England is a beautiful place boasting so many tourist spots that not only promotes a warm ambiance but also provides inspiration to visitors. While a visit to the famous attractions is what many people often prefer to do, exploring the hidden gems can be as exciting and enriching.
If you’re heading towards the U.K. any time in the near future, you definitely should include these less traveled spots in your list of must-see places. Some of them may not be a real beauty spot but they can be areas that will delight you. Continue reading »
On September 18, Scottish voters took to the polls to vote in favour of or against Scottish independence. The result was perhaps closer than some had expected, however just over 55% of Scots voted No. So what happens now?
If the result had been the opposite, Scottish independence would not have been instant. A negotiation for independence would have been submitted but it would likely have taken a few years before anything official would have been confirmed. Add to that, the general election taking place in 2015 and the Yes result would not have been clear cut.
The No result means that it’s highly inevitable that Scotland will have more powers. Prime Minister, David Cameron admitted that the Welsh government is also expected to have more say in how the United Kingdom is run. Let’s not forget that just under 45% of Scots voted Yes for Scottish independence and you’re reminded that a large number of people living in Scotland want a say in how the UK is governed.
The three party leaders in the United Kingdom have already signed a resolution for future action. Scotland is expected to have more power over tax, spending and welfare decisions with a draft bill expected at the end of January 2015 and detailed proposals discussed by the end of October 2014.
The next powers to be delegated in 2015 include the extension of borrowing powers of up to £500 million and a new reserve to manage tax receipts. A new rate of income tax for the Scottish in April 2006, means the Scottish parliament will set its own rate. Furthermore, there will be a £2.2 billion capital borrowing power from the Scottish parliament.
There has already been concern over the Barnett formula, which determines how much public money is divided between Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Some politicians would prefer that public money is divided instead on public need as Scotland currently receives around 20% more money per capita than England.
Scotland currently remains as part of the United Kingdom with its own parliament. Departing Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has recently claimed that Scotland could still declare itself independent in future without a referendum. The Scottish National Party still holds the majority of seats in Scottish Parliament since 2007, so it’s unlikely that the debate of Scotland becoming independent from the United Kingdom will be going away anytime soon.
For businesses, the No vote has meant stability resuming. Bank shares in particular have increased since the referendum result was announced and it’s assumed The Bank of England will raise interest rates next year. Though the UK’s economy seems to be stronger in the short term, the dispute over Scotland’s future is likely to be playing on a lot of people’s minds. Unemployment is still a main concern in the United Kingdom, especially for young people. Whatever happens, the future of Scotland and the UK in the long term is still undecided and a possible change in British government with next year’s general election means a solution may not be as resolved as it seems.
UK has many blogs vying for the attention of readers and several have made some incredible mark in terms of readership and influence. Here are some of them:
Challenge Sophie is the top among UK blogs in the Outdoor Recreation category. Sophie Radcliffe, the woman behind the blog challenges her limits in climbing, running, cycling, and Ironman racing. She seeks to provide the inspiration and tools to encourage readers to be the best they can be. The blog itself is a challenge to go outdoors and live life.
JustGiving is the top charity blog of UK. It seeks to make giving and receiving charity as simple as possible. It uses the online fundraising platform to achieve its goals. It runs its business by charging charities a fee for donations.
Pixiwoo is a beauty vlog that features make up tutorials. The tutorials range from movie star and celebrity look-alikes to Halloween witches and monsters. Of course, it features daily make-up tutorials as well.
The Curry Guy comes out on top of UK Food Blogs to provide the world what it calls great curry recipes. Behind this blog is a freelance writer/blogger based in North Yorkshire England. The recipes features here are both authentic and Indian restaurant style.
UK’s top travel blog is Bald Hiker in the person of Paul Steele. What started out as his personal blog is now a place shared with his friends. It provides personal views of places they visited . The author’s passion for travel, photography, and storytelling is clearly seen in this blog.
What These Blogs Have That Others Don’t
There are still a lot of leading blogs out there making waves not only in the UK audience but all over the world. Each niche has its own leader with all of them having one thing in common – their uniqueness. Each blog that occupies the top spot has made it by offering something different to its audience.
Another thing that presumably helps blogs stand out from the rest is having premium backlinks. It would be impossible to sustain increase in audience share without these important links. Proper linking is one of the lifelines of successful blogging.
The more quality sites link to a blog, the better it is. It should be noted though that getting links from more low-quality sites can actually hurt the blog. The focus must be on quality rather than quantity.
The Asia Pacific region has attracted international attention in recent years owing to primarily territorial disputes. Countries involved in island disputes are China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The conflict between China and Japan is one that’s been hogging the headlines in recent months. Their dispute not only involves territorial issues but as well as wartime history particularly the Nanking massacre dispute. China has been blaming the Imperial Japanese Army for the mass killings that took place in 1837 which Japan strongly denies.
Despite the existing tension among these nations, however, there’s one positive side that not too many people are aware of. These countries actually maintain bilateral relations such as on economic cooperation. Continue reading »
Britain is home to some of the greatest bands throughout recent history and in the present day. Not only do countless music legends (and legions of fans) come from the UK, but bands from around the world travel there to put on great shows.
If you’re looking for the concert of your life, you could hardly do better than one of the many music festivals the UK has to offer. Check out the five best music festivals in the UK, below. Continue reading »
There’s an ongoing debate over the wisdom of joining the IT ranks in the UK. Like the Renaissance in the 1500s and the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, some say the Information Age may have run its course. Others forecast that the field is still growing. Continue reading »
The wait is finally over as England and the world welcomes the newest prince with the birth of Prince William’s son. The new prince becomes the third in line in the English Throne after his grandfather Prince Charles and his father Prince William. The new prince ‘s name has not been announced yet although the favorites are said to be George and James.
Under the Public’s Eye
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as William and Catherine are officially known, have been under close scrutiny of the public ever since their much celebrated wedding. Even before the wedding itself, a “wedding watch” created such a frenzy because of the huge interest generated by the marriage of the high-profile couple. It didn’t take long for the “baby watch” to follow after the official announcement that the Duchess was already with child.
The Duchess’ fragile health condition during her pregnancy also hogged the limelight for some time before settling down. The arrival of the new prince is a welcome news to the royal family. Even with some moves to change the traditional system of determining the next in line to the throne in relation to gender, having a son as a first-born still holds much favor.
The Birth of the New Prince
Weighing 8 pounds and 6 ounces, the new prince captures the attention of the public awaiting to have their first glimpse of the young royalty. Born July 22, 2013, the new prince might just be the the 43rd monarch from the time William the Conqueror obtained the English crown in the year 1066. He was delivered at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, West London wherein the Duchess was said to have labored for at least 10 hours.
Well wishes and congratulatory messages poured in from foreign leaders and just about everyone who has been awaiting for this joyful moment to arrive. The official announcement was done in traditional style, similar to that used to announce the birth of Prince William. An ornate rococo style easel containing the announcement was displayed on the forecourt of the Buckingham Palace.
The Life of a Prince
This early, the life of this new prince has already been planned which has always been the way of the royal family. The planning is always in relation to the expected responsibilities that each royalty is expected to undertake when the time comes. For now, the concentration is on enjoying the moment both for the family and the adulating public.
The crown jewels of the United Kingdom are precious ceremonial objects used by the British monarchy. Also referred to as the Regalia, these jewels represent a collection of historical pieces of fine objects and vestments in relation to crowning of kings and queens. It is believed that the use of Regalia in England dates back to as early as 200-150 B.C. Its use continues up to the present.
Through time, the crown jewels of the United Kingdom became a collection of important objects that were of great significance to transfer of power. The collection is made up of crowns, sceptres, orbs, swords, rings, spurs, colobium sindonis, dalmatic, armills, the royal robe or pall, and other objects that have connection with crowning ceremonies and other state functions. Some of the vestures such as the colobium sindonis and dalmatic resemble those worn by bishops.
The oldest piece of the Regalia is the 12th century gold Anointing Spoon. It is used to anoint the Sovereign with holy oil. The main piece however in the collection is St. Edward’s Crown. This is the very crown that is used by the Archbishop of Canterbury to crown a king or queen. It was the crown used in Queen Elizabeth II’s crowning ceremony in 1953.
The most famous piece in the collection is the Imperial State Crown probably because of the gems used in it numbering to about 3,000. The stones actually came from the old Imperial Crown which has been remade several times. It is traditionally worn by the Sovereign during the coronation’s conclusion as he or she leaves Westminster Abbey. Another occasion where this famous crown is worn is during the State Opening of Parliament.
Abolition and Restoration of Royalty
There was a time that the Regalia’s destruction was ordered in representation of the abolition of royalty. The Regalia was ordered destroyed by Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War that happened in 1649-1650. The symbols of royalty were melted with their gemstones removed. These last remnants of royalty were sold to the highest bidders to raise funds after the devastation of war.
A new set of Regalia had to ordered when royalty was restored. The collection can be seen by visitors at the Tower of London and is guarded by the so-called “Beefeaters“. There had been attempts to steal the crown jewels but none have succeeded so far.
About the Author:
Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information to offer to her readers. She currently maintains four personal blogs.
London has many sites and attractions but usually the most prominent tourist destinations are not really specifically children’s attractions. If you’re traveling with children you’ll want to squeeze in sites that your children will like.
Here are three places in London that you can visit, which your children will have fun exploring: Continue reading »
The public is so interested in the pregnancy of celebrity moms. However, the interest goes far more for royal pregnancies because these babies are not only the children of well-known people, they are also heirs to a throne. Royal pregnancies will always be associated with royal succession since an heir’s position moves with the addition of each child.
Every appearance, whether public or private is highly anticipated with special focus on the physical condition of the mother and her growing tummy. Even fashion statements are noted and scrutinized by the public who seems to be forever hungry for every bit of trivia and information about the pregnancy. It is no secret how reporters find ways to invade the private moments of the royalties and they do it because they know there will always be readers who will appreciate it.
Royal pregnancies also sometimes start a trend in baby names. Health problems experienced in pregnancy also receive fair share in discussion. Also, there is the inevitable comparison between royalties during their respective pregnancies.
The great interest in royal pregnancies arises not only from the natural inclination towards wanting to know about specific details in the lives of famous people. Much as the public would like to see the physical changes undergone by a royal mother, there is a lingering question that always persists. This is the question of what particular effect will the new baby bring in terms of royal succession.
It is no secret that the chances of those who are farther down the line to ascend to the throne becomes slimmer as the members of the family of those who are first in line increases. With the coming of the child of Prince William of Wales for example, the place of his brother Prince Henry of Wales will move down one notch. The ranking of all those next in line will naturally be affected.
There are very serious matters that concern royal succession including the prohibition of having Catholic heirs to the throne and the preference for the male gender regardless of birth sequence. These issues would probably take some time to be settled, if they are indeed to be changed at all. In the mean time, the public’s obsession with royal pregnancies continues.
Teresa is a researcher-writer who covers a wide range of topics in search of useful information.