Posts tagged “npr

God Save The Queen

Posted on June 3, 2012

STF/AFP/Getty Images

STF/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II marked her sixtieth year on the British throne this weekend. In honor of her Diamond Jubilee, here are some articles and other pop cultural tidbits about her, the celebrations and the royal family in general.

1. Daily Beast editor Tina Brown shared with NPR this week her must-reads about the Queen. Included are a Newsweek article by the historian Simon Schama and a biography by Robert Lacey.

2. I’m partial to the Oscar award-winning film “The King’s Speech,” which stars my imaginary husband Colin Firth as King George VI of England. George VI had a stuttering problem, but with the help of the eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue, the king was able to overcome it and deliver a wartime speech that united his nation when it was on the brink of war. His daughter, Elizabeth, was proclaimed queen in 1952.

3. Director Stephen Frears cast the inimitable Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II in his 2006 movie “The Queen.” The movie looks at how the British royals dealt with Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and new prime minister Tony Blair’s pledge to modernize the country. Mirren won a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of the aging monarch.

4. The Christian Science Monitor describes the Jubilee celebrations along the Thames River in London, from the thousand-ship flotilla and the hundreds of thousands of people who braved the rain to watch it from the river banks. The Telegraph meanwhile writes that the Queen was voted “the favourite monarch of all time.”

5. The Queen loves corgis and the BBC notes that the breed has become more popular during her Diamond Jubilee year.

6. The punk band the Sex Pistols bashed the monarch in their rollicking 1977 song “God Save the Queen,” which came out during Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee that year. The lyrics likened her to a “fascist regime” and as a result the BBC refused to play the song. The song reached number two on the U.K. Singles Chart anyway. Here are the Sex Pistols in action:

7. A year ago Kate Middleton donned an Alexander McQueen gown to marry Prince William. Their pairing was said to reinvigorate the British monarchy in a way that William’s Duran Duran-loving mother Princess Diana did in the 1980s. It also drew more attention to what fashions the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate’s title) was wearing in public. What Kate Wore chronicles Middleton’s fashion choices, while this site is the official web page of the young couple.

Did you read anything about the Jubilee that you liked or found interesting? If so, what was it? Please share in comments.

Titanic

Posted on April 15, 2012

titanic

Once upon a time, a friend of mine made a small fortune off selling Titanic-related shirts that said something like “It sank. Get Over It.” As evidenced by recent news coverage, television retrospectives and James Cameron’s re-release of “Titanic” in 3D, few people have gotten over the fact that the Titanic sank 100 years ago today. It’s a story that involves mind-boggling sums of money and human interest and tragedy (and so many other little kaleidoscopic shards). If you can disassociate the tale from the maddening Celine Dion tune that will be forever linked with it (and good luck with that, by the way), it is likely that you will find at least one of the many threads in this story fascinating.

When I began graduate school two years ago, I had a first semester project that involved reading at least two British newspapers from a specific month and year and crafting a story from the reports and ads that I saw. My assignment was April 1912. It did not take long for me to see the goldmine that resided in that particular month and year.

Per my paper, the story begins like this:

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