Today’s Guardian headlines “Diamond jubilee: it’s a royal washout – but one million pay tribute to Queen” reflects two quintessentially British phenomena. Firstly, British weather lived up to its reputation with the heavens opening to soak the millions around the country who were celebrating this epic event. Together with other members of the Royal Family the Queen kept a stiff upper lip as she braved the rain without an Umbrella to watch the 1,000 boats floating down the Thames in her honour.
And secondly, the British Monarchy was out in full force with all its pomp and glory. Since the coronation of Elizabeth II on 2nd June 1953, 60 years ago, the majority of the British people have backed their sovereign with pride. After all, it is one of the only things that our special allies across the pond can’t claim to do “bigger and better”. There have of course been a few hiccups along the way. Most memorably, the public accusations of the royals’ lack of heart surrounding the tragic death of Princess Diana. Tony Blair’s role in regaining public support for the Queen was crucial here. Interesting to note that Tony Blair was actually born in 1953 – a month before the Queen’s Coronation. The Queen has in fact appointed 12 prime ministers during her reign starting with Winston Churchill.
Breaking records is also a favourite British obsession as documented in the Guinness world of records books and the more recent bizarre World Records Show currently screening on TV. The Queen is doing an admirable job in this field too. She is closely on the heels of Queen Victoria, Britain’s longest reigning monarch who ruled for 63 years. The Queen, now 85, is the oldest monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. Back in 1897 when Queen Victoria celebrated hers she was a mere 77.
More obscure facts which were revealed from official sources in connection with the Diamond Jubilee include that the Queen has 30 godchildren and has had just as many corgis. In the age-old tradition started by King George V, she has gifted approximately 90,000 Christmas puddings to her staff during her reign. During this 60 year period, the Queen has undertaken 261 official overseas visits to 116 different countries receiving gifts such as an elephant called “Jumbo” in 1972.
The whole nation seems to be caught up in the flurry of national pride. To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, scientists at the University of Glasgow have created the world’s smallest commemorative coin, made out of a tiny sliver of diamond. A highlight of the Jubilee celebrations is a network of 2,012 beacons which will be lit in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Commonwealth. And just in case British weather causes another wash out, additional beacons totalling 4,000 will be lit around the world to mark the Diamond Jubilee and the fan the flame of pride which the British monarchy embodies.
Sorry, this was another blog article unrelated to translation.