London: Kew Gardens
Hello everyone, here we are, in London after a seven-hour flight from Toronto. The temperature today was +15 degrees, cloudy with a little bit of rain. We are staying with Radek’s cousin Ewa, her husband Duncan and their son Freddie. They live in a beautiful area in London not far from the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Our short walk along the Thames River:
Our first British pub:
And the garden:
Symbols of Monarchy
The Official Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
|On the left, the shield is supported by the English Lion.||
||On the right it is supported by the Unicorn of Scotland.
(The unicorn is chained because in medieval times a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast (only a virgin could tame a unicorn)
The Royal Arms we see today have evolved over nine centuries, since Richard the Lionheart chose three lions to represent England. This symbol on the King’s shield would immediately identify him in the midst of battle.
The full version of the Royal Coat of Arms is now used only by the Queen in her capacity as the Sovereign. In the version used by the government and consequently as the official coat of arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the crown is shown resting directly on the shield, with the helm, crest and mantling not displayed (like in the black and white photo above).
The Queen has a separate version of her arms for use in Scotland, giving the Scottish elements pride of place.
Welcome to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Press release: Kew’s first Thai-inspired Orchids Festival
10 February – 11 March
The Princess of Wales Conservatory
- First time Kew’s annual floral extravaganza has been inspired by Thailand
- Thailand is home to 1,100 species of orchids
- Programme of Lates includes traditional food and performances