UK Royals Lend Name To Airport, Cruise Ship, Again

airport
Heathrow Airport media centre

London’s Heathrow airport continues to expand and remodel to meet current demand and prepare for the future. Heathrow’s Terminal 2 (T2) will be home to the Star Alliance airlines and has United making the inaugural flights in June 2014. But rather than leave the new terminal named simply T2, airport developers took a look at the history of the facility and came up with something better.

Re-naming the facility Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, will honor Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her long relationship with the airport. The Queen formally inaugurated the airport’s first passenger terminal in 1955. Originally named the Europa Building, it was later named Terminal 2.

Opening in 1946 with just 62,000 passengers passing through, Heathrow was originally known as London Airport and the terminal was a temporary village of tents. Those tents gave way to prefabricated concrete villages prior to the opening of the old Terminal 2 that saw more than 70 million passengers in 2012.At a cost of over $17 billion over the last decade, Heathrow has been transformed to a facility that consistently ranks at the top of passenger satisfaction surveys. When the work is done, Terminal 2 will boast the latest check-in and bag-drop technology to make using the airport a smooth, enjoyable and efficient journey. Similar to the already completed Terminal 5, T2 has been designed with shops and restaurants that will offer air travelers the very best of Britain.

In a similar effort to embrace and honor the past while looking ahead, The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton recently performed the duties of Godmother to Princess Cruises‘ new Royal Princess at a dockside naming ceremony.

The third cruise ship is to be named Royal Princess; the last one was named by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1984.

Looking for more of what the new Heathrow Terminal 2 will offer? Check out this video:

London’s Most Famous Landmark Gets A New Name

London, Big Ben
Pop Quiz: what’s this called?

Undoubtedly, 99% of people will immediately answer, “Big Ben.” Actually, only the clock’s bell is called Big Ben. The tower as a whole is called Clock Tower. Everybody knows this iconic sight in London but nearly everyone misidentifies it.

Now the name is getting changed. In honor of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee, the UK government has decided to honor her 60 years on the throne by renaming the tower Elizabeth Tower.

While this is a nice sentiment, they should have probably picked some other landmark. Everyone is still going to call it Big Ben. The clock itself will keep its name, and everyone calls the tower by the clock’s name.

Big Ben/Elizabeth Tower is not open to the public, but you can get nice photos of it from several spots. Two good ones are about two-thirds of the way across Westminster Bridge, and from the little unsigned park just across the street from Victoria Tower Gardens, just to the south of the Houses of Parliament.

[Photo courtesy Vicky Brock]

60 Years Of Royal Travel: Queen Elizabeth II’s State Visits

royal travel - Queen Elizabeth II Perth AirportThis week, the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee, commemorating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II on the royal throne. The Times has an interactive, multimedia infographic detailing six decades of royal travel. Each decade details her Commonwealth and international trips with video and photographs from some of her most important visits. The 1970s-’90s mark her most prolific time as a traveler, with over 60 countries visited in those three decades. She slowed down a bit in the past few years, with just four foreign countries (plus Canada and Australia, members of the Commonwealth) visited since 2010 – but still pretty impressive for a senior citizen. Since her coronation in 1952, she’s visited an impressive 161 countries and spent a total of 3.5 years abroad.

[Photo courtesy The British Monarchy on Flickr, copyright Press Association]

Time for a career change? Become the personal travel agent for the British Royal Household

royal travelOut of work, or in desperate need of a career change? How about becoming the personal travel expert for the Queen and her family?

The job requirements are simple – you need to be legally allowed to work in the UK, and you’ll need to make sure all travel for the Royal Household is “appropriate and efficient”.

Bottom line – you’ll be the private travel agent for the entire Royal Family.

Pay is quite generous – up to £75,000, or about $121,000. Your fleet of available transportation methods includes helicopters, trains, chartered aircraft and commercial flights.

Part of your responsibilities also includes ensuring the safety of the Royal Family and that their trips are environmentally friendly. CO2 reports will be expected on time each month.

You’ll be in charge of almost 3,000 official trips each year, working with a £7 million budget.

You’ll also need good negotiating skills, because nobody likes paying rack rate for hotels and flights. Your ability to talk the price down will probably have a positive impact your salary.

You have till March 14th to apply for the job. Oh, and we have no idea who gets to keep the miles for all their travel but chances are you won’t be putting any of it on your private credit card.

[Photo: Indigo/Getty Images]

The royal family joins Flickr

It seems like everybody is getting on Flickr these days. Now even the Royal Family of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms is sharing their photographs. The collection of photos, both old and new, will go live on Monday. There’s also a spot where the common rabble can share their photos of the royals.

The collection will feature not only pictures of the Royal Family, but also pictures taken by the Royal Family, which promises to give insights into the bluebloods that you don’t get from the Buckingham Palace tour. Prince Charles is an avid watercolor painter and honorary member of the Royal Watercolour Society, so perhaps he’s dabbled in photography too.

The older photos should be of interest. We tend to think of Queen Elizabeth as a rather proper elderly lady who wears funny hats, but historical images reveal the many phases of her life. This one, courtesy the UK Government, shows her in 1945 when she was still a princess. She’s learning how to change a tire as part of her Auxiliary Territorial Service training during World War Two.

After you’re done admiring the royals, take a look at some of the many talented photographers who contribute to Gadling’s Flickr page.