Since ascending to the throne in 1952, the monarch has seen 12 Prime Ministers serve Britain, and lived through another 12 US Presidents. For at least 12 days — between her passing, the funeral and beyond — Britain will grind to a halt. It'll cost the British economy billions in lost earnings. The stock markets and banks will close for an indefinite period. And both the funeral and the subsequent coronation will become formal national holidays, each with an estimated economic hit to GDP of between £1.2 and £6 billion, to say nothing of organisational costs.
Do you know your purse history? Would you like to visit a museum of purses? Did you know the world's largest handbag was sewn by a group called The Pickles? Do you have $200,000 for the world's most expensive handbag? Maybe your purse doesn't contain what's in Qyeen Elizabeth's handbag, but that doesn't mean it can't contain the world's largest wallet. If you do love handbags and purses, maybe just take a trip through a set of lovely examples of the craft.
"It would have been the Queen’s Speech to end them all. At midday on Friday 4 March 1983, the monarch was due to address the nation to announce that Britain was at war and – due to the “deadly power of abused technology” – a nuclear conflict was at hand." But it was only part of Wintex-Cimex 83, a large-scale annual NATO war game. This is just one example of speeches that were written in case of the worst, but never given. [more inside]
Bryan Adams, the photographer. Most people know Bryan Adams as the Heartland Rocker from Canada who scored hit after ubiquitous hit in the meat-and-potatoes rock and pop-rock mold in the 1980s and early '90s, a la "Summer of '69" and "Everything I Do (I Do It For You." Comparatively few, however, know about his second career, as a successful editorial and advertising photographer who has work published in Vogue, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar and many other glossy magazines, and shown in exhibits in worldwide. [more inside]
"I say, Philip, let's order a pizza and watch a movie with the corgis!" Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60 years on the throne.
Royal Uproar? It started with the question of whether President Obama would bow (yt) to Queen Elizabeth. Then, during the G20 Summit, President Obama appeared to bow before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. While some appreciate the gesture, conservatives are outraged. But the White House denies that there was any bow at all. What do you think about the greeting (yt)? Could it have been something else?
The Queen as Mickey Mouse? A look at Britain's Royal Family as a tourist attraction with the Queen as its figurehead akin to Mickey Mouse and Disneyland in the US.
The Queen's Golden Jubilee in the UK - did anyone see it? If you were in the UK, it's likely you would have seen at least some of the amazing celebrations of the Royal Family - four days of partying, including a huge pop/rock concert with loads of famous names, a classical concert, pomp and pagentry in a 4 ton gold chariot and a huge carnival drew 14 million TV viewers a night, and millions more went to see the royal knees-up, knocking the royal critics for six. Even Ozzy Osbourne sang a number, bless him. The final royal flypast rounded off the most amazing scenes I've ever seen. Brits - does this show of affection make your bosom swell with pride? Others - are you jealous, or thankful you weren't there?
Queen Mum is dead. Gawd bless her. We all knew it was coming this year or next, now it has come.
The Queen's latest portrait was bound to cause controversy, what with the artist being Lucien Freud. Today a photograph of it was plastered over the front pages of nearly every major newspaper. The tabloid press are, as ever, 'up in arms' about it. I rather like it, but the palace isn't commenting as yet.
Queen to issue spam. Since 1932 the UK monarchy has broadcast a christmas message (on TV since 1957). From next year, it may also be sent in "shortened form", by SMS. Meanwhile SMS usage has increased more than double in the last year, and British companies are considering banning unsolicited text messages to mobile phones. I've never received an SMS spam, but I'm not looking forward to it.
The truth about what's really happening Quoting my cow-orker, who's going to see him speak next week, David Icke "used to be a professional footballer with Coventry City, until retiring with arthritis. Then he had a minor epiphany, and came to the realisation that the world is run by blood-drinking alien reptiles, who can disguise themselves as humans -- Queen Elizabeth and George W Bush are two such examples." Do all-encompassing conspiracy theories come any better than this?