Flashback Friday - Westminster Abbey, London, England
Margaret and I visited London and Paris in January of 1985, yes, in the middle of a snowy winter there. But we had a great time. You may have read about it under the Our Travels section of the website. One of our favorite places in London was Westminster Abbey with all of its rich history and all of the famous people that are buried there - royalty, poets, actors, musicians, and more. Just walking through is quite an experience.
It is an Anglican Church serving as the setting for some of the most important events in English history. It is most well-known in recently for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. The couple became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=schQZY3QjCw
The Royal Wedding Photos - http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/celebrity/pictures/33530/the-royal-wedding-photo-album-kate-middleton-photos-catherine-middleton-photos-duchess-of-cambridge-photos.html
Westminster Abbey began as a Benedictine monastery C. 960 and was founded under King Edgar and St. Dunstan. King Edward, in the late 1040s, established a palace near the monastery and decided to enlarge it in honor of St. Peter the Apostle. A large stone church was built. St. Paul's Cathedral was the east minster in the City of London so the new church became known as west minster. Coronations began at Westminster Abbey in 1066 with Harold Godwinson and William the Conquerer.
In the 13th Century, King Henry III rebuilt the Abbey in Gothic style. It is 225 feet high and its official name is Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster. It was consecrated on October 13, 1269. It is a royal peculiar, which means it belong to the monarch not a diocese.
Westminster Abbey has hosted 16 royal weddings. Princess Elizabeth (now Queen) was married there on November 20, 1947. She married Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. In order to marry Elizabeth, Phillip denounced his Greek and Danish titles and also converted to Anglicanism from Greek Orthodoxy.
Queen Elizabeth's coronation was on June 2, 1953. She was 25 years old. She became the monarch of United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. Yes, I had to look up Ceylon, too. It was a British Colony between 1802 and 1948. It is now the nation of Sri Lanka.
The funeral of Princess Diana, mother of Princes William and Harry, was held there on September 6, 1997. She passed away in a terrible car crash in August, 1997. She was married to Prince Charles in 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral. Since it was the wedding of the century, a bigger church than Westminster was required to hold all of the guests. They divorced in 1996, but Princess Diana remained a beloved member of the royal family. She was not only a beautiful trend-setter, but a humanitarian who dedicated her life to help the disadvantaged. She raised a lot of awareness for HIV and AIDS. She was very much the peoples' Princess.
Princess Diana Biography - http://www.biographyonline.net/people/biography_princess_diana.html
Diana would be very proud of her children, both William and Harry have served in the military and follow in her footsteps in humanitarian causes.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge - http://www.royal.gov.uk/ThecurrentRoyalFamily/PrinceWilliam/PrinceWilliam.aspx
Princess Kate, Duchess of Cambridge - http://www.royal.gov.uk/ThecurrentRoyalFamily/TheDuchessofCambridge/TheDuchessofCambridge.aspx
William and Kate have two adorable children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Prince George was born on July 22, 2013 and is officially George Alexander Louis.
Princess Charlotte was born May 2, 015 and is officially Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.
Prince Harry - http://www.royal.gov.uk/ThecurrentRoyalFamily/PrinceHarry/PrinceHarry.aspx
One of Prince Harry's greatest causes is the Invictus Games, an annual event he created for wounded, injured, and sick Service personnel. Helping veterans has been a major priority, as they are true heroes.
Invictus Games - https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/
Westminster Abbey is the resting place of 17 monarchs. About 3,300 people are buried and/or memorialized there. In the Poet's Corner, you will find such great names as Geoffrey Chaucer (author of Canterbury Tales), Poet Alfred Lloyd Tennyson, Poet Robert Browning, Poet and Author Rudyard Kipling, Author Thomas Hardy, Composer George Frederick Handel, Composer Henry Purcell, and Author Charles Dickens.
People - http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/famous-people
The Abbey was featured in the movie, The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard.
The Da Vinci Code - http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thedavincicode/
Westminster Abbey on Twitter - https://twitter.com/wabbey?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^author
Westminster Abbey, London - http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/london-westminster-abbey
Saint Margaret's Church on Parliament Square is on the grounds of Westminster Abbey. This Church was built because the monks of Westminster were disturbed by people who attended Mass, so the monks built this smaller Church for the people. It is dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch, who was extremely popular in the middle ages.
St. Margaret of Antioch - http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=307
St. Margaret of Antioch - http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=199
St. Margaret's was built at the end of the 11th Century, first in a Romanesque style. It had to be rebuilt after it fell into such a state that it needed reconstruction. This was begun in 1482. Samuel Pepys, a diarist, John Milton the poet, and Winston Churchill were all married in St. Margaret's.
St. Margaret's Church - http://www.westminster-abbey.org/st-margarets-church
History of St. Margaret's Church - http://www.westminster-abbey.org/st-margarets-church/history
Westminster Abbey is just one of the many interesting and wonderful places to explore in Great Britain! For a terrific comprehensive list of things to do, see this outstanding post:
The Great British Bucket List at Claire’s Footsteps - http://www.clairesfootsteps.com/great-british-bucket-list/
If you would like to be featured in a Flashback Friday, just send a few pictures of your favorite city/tourist attraction/beach/place off the beaten track along with a few paragraphs describing why you like it. I'll add some links of interest at the end of the blog. Looking forward to hearing about your favorite places.