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royal


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Having the status of or under the patronage of a king or queen. Royal is also a name for a paper size, 636 x 480 mm (in full metric royal), and a book size, 234 x 156 mm (also royal octavo) or 312 x 237 mm (in full royal quarto).

Royal Academy of Arts an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose was to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. Sir Joshua Reynolds was its first president and he instituted a highly influential series of annual lectures.

the Royal and Ancient St Andrews Golf Club, formed at St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, in 1754 as the Society of St Andrews Golfers; originally for ‘noblemen and gentlemen’. The name The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews was adopted in 1834 by permission of William IV, and in the 19th century the Club became the recognized authority on the rules of golf.

Royal Arms those used by the sovereign of a country, and generally including dynastic emblems and other traditional badges; the present Royal Arms of the United Kingdom, for example, show the leopards of England and lion rampant of Scotland with a harp for Ireland; the supporters, a lion and a unicorn, represent England and Scotland respectively, and the ground beneath the shield and its supporters has the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the Irish shamrock, and the Welsh leek. At earlier periods, they have included the lilies of France and the white horse of Hanover.

Royal Ascot a four-day race meeting held at Ascot in June, traditionally attended by the sovereign; it was initiated in 1711 by Queen Anne.

royal assent the assent of the sovereign to a Bill which has been passed by Parliament, and which thus becomes an Act of Parliament. Royal assent by the sovereign (in person or through commissioners of the Crown) is required before a Bill (or a Measure passed by the General Synod of the Church of England) can come into force as law, but it has not been withheld since 1707.

Royal Exchange originally founded by Thomas Gresham (1518–79); ‘Burse’ or Exchange was built in 1566, and received the name Royal Exchange from Queen Elizabeth; a name which was retained by the newer building which later housed it. In the 17th century, the two were sometimes respectively referred to as the Old Exchange and the New Exchange; the older building was burnt in the Great Fire of London. The second Royal Exchange, which was opened in 1669, was also destroyed by fire (in 1838); it was finally closed as an institution in 1939.

royal flush a straight flush including ace, king, queen, jack, and ten all in the same suit, which is the hand of the highest possible value in poker when wild cards are not in use; the term is recorded from the mid 19th century.

Royal Greenwich Observatory the official astronomical institution of Great Britain. It was founded at Greenwich in London in 1675 by Charles II, and the old buildings now form part of the National Maritime Museum. The Observatory headquarters were moved to Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex in 1948 and to Cambridge in 1990.

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