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Balmoral Castle

Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Scotland, owned by Queen Elizabeth II. It is near the village of Crathie, 6.2 miles west of Ballater and 6.8 miles east of Braemar. Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British royal family since 1852, when the estate and its original castle were bought by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. Soon after the estate was purchased by the royal family, the existing house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned; the architect was William Smith of Aberdeen. Balmoral is not part of the Crown Estate; the castle is an example of Scottish baronial architecture, is classified by Historic Environment Scotland as a category A listed building. The new castle was completed in the old castle demolished shortly thereafter; the Balmoral Estate has been added to by successive members of the royal family, now covers an area of 50,000 acres. It is a working estate, including grouse moors and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, ponies.

King Robert II of Scotland had a hunting lodge in the area. Historical records indicate that a house at Balmoral was built by Sir William Drummond in 1390; the estate is recorded in 1451 as "Bouchmorale", was tenanted by Alexander Gordon, second son of the 1st Earl of Huntly. A tower house was built on the estate by the Gordons. In 1662, the estate passed to Charles Farquharson of Inverey, brother of John Farquharson, the "Black Colonel"; the Farquharsons were Jacobite sympathisers, James Farquharson of Balmoral was involved in both the 1715 and 1745 rebellions. He was wounded at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746; the Farquharson estates were forfeit, passed to the Farquharsons of Auchendryne. In 1798, James Duff, 2nd Earl Fife, leased the castle. Sir Robert Gordon, a younger brother of the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, acquired the lease in 1830, he made major alterations to the original castle at Balmoral, including baronial-style extensions that were designed by John Smith of Aberdeen. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first visited Scotland in 1842, five years after her accession to the throne and two years after their marriage.

During this first visit they stayed at Edinburgh, at Taymouth Castle in Perthshire, the home of the Marquess of Breadalbane. They returned in 1844 to stay at Blair Castle and, in 1847, when they rented Ardverikie by Loch Laggan. During the latter trip they encountered weather, rainy, which led Sir James Clark, the queen's doctor, to recommend Deeside instead, for its more healthy climate. Sir Robert Gordon died in his lease on Balmoral reverted to Lord Aberdeen. In February 1848 an arrangement was made—that Prince Albert would acquire the remaining part of the lease on Balmoral, together with its furniture and staff—without having seen the property first; the royal couple arrived for their first visit on 8 September 1848. Victoria found the house "small but pretty", recorded in her diary that: "All seemed to breathe freedom and peace, to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils"; the surrounding hilly landscape reminded them of Albert's homeland in Germany. The house was confirmed to be too small and, in 1848, John and William Smith were commissioned to design new offices and other ancillary buildings.

Improvements to the woodlands and estate buildings were being made, with the assistance of the landscape gardener, James Beattie, by the painter, James Giles. Major additions to the old house were considered in 1849, but by negotiations were under way to purchase the estate from the trustees of the deceased Earl Fife. After seeing a corrugated iron cottage at the Great Exhibition of 1851, Prince Albert ordered a pre-fabricated iron building for Balmoral from E. T. Bellhouse & Co. to serve as a temporary ballroom and dining room. It was in use by 1 October 1851, would serve as a ballroom until 1856; the sale was completed in June 1852, the price being £32,000, Prince Albert formally took possession that autumn. The neighbouring estate of Birkhall was bought at the same time, the lease on Abergeldie Castle secured as well. To mark the occasion, the Purchase Cairn was erected in the hills overlooking the castle, the first of many; the growing family of Victoria and Albert, the need for additional staff, the quarters required for visiting friends and official visitors such as cabinet members, meant that extension of the existing structure would not be sufficient and that a larger house needed to be built.

In early 1852, this was commissioned from William Smith. The son of John Smith, William Smith was city architect of Aberdeen from 1852. On learning of the commission, William Burn sought an interview with the prince to complain that Smith had plagiarised his work, Burn was unsuccessful in depriving Smith of the appointment. William Smith's designs were amended by Prince Albert, who took a close interest in details such as turrets and windows. Construction began during summer 1853, on a site some 100 yards northwest of the original building, considered to have a better vista. Another reason for consideration was, that whilst construction was ongoing, the family would still be able to use the old house. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone on 28 September 1853, during her annual autumn visit. By the autumn of 1855, the royal apartments were ready for occupancy, although the tower was still under construction and the servants had to be lodged in the old house

1996–97 Queens Park Rangers F.C. season

During the 1996–97 English football season, Queens Park Rangers competed in the Football League First Division. In August 1996, media tycoon Chris Wright, a QPR fan for 20 years, bought the club and stated his plans for London Wasps to distribute the stadium. Wright suggested forming a new Loftus Road plc, including both QPR and London Wasps, on the Alternative Investment Market. A month Ray Wilkins left the club by mutual consent after a board meeting when he wanted money in an attempt to sign 34-year-old Ghana skipper Abedi Pele as well as being pushed to retire from his playing career. Ex-Arsenal caretaker manager Stewart Houston took over the reins with former Arsenal manager Bruce Rioch as his assistant. Houston's first signing for QPR broke the club's previous transfer record when Scottish international striker John Spencer was signed from Chelsea for £2.35 million in November 1996. A month his ex-Chelsea team mate and former QPR player Gavin Peacock rejoined the club for a second spell.

Northern Ireland international Steve Morrow joined from Arsenal. QPR's poor home form during the season cost them a chance of a play-off place and they finished 9th, five points outside the play-off places. NB In the Football League goals scored takes precedence over goal difference Queens Park Rangers' score comes first Squad at end of seasonNote: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality

Gary Northfield

Gary Northfield is a British cartoonist, most famous for his Derek the Sheep comic strip published in DC Thomson's The Beano and BeanoMAX. Northfield graduated from Harrow College University of Westminster with a degree in Illustration in 1992, he joined the British small press comics community in 1999, creating various titles such as Great!, Little Box of Comics and Stupidmonsters. In 2002, he acquired the position of in-house illustrator at Eaglemoss Publications, where he worked for five years on projects such as Horrible Histories Magazine, Horrible Science Magazine and The Magical World of Roald Dahl. Derek the Sheep began appearing in The Beano from February 2004, is unique in that it is The Beano's first and only creator-owned character. A collection of early Derek the Sheep stories was published by Bloomsbury Publishing in September 2008 and in France by Actes Sud/Editions De L'an2, reprinting the first thirteen strips in The Beano. In 2008, Northfield illustrated the comic strip Pinky's Crackpot Circus for The Dandy, wrote and drew World's Greatest Heroes for National Geographic Kids.

In 2009, he created Little Cutie for The DFC. In 2012 his strip Gary's Garden began appearing in the weekly comic, The Phoenix, with the first year's worth of strips collected in the book The Phoenix Presents - Gary's Garden: Book 1. In 2016, he returned to The Beano with the strip Zooella, he illustrated the children's books Henry VIII Has To Choose and Sleeping Beauty: 100 Years Later, for Franklin Watts. In 2013, Walker Books published The Terrible Tales Of The Teenytinysaurs, a collection of never-before published strips. Northfield's first children's novel and international best seller Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans!, was published by Walker books in March 2015. His subsequent books in the series are: Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons!, Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians!, with the next installment Julius Zebra: Grapple with the Greeks! Published in October 2018, his first joke book, Julius Zebra Joke Book Jamboree! was published in June 2019. In 2017, Northfield alongside his partner, established a new children’s comic book publisher, Bog Eyed Books.

Derek the Sheep — Bloomsbury Publishing Henry VIII Has To Choose with Julia Jarman — Franklin Watts Sleeping Beauty: 100 Years Later with Laura North — Franklin Watts The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs — Walker Books The Phoenix Presents - Gary's Garden: Book 1 — David Fickling Books Julius Zebra - Rumble With The Romans! — Walker Books Julius Zebra - Bundle With The Britons! — Walker Books Julius Zebra - Entangled with the Egyptians - Walker Books Julius Zebra - Grapple with the Greeks! — Walker Books Julius Zebra - Joke Book Jamboree! - Walker Books Derek the Sheep — The Beano and BeanoMAX Life of Roald Dahl with Glenn Dakin — The Magical World of Roald Dahl Pinky's Crackpot Circus — The Dandy Little Cutie — The DFC World's Greatest Heroes and Max the Mouse — National Geographic Kids Gary's Garden — The Phoenix Zoo-Ella — The Beano Northfield's website United Agent's profile