This Week in London – Welcoming the Lunar New Year; the royals on film; and, new ‘benches of reflection’…

Festivities to celebrate Chinese New Year in London’s Chinatown area and surrounding streets in 2018. PICTURE: Ben Gingell/iStockphoto.

The Lunar New Year will be celebrated at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich this Saturday. The free programme of events includes family workshops on dragon and lion dancing, a talk on some of the objects from the museum’s collection that have Chinese collections and a Tea Ceremony demonstration. The event is free but booking advised. The London Chinatown Chinese Association announced earlier that for the second year running, the usual celebrations will not take place in the West End. For more on events at the National Maritime Museum, head to

Three ‘benches of reflection’ have been installed at Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park in association with suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to encourage people to talk and get advice if they’re struggling. The bench installations are part of a campaign under which Netflix has donated 25 benches to local authorities and the City of London Corporation to coincide with the release of the third series of Rick Gervais’ After Life which has regularly been filmed at Hampstead Heath. Each bench is inscribed with a quote from season three – “Hope is Everything” – each also has a QR code which will lead them to resources from CALM.

PH301-1987 HRH Princess Margaret (1930 – 2002), aged 19, full-length portrait with studio backdrop; by Sir Cecil Beaton (1904 – 80) English; 1949. C-Type colour print.

Members of the public are being asked to share photographs taken during royal engagements, including those which may show what it’s like to be part of one of the famous ‘royal walkabouts’. Up to 20 of the photographs will be selected by Kensington Palace curators and a guest judge from royal jewellers Garrard to be shown alongside those taken by the likes of Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson, Rankin and Annie Leibovitz in a new exhibition – Life Through a Royal Lens – opening at the palace on 4th March. You’ll have to be quick – photographers only have until 31st January to submit their photos via the Historic Royal Palaces website

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