Evensong At St George's Chapel

Windsor Castle And St George's Chapel

When you visit Windsor Castle, a must see is St George's Chapel. As a place of worship, it serves The Royal Family and the local community with church services. It also provides a venue for marriages (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married here) and funerals as well as ceremonies that include The Order of the Garter.

The beauty of St George's Chapel lies in its Gothic architecture, Perpendicular Gothic style to be exact. Construction started in 1475 and was completed by Henry the VIII in 1528.

Perpendicular Gothic is the “phase of late Gothic architecture in England roughly parallel in time to the French Flamboyant style. The style, concerned with creating rich visual effects through decoration, was characterized by a predominance of vertical lines in stone window tracery, enlargement of windows to great proportions, and conversion of the interior stories into a single unified vertical expanse.
— The Royal Family

The Chapel Of Royals

The Chapel holds in its heart a number of Kings and Queens who have come before. Ten former Sovereigns are buried in St. George’s Chapel, notable among them, Henry VIII, Charles I, George III, Edward VII and George V.

Connected to the Chapel is a Memorial Chapel (built in 1969, the only structural addition since the 1500s). The Memorial Chapel annex contains King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father) who is interred alongside his beloved wife, the Queen Mother (Queen Elizabeth's mother), and Princess Margaret (Queen Elizabeth's sister). Funerals also take place at St George's Chapel. A list of burials and funerals can be found here.

St. George’s Chapel is a place of worship for The Queen and the Royal Family as well as a church serving the local community, built by kings, shaped by the history of the Royal Family.
— The Royal Family

Worship Service

If you're seeing St George's Chapel during the busy summer months, you will be sharing it with throngs of hot, sweaty tourists rolling through the aisles in never-ending waves of jostling humans. The crowds keep on coming.

As in the State Apartments at Windsor Castle, no photos are allowed inside The Chapel, so you'll find yourself craning your neck, trying to imprint the details into your memory. Eventually, you'll be swept along the waves of tourists. 

To fully appreciate St George's Chapel, I recommend attending a service to get in touch with The Chapel's true purpose and function – a place of worship.

During a service, the crowds are dispersed and the weight of the throngs is lifted. The aisles stand clear and welcoming. The Chapel offers a refuge of healing calm, dignity. The secrets of history beckon.

Evensong

I attended Evensong (Evening Service) at St George's Chapel in July. The welcoming priest pointed to a carved stall that I could claim as my own during the service. A dark pew from hundreds of years ago enfolded me in its smooth, worn wood. I tucked into my seat and surveyed the richness of the Chapel.

Gone were the tourists traipsing around. The Chapel now belonged to us, those who had a purpose there, as worshipper, chorister, or priest.

From the corner of my eye, I could sense the phantoms and wisps of humanity as they paraded through the aisles and settled in the carved stalls.

The molecules of breath of all the people who came before, who also sat in these same seats, swirled around me. Within the breath, we were all held in a co-existance. Inhale, all the forgotten details of our individual lives; exhale, the collective memory of the whole of humanity.

Visiting Choir

The service was blessed with a visiting choir, The Choir of St Mary's, Warwick. Here is their program.

- Preces & Responses:
Richard Shephard Psalm 4

- Canticles:
Orlando Gibbons Short Service

- Anthem:
Charles Villiers Stanford Beati quorum via

Scriptures were read, The Apostles' Creed was recited, resounding tones from the organ filled the Chapel – as it had been done for centuries. 

History unfurled its banner before us.

Attending A Service

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you can attend a Chapel service whether you consider yourself to be Christian or not. It's possible to participate in your heart as you listen to the words and music. TRT® hands-on placed in your heart allows you to listen, sing and speak from your heart.

Sitting in the Chapel during a service, gives you a chance to drink in all the history. As a student of The Second Degree of TRT®, you can direct radiant energy to people or historical events. You can direct energy to the Chapel and the people in attendance, deepening your participation.

Enjoy your visit to St George's Chapel.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed at St George's Chapel

 

First photo by Aurelien Guichard 

 

Tips For Visiting Windsor Castle

Windsor, England

Windsor is located south of London, not far from Heathrow International Airport, and provides a lovely respite from the pollution and concrete of the city of London. Although much smaller than London, the town itself is quite lively.

It's easy to walk around Windsor and there's lots of shopping, plenty of restaurants and, of course, the must-see Windsor Castle. It's a second home for the Queen, herself, who has private apartments on the grounds. You don't get to visit those, but there's plenty else to see.

Visiting Windsor Castle Tips

Tip # 1 – Pre-Purchase Your Ticket

The best tip for visiting Windsor Castle is to buy your tickets on-line. This allows you to skip the long queue that circles around and down the road from the castle, especially on a Monday morning. With your pre-purchased ticket, you go to the front of the line. 

There's a bit of a delay getting through the metal detectives and x-ray machines. Once through, you then spill out to the kiosk that offers an audio guide for the grounds. This is highly recommended to help you navigate the property.

St. George's Chapel is closed (except to attend the worship service) and there is no Changing of the Guard on Sunday. You might want to consider that as you plan which day you'll visit.

Make sure you download and print out the attachment of the entrance pass, not just the email they send you. The email, itself, won't get you in and without the actual pass you'll be scrambling to find some way to print it out. (Speaking from experience...)

Tip # 2 – Bring Your Own Earbuds

With the audio guide, the Castle offers big headphones that sit on your head and cover both ears. But you can bring your own earbuds with a connecting cord (not bluetooth earbuds) and you then have the option to have just one ear plugged in while you walk around listening to the guided visit. That way, you can still hear what's going on around you. Plus, it's much less hot and sweaty if you are visiting during high temperature days of summer. And you avoid wearing headphones that thousands of other people have had on their skin and hair.

You can't take any photos (camera or smartphone) inside the State Apartments and there are staff people situated in each room to remind you. With such a large expanse to explore, the audio guide is indispensable. It provides many details as you wander through the various rooms as well as the history of the people in the paintings in the portrait room.

The Changing of the Guard takes place at 11:00 am, but on which days is entirely variable. It's best to check the website link. When the military music band plays, it's an event filled with pomp and circumstance.

Windsor Castle Guard Change Time

The official start time for changing the Windsor Castle Guard is 11:00.

This can change and the Windsor Castle Guard can mount at different times, and on occasions without music or ceremony when the Guards are required for other duties.

The Queen's private apartments are not open to the public, but there is a gate where you can peek in and get a photo. These are the grounds where she meets with Heads of State and where she stays on weekends when she's not in London.

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you are able to apply TRT® hands-on when visiting tourist sights, for example in the heart center, to deepen your awareness of history. Or, when taking a break on a bench, hands-on in Back Position #3 can be helpful to replenish the adrenals and to reduce stress from a long travel day.

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can apply TRT® hands-on as well as direct radiant energy to events and people from the past and present. Also to deepen an understanding of history. 

Tip # 3 – Stamp Your Entrance Pass

As you leave Windsor Castle, be sure to stop off with Castle staff collecting your audio guides and ask them to stamp your entrance paper. This allows you to visit the Castle for an entire year without paying again.

Unfortunately, you'll now have to wait in the normal lines, no cutting to the front of the queue like the first time. But, since you've already seen the Castle, you can afford to wait until a bit later in the day to find a moment with a shorter line.

Being able to "pop back to the Castle" means you can visit that one place you'd love to see again or revisit the Royal Collection stores for that item you can't stop thinking about and wished you had purchased. Items from the stores on the Castle grounds can't be found in town.

Enjoy your visit to Windsor Castle.

All photos by Radiant Nursing.

 

The Life Of Julian Of Norwich

All Shall Be Well

In my blog post All Shall Be Well, we were introduced to Julian of Norwich, a Christian mystic and writer from 14th century England.

Intrigued by her story, that she was likely the first woman to write in English, I launched a search into this remarkable woman. Various books about Julian are available, especially books that present her writings.

However, to delve into the person behind the mystic, I recommend a book of historical fiction :

 Julian's Cell - An earthy story of Juiian of Norwich

Julian's Cell

Like a master weaver, author Joseph Milton spins fiction with the threads of factual events to create a colorful tapestry of story-telling.

Set in the late 1300s of England, Milton weaves together the smells, sights and emotions of medieval life such as the pungent stench of urine from the tannery and the heavy smell of wet wool in the woolen shop. Milton captures the daily struggle to stay alive in a time far-removed from our own. War, pestilence, famine and plague weighed heavy in the air and people would breathe it in with every step they took.

Milton displays a kaleidoscope of colors of medieval life in the 1300s. He conveys powerful emotions in a time far-removed from our own and yet, makes situations recognizable and understandable. Although details of daily life are different from today, our human fears, tears and joy remain quite similar.

Without access to formal education as a child, Julian was considered to be an unlettered, laywoman. Milton offers an idea of how she taught herself to read and write; a painstaking, letter-by-letter process pouring over books in both Latin and English. 

God Is Love

Death took no holidays in medieval life. Death lurked around every corner and strolled with calm insolence in the village square. Infant and child mortality ravaged everyone, from the lowest peasant to the highest monarch. The plague wiped out entire families. No one was left untouched by mortal suffering. 

People of that era looked around and believed the world was coming to an end.  600 years later, we marvel at Julian's writings of mysticism and marvel that she could have had the realization that love is at the center of all that is.

In spite of all she witnessed, Julian would go on to write her brave words,

 
All shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.
— Julian of Norwich
 

For Julian to have found God's universal love in such a harsh and violent world is indeed remarkable. Julian shared an insight she had from a humble hazelnut:

 
God showed me something small, round and frail, like this hazelnut. And I wondered why I was seeing this. Then an answer came. There weren’t words, but I understood why I was looking at such a tiny thing.

It is all that is made. Everything is there in this tiny creation that could crumble into nothing so easily. But I knew it would last, because God loves it. It has its life, its being through the love of God.

God made it. God loves it. And God keeps it.

You and I are part of that creation. Just like this hazelnut, God is our maker, our lover, our keeper. But we can never really know what that means until we are united with God the way this hazelnut is part of God.

That is why we are created. To be one with God.
— Julian's Cell
 

Milton captures Julian's journey from humble peasant to anchorite, from human to saint, while remaining in touch with the humanity that housed her soul.

Touching A Saint's Life

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), we can get in touch with an historical figure through use of TRT®.

Students of The First Degree and Second Degree of TRT® can apply TRT® hands-on while reading her writings, or a book about her, and experience her story with more light. They can also have a meditation focusing on Julian of Norwich herself, or a specific passage from her writings.

Students of The Second Degree of TRT® can direct radiant energy to Julian, or the time period she lived in. It helps us to  expand our awareness and understanding.

If you like historical fiction, Julian's Cell will educate and delight.

 

The Queen Of England Always

God Save The Queen 

Queen Elizabeth II has always been Queen.

For my entire life, that is.

My mother lived in England during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II that took place on 02 June 1953. In the image on the right, I took a photo of the photos my mother took and framed, showing the street decorations that celebrated the coronation events. She kept them all these years.

My father, an officer in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed at Sculthorpe Airfield in England. My mother and he lived there for 3 years with Linda, my older sister. Linda attended English school from ages 5 to 8 and returned to the States with a charming English accent that sadly faded over time. However, throughout her life she remained intrigued by England and its long history.

My mother was pregnant with me while she was in England. It would have been nice to claim England as my birthplace, but my mother had other ideas and felt I should be born on American soil. Thus, she boarded a steamer and crossed the English Channel in time for the event.

Americans Enamored With British Royalty

I wonder if the American fascination with British royalty is based precisely upon the fact that we are not subject to them and can watch from afar without it much affecting our lives or our pocketbooks. Americans adore the pageantry that is sorely lacking in our own country.

Presidents come and go, and they're usually surrounded with such hyperbole and sardonic arguments that it can make it hard to enjoy them much. Our last and final "kingly" Camelot was swept away when gunshots rang out and our President slumped in the carseat of his motorcade.

We froze in horror with the death of John F. Kennedy.

I was quite young at the time, but I remember it nonetheless. I recall clutching a small American flag on a stick while watching Kennedy's funeral procession, standing in front of our black-and-white television set at home.

When The Queen Is No Longer Queen

How can there be a world without Queen Elizabeth? My world view will be quite unsettled when that inevitable time comes.

Perhaps because she is the age of my parents, I consider her as a matriarchal figure watching over all of us.  Simply put, I haven't known a world without her.

The Queen has served honorably and well for these many years; her sense of duty brings dignity to all she does. She celebrated the 60th anniversary of her accession as Queen with the Diamond Jubilee in June 2012. The event was fêted throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Just to give an idea of her longevity in relation to our country and American politics, this long photo row captures Her Majesty in official engagements with 11 Presidents of the United States (she never met Johnson) during her reign. 

Would Queen Elizabeth Step Down?

One thought is that the Queen may one day step down and pass the baton to her son, Prince Charles. It would be better to have her step down, rather than die as Queen, don't you think? We could grow accustomed to the idea that she is no longer Queen without simultaneously grieving her physical loss from us. 

Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands did just this and passed the reins of the kingdom to her eldest son Willem-Alexander, who was the heir apparent to the throne. The Queen then reverted to being a Princess again. Princess Beatrix. 

Would Queen Elizabeth become a Princess again?

There's speculation that Prince Charles might not become King. He has quite busy with a legacy of charities and philanthropic work that he presently manages. He is already 66 years old, although with that being said, Her Majesty has reigned for 23 years since her age of 66.

If accession skips a generation, Prince William would become King. Here is a fascinating look from Business Insider predicting what will happen when the Queen dies and the chaos that will ensue. However, Prince William insists no generational skip will take place. 

We'll have an interesting shift from a Queen reigning Britain to a return of Kings. The next set of royal rulers are all male: Prince Charles, Prince William and now Prince George.

Of course, this is assuming life marches forward without incident. Princess Charlotte could potentially become Queen if circumstances conspire in such a way that Prince George is unable to be King.

World Figures and Leaders

The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can be used in our meditations and for directing energy to world figures and heads of state, (whether we agree with them or not). Are there well-known people with whom you feel connected?

As we watch weddings, coronations or royal events on television, we can apply our TRT® hands-on, bringing greater light to ourselves and our participation, albeit from afar.

Even many miles away, we are interconnected with one another, and we share the joys and sorrows within our Hearts.

You'll Never Be Royal?

Lots of little girls like to dress up as a Disney Princess and lots of fathers call their little girls "Princess."

Our fairy tales are filled with Kings and Queens. Maybe there's just a little bit of royal in all of us.

A Baby Girl, Say Hello To A New Princess

A Baby Girl, A New Princess Is Born

The world is atwitter about the birth of a baby girl in England, the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Born 02 may 2015 at 0834, she weighed 8 lbs 3 oz. 

Two footman place the traditional birth notice signed by Kate's medical team on a golden easel outside Buckingham Palace.

Here you see the uptick in Twitter activity after the birth announcement of the little Princess. 

 
Tweets using the hashtag #RoyalBaby peaked at 4,500 per minute at 11.25am, approximately 10 minutes after the princess’s birth was announced.
— Credit: Twitter
 


A Labor Of Love – Time To Have A Baby

As a Registered Nurse who worked in Labor and Delivery/Postpartum for 10 years, I was naturally fascinated with the event. Her second delivery was faster, as is to be expected for subsequent deliveries. However, it was so fast, it makes me think she must have also labored at home.

Perhaps Kate had a midwife or L&D nurse at Kensington Palace to check her progress? Once she reached 4 to 5 centimeters, indicating she was in active labor, they could pop off to the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital. It's not much of a drive to get there from the Palace. And, of course, with a police escort, traffic won't get in the way.

For such a short stay on the Labor Ward, the Duke and Duchess received a discount on the costs of their hospital stay. I was delighted that Kate specifically requested the same midwife who delivered Prince George, Jacqui Dunkley-Bent, a Professor of Midwifery.

According to The Telegraph, Professor Dunkley-Bent and fellow midwife Arona Ahmed spent the most time with the Duchess during her labor process. Of course, physicians were standing by should anything go awry that required a quick move into the operating room for a cesarean delivery.

Perhaps An Easy Delivery

One of the hazards of being medical, my mind immediately started to wonder if she had an epidural or not and to consider all the sundry details we encounter on a Labor and Delivery deck, (episiotomy, pitocin, pain meds, well, I'll spare you).

Fortunately, no emergency maneuvers were required as evidenced by Kate's glorious appearance on the steps less than 12 hours after delivery. My observation after many years of caring for postpartum women – it's not common for patients to appear quite so put together, so quickly after delivery.

 

Her breathtaking appearance sets the barre rather high. It doesn't hurt to have a personal assistant and hair stylist to help get you ready along with a beautiful bespoke dress by Jenny Packham. The yellow buttercup flowers on her silk dress sparkled like spring and its ombre effect hinted of falling petals.

Here's a nice look at her dress and its elegant cut in full:

As a second-time mom, Kate knows what to expect. But even so, with such a quick discharge, I would imagine that nursing will provide some home visits to check up on her and the baby.

 

For Students Of The Radiance Technique®

Students of The Second Degree of The Radiance Technique® can direct supportive energy to the new Princess and any or all of the family members. Directing radiant, universal energy that is already within; it adjusts to the needs of the receiver. It's wonderful to share our loving support across time and space, without outer demands or expectations. 

Students of The First Degree of The Radiance Technique® can participate with their TRT® hands-on – expanding their own joy and mutual celebration of the birth of this baby as well as all babies on the planet.

Hashtag #Welcometothefamily

Kate and William extended their circle of celebration to embrace the many babies born recently. With the launch of the royal hashtag #Welcometothefamily, they invited others to participate. I love the inclusiveness of it.

This Princess Will Remain In Line Of Succession

Of special intrigue to me is that this royal baby girl will remain in line of succession only due to new laws that came into effect in March 2015. This change of laws governing succession means that as a girl, for the first time, she will remain ahead of any younger brother in the line of succession.

Previously, under the ancient rules of male primogeniture, royal sons took precedence over their female siblings, even jumping ahead of first-born royal daughters. These laws had been in place since 1701.

For an American like me, unfamiliar with lines of royal succession, I turned to this article in The Telegraph that spells out in detail the present line of succession: New Royal baby will change family tree

 

Celebrating A Birth – A Chance to Come Together

It's great fun following the British Royals; it's part of being here on Planet Earth. If this sort of event is not your cup of tea, that's okay too. We all have our varied interests that come and go; it's what makes the world go 'round.

The next buzz of excitement will be the naming of this beautiful little girl... and here's our update as of 04 May 2015:

Her name is: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Her middle names harken to her great grandmother, the current Queen Elizabeth, and her paternal grandmother, Princess Diana. Charlotte is a feminine form of Charles, perhaps acknowledging her grandfather, Prince Charles.

Her title:

Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge 

Wishing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge all the best in their newly-expanded family.

Congratulations on the birth of the new Princess.