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Queen Elizabeth II turns 91

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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 91st birthday on Friday, with the world’s longest-reigning monarch taking a step back from royal duties to allow the younger generation to step forward.

A gun salute at London’s Tower Bridge and at Hyde Park will mark the Queen’s birthday, a notably more low-key affair after a year of festivities to mark her hitting 90.

A thousand beacons were lit around the country on April 21 2016 and other events last year included street parties and a pageant at her Windsor Castle home.

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“I’m still alive,” the Queen joked in June during a visit to Northern Ireland, one of the numerous engagements filling the royal calendar.

But the ever-popular monarch has begun handing over duties to other royals, standing down as patron of 25 bodies at the end of last year, including the Wimbledon tennis championships.

While her eldest child Prince Charles is heir to the throne, greater attention has fallen on his two sons William and Harry, who have taken on some of the Queen’s duties.

The arrival of Prince William and his wife Kate’s two children – Prince George and Princess Charlotte – has cemented the country’s positive view of the royal family.

Prince Harry is also admired, receiving widespread acclaim this week for speaking out about seeking counselling years after his mother’s death when he was a child.

The Queen was instrumental in bringing the royals into modern times, after ascending to the throne in 1952 as Britain’s empire was in sharp decline. She made a vow on turning 21.

One of the most testing periods for the monarch came during the 1990s. The Queen dubbed 1992 her “annus horribilis” after the marriages of three of her four children broke down and Windsor Castle was badly damaged in a fire.

Five years later she faced the wrath of the British public when Princess Diana died and the Queen chose to stay at her estate in Scotland rather than return to London.

Buckingham Palace has since been careful to avoid such clashes with the Queen’s subjects.

She has remained quiet about political issues including the divisive Brexit referendum and, in January, Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial decision to invite US President Donald Trump for a state visit.

In modernising her family’s image and refusing to become political, the Queen has held on to the nation’s affection. While generally in good health, she suffered a cold over Christmas and her recovery was watched anxiously.

Despite being followed closely in her public appearances – feeding an elephant at a British zoo this month, for example – she has succeeded in keeping life behind palace doors relatively secret.

While her love of horses and Corgis is well publicised, palace insiders have revealed that the Queen’s private pastimes include crossword puzzles and a Dubonnet-and-gin cocktail before lunch.

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The Traditional African Man and Romance

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Romance in marriage is like the gentle breeze that fans the embers of a camplight fire bringing tiny sparks of flames here and there. The west has provided it’s version of romance and this wave has swept across other parts of the world and of course in Africa. 

We see a handful of Millenials and the Gen Z’ers play out romance sequences that could have been straight out of a Mills and Boons story BUT… If we are totally honest with ourselves, these do not represent the whole rather they are a very small cross-section making us ask the question “How do the rest express themselves”. We grew up in Africa seeing our parents play out a script on romance that was lack-lustre and bland. This was picked up by many and it has become their default mode when the camera’s aren’t flicking, friends aren’t watching or it’s not for social media.

Below is an excerpt i stumbled upon and had to include it into my post because it perfectly explained the default state of romance in Africa.

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Many marriages are just for sleeping and waking up, raising kids and ageing together till death comes. This is not right. Marriage must be enjoyable and romantic.
1.Many couples hardly kiss and they only hug each other when they receive good news.
2. The husband only puts food in his wife’s mouth only when she is terminally ill and cant feed herself.
3. If you see a man opening car door for his wife means the door is faulty.
4. The only thing that makes an african man touch his wife’s neck is when she complains of fever. He wont touch it again till the next fever.
5.The only time he can carry his wife on his arms is when she is in labour.
6. If you see them seated outside at night, dont think they are romantic. They are only waiting for the smell of insecticide to vanish.
7.Many wives buy gifts for their husbands only when they are hospitalized.
8.The only time they race together is when there is danger and everyone is running.
9.The only time they go for evening stroll is when they want to go and lay a complain to the parents of the person that beat their child or got their daughter pregnant.
10. The only time they bath together is when both are late for work.
11. The only time a wife looks closely to her husband’s eyes is when he complains of dirt in his eyes.
Unfortunately, Africans feel that any romantic man is being controlled by his wife. They will begin to spread bad rumours. Let us just change today for the better. Let us learn to love one another and enjoy the few days we have on earth together.
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On a closing note, i believe things would play out better for couples if men could become a bit more humane, women, drop a bit of the ultra-feminism and let’s enjoy ourselves as couples (ie married couples).

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Merry Christmas! May this be your best Christmas

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May you and your Family cherish the wonderful memories of love, cares and hope. May you live in joy and peace. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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