Today, The Queen, or to give her her official title, Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Her other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, becomes the longest-reigning monarch in the 1,000+ year history of the British monarchy but she says it will be ‘business as usual’. Should we be celebrating?
Queen Elizabeth is about to overtake her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Victoria reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes and Elizabeth breaks the 114 year-old record today. She is also the oldest reigning monarch in the world at 89 years-old after 90 year-old King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died in January.
Surely today is a day for celebrating such an impressive achievement? Apparently not according to the official word from the Palace. There will be no gold coaches, no commemorative stamps, no street parties, no Red Arrows fly-bys and no Union Jack-adorned cardboard periscopes poking out from behind railings on The Mall. She will spend the day at Balmoral Castle with her family.
The Royal Mint is releasing five versions of a limited edition £20 coin depicting The Queen as she has aged on our coinage but as far as we can tell, there’s not much else happening.
In the UK, there are people who love the Royal Family and what they stand for and those who consider them to be an antiquated establishment who have no place in modern society but as the longest reigning monarch of the 40 monarchs since the Norman Conquest, let’s take a moment to reflect what the royals, and the Queen in particular, have done for this country.
Buckingham Palace attracts over 15 million visitors a year; it’s estimated that the eight royal parks attracted close to 80 million visitors in 2013-14 and millions more come to Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle and St. James’s Palace. We have an incredibly rich royal heritage and their very presence is vital to draw visitors to the UK.
The Queen has given her life to public service. Barely a day goes by without an official engagement, state dinner or royal occasion and if she doesn’t want a fuss made of the fact that she’s the longest serving monarch in British history then it’s something we as a nation should respect. She is, according to royal author Matthew Dennison, ‘the most popular figure in British public life, acclaimed by world leaders and admired across the globe’ and few can argue.
If you went to or saw even a few minutes of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, you’ll know how much she is adored by the British public. More than a million people with aforementioned cardboard periscopes filled The Mall with an audience of billions on TV. Whatever you’re doing today, take a minute to think about The Queen, recently described by Tobias Ellwood MP as ‘a reassuring and enduring source of stability, security and inspiration; a permanent anchor in a fast-moving world’.
If you’re one of the millions coming to London this year, don’t forget that Euracom has a fantastic choice of apartments in London to suit all budgets and when you’re here, don’t forget to pay The Queen a visit, she’ll be delighted to see you!
Just for fun, here are some surprising facts about The Queen!
- She speaks fluent French and doesn’t use interpreters for audiences or state occasions
- She’s the only person in Britain who can drive without a licence or number plates
- She has sent over 175,000 telegrams and letters to people turning 100
- The first football match she attended was the 1953 FA Cup Final
- During her reign there’s been seven Archbishops of Canterbury, seven Popes and 12 Prime Ministers
- She is 5’4”, or 1m 60cm
- Her first Corgi, a gift for her 18th birthday, was called Susan
- As a child, her nickname was Lilibet – she couldn’t pronounce Elizabeth properly
- She is the only British monarch in history trained to change a spark plug
at 9 Sep 2015
Well, what month! So much has happened since we last spoke it’s hard to know where to start!
How about with some happy Royal news? The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – aka Wills and Kate – had a baby daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana on the 2nd May. She immediately slots in fourth in the line of succession behind her old man, her uncle Harry and her brother George and she weighed 8lb 3oz. As an aside, Charlotte was ranked 21st in the ONS list of most popular girls’ names in 2013. Who wants to bet that it will be higher in 2015?
We also marked the 70th anniversary of VE Day on May 8th.
Here are some interesting VE Day facts for you:
- 20,000 people gathered outside Buckingham Palace to welcome King George VI and the Royal Family, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, on VE Day
- On VE Day, 13,000 British POWs were brought home on 200 Lancaster bombers
- It took 4h 19m from the time the Germans signed the official Instrument of Surrender at Allied HQ in Reims on May 7th (2.41am) to the time Churchill was informed the war was officially over (7.00am)
- Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force secretary Susan Hibbert took 20 hours to type the official surrender document signed by the Allied Expeditionary Force, the Soviets, the French and of course the Germans. It consisted of just 272 words but with everyone putting in their two-penneth, it took a while. When she died in February, we said goodbye to the last British witness to the German surrender
Street parties were recreated with the food, clothes, music and entertainment of the time but as we celebrated, we must spare a thought for those who perished on the battlefields, in the cities and in the concentration camps. Britain lost 450,000 in the war (with an estimated 65-80m dead worldwide) and that should never be forgotten.
Last week, to top off a memorable month for Britain we had the General Election. In the weeks leading up to it, it became clear that no party would get the requisite number of votes needed for a majority and a mandate to do what they liked. Would the Tories have to form another coalition with the Lib Dems? Would Labour have to join up with the Scottish Nationals? Would UKIPs Nigel Farage get the seat he was so desperate for?
The answer to all three was a resounding ‘no’.
Both the Liberal Democrats and Labour were so embarrassingly thrashed, within hours of the resounding Tory victory, both Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband resigned and then when Farage was trounced in South Thanet by the Tories (with not an inconsiderable helping hand from comedian Al Murray’s Free United Kingdom Party, aka FUKP), he also threw the towel in.
So there we have it, a Tory majority and a mandate to do all the things they said they are going to do. Let’s wait and see shall we…?
You know summer’s coming when the football season finishes. At the time of writing, the Champions League final will be contested by Barcelona and Juventus, bringing back the union of Luis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini, where the latter was bitten by the former in the World Cup, and the union of Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra, where the former was found guilty of racially abusing the latter. Should be a good game!
We also know when summer’s coming when our phones are ringing off the hook. As ever, our city in the summer is a fantastic place to be and we have some fantastic deals on holiday apartments in London. Whether you’re coming as a tourist for a few weeks or as a student for the year, have a look at our selection of vacation and student apartments in London.
Here at Euracom, we have been arranging student accommodation in London for a quarter-century and as well as some great apartments at great prices, we make sure that you are well taken care of. If there’s anything you need or any help we can give you while you’re in the UK, please just ask us. It’s what we’re here for!
If you are looking for outstanding accommodation in London, make Euracom your first phone call (or email!). You can get us on 020 8420 7666 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to making sure you have a fantastic summer staying in a Euracom apartment!
See you in June!
at 1 May 2015