Today, March 8, 2012,the Queen kicked off this year's celebrations. She, along with husband Prince Philip, Kate the Duchess of Cambridge and a veritable army of police officers, military personnel and companions visited Leicester.
Whilst the Duke of Cambridge is not in the country Kate seems to be attending many functions with her husband's paternal grandparents. She is certainly a crowd puller and pleaser. Taking Kate along is like bringing out the big guns or a secret weapon, as far as a charm offensive goes.
The BBC has reported, "The Queen watched cultural dancers before entering De Montfort University, where she attended a fashion parade with the Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke of Edinburgh viewed a university project aimed at improving life in the local community. The royals then attended a service at Leicester Cathedral".
The BBC went on with those all important frivolous details of who was wearing what or should that be who was wearing who. The Queen wore a cerise cashmere dress and coat with black trim and matching hat by Angela Kelly. The duchess wore a suit by LK Bennett, a hat by James Lock, and Episode shoes. No mention of the Duke of Edinburgh, unsurprisingly. Funny how we do not class any of this as sexist when you think what a touchy subject sexism can be?
Media sources have reported that crowds swelled the area. Whilst this may be true there could be some poetic licence. There did seem to be a good turn out but nothing like those in yesteryear. However in time this year we will no doubt see huge flag waving crowds cheering the Royals on.
The day's events of course included a luncheon for a select few dignitaries. If you live in the UK or will be visiting in the near future here is the itinerary of the Royal tour of the UK.
- 8 March, Leicester
- 23 March, City Day Manchester and Salford
- 29 March, North London Redbridge, Walthamstow, Harrow
- 26/27 April, Wales Cardiff, Margam, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberfan, Ebbw Vale, Glanusk Park
- 1/2 May, South West England Sherborne, Salisbury, Crewkerne, Yeovil, Exeter
- 15 May, South London Bromley, Merton, Richmond
- 16/17 May, North West England Burnley, Accrington, Warrington, Chester, Liverpool
- 13/14 June, East Midlands Nottingham, Burghley, Corby, Stevenage, Hatfield
- 25 June, South East England Henley-on-Thames
- 2/6 June, Scotland (Holyrood Week) Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Perth
- 11/12 July, West Midlands Hereford, Worcester, Birmingham, Shropshire
- 18/19 July, North East England Sunderland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Gateshead, Durham City, Stockton-on-Tees, Leeds
- 25 July, South East England Cowes, Isle of Wight, New Forest, Hampshire.