Court Circular

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

16 December: His Excellency Monsieur Alphonse Niangoula was received in audience by The Queen and presented the Letters of Recall of his predecessor and his own Letters of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from the Republic of Congo to the Court of St James's.

His Excellency was accompanied by the following members of the Embassy:

Monsieur Youssouf Bakoula (First Counsellor), Monsieur Damien Gouari (Financial Counsellor) and Monsieur Dieudonne Moukengue (Chief of Protocol).

Madame Niangoula was also received by Her Majesty.

Sir David Gillmore (Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) was present and the Household in Waiting were in attendance.

Mr Justice Pringle was received by The Queen upon his appointment as a Justice of the High Court in Northern Ireland when Her Majesty conferred upon him the honour of Knighthood and invested him with the Insignia of a Knight Bachelor.

The Queen held a Council at 12.30pm.

There were present:

The Right Hon Antony Newton MP (Lord President), the Baroness Trumpington (Baroness-in- Waiting), the Lord Fraser of Carmyllie (Minister of State, Scottish Office), the Right Hon Virginia Bottomley MP (Secretary of State for Health), the Right Hon Peter Brooke MP (Secretary of State for National Heritage) and the Right Hon Richard Ryder MP (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury).

The Right Hon Sir Denis Henry was sworn in as a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council.

Mr Nigel Nicholls was in attendance as Clerk of the Council.

The Right Hon Antony Newton MP had an audience of Her Majesty before the Council.

16 December: The Duke of York this evening attended a Dinner to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic at Mansion House, London EC2, and was received by the Lord Mayor (Alderman Paul Newall).

Captain Neil Blair RN was in attendance.

16 December: The Princess Royal today attended the Decommissioning Ceremony of HMS Jersey at Her Majesty's Naval Base, Rosyth, and was received by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant for Fife (the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine KT).

Mrs David Bowes-Lyon was in attendance.

ST JAMES'S PALACE

16 December: The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, today visited Duchy property in Cornwall, followed by a Luncheon at the Headland Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall, for tenants of the Western District.

Mr John James was in attendance.

KENSINGTON PALACE

16 December: The Princess of Wales, Patron, Centrepoint Soho, attended the Annual General Meeting and Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Year launch at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Mall, London SW1.

Captain Edward Musto RM was in attendance.

16 December: The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was present this evening at 'Joy to the World', held at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Invalid Children's Aid Nationwide, of which Her Royal Highness is President, the Royal Marsden Children's Cancer Unit and Save the Children.

The Hon Mrs Whitehead was in attendance.

YORK HOUSE

16 December: The Duchess of Kent this evening attended the Annual Christmas Celebration at Westminster Cathedral, Francis Street, London SW1.

Mrs Julian Tomkins was in attendance.

ROYAL ENGAGEMENTS

The Duke of Kent, Patron, British Menswear Guild, visits the London Badge and Button Company Ltd, Birmingham; as Vice-Chairman, British Overseas Trade Board, visits Land-Rover Vehicles, Solihull, Birmingham; and attends a concert of the Black Voices Choir at the Birmingham Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham.

The Queen's Gallery

The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace opens between 10am and 5pm.

Changing of the Guard

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment mounts the Queen's Life Guard at Horse Guards, 11am; F Company Scots Guards mounts the Queen's Guard, at Buckingham Palace, 11.30am, band provided by the Scots Guards.

Windsor Castle

The Precincts at Windsor Castle open between 10am and 4pm, and the State Apartments between 10.30am and 3pm.

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