Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

On 25 December 1952, Queen Elizabeth II made her first Christmas broadcast to the nation as sovereign on BBC radio. The tradition of the Christmas broadcast began in 1932 with the Queen’s grandfather, King George V. In 1952, at 15.07 p.m. the Queen broadcast from the study at Sandringham House, Norfolk. Families around Britain would listen to the Queen huddled around their radios, for some … Continue reading Queen Elizabeth II’s First Christmas Speech

Hampton Court Palace: Cumberland Art Gallery

Hampton Court Palace is famous for being the former home of Henry VIII – it also houses the wonderful Cumberland Art Gallery that displays treasures from the Royal Collection. The gallery occupies the four remaining rooms of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the younger son of George II. Take a look at some of my favourite works of art housed therein, including a painting of … Continue reading Hampton Court Palace: Cumberland Art Gallery

8 May 1945: Victory in Europe

On 8 May 1945 Europe celebrated the end of World War II, although it would be mid-August before the world saw peace with VJ Day (victory over the Japanese) when war in the Far-East was declared over. The German surrender was anticipated for days and General Jodl, the German Army Chief of Staff, finally signed their unconditional surrender at 2.41 a.m. on 7 May 1945. … Continue reading 8 May 1945: Victory in Europe

Royal Ciphers on Postboxes: a Brief Guide

Britain got her first post boxes during the 1850s. Apart from a short period when we posted mail in ‘anonymous’ post boxes, so called as they did not carry a royal cipher, (sometimes spelled cypher), the Post Office quickly settled on using the cipher of the reigning monarch on all letter boxes. Below left is the VR cipher that is found on Victorian pillar boxes, … Continue reading Royal Ciphers on Postboxes: a Brief Guide