Tag Archives: The Queen

What’s in the Queen’s handbag?

Queen Elizabeth II enjoyng the sun. Picture by Bill Ingalls

Although it may be a challenge to guess what is in any woman’s handbag, it is safe to assume we all carry the basic essentials; phone, purse and keys. But what if we didn’t need to carry money, there was no need for us to own a phone or even house keys? That is the everyday life of HRH Queen Elizabeth. So what exactly does Her Majesty carry in her handbag?

The Diamond Jubilee will celebrate 60 years of the Queen’s reign. Although it will not be officially celebrated until June, there have already been some occasions, competitions and discussions over the event.

Her Majesty earned approval with the locals by restoringPerth to city status earlier this month, but there has still been much debate over her keynote speech. Given last week to a large audience including the current and two previous prime ministers, the Queen avoided the topic of Scottish independence. Speaking instead on the “spirit of neighbourliness and celebration of own communities” and of the “resilience, ingenuity and tolerance” of the British people. HRH went on to state she would remain as head of state and joked of her dealings with the past 12 prime ministers.

In the run up and during the Diamond Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will be touring the UK, along with her infamous handbag.

There have been plenty of guesses over time, and even a book, which pieces together many clues and hints over the contents of the bag. ‘What’s in the Queen’s handbag and other royal secrets’ by Phil Dampier and Ashley Walton claims the Queen carries everything with her from good luck charms given to her by her children to family photographs.  It even goes on to claim there is a secret language conveyed for the Queen to comminute with her staff.  If the Queen places her handbag on the table at dinner it signifies she wishes the event to finish for example. One of the most popular claims, both inside the book and out, is a hook the Queen carries especially for her handbag; this is designed to keep her bag from ever touching the floor.

From the mouths of babes:

To help investigate this mystery I ask primary school pupils aged between seven and eight what they think is in the Queen’s handbag. The most popular answers were money, make-up and an iphone2. However, others believe HRH carries; a spare hat, a shiny crown and even her favourite corgi, while one boy believes the Queen “doesn’t need any money in her purse cause she can have anything she wants.”

Top Five Facts you didn’t know about the Queen:

  1. The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, starting with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944. Her Majesty currently has three corgis – Monty,Willowand Holly.
  2. In 60 years, The Queen has undertaken 261 official overseas visits, to 116 different countries.
  3. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have sent approximately 45,000 Christmas cards during The Queen’s reign.
  4. Over the reign, Her Majesty has given regular audiences to 12 Prime Ministers. Ranging from Winston Churchill to the present David Cameron.
  5. Unusual live gifts given to The Queen on foreign tours include: two tortoises given to The Queen in the Seychelles in 1972; a seven-year-old bull elephant called “Jumbo” given by the President of Cameroon in 1972 to mark The Queen’s Silver Wedding, and two black beavers given after a Royal visit to Canada.

Read the Queen’s complete keynote speech here

See all the pictures of the Queen and her audience during her speech here

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall set to marry in Edinburgh

Cannongate Kirk Edinburgh Source: Telegraph

By Celeste Carrigan

As Royal Wedding fever starts to set in across the UK, Scotland is starting to prepare for the 2nd of Royal Marriages to happen this Year. Princess Ann’s daughter Zara Phillips and fiancé rugby player Mike Tindall have chosen to hold their nuptials in Edinburgh. The summer wedding will be a small family affair, with the ceremony happening at Cannogate Kirk on the Royal Mile . The reception will take place at the Queen’s Scottish residence Palace of Holyroodhouse. Further updates on this story to follow in the tv news bulletin on Edinburgh Napier News.

Traditionalists voice opposition in debate over women bishops in the Church of England

The Queen presiding over ninth general synod in London, courtesy of the cofe.anglican.org

By Catherine Mumford

The Church of England’s general synod drafted legislation yesterday permitting the ordination of women bishops. 

The topic has evoked major debate between traditionalists and progressives.  The concerns over the “feminisation” of the church have spurred 50 traditionalist clergy and 5 bishops to convert to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Queen, the Church’s supreme governor, made mention of the clear tension in her address, saying synod had “many issues to resolve” in order to remain “equipped for the effective pursuit of its mission and ministry.” 

The broad traditionalist view is most strongly supported by the Biblical model of males in the leadership position, both in the household and the church.  Indeed Keith Newton, the Bishop of Richborough, and a recent convert to Catholocism, points to research that says if one wants children to go to church it needs to with both mom and dad.  He worries that men will not feel comfortable worshipping under female leadership, saying “So church becoming more feminine could be a problem.”  

Progressives, on the whole, see the ordination of women in the Church of England as a natural progression from the first female priest being ordained sixteen years ago.  Women now make up a third of the clergy.  That day marked a significant shift in the Church and was puncuated with similarly volatile dialogue as can be seen today. 

The legislation is connected to a broad range of concerns and hopes alike.  Traditionalist Dr. Reverend Peter Sandlon voiced that he would be reluctant to serve under a woman bishop, but his chief concern is that the growing influence of women clergy will lead to the ordination of openly gay bishops

The vicar of St Mary’s in Primrose Hill, Marjorie Brown says women have helped make the Church less starchy and remote for both men and women, and brought it closer to the society it serves.  She noted further that  “female clergy are trying to find more inclusive language and imagery. We’re not trying to change the Church, just to be more inclusive.” 

Those on both sides of the issue will continue to fight for what they see as the righteous decision.  The Queen reassured the 480 laity, clergy, and bishops in London that “Christian history suggests that times of growth and spiritual vigour have often coincided with periods of challenge and testing.”

Millions gather for Remembrance Day

By Kathleen Oliver

Yesterday, Remembrance Day proceedings were held in cities across Britain. Millions of people gathered to remember service men and women who have laid down their lives in past and present wars.

The Queen led proceedings yesterday
The Queen led proceedings yesterday

In London, the Queen led proceedings at the Cenotaph where political leaders also gathered to reflect on Britain’s war dead. A two minute silence was held at 11am. Other members of the Royal Family laid wreaths.

In Edinburgh, at the cities Stone of Remembrance First Minister Alex Salmond laid a wreath and later attended a ceremony at St Giles’ Cathedral.

Since last year’s Remembrance Day Britain has lost forty four soldiers. It is also significant that this year, it is the 90th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War One in 1918. The red poppies appear to be even more poignant this year.