TIME China

Prince William Plays Soccer — and Meets Paddington Bear! — in China

CHINA-BRITAIN-DIPLOMACY-ROYALS
Johannes Eisele—AFP/Getty Images Britain's Prince William poses next to a person wearing a Paddington Bear costume prior to the screening of the Paddington movie in Shanghai on March 3, 2015

Prince William plans to be an air ambulance pilot, but he might be missing his calling as a great soccer coach.

He certainly looked like one while visiting a Shanghai high school on Tuesday – a busy day in which he also attended the Chinese premiere of the British film Paddington.

The prince, who’s a fan of English team Aston Villa, was ready with a double-handed high-five for one enthusiastic youngster who ran over to greet the 32-year-old royal.

Perhaps getting ready for his son George‘s foray into the sport, William looked thrilled to see schoolchildren learning soccer (“football” across the pond”) skills from coaches trained by England’s Premier League, even stopping to demonstrate his own skills with an expert kick.

William kept the young-at-heart theme going later in the day as he attended the premiere of the comedy Paddington, and posed with a life-size Paddington bear on the red carpet.

Some 50 local schoolkids also attended the screening at the Shanghai Film Museum after winning a competition to illustrate Paddington bear.

“We went into the cinema and had snacks, and then we met Prince William. He was very friendly, but I only smiled at him,” Yuna Goto, 10, told PEOPLE.

Her mother Emiko, a fashion designer, said her daughter was very excited about the evening. “She loves the royal family and even has a Queen Elizabeth doll whose hand can wave,” Emiko added.

William had been in Shanghai since the previous evening, when he opened the GREAT Festival of Creativity, a showcase of U.K. talent that aims to support companies looking to break into the Chinese market and promote the creative strengths of the British economy.

High-profile British guests included Jo Malone, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Kelly Hoppen.

At the launch, William highlighted that the festival was not just a platform for promoting Britain’s highly regarded film, art and media sectors. “It is also a platform for the creativity and inventiveness that British firms apply in a wide variety of sectors, like healthcare and education,” he said.

William also commented on the “openness and warmth” of his Chinese hosts during his first visit to the country. He added that “could not help” but be impressed by Shanghai’s famous skyline.

As his wife Kate, 33, stepped out in London, William told the event at Shanghai’s Long: “Less than 24 hours into my first visit, I have a strong sense of the opportunity that exists for collaboration and partnership between our two countries.”

William also met Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, owner of Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company. The former schoolteacher, who built the firm from scratch, talked to William about selling more British products on his platform, and their shared passion for environmental protection.

Also at the GREAT Festival of Creativity, William was shown four David Bailey photographs of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and was delighted with them.

On Wednesday, William will visit an elephant sanctuary in south China, where he is expected to speak about the importance of wildlife conservation.

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com

TIME royals

Prince Harry To Leave the Armed Forces This Year

Prince Harry at a Remembrance Sunday service at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2014.
Matt Cardy—Getty Images Prince Harry at a Remembrance Sunday service at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2014.

The prince wants to devote his time to charity work

Prince Harry is to leave the armed forces later this year, PEOPLE has learned.

The prince, who is known as Capt. Harry Wales in the military and served two tours of Afghanistan, wants to devote himself to continuing his work helping injured servicemen and women find new jobs or continue to contribute in the services.

That is a role he is currently doing in the army, PEOPLE reported January. “He is fired up by this work,” says a source who knows him well.

The job is helping Harry, 30, gain an understanding about how the system works and how he can help those who are serving or have served in the armed forces. There are still details to be ironed out about how he might carry on post-forces. But one thing is certain – it is an area he is passionate about “both personally and professionally,” the source tells PEOPLE.

“He feels he can use his position to help in the future, regardless of his military role.”

Also on his mind is his continuing love for Africa and helping young people in Lesotho through his charity Sentebale – and he will continue to give much of his time to that.

Before he leaves the army, Harry is planning to go to Australia to work with the military there. “There is a well-established model between the Ministry of Defense and the Australia Defense Force in sharing experience,” a source adds.

He has also developed close links through his Paralympic-style Invictus Games and other work.

Harry’s leaving the army was first reported by the London Evening Standard, which says he would like to spend a lot of time in Africa, working on conservation projects and continuing to support his charity in Lesotho.

Africa will “always be part of his life, through Sentebale, his charity, and the love of the continent,” the source adds. “He will go there, of course.”

A spokesman would not confirm the prince’s reported plans. “Prince Harry is currently focused on his work supporting the Ministry of Defense’s recovery capability program to ensure those who are wounded injured or sick have appropriate recovery plans and the necessary support they require,” said the rep.

“It’s a natural progression from the work he did organizing the Invictus Games. This involves working alongside case officers in London District’s Personal Recovery Unit and visiting various recovery centers and partner agencies (like Forces charities and the [public] health service) around the country.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME celebrities

Emma Watson Shoots Down Those Prince Harry Rumors

'Remember that little talk we had about not believing everything written in the media?!'

It looks like Emma Watson is squashing rumors that she has been secretly dating Prince Harry.

“Remember that little talk we had about not believing everything written in the media?!” Watson wrote on Twitter Sunday morning.

Watson was apparently referring to rumors about her and Harry, which were first reported by Australian magazine Woman’s Day. The magazine provided a number of details about how Prince Harry approached the 24-year-old Harry Potter actress.

Representatives for the royal family haven’t addressed the rumors, according to PEOPLE magazine.

Read next: Read What Amy Poehler Had to Say About the First Episode of Parks and Rec

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME uk

Prince Charles Will Meet President Obama in the White House in March

British Asian Trust Dinner
Dave J Hogan—WPA Rota/Getty Images Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, gives a speech as he attends the British Asian Trust dinner at Banqueting House on Feb. 3, 2015 in London, England.

Heir to the throne will pay a visit to the United States

Fresh off his visit with Prince William last year, Obama is going to host another royal guest — the heir to the British throne.

Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are scheduled to meet with Obama during their four-day visit to the United States in March.

The heir to the throne will meet with the President in the Oval Office on March 19, according to a tweet from the National Security Council, and the meeting is said to underscore the “special relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K.

The royal pair will be visiting during the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln’s death, and are planning to visit numerous historical sites, including the home where Lincoln is thought to have written the last draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, according to a news release. They’ll also visit Mount Vernon and meet with American veterans, and stop off in Louisville, KY.

TIME World

Here’s Your Chance to Be Queen Elizabeth’s New Chauffeur

Queen Elizabeth II arrives to Canada House in London, England on Feb. 19, 2015.
WPA Pool—Getty Images Queen Elizabeth II arrives to Canada House in London, England on Feb. 19, 2015.

There's a job opening at Buckingham Palace

In what is actual news from Buckingham Palace and not a high-concept pitch for Adam Sandler’s latest film, the Royal Household needs a new chauffeur for Queen Elizabeth.

The approximately $37,000-per-year gig entails driving around Her Majesty, other members of the Royal Family, household officials and guests, as well as maintaining the Royal Vehicles (which includes the Queen’s two 2002 Bentleys and fleet of both Land and Range Rovers) and planning the Royal Driving Route.

Qualifications include “strong attention to detail,” the ability to “remain calm under pressure,” “professional driving experience” and of course a valid U.K. driving license. (Again, we stress that this is not a pitch for a new Hollywood film, though we have trademarked the idea and are currently faxing it to Michael Bay. Working Title: A Good Day to Drive Hard.)

The position also comes with meals, “on-site accommodation” (deducted from your salary) and most notably, 33 days of vacation, which is obviously an insane pipe dream to anyone stateside, so please excuse us while we update our resume and send it to the Palace.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

 

TIME People

When Princess Elizabeth Became Queen, She Didn’t Even Know

Queen Elizabeth 1952
Cover Credit: BORIS CHALIAPIN The Feb. 18, 1952, cover of TIME

Feb. 6, 1952: King George VI dies, bringing Elizabeth II to the throne as Queen of England

Being crowned Queen of England may have been one of the most thrilling moments of Elizabeth II’s life, but at the exact moment of her accession, she was unaware that her royal status had changed. She was, as TIME reported shortly after the event, in a Kenyan tree hut, experiencing another thrilling moment: watching a herd of elephants gather at a watering hole.

Although King George VI died in his sleep sometime during the night of Feb. 5, 1952, the remoteness of her tree house lodgings meant that Elizabeth didn’t learn until relatively late the next day that she had become Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and what was then called Ceylon (today’s Sri Lanka).

George’s failing health over the previous year — he had recently undergone surgery to remove a malignant tumor in his lung — had meant delegating more and more of his royal duties to Elizabeth. When he died, she was on her way to represent him on a diplomatic visit to Australia and New Zealand, stopping first in Kenya to stay in the lodge that had been a wedding present from the Kenyan people when she married Prince Philip five years earlier.

She and Philip spent a night away from the lodge at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya’s Aberdare National Park, where, after seeing the elephants, she was too excited to sleep, as TIME reported, and “kept leaving her cot to watch other nocturnal visitors at the waterhole.”

In the morning, per TIME, “she breakfasted on bacon and eggs, and tossed bananas to baboons below.” It wasn’t until early afternoon that a reporter from a local newspaper called and told Philip that King George had died.

Back in London, church bells tolled, Union Jacks flew at half-staff, shops and factories closed for the day, and the BBC stopped broadcasting after airing an announcement of the King’s death. Crowds of people stood in the cold rain for hours outside Buckingham Palace. Meanwhile, Philip led Elizabeth on a walk along the river, in the shadow of Mount Kenya, and broke the news of her father’s death.

It was an immense personal tragedy for the 25-year-old, but it required her to step immediately into a demanding political role, filling the void her father had left. She cut her trip short and spent the rest of the day planning her return to London and sending letters of apology to the dignitaries who were expecting to host her in Australia and New Zealand.

Although she knew what was expected of her as England’s new ruler, she was clearly caught off guard by the timing. Just that morning, she’d been “talking about her father, and proudly describing how bravely he’d stood up to his illness,” according to a BBC reporter.

She’d left the treetop hut “in high spirits over her ‘tremendous experience,’ and vowed to come again soon with her father,” according to TIME, “‘He’d love it,’ she said.”

Read the full cover story about from 1952, here in the TIME Vault: Elizabeth II

TIME royals

Princess Kate: I Feel the Baby Kicking, Moving ‘All the Time’

The Duchess Of Cambridge Formally Opens The Kensington Leisure Centre
Max Mumby—Indigo/Getty Images Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, leaves after visiting the new Kensington Leisure Centre on Jan. 19, 2015 in London, England.

"It's moving all the time"

She may not know the sex of her second baby but Princess Kate knows one thing – her future child is kicking away with gusto.

Kate, 33, told well-wishers she could feel her baby kicking while opening a London recreation center as part of her official royal duties Monday.

“It’s moving all the time. I can feel it kicking now,” she told Martina McDonagh, 17, while holding her tummy to prove her point.

Martina, a student at Jack Tizard School, London, met Kate when the princess officially opened Kensington Leisure Centre in west London.

“I told her I hoped it was a girl but she said she doesn’t know yet,” Martina told reporters afterwards. “She said it was moving around a lot.”

The $48 million facility is the perfect place to learn to swim – and Prince George, 18 months, may take advantage. The Kensington and Chelsea Council presented Kate with lifetime membership for her family, along with a duck-shaped rubber ring for Prince George and his own swimming lesson kit.

The center has special meaning for the royal family. Prince William learned to swim there as a child, when a pool existed on the same site as the new center.

“The Duchess was talking about Prince William learning to swim here and she said she hoped Prince George can come here to learn too,” Tim Ahern, the council’s Cabinet member for environment and leisure, told reporters.

“If George goes to school at Wetherby or one of the other local schools, he will almost certainly come here. Wetherby will use it.”

As she toured the center – which has three swimming pools, a 120-station gym and a dance studio – Kate watched a series of sports being played. Over at the tai chi demonstration, Kate told grandmother Shelagh Laslett-O’Brien, 65, that she liked the look of the sport. “She said she’d maybe come down and try it after she’s had the baby,” Laslett-O’Brien, a retired social worker who ran a centre for homeless and refugee families in nearby Bayswater, tells PEOPLE.

She spoke to 3- and 4-year-old arise new from St. Francis of Assisi Primary school, asking them about the throwing game they were playing. “I thought the children would be nervous but they were really comfortable talking to her,” teacher Ailbhe Donoghue, who praised the duchess’s calm nature, tells PEOPLE. “She seemed very natural with the children. She had a nice presence.”

Their ease with her contrasted with earlier when a little two year old had dissolved into nerves at the prospect of handing her flowers and a tiny baby started crying when he met her.

Zack Benson, eight months old, and with his first teeth about to come through, was in the greeting line-up in the arms of his mother Rosie at a new high school in west London that Kate was opening.

He is the son of David Benson, the head of the Kensington Aldridge Academy. “You¹re very tired,” six-month-pregnant Kate told Zack. “He is very sweet.” His mum, 33, explained, “I think he is quite tired and hungry.”

During her tour of the school, she met children in reading groups, including one 11-year-old girl reading a book called How To Avoid A Wombat’s Bum. “She said, It looks like a good book,” Chyna Mealin told reporters.

“She mentioned that she likes to read to George, books with pictures.”

And she left with some gifts for George – a xylophone and baby-grow. And pupils who make ceramics, jewelry and other objects to sell at the nearby Portobello Road market, gave her a plate with a portrait of a golden-haired boy and Prince George’s full name – George Alexander Louis – and date of birth, July 22, 2013.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME royals

Princess Kate Leaves a 2-Year-Old Speechless

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge opens the Kensington Aldridge Academy on January 19, 2015 in London
Keith Hewitt—Getty Images Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge opens the Kensington Aldridge Academy on January 19, 2015 in London

The toddler tried to run away

A normally boisterous 2-year-old got tongue-tied and bashful when he was to present flowers to Princess Kate on Monday.

Ryan Dixon tried to run away and said, “No no, Mummy, no no Mummy,” when faced with Kate at a community event.

In response, an understanding Kate, 33, who wore a baby blue coat by maternity designer Seraphine, told him, “I would be shy as well,” as the boy’s mother, Tracy Samuels, presented the Duchess with the bouquet of white lilacs and nasturtiums.

After a quiet weekend spent with husband Prince William and little Prince George at her parents’ home in Bucklebury, Kate came to London’s Kensington neighborhood to meet with volunteers and beneficiaries of the charity Family Friends.

Although Kensington is known for its fabulously wealthy residents and its palace, it also has areas of deprivation, so Family Friends provides mentoring services to families in need.

In addition to chatting with Samuels, a single mother, and little Kate also spoke with all the volunteers and families in attendance.

One woman, Marie-Christine, told Kate how Family Friends “had literally saved me.”

The mother of three was a refugee to the U.K. after her family was slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide.

“I was in such a bad place and felt so alone but [my Family Frieds mentor] pulled me through it,” she told reporters.

“My children are happy and healthy, I have finished my degree and gone back to work. I have even started mentoring other refugees,” she said. “The Duchess was lovely, very empathetic and said she was happy for me.”

Kate then headed to the new Kensington Aldridge Academy, which she formally opened. She visited a history class and spoke to children about their daily reading lessons.

She also stopped by the school’s Creates Hub for young entrepreneurs, and met students who are designing items for sale at nearby Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill.

Next, she was set to open the neighboring leisure center that’s been built on the same spot as an old pool where William, 32, and his brother Prince Harry, learned to swim.

Monday’s events follow her first public engagement of the year to see an art therapy class and a visit to a fostering group.

She’s expected to join her parents for a family winter vacation in the Caribbean next week, as mum Carole is set to mark her 60th birthday on Mustique. The Middletons make annual holidays to the sunshine island – last year Kate took George for the first time, while the previous year she and William had a babymoon there.

As for William, he is currently hitting the books, doing his commercial pilots’ license exams before on-board training for his air ambulance job that begins in the spring.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME apps

You Can Now Follow Prince William and Kate on Instagram

Be warned: It's pretty boring so far

Apparently the young royals made a New Year’s resolution to be more #SocialMediaSavvy.

After joining Twitter Wednesday morning, Instagram informed TIME that Kensington Palace — home to Will, Kate, and Prince Harry — also officially signed up for the popular photo-sharing app.

Although so far, the photos have been relatively… boring.

Don’t Will and Kate know that Insta is a place for selfies and creating #outrage over whether they cropped their baby out of pictures?

Must we tell Harry this medium is best suited for documenting trips to Vegas rather than blasé pictures from benefits?

Hopefully they will learn.

Read next: Here Are The Most Surprising Gifts the British Royal Family Received Last Year

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME royals

William and Kate Attend Church on Christmas Without Prince George

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave after attending with other members of the royal family the traditional Christmas Day Church Service at Sandringham in eastern England, on Dec. 25, 2014.
Paul Ellis—AFP/Getty Images Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave after attending with other members of the royal family the traditional Christmas Day Church Service at Sandringham in eastern England, on Dec. 25, 2014.

The royal couple left Prince George at home to enjoy his presents

Holding hands, Prince William and Princess Kate made their way to church Thursday morning for Christmas services with the rest of the royal family.

The couple, both 32, left Prince George at home to enjoy his presents as they joined Queen Elizabeth and cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie at St. Mary Magdalene church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England.

The Queen, 88, in pink coat and hat, arrived in a Bentley, while her husband, Prince Philip, 93, and the rest of the royals, including Prince Harry, walked the short distance from the main Sandringham House.

About 500 well-wishers – some had been there since 5 a.m. – gathered to see the royals in the sunny but chilly weather. They were treated to the sounds of Christmas carols, like “Once in Royal David’s City,” which were sung inside.

And while some of those fans may have been disappointed that Prince George was not there, it was somewhat expected, as royal children often aren’t seen at public services until 4 or 5 years of age.

Notably absent was Prince Charles’s wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall – she is suffering from a bad back.

As they headed back to Sandringham House for a lunch of Norfolk turkey and other festivities, pregnant Kate received bouquets of flowers from onlookers. This is the third time the couple has spent Christmas on the Sandringham Estate since they wed in 2011.

After lunch, the royals watched the annual TV address by the Queen, in which she paid tribute to the aid workers fighting the Ebola crisis.

“Bringing reconciliation to war or emergency zones is an even harder task, and I have been deeply touched this year by the selflessness of aid workers and medical volunteers who have gone abroad to help victims of conflict or of diseases like Ebola, often at great personal risk,” she said.

The Queen continued: “For me, the life of Jesus Christ, the prince of peace, whose birth we celebrate today, is an inspiration and an anchor in my life.

“A role model of reconciliation and forgiveness, he stretched out his hands in love, acceptance and healing,” she said. “Christ’s example has taught me to seek to respect and value all people, of whatever faith or none.”

William and Kate are staying at their country home, Anmer Hall, two miles away, with Kate’s family, including siblings Pippa and James.

On Christmas Eve, James joined Prince Harry, 30, for a game of soccer with estate workers.

Despite not being seen on Christmas Day, Prince George has been getting in the holiday mood. He recently visited a Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park and enjoyed a trip to see Santa near the family’s country home.

Earlier this month, William and Kate released three cute photographs of George to update the public on his progress and thank the media for giving him an intrusion-free first 17 months.

This article originally appeared on People.com

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