Whether jetting off to Kuala Lumpur for the Independence Day parade or rejoicing in the regal fashion on show at Buckingham Palace, August promises a splendid time
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Zoë Manzi, Editor, MO magazine, The Condé Nast Publications
August. Perhaps the most eagerly awaited month on many of our calendars, promising rest and recuperation, family holidays and reunions, or even the delight of exploring one's hometown half-empty. Whatever you have planned, we wish you all the best. Meanwhile, those who pay attention to horoscopes will know that August is the month of Leo, represented by that magnificent beast and king of the jungle. He is certainly making his presence felt: while most of the world may be enjoying some downtime, there are a few, very regally inclined, events worth noting…
The whole of Thailand will be celebrating the birthday of their beloved Queen Sirikit on 12 August. On the morning of the day itself, an alms-giving ceremony is held, followed by candle-lighting rituals and fireworks displays across the country. And for the entire month of August, Thai households and public places will be decorated with fairy lights and portraits of the revered royal consort, whose date of birth has been designated as Mother's Day, given her standing as ‘Mother of all Thai people'.
There will also be stately goings-on in Kuala Lumpur on 31 August with the annual Independence Day parade, complete with military presentations, a fly-past, colourful floats, and members of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist society forming the flag of Malaysia in Merdeka Square. The King and Queen of Malaysia attend the ceremony, alongside the nation's Prime Minister and other notable dignitaries.
If you are in London this summer, don't miss the chance to peer through the keyhole at Buckingham Palace, by visiting its fabulous State Rooms. As well as paintings by Old Masters Rembrandt and Rubens, and Venetian superstar Canaletto, you'll discover sculpture by Canova, Sèvres porcelain and many other delights. This summer also sees the opening of a special exhibition curated to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. Fashioning a Reign will present a fabulous display of Her Majesty's outfits (pictured above) and accessories designed for some of the most significant moments in her life from childhood to the present day.
Finally, UK-based balletomanes and opera fiends, stand by. Shanghai is coming to London this month. Its opera and ballet companies take up residence at the Coliseum to entertain us with their acclaimed production Echoes of Eternity, the story of the romance between an emperor and his imperial concubine.