By Angela Harvey
We’re all looking forward to the first weekend in June when we will celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It will be a busy year for the Royal Family. The Queen, supported by other family members, will visit cities in all parts of the United Kingdom and other members of the Royal Family will make overseas visits representing the Queen in Commonwealth countries and other British territories.
At Living Paintings we have something for everyone for the Jubilee. For Adults we have The Royal Collection with a forward by HRH Prince of Wales. There are three royal portraits including a beautiful one of the Queen painted in 1954 by James Gunn. The other two are of Queen Elizabeth the First and Princess Victoire (though Landseer decided to paint her looking the other way!). There is also a lovely picture by Van Dyck of Charles I’s five eldest children, plus one very large dog and one very small one!
For children at Key Stages 2 and 3 we have a topical pack on Kings and Queens starting with King Alfred the Great and ending with our Queen. The topic for our Queen describes the day of her coronation all those years ago, when anyone with a TV invited friends who weren’t so lucky to join them to watch the celebrations.
For younger children we have the story of the Queens Knickers! What a panic there was when the trunk containing the knickers was sent to the wrong place! There is also an official Knicker Guide and pictures of the queen’s emergency knickers – one pair has a parachute stitched in and another pair has an inflateable life boat!! But which knickers should the queen wear to visit a school? You’ll have to borrow the Living Picture Book to find out!
Did you know ??? -
- The Queen is the second longest serving monarch. (Victoria was queen for 63 years)
- During her reign there have been 12 Prime Ministers (Tony Blair was the first Prime Minister to have been born during The Queen’s reign).
- There have been six Archbishops of Canterbury during The Queen’s reign and six Roman Catholic Popes.
- The Queen is currently patron of over 600 charities and organisations
- In 60 years, The Queen has undertaken 261 official overseas visits, including 96 State Visits, to 116 different countries. Many of The Queen’s official tours were undertaken on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
- The first football match The Queen attended was the 1953 FA Cup Final.
- Over the course of the reign, almost a one and a half million people have attended garden parties at Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyrood House
- The Queen has given out approximately 90,000 Christmas puddings to staff continuing the custom of King George V and King George VI.
- The Queen has sat for 129 portraits during her reign.
- In an average year, The Queen will host more than 50,000 people at banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace.
- The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign.
- The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have been married for 64 years. The Queen’s wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold.
- Queen Victoria was the last and to date the only British Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. The Queen, who will be aged 85 on Accession Day in 2012, will be the oldest monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. Queen Victoria was 77 when she celebrated hers in 1897.