Liveblogging the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant

You know what? I think everyone who’s been in the same job of 60 frigging years should get to ride down the Thames in a pimped out barge, don’t you? Up here in sunny Scotland, I’m watching BBC1’s coverage. We get shots of the queen arriving at Epsom yesterday dressed, appropriately, in royal blue. Beatrice looked like she was wearing a tablecloth. Shame. Reminder of … Continue reading Liveblogging the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant


Exactly 59 years ago today (just over a year after she inherited the throne), Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. And so, this weekend, we in the UK are celebrating the Queen’s diamond jubilee. Happy 60th anniversary, your majesty! The coronation itself was a fairly groundbreaking event: it was the first coronation to be televised, and subsequently the number of television-owning households in … Continue reading Jubilee

Happy Anniversary, Your Majesty!

Happy anniversary, Your Majesty and Your Royal Highness! On November 20, 1947, the Princess Elizabeth (later to be known as Queen Elizabeth II) and the newly minted Duke of Edinburgh tied the knot at Westminster Abbey. Unlike many other royal couples who found themselves trotting down the aisle, Elizabeth and Philip had known each other for years. They first met in 1934, when Elizabeth was … Continue reading Happy Anniversary, Your Majesty!

Monarchy-The Royal Family at Work: On the Move

Previously on Monarchy: The Queen and Prince Philip visited America, with minimal embarrassment.

It’s time for one of the Queen’s annual garden parties, so we catch up with one of the guests: Pearl, an Irishwoman who’s been invited for her contributions to charity. She talks at length about how hard it was to find a hat to go with her dress. Another guest, Anne, talks about her hat as well. It’s all about hats right now. Anne’s going to the party with her colleague, Margaret, who’s treating herself to a spa day in advance of the party.

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Monarchy-The Royal Family at Work: State Visit, Part II

When we last caught up with the royals, they were in the U.S. on a state visit. They’re still there, taking in the action at the Kentucky Derby for the weekend before heading to Washington, D.C. for the first white tie banquet of George Bush II’s presidency (don’t forget, this was filmed back in 2007).

The White House is getting all dressed up—new coat of paint and all. One of the painters explains that the color used on the White House is Whisper, not China White or Antique White. Good to know. The White House horticulturalist is overseeing the planting of flowers, so everything looks pretty. Everyone admits that there’s a lot to do, but they’re not stressed or worried about it at all. The First Lady’s staff seems to be largely in charge of what’s happening, and we get to see a fascinating meeting where they discuss the possibility of pictures in the State Dining room.

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Monarchy-The Royal Family at Work: To Virginia!

It seems that periodically (usually around the time the monarchy experiences a surge of popularity), there’s some vocal whiners that raise their voices and bleat: “But what do they do? The royals just laze around and we pay for it!” Well, actually, working members of the royal family do quite a lot, and you don’t pay for all of it (only expenses incurred on official business can really be paid by the taxpayers). The queen regularly carries out something in the neighborhood of 400 official engagements and audiences every year, which means she’s doing more than one of these per day. The woman’s 85 years old. How many 85-year-olds do you know who are still doing their day jobs? Which they’ve held their whole damn lives?

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House of Windsor

So long house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. On July 17, 1917, King George V issued a proclamation that officially changed the royal family’s last name to Windsor. The Saxe-Coburg-Gotha title came courtesy of Prince Albert and was proudly held throughout the Victorian and Edwardian age. But then World War I broke out and Germans (and the names they came with) weren’t terribly popular in Britain. Things got really … Continue reading House of Windsor

Opening Night

On June 12, 1997, Queen Elizabeth II re-opened the Globe Theatre in London, following its reconstruction about 230 meters from the original site. The original Globe was owned by Richard Burbage and his brother, Cuthbert, William Shakespeare, John Heminges, Augustine Phillips, and Thomas Pope. The theatre was built in 1599 using timber from an earlier theatre that was built by the Burbages’ father, James. The … Continue reading Opening Night