the evening, beginning at 5:00, will feature the official royal wedding cake and champagne. The reception is free to Union Station members and $8.50 for non-members.

Diana, A Celebration, continues through June 12. Tickets are available through the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office, www.unionstation.org and all Ticketmaster locations.


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Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: Royal wedding 2011 trivia

So much to know. So little time to learn it all.

The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is just a little more than a week away. The broad outlines of Kate’s life and William’s life are well enough known. But what about those little secrets or little-known details that make people really interesting.

Here are a few notes about Kate, William and other members of their families that most people probably do not know. Some of them might stump even the most studious fan. Thanks to yahoo.com, royal-weddings.org and aolnews.com for these tidbits.

This is not Prince William’s first royal wedding. He was a “miniature groomsman” at the 1986 nuptials of his uncle, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.

Prince William, when he becomes king, will be the tallest monarch since the reign of King Edward I (also known a Edward Longshanks). He was about six feet two inches tall. He was king more than 700 years ago. Prince William is about six feet three inches tall.

While he was in the Royal Air Force, Prince William was known as Billy The Fish among his comrades.

Kate and William share the same favorite cocktail: vodka, champagne and passion fruit juice.

William decided to be far away from home when he proposed to Kate. They were in Kenya at the time.

Kate Middleton is the oldest royal bride in history. She’s 29.

Going back a few years — when Diana Spencer married Prince Charles all those decades ago, she mixed up Charles’s name at the altar. It was difficult keeping all the names straight . . . Charles Philip Arthur George. . . .

Even more decades ago — when Princess Elizabeth got married, it was to a man who was already a prince. At the time, Phillip was Prince of Greece and Denmark.

More trivia to come.

Union Station Kansas City is the temporary home of Diana, A Celebration, an award-winning exhibition that chronicles the life and work of Prince William’s mother, the late People’s Princess. This is the exhibition’s last North American appearance. It will return to England after it closes June 12, 2011.

Union Station is also the site of what will likely be Kansas City’s largest royal wedding watch party, starting at 3:00 a.m., Friday, April 29. The all-day event will feature free admission to Diana, A Celebration, from 3:00 to 5:00 a.m., and $5.00 admission to the exhibition from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. Giveaways and contests will be part of the event, along with live coverage of the wedding itself.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration are available through all Ticketmaster locations, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and www.unionstation.org.

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