Good morning, Prep School family,
I hope that the last Bulletin of the term finds you well and that you had a lovely weekend? I had a very busy few days of sorting out, tidying up, washing and cleaning. I also managed to see some friends and have a lovely lunch with Arthur. We discussed all things Pokémon and ate pizza – perfect.
It is a long one this week, you might want to grab a cup of coffee/tea at this point!
Where have the past few weeks gone? It only seems like yesterday when we were getting ready at the Senior School for the end of the Easter term ‘Night of Jazz’ concert. Time certainly does fly and it flies even faster when you are having fun. By the time we come back from half term, there will only be 5 weeks until the end of the academic year and it will be the summer holidays. I cannot believe how much we squeeze into our days at school, there isn’t a day that goes by in the Prep School without something happening: a visitor, a trip, a concert, LAMDA lessons, music lessons, assemblies rehearsals, workshops, clubs, fixtures, residentials and tours to name but a few. School is so fast-paced and vibrant I love each and every day and I know that the children do too. We all embrace the variety and the change of activities, yet at the same time feeling safe with our routines and structure. Looking at everything that we have done in the past 5 weeks made me think about the Queen and all the changes that she will have lived through and witnessed since she took the throne 70 years ago. The world in which she rules is nothing like the world when she was crowned Queen. I think more so than any other monarch in history, the Queen has probably witnessed the most change and challenge in her rule. Whether you like the monarchy or not (and it is hard not to at the moment), the Queen is an amazing lady and to be still serving as Queen at the age of 96 is astounding. You can probably tell that I have a soft spot for the Queen, she looks just like my grandma used too – so much so, we used to call my grandma, HRH. Both the Queen and my grandma have lived through times of happiness, heartache, instability, change, adversity and privilege. I know you did not know my grandma but she did all of this with her head held high and always with a smile on her face, just like the Queen. I know I have mentioned before in previous Bulletins that my grandma is one of the main inspirations in my life. In all that I say and do, I always think of her and how she would have approached a situation.
We will all be celebrating the Queen’s jubilee with some celebration or another and it will be an event that you are telling your children and your children’s children about when you are old and grey. So, I could not let this Bulletin go by without a little Highclare celebration of the Queen. . .so here for your enjoyment/information/perusal are 70 facts about Her Majesty, one for each year of her reign!
- The Queen doesn’t have a passport. As British passports are issued in her name, she doesn’t need to possess one.
- The Queen has two birthdays. Her Majesty was born on 21 April 1926, but she celebrates her ‘official’ birthday in June with the annual Trooping the Colour parade. There is more guarantee of good weather then…
- The Queen is the only person in Britain who is allowed to drive without a license plate on her car.
- She doesn’t need a driver’s license either, as these are issued in her own name.
- The Queen doesn’t have an official surname. Her official title is ‘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’. No last name needed. Imagine writing that on your work in school!
- Queen Elizabeth can choose Britain’s Poet Laureate, who alongside an annual salary also gets paid with a barrel of sherry. In 2019, Simon Armitage was appointed Poet Laureate and he will serve for ten years.
- According to royal etiquette, when the Queen has finished eating, the meal is over.
- The Queen can’t vote, but under what is known as royal prerogative, she can dismiss a prime minister.
- The Queen is an Arsenal fan. Although in her position as monarch she must be above politics, that doesn’t stop her from having a favourite football team…
- The Queen cannot get arrested!
- The Queen does not have to pay taxes although she does.
- The Queen is partial to a traditional American hamburger except she likes cranberries instead of ketchup.
- It is believed that the Queen has never eaten a McDonalds.
- The Queen likes to be in bed at 11pm every night – she likes 8 hours sleep.
- The Queen is an avid reader.
16. The Queen speaks fluent French.
17. The Queen only carries cash in her purse on Sundays. This when she donates money to her church.
18. The Queen has worn the same nail polish since 1989. She wears Essie’s classic pale pink shade, Ballet Slippers.
19. Her Majesty has a famously fun sense of humour and is reportedly able to imitate the sound of a Concorde jet landing.
20. The Queen has only ever given one sit-down interview, with the BBC in 2018, and has been dubbed ‘Elizabeth the Silent’ by historian David Starkey.
21. The Queen and her sister Princess Margaret went out incognito to join the celebrations of the end of the Second World War on 8 May 1945
- 22 The Queen’s love of horses began at the age of four when she was given her first pony, a Shetland named Peggy, by her grandfather King George V.
23. The Queen has been gifted an assortment of rare animals during her reign, including an elephant, a jaguar and a pair of beavers. Whenever she is given a rare animal she donates it to London Zoo.
24. The Queen owns all of the unmarked swans in the UK. During the annual ‘Swan Upping’, the Queen’s official Swan Marker counts all the swans along a portion of the River Thames.
25. The Queen owns around 200 racing pigeons.
26. The Queen breeds horses, and has about 25 horses training at the royal studs every season.
27. The Queen loves corgis and has owned 30 during her time as monarch.
28. The Queen’s racing colours are a purple body with gold braid, scarlet sleeves and black velvet cap with gold fringe.
- The Queen has also been the accidental owner of a ‘dorgi’, when one of her corgis mated with Princess Margaret’s Dachshund, Pipkin.
- There were 10,000 encrusted pearls on the Queen’s wedding gown, designed by Sir Norman Hartnell; the design was approved less than three months before the wedding.
- The Queen’s tiara snapped on her wedding day and the court jeweller had to be summoned immediately to repair it. Luckily it was fixed in time for the ceremony.
- The Queen paid for her wedding dress with ration coupons, as the country was still recovering from the Second World War. She saved up her own coupons and received 200 from the government to pay for her iconic wedding dress. Hundreds of people sent the Princess their coupons, but they had to be returned as it would have been illegal to use them.
- The wedding took place just four months after the engagement was announced.
- Before the wedding, Prince Philip was created The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.
- The bridal bouquet consisted of white orchids and included a sprig of myrtle, a tradition that was started by Queen Victoria.
- The day after the wedding, the bouquet was sent back to Westminster Abbey where it was laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, another royal tradition.
- The wedding ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine, near Dolgellau.
- Queen Elizabeth has 30 godchildren, from Princess Diana’s brother to the Crown Prince of Yugoslavia.
- Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip were third cousins.
- The Duke of Edinburgh affectionately called his wife, the Queen, ‘cabbage.’
- The Queen has eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
- As well as being the longest-serving monarch in British history, the Queen was also the longest-married monarch, having been married to Prince Philip for 73 years.
- The Queen holidays in Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands every summer, and many of the Royal Family join her.
- The Royal Family exchange presents on Christmas Eve, in keeping with the family’s German heritage, and are said to give each other joke presents rather than lavish items.
- There have been six Roman Catholic Popes during the Queen’s 70-year reign.
- The Queen has seen 14 different British prime ministers come into power during her time as monarch, from Winston Churchill to Boris Johnson.
- The Queen was the first British monarch to visit China, paying a visit to the country in 1986.
- monarchs have preceded Queen Elizabeth since William the Conqueror in 1066.
- The Queen has reigned for so long that 4/5 of UK residents were not alive when she ascended the throne.
- In 1969, the Queen, along with other world leaders, send messages of goodwill to the moon. These were transferred onto a silicone disc, which still sits on the moon’s surface today.
- During her visit to Australia in 1970, the Queen set a precedent of the royal ‘walkabout’, shaking hands with the public rather than appearing at a distance, changing the way official visits were conducted.
- The Queen hosts an average of 50,000 people at Buckingham Palace every year at receptions, banquets and garden parties – that’s an awful lot of washing up!
- There is a private ATM in the basement of Buckingham Palace.
- The Queen’s breakfast table is laid with cereals – she reportedly favours Special K – in Tupperware containers.
- The Queen is not a fan of garlic, and so garlic is one thing you’ll never see on the menu at Buckingham Palace.
- Buckingham Palace was bombed in the Second World War while King George VI and the Queen Mother were in residence, on September 13, 1940.
- Buckingham Palace’s clockmaker maintains over 350 clocks and watches, while two horological conservators wind the clocks at the Palace every week.
- Princess Elizabeth was evacuated to Windsor Castle with her sister Margaret during the Blitz.
- The Queen became a homeowner at just six years old, when the people of Wales gifted her a house in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge. It was named Y Bwthyn Bach, which means ”Little Cottage”.
- Outdoorsy Princess Elizabeth started her survival-skills training as a Girl Guide.
- She was also a Sea Ranger as a teenager.
- Princess Elizabeth first met Philip Mountbatten, later her husband, when she was just eight years old.
- The Queen is a fully trained mechanic, having signed up to the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, and worked as a mechanic and truck driver during the Second World War.
- The place where the Queen was born, 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, is now a Chinese restaurant.
- The Queen used the London Underground for the first time in May 1939, accompanied by her sister Princess Margaret and her governess Marion Crawford.
- The Queen has a line on the London Underground named in her honour – The Jubilee line was named for her silver jubilee in 1977.
- The Queen first sent an email in 1976
- And published her first Instagram post in 2019!
- Even the monarch can go undercover sometimes. On a recent low-key trip to Scotland, she met some American tourists while walking. When the tourists asked if she lived locally, she mentioned that she had a house nearby, and when asked if she’d ever met the Queen she simply pointed at her security and said, “No, but he has!”
And last but my absolute favourite of all of these facts
- The Queen drinks a glass of champagne every night before bed . . the woman is a legend!
Congratulations, Your Majesty, on your Platinum Jubilee – what a life and what a reign.
Long Live the Queen.
With love from all of us at Highclare Prep School.
Quote of the week: “When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of its audience still sleeps – John Lennon
Well-being tasks for this week: These tasks for are for a Meaningful May;
Tuesday 24 May – Make a choice today that has a positive impact on someone
Wednesday 25 May – Take the time to find out what really makes a friend happy
Thursday 26 May – Remember an event in your life that was really meaningful
Friday 27 May – Focus on how your actions make a difference to others
Saturday 28 May – Do something special today
Sunday 29 May – Care for the environment in a way that you haven’t tried before
Monday 30 May – Share a quote you find inspiring to give someone a boost
Jokes of the week:
What’s a royal pardon?
What you say when a Queen burbs!
Why is England the wettest country?
The queen has reigned for years!
Where do kings and queens get crowned?
On the head!
Who made King Arthur’s round table?
What has six legs, four ears and a suit of armour?
king on horseback!
When is a piece of wood like a king?
When it’s the ruler!
Sleeps til Santa: 214 days
5 things that I am grateful for or looking forward to this week:
Can you try this simple exercise in gratitude and positivity?
- I am looking forward to watching the Championship play off finals on Sunday – Come on you Reds!
- I am looking forward to having Amelie and Arthur for a sleepover at the weekend.
- I am looking forward to a Saturday morning coffee and book read in bed.
- I am grateful for a lovely half term at school.
- I am grateful for all of the teachers for all of the hard work that has gone and continues to go into the children’s reports.
Have a lovely week and a super half term, see you in June for the last half term of the academic year!
Lots of love,
PS Apologies for the random 16 next to fact number 22 – I cannot get rid of it! I have tried and tried. . .