Royal Baby Thrills Nation
PRINCE GEORGE Alexander Louis may have arrived a bit late, but his welcome into this world was warm indeed, with gun salutes from the Tower of London and raucous celebrations around Britain. We are sure that British Heritage readers join in offering their congratulations to the young family. For the first time in history, the United Kingdom has three generations of kings-in-waiting. For the time being, the significance of that is lost on the prince sleeping in his mother’s arms.
[caption id="Dateline_img1" align="aligncenter" width="986"]
Prince Charles Unveils 60 Coronation Meadows
[caption id="Dateline_img2" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
AT THE PRINCE OF WALES country seat of Highgrove, Prince Charles has introduced a carefully tended wildflower meadow, and a scheme to promote 60 such meadows across the country. Dubbed “coronation meadows” to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, the project calls attention to the fact that Britain has lost 97 percent of such meadows since the 1930s—impacting both native plant species and the wildlife such habitats support.
Bottom’s Up On the M40
The pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon has been given the go-ahead to open the first British pub at a motorway service area. The new £2 million 24-hour pub and restaurant will open on the M40 at the Beaconsfield service area in Buckinghamshire. Anti-drink-driving campaigners are not amused, calling the plans a “disaster waiting to happen.”
[caption id="Dateline_img3" align="aligncenter" width="526"]
Crystal Grotto at Painshill Park Restored
After a year-long restoration project, the 18th-century crystal grotto at the 158-acre landscape garden of Painshill Park in Cobham, Surrey, is open to the garden’s 80,000 visitors a year. Stalactites built of crystal create the stunning folly now protected with Grade I listed status.
[caption id="Dateline_img4" align="aligncenter" width="496"]
Survey Says: Sheffield for Happiness
Recent polling has found Sheffield topping the list of Britain’s happiest cities, where a third of the folk wake up with a smile every day. Factors most often cited in keeping the South Yorkshire citizens upbeat include doing good deeds for others, sex, family time and being given a compliment. Edinburgh placed second on the list and Brighton third.
[caption id="Dateline_img5" align="aligncenter" width="496"]
Happy Birthday, Fred Bassett
Millions of fans around the world join in wishing Fred Bassett a happy 50th birthday. Created by cartoonist Alex Graham, the loyal and affectionate Bassett hound made his debut in the Daily Mail on July 9, 1963. Still going strong after five decades, the daily strip is now drawn by Graham’s daughter Arran.
Nation Celebrates Murray’s Tennis Championship
[caption id="Dateline_img6" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
NOT SINCE 1936 had a British player won a men’s singles title at Wimbledon. For the first time in 77 years, Andy Murray provided the home crowd with a hometown hero, defeating Novak Djokovic in straights sets to claim Wimbledon victory. Following his Olympic Gold last summer, the win cements 26-year-old Murray’s place in the tennis pantheon, and according to PM Cameron may lead to a knighthood for the young Scot.
Grandmother Intimidated for Making Cheese
[caption id="Dateline_img7" align="aligncenter" width="727"]
FOR 25 YEARS, the massive eight-pound wheels of handmade Double Gloucester cheese used in the famous annual Cooper’s Hill cheese rolling event have been lovingly made by farmer Diana Smart. This year, three police officers showed up at her farm to threaten the 86-year-old grandmother that if she donated the cheeses, Smart would be “wholly responsible” for any injuries resulting from the event—now “unofficial” after 200 years because of safety concerns.
60th Coronation Celebration at Westminster Abbey
AFTER ALL THE HOOP-LA of the Diamond Jubilee commemorations, the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation this summer has been a relatively low-key affair. The coronation was officially celebrated in an anniversary service at Westminster Abbey, with a 2,000-strong invited congregation, including 25 members of the Royal family. The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, praised the Queen for her devotion and self-sacrifice on “a path she did not chose, yet to which she was called by God.”
[caption id="Dateline_img8" align="aligncenter" width="727"]
Seaside Brighton Blighted by Rubbish
[caption id="Dateline_img9" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
A STRIKE BY LOCAL BINMEN left the popular seaside resort of Brighton in a pile of garbage for more than a week—just at the start of the summer season with perfect beach-side weather and temps in the 80s in mid-June. Overflowing bins and boxes trashed the seafront, lined the streets and smelled. No one won the strike, but Brighton lost.
This Time It’s the Heat!
Ah, no wonder English weather is a favorite topic of conversation. Last summer, Britain experienced almost steady rain from April to October. There was no complaining about a lack of summer this year, as England enjoyed record-breaking temperatures during a long spell from late June through most of July, with unheard-of temps in the 80s for days on end.
[caption id="Dateline_img10" align="aligncenter" width="496"]
Treasure Trove in a Country Mansion
They’re calling it the house that time forgot. A vast collection of antiquities has been discovered in an 18th-century mansion in Northumberland. The Hermitage was acquired by a World War I general in 1922. After his death, his three unmarried children lived there quietly until the last survivor died this past year. Little had been changed over the years, and auctioneers have unpacked valuables including champagne from 1919 still in its original packing cases, military uniforms looking as if they’d just been taken off, children’s toys left intact in the nursery and 28 rooms of furnishings and art. The vast contents will be auctioned off in 1,500 lots in Newcastle later in the summer.
[caption id="Dateline_img11" align="aligncenter" width="496"]
Middle Eastern Food Soars in Popularity
Supermarket giant Waitrose is just one source reporting a surge in the sales of traditional Middle Eastern foods. Over the past year, dips such as hummus and baba ganoush have leaped in consumer popularity; preserved lemon sales are up 72 percent; tahini has jumped 40 percent and the spicy sauce harissa has seen sales increase 62 percent.
[caption id="Dateline_img12" align="aligncenter" width="496"]
Lennon Lyrics a National Treasure
A rare collection of Beatles artifacts and manuscripts, some never seen by the public, has been donated to the British Library by Beatles’ biographer Hunter Davies. The author wanted to keep his collection intact and gift it to the nation. Among the artifacts are John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
Tate Britain Acquires Constable Masterpiece
[caption id="Dateline_img13" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
AMONG THE ARTIST’S most important paintings, John Constable’s “Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows” has been purchased by the Tate for £23.1 million. The six-foot canvas painted in 1831 was in danger of being sold abroad, where it might have fetched as much as £40 million at auction. A series of major grants and a consortium of regional museums enabled the Tate to raise the funds. After being shown at the Tate through the end of the year, Constable’s painting will tour the UK.
The Queen Wins Gold Cup
[caption id="Dateline_img14" align="aligncenter" width="890"]
HER MAJESTY looks pleased, as well she should. For the first time in Royal Ascot’s 207-year history, a reigning monarch has won the premier trophy of the meeting: the Gold Cup. The Queen’s horse, Estimate, romped home as the 7-2 favorite in the Ladies Day race. Since Her Majesty could hardly present the trophy to herself, Prince Andrew awarded the Gold Cup to his excited mother.