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Christmas with Queen Camilla! Royal Opens London Home to Kids for Tree Trimming with Santa

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Camilla, the Queen Consort and Isaac Wood, four, with Blixen the reindeer, as children supported by Helen and Douglas House and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, decorate the Christmas tree at Clarence House in LondonPaul Grover/AP/Shutterstock Queen CamillaIt’s Christmas at Clarence House — and Queen Camilla got some special help with decorating!Camilla, 75, opened the doors of the London home she shares with King Charles to welcome children from two charities she supports. It is an annual tradition at the home but the first time Camilla has done so as Queen. It came on the morning after she and Charles welcomed the diplomatic community to Buckingham Palace for another festive occasion, a white tie reception complete with tiaras.The party was part of a holiday event that Queen Camilla throws for Helen & Douglas House, the world’s first children’s hospice in Oxfordshire which provides medical, emotional and practical support for seriously ill children and their families, as well as youngsters helped by Roald Dahl’s Marvelous Children’s Charity. She is a patron of both organizations.RELATED: Queen Camilla Sparkles in Queen Elizabeth’s Sapphire Tiara —for the Second Time in Two Weeks!The children were also thrilled to get a performance by the Band of the Welsh Guards — and a special surprise visit from Father Christmas and his reindeer.Camilla, the Queen Consort with Blixen the reindeer, as children supported by Helen and Douglas House and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, decorate the Christmas tree at Clarence House in LondonPaul Grover/AP/Shutterstock Queen CamillaQueen Camilla took her role as host of the event seriously, walking around to greet everyone asking “Everybody’s got everything?” and “Are you enjoying yourselves?”Mother Kieri Dainty from Oxfordshire, who was a guest at the party along with her 8-year-old daughter Gwendolyn, described the day as “amazing.” “It’s lovely that she’s still doing all the charity work,” she said of Camilla. “What was important before is still important now.””It’s always a treat for me to start Christmases here — it literally kicks it off for us,” the Queen Consort said in a speech.”It is the sixth time Camilla has hosted the party, having started when she was Duchess of Cornwall. In other years, a pair of reindeer brought smiles to children attending the event. Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, the royal continued the Christmas decorating event by holding it virtually.Story continues”Continuing her annual tradition, The Queen Consort has invited children from @helenanddouglashouse and @roalddahlcharity to decorate the Christmas tree at Clarence House,” Camilla’s office captioned a video on the royal family’s official Instagram page. “Having enjoyed a delicious lunch of sausage and mash, the children were entertained by the Band of the Welsh Guards…and not forgetting a surprise appearance from Father Christmas and his reindeer Dancer and Blitzen!””To come here in the first few months of her being Queen, it just shows how she values her patronage to us and she cares about the children and the families who use the services,” Clare Periton, chief executive of Helen & Douglas House, said. “It’s a place where the families will make memories that they will never forget, and the children are treated like princesses and princes and it’s just such a special time. Everyone is accepted no matter what their disability is or what their condition is or what their abilities are. I think for families as well, it’s an opportunity that is invaluable.”The Queen Consort Invites Children To Decorate The Clarence House Christmas TreePaul Grover – WPA Pool/Getty Images Queen CamillaLast month, Queen Camilla helped host a different kind of party — for children at a nursery which received some of the thousands of Paddington and other teddy bears that were left in tribute to Queen Elizabeth in September.Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!The Queen Consort was also revealed as the new cover star of Good Housekeeping’s U.K. edition. Camilla smiled in a red coat dress adorned with a ballerina brooch before a sparkling fir for the cover of the Christmas and New Year’s issue, available for sale on Wednesday.The lifestyle magazine’s latest issue is especially regal. According to a statement shared by publisher Hearst, Queen Elizabeth II granted her blessing for Good Housekeeping to produce a special issue “championing royal women and, crucially, raising awareness around important social causes” for the publication’s 100th anniversary this year and in connection with her Platinum Jubilee.The Queen Consort Invites Children To Decorate The Clarence House Christmas TreePaul Grover – WPA Pool/Getty Images Queen CamillaThe issue also includes exclusive interviews with Kate Middleton, Princess Anne, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Alexandra (Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin) and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester (the wife of Prince Richard, who is also first cousins with Queen Elizabeth). The royals are expected to address “their own selected causes spanning dementia, carers, child safety and missing people,” Hearst said.

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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The dwindling case for living in London

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The recent debate around ‘levelling up’ may be missing something. I would argue that there is another way to consider geographical inequality – and, by this alternative measure, a levelling has been under way for more than 20 years.

I’ve spent three decades working in advertising, so it’s unsurprising that I tend to view economic life through the lens of consumption. By contrast, mainstream economists tend to view disparities through the medium of earnings or wealth. To me, measures of wealth should include not only the quantity of money you have but the breadth of worthwhile options available in choosing how to spend it.

Let’s put it another way. If you live in a boring village, and suddenly a great pub or café opens on the high street, then by my measure you have become richer; by the economist’s measure you have not.

Things that would once have been available in London decades before the provinces now appear everywhereat once 

There was undoubtedly a time when you were richer in London in two ways. You had more money, but you also had a far more exciting range of ways to spend it. Now not so much.

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London is a great city but, in terms of consumption quality, it has not improved markedly in the past 20 years. Over the same period, many smaller cities and even towns have advanced rapidly, significantly narrowing the gap. The kind of things that would once have been available in the capital decades before making it to the provinces – like sushi – now appear everywhere at once. Consider Turkish barbers, who seem to have taken over the country in only five years. (I can remember a time when it was enough just to get a haircut without having burning methylated spirits flicked in my ears. Back then I just didn’t know any better.)

This levelling is especially true of anything in the digital world: Amazon gadgets, Netflix films, Asos fashions and PlayStation games hit Aberystwyth the same day they hit Islington. But it also applies to the physical environment, as anyone over 50 can attest. I went to Manchester and Sheffield for the first time in 1989. Compared with London, they were then, let’s be honest, utterly rubbish. Now, when I visit those same cities, I experience mild ‘northern envy’. There are interesting places open everywhere. Northerners have better cars, because they have more money left over after paying for housing. And they are much better-looking, because they can nip home to get changed before going out.

Relatively speaking, London has improved far less dramatically than these provincial cities have. (New York, many aficionados argue, has got worse.) OK, the Tube is better than it used to be. Uber is a handy addition. But some things are awful – the last pleasure of driving in London ended when they put speed cameras on the Westway. Accommodation costs for the young wipe out any salary gains.

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By my measure, high property prices won’t just hit Londoners once – they’ll hit them twice. Not only do high rents wipe out what you earn, they also put at risk London’s once unassailable advantage as a great place to spend what money you have left. Creative businesses of any kind require space at a price which allows them to take risks. For a time, London found this space by moving its heartland from west to east. But suppose the people supporting what Douglas McWilliams calls ‘the flat white economy’ flee altogether? In my own experience, Kent suddenly seems weirdly full of fascinating restaurants founded by London exiles. If more of these people leave, the case for staying weakens further.

Londoners always say things like ‘Yes but there’s the theatre’. Let’s face it though – even Shakespeare left London for Stratford in his mid-forties. As he no doubt found, the theatre is all very well, but it’s nothing like being able to park outside your house.

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Gentrification is not a sin

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Gentrification is not a sin – UnHerd

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