Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children. In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism, or pedobaptism, from the Greek pais meaning "child"; this can be contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", or credobaptism, from the Latin word credo meaning "I believe", the religious practice of baptising only individuals who confess faith in Jesus, therefore excluding underage children. Opposition to infant baptism is termed catabaptism. Infant baptism is called "christening" by some faith traditions. Most Christians belong to denominations that practice infant baptism. Branches of Christianity that practice infant baptism include Catholics and Oriental Orthodox, among Protestants, several denominations: Anglicans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and other Reformed denominations and some Nazarenes, the Moravian Church; the exact details of the baptismal ceremony vary among Christian denominations. Many follow a prepared ceremony, called a liturgy.
In a typical ceremony, parents or godparents bring their child to their congregation's priest or minister. The rite used would be the same as that denomination's rite for adults, i.e. by pouring holy water or by sprinkling water. Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic traditions practise total immersion and baptise babies in a font, this practice is the first method listed in the baptismal ritual of the Roman Catholic, although pouring is the standard practice within the Latin branch of Catholicism. Catholic and Orthodox churches that do this do not sprinkle. At the moment of baptism, the minister utters the words "I baptise you in the name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit". Although it is not required, many parents and godparents choose to dress the baby in a white gown called a christening gown for the baptism ceremony. Christening gowns become treasured keepsakes that are used by many other children in the family and handed down from generation to generation. Traditionally, this gown is white or off white and made with much lace and intricate detail.
In the past, a gown was used for both girls. Made of white fabric, the outfit consists of a romper with a vest or other accessories; these clothes are kept as a memento after the ceremony. It is a naval tradition to baptise children using the ship's bell as a baptismal font and to engrave the child's name on the bell afterwards. Tracking down and searching for an individual's name on a specific bell from a ship may be a difficult and time-consuming task. Christening information from the bells held by the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt Museum has been entered into a searchable data archive, accessible to any interested web site visitors. Scholars disagree on the date; some believe that 1st-century Christians did not practice it, noting the lack of any explicit evidence of paedobaptism. Others, noting the lack of any explicit evidence of exclusion of paedobaptism, believe that they did, understanding biblical references to individuals "and household" being baptised as well as "the promise to you and your children" as including young children.
The earliest extra-biblical directions for baptism, which occur in the Didache, are taken to be about baptism of adults, since they require fasting by the person to be baptised. However, inscriptions dating back to the 2nd century which refer to young children as "children of God" may indicate that Christians customarily baptised infants too; the earliest reference to infant baptism was by Irenaeus in his work Against Heresies. Due to its reference to Eleutherus as the current bishop of Rome, the work is dated c. 180. Irenaeus speaks of children being "born again to God." This reference has been described as "obscure." Three passages by Origen mention infant baptism as customary. While Tertullian writing c. 198–203 advises the postponement of baptism of little children and the unmarried, he mentions that it was customary to baptise infants, with sponsors speaking on their behalf. The Apostolic Tradition, sometimes attributed to Hippolytus of Rome, describes how to perform the ceremony of baptism.
From at least the 3rd century onward Christians baptised infants as standard practice, although some preferred to postpone baptism until late in life, so as to ensure forgiveness for all their preceding sins. In the 21st century, a number of incidents surrounding particularly "rough", "aggressive" or "violent" infant baptisms according to the Eastern Orthodox submersion or immersion rite have sparked controversies as to whether they constituted child abuse. In January 2017, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II performed a mass infant baptism of hundreds of children at the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi during the Georgian Orthodox Church's celebration of Epiphany. Many foreign observers found this "shocking" and wondered whether such baptisms should be considered child abuse. A May 2018 viral video of an infant baptism – performed in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, at a Greek Orthodox church, although this remains unconfirmed – received much media attention. In a statement, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia condemned the practice as "physically abusive", but claimed the performer was'not Greek Orthodo
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was educated at home, her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; when her father died in February 1952, she became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa and Ceylon, became republics.
Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992 and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy has been and remains high, as does her personal popularity. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.
Her father, the Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, Mary after her paternal grandmother. Called "Lilibet" by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery. Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930; the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Lessons concentrated on history, language and music. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family; the book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, her attitude of responsibility. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character, she has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant." Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved". During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young. Many people believed he would have children of his own; when her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father.
That year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth's father became king, she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed so she could socialise with girls her own age, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger. In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured the United States; as in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Elizabeth "looked tearful", they corresponded and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.
In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War. Lord Hailsham suggested that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada to avoid the frequent aerial bombing; this was rejected by Elizabeth's mother. I won't leave wit
Prince Michael of Kent
Prince Michael of Kent, is a member of the British royal family. He is a paternal first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, being a grandson of King George V and Queen Mary, he is 47th in the line of succession to the British throne, but at the time of his birth was seventh in the line of succession. Prince Michael represents the Queen at some functions in Commonwealth realms outside the United Kingdom. Otherwise, he manages his own consultancy business and undertakes various commercial work around the world, he has presented some television documentaries on the royal families of Europe. Prince Michael was born during the Second World War on 4 July 1942, at Coppins, Buckinghamshire, he was the third child of Prince George, Duke of Kent, a son of King George V and Queen Mary and a younger brother of King George VI. At the time of his birth Michael was seventh in the line of Succession to the British throne, his mother was Princess Marina, a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna of Russia.
At his christening on 4 August 1942 in the Private Chapel of Windsor Castle, his godparents were: his paternal uncle the King. Because of the war, newspaper reports did not identify the location of the christening and said instead that it took place at "a private chapel in the country". Just seven weeks after Michael's birth, his father was killed in a plane crash near Caithness, Scotland, on 25 August 1942. At the age of five, Prince Michael was a page boy at the wedding of his cousins, Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, he was educated at Eton College. Besides being fluent in French and having a "working knowledge" of German and Italian, he was the first member of the royal family to learn Russian. Prince Michael entered the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in January 1961, from where he was commissioned into the 11th Hussars, in 1963, he served in The Royal Hussars after the 1969 amalgamation between the 11th Hussars and the 10th Royal Hussars, he saw service in Germany, Hong Kong, Cyprus, where his squadron formed part of a United Nations peacekeeping force in 1971.
Subsequent tours of duty, during a military career that spanned twenty years, included a number of appointments on the Defence Intelligence Staff. He retired from the Army with the rank of Major in 1981. In 1994, Prince Michael was made Honorary Commodore of the Royal Naval Reserve, in 2002, he was made Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Benson. From 2009 to 2012, he was Regimental Colonel of the Honourable Artillery Company and has been, since 31 January 2012, Royal Honorary Colonel of that regiment, he is Colonel-in-Chief of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment in Canada. As the third child of George V's fourth son, it was not expected that Prince Michael, as the only second son in the extended royal family, would undertake many engagements on behalf of the royal family, he has performed official duties in the Commonwealth realms other than the United Kingdom and has represented the Queen abroad. He has, never received a parliamentary annuity or an allowance from the British Privy Purse, unlike both his elder brother, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, his sister, Princess Alexandra, who both carry out official royal duties in the United Kingdom and receive British parliamentary annuities.
The Prince was given a grace and favour apartment at Kensington Palace upon his marriage in 1978. Prince Michael has represented the Queen at state funerals in India and Swaziland and, with his wife, Princess Michael of Kent, represented the Queen at the independence celebrations in Belize, at the Coronation of King Mswati III of Swaziland. Prince Michael supports a large number of organisations; some of his patronages and presidencies include: the Kennel Club, Children's Burns Trust, Maritime Volunteer Service, the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, Life Saving Society, Royal Automobile Club, National Eye Research Centre, Motor Sports Association, Brooklands Museum Trust, the Light Aircraft Association. On 30 June 1978, Prince Michael was married, at a civil ceremony, at the Rathaus, Austria, to Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz, the only daughter of the Silesian nobleman Baron Gunther Hubertus von Reibnitz and of his Austro-Hungarian wife, Maria Anna Carolina Franziska Walpurga Bernadette, Countess Szapáry de Muraszombath, Széchysziget et Szapár.
After receiving Pope John Paul II's permission, the couple received a blessing of their marriage in a Roman Catholic ceremony on 29 June 1983 at Archbishop's House, London. At the time of the marriage, Marie Christine von Reibnitz was not only a Roman Catholic, but a divorcée, she had been married to the banker Thomas Troubridge. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, Prince Michael forfeited his place in the line of succession to the throne through his marriage to a Roman Catholic, he was re
The London Eye is a cantilevered observation wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. It is Europe's tallest cantilevered observation wheel, is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually, has made many appearances in popular culture. The structure is 135 metres tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres; when it opened to the public in 2000 it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel. Its height was surpassed by the 525-foot Star of Nanchang in 2006, the 165 metres Singapore Flyer in 2008, the 550-foot tall High Roller in 2014. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel"; the London Eye offered the highest public viewing point in London until it was superseded by the 245-metre high observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013. The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge beside County Hall, in the London Borough of Lambeth.
A predecessor to the London Eye, the Great Wheel, was built for the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court and opened to the public on 17 July 1895. Modelled on the original Chicago Ferris Wheel, it was 94 metres tall and 82.3 metres in diameter. It stayed in service until 1906; the Great Wheel was demolished in 1907 following its last use at the Imperial Austrian Exhibition. The London Eye was designed by the husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects. Mace was responsible for construction management, with Hollandia as the main steelwork contractor and Tilbury Douglas as the civil contractor. Consulting engineers Tony Gee & Partners designed the foundation works while Beckett Rankine designed the marine works. Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners assisted The Tussauds Group in obtaining planning and listed building consent to alter the wall on the South Bank of the Thames, they examined and reported on the implications of a Section 106 agreement attached to the original contract, prepared planning and listed building consent applications for the permanent retention of the attraction, which involved the co-ordination of an Environmental Statement and the production of a planning supporting statement detailing the reasons for its retention.
The rim of the Eye resembles a huge spoked bicycle wheel. The lighting was redone with LED lighting from Color Kinetics in December 2006 to allow digital control of the lights as opposed to the manual replacement of gels over fluorescent tubes; the wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river. Once the wheel was complete it was lifted into an upright position by a strand jack system made by Enerpac, it was first raised at 2 degrees per hour until it reached 65 degrees left in that position for a week while engineers prepared for the second phase of the lift. The project was European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany, the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France, the electrical components from the UK.
The London Eye was formally opened by the Prime Minister Tony Blair on 31 December 1999, but did not open to the paying public until 9 March 2000 because of a capsule clutch problem. The London Eye was intended as a temporary attraction, with a five-year lease. In December 2001, operators submitted an application to Lambeth Council to give the London Eye permanent status, the application was granted in July 2002. On 5 June 2008 it was announced; the wheel's 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules and supplied by Poma, are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors. Each of the 10-tonne capsules represents one of the London Boroughs, holds up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided; the wheel rotates at 26 cm per second. It does not stop to take on passengers, it is, stopped to allow disabled or elderly passengers time to embark and disembark safely. In 2009 the first stage of a £12.5 million capsule upgrade began.
Each capsule floated down the river to Tilbury Docks in Essex. On 2 June 2013 a passenger capsule was named the Coronation Capsule to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Marks Barfield, The Tussauds Group, British Airways were the original owners of the London Eye. Tussauds bought out British Airways in 2005 and Marks Barfield in 2006 to become sole owner. In May 2007, the Blackstone Group purchased The Tussauds Group, the owner of the Eye. British Airways continued its brand association, but from the beginning of 2008 the name British Airways was droppe
Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar; the site of Trafalgar Square had been a significant landmark since the 13th century and contained the King's Mews. After George IV moved the mews to Buckingham Palace, the area was redeveloped by John Nash, but progress was slow after his death, the square did not open until 1844; the 169-foot Nelson's Column at its centre is guarded by four lion statues. A number of commemorative statues and sculptures occupy the square, but the Fourth Plinth, left empty since 1840, has been host to contemporary art since 1999; the square has been used for community gatherings and political demonstrations, including Bloody Sunday in 1887, the culmination of the first Aldermaston March, anti-war protests, campaigns against climate change.
A Christmas tree has been donated to the square by Norway since 1947 and is erected for twelve days before and after Christmas Day. The square is a centre of annual celebrations on New Year's Eve, it was well known for its feral pigeons until their removals in the early 21st century. The square is named after the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, southwest Spain, although it was not named as such until 1835; the name "Trafalgar" is a Spanish word of Arabic origin, derived from either Taraf al-Ghar or Taraf al-Gharb. Trafalgar Square is owned by the Queen in Right of the Crown and managed by the Greater London Authority, while Westminster City Council owns the roads around the square, including the pedestrianised area of the North Terrace; the square contains a large central area with roadways on three sides and a terrace to the north, in front of the National Gallery. The roads around the square form part of the A4, a major road running west of the City of London.
The square was surrounded by a one-way traffic system, but works completed in 2003 reduced the width of the roads and closed the northern side to traffic. Nelson's Column is in the centre of the square, flanked by fountains designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1937 and 1939 and guarded by four monumental bronze lions sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer. At the top of the column is a statue of Horatio Nelson, who commanded the British Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar. Surrounding the square are the National Gallery on the north side and St Martin-in-the-Fields Church to the east. On the east is South Africa House, facing it across the square is Canada House. To the south west is The Mall, which leads towards Buckingham Palace via Admiralty Arch, while Whitehall is to the south and the Strand to the east. Charing Cross Road passes between the church. London Underground's Charing Cross station on the Northern and Bakerloo lines has an exit in the square; the lines had separate stations, of which the Bakerloo line one was called Trafalgar Square until they were linked and renamed in 1979 as part of the construction of the Jubilee line, rerouted to Westminster in 1999.
Other nearby tube stations are Embankment connecting the District, Circle and Bakerloo lines, Leicester Square on the Northern and Piccadilly lines. London bus routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 29, 53, 87, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176, 453 pass through Trafalgar Square. A point in Trafalgar Square is regarded as the official centre of London in legislation and when measuring distances from the capital. Building work on the south side of the square in the late 1950s revealed deposits from the last interglacial. Among the findings were the remains of cave lion, straight-tusked elephant and hippopotamus; the site of Trafalgar Square has been a significant location since the 13th century. During Edward I's reign, the area was the site of the King's Mews, running north from the original Charing Cross, where the Strand from the City met Whitehall coming north from Westminster. From the reign of Richard II to that of Henry VII, the mews was at the western end of the Strand; the name "Royal Mews" comes from the practice of keeping hawks here for moulting.
After a fire in 1534, the mews were rebuilt as stables, remained here until George IV moved them to Buckingham Palace. After 1732, the King's Mews were divided into the Great Mews and the smaller Green Mews to the north by the Crown Stables, a large block, built to the designs of William Kent, its site is occupied by the National Gallery. In 1826 the Commissioners of H. M. Woods and Land Revenues instructed John Nash to draw up plans for clearing a large area south of Kent's stable block, as far east as St Martin's Lane, his plans left open the whole area of what became Trafalgar Square, except for a block in the centre, which he reserved for a new building for the Royal Academy. The plans included the demolition and redevelopment of buildings between St Martin's Lane and the Strand and the construction of a road across the churchyard of St Martin-in-the-Fields; the Charing Cross Act was passed in 1826 and clearance started soon after. Nash died; the square was to be named for William IV commemorating his ascent to the throne in 1830.
Around 1835, it was decided that the square would be named after the Battle of Trafalgar as suggested by architect George Ledwell Taylor, commemorating Nelson's victory over the Fre