The Flower Festival at St Andrew’s Church, Aysgarth, to mark the Platinum Jubilee of our Queen was both stunning and thought provoking. It was entitled ‘Seven Decades: Celebrating the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II’ and many of the flower arrangements – by some who attend St Andrew’s and members of the Wensleydale Flower Club – were accompanied by the information provided by Barbara Hadlow. Below are my photographs of all the arrangements (with much of that information), and the displays created by children at the BAWB Federation of Schools.
At the main entrance: The Queen’s Green Canopy by Jan Vaughan
The Queen’s Green Canopy was created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and invites people from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’. As well as inviting the planting of new trees, The Queen’s Green Canopy will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s seventy years of service.
The Queen joined The Prince of Wales to plant a sapling propagated from a Verdun Oak, for the first Jubilee tree planting in Spring 2021 in the grounds of Windsor Castle, to mark the launch of the initiative. Verdun trees are oak and horse chestnut trees, planted in the United Kingdom in the aftermath of the First World War. Acorns and chestnuts were collected from trees on the battlefield at Verdun and sent to England to be distributed and planted as war memorials.
Welcome Table: The Coronation by Liz Frisby
The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 2nd June 1953
‘The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God’ (The Queen’s Coronation Oath. 1953)
Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every Coronation since 1066. On her way to the Abbey, Her Majesty wore the George IV State Diadem, made in 1820. In the Coronation Bouquet were lilies-of-the-valley from England, stephanotis from Scotland, orchids from Wales and carnations from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
During the Coronation the Queen was invested with a number of ornaments symbolising the chivalric and spiritual nature of kingship. These included the spurs, swords and armills, followed by the orb, a ring and then the sceptres. One sceptre is surmounted by a cross representing temporal power and the other surmounted by a dove representing the sovereign’s spiritual role.After the investiture the St Edward’s Crown made in 1661, was placed on the Queen’s head. It weighs 4 pounds and 12 ounces and is made of solid gold. The Imperial State Crown was worn by The Queen on her return to Buckingham Palace.
Gallery Ledge: Coronation Souvenirs by Helen Witcombe
Top l-r: cup and saucer, Preston under Scar; green mug, Essex County Council. Middle, l-r: spoon, Colwall in Herefordshire; cup, saucer and plate, Caldwell in Richmondshire; glass mug, Leeds. Bottom l-r: glass mug from Leeds; cup, Newcastle; coin, Normanby School, Teesside; and the small book from Sholver near Saddlesworth.
North Door: Trooping the Colour by Juliet Barker
The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of regiments in the British Army were used as a rallying point in battle and were therefore trooped in front of the soldiers every day to make sure that every man could recognise those of his own regiment.
When George III became King in 1760, it was ordered that parades should mark the King’s Birthday. This impressive display of pageantry is now held on the occasion of the Queen’s Official Birthday. It takes place in June each year on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.
Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians from The Household Division, come together in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare.
Once the Queen has arrived at Horse Guard’s Parade she is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops, who are fully trained and operational soldiers wearing the ceremonial uniform of red tunics and bearskin hats. These bearskin hats are made from the fur of Canadian black bears. The five regiments of The Foot Guards have different coloured plumes in their bearskin hats to denote their regiment as follows – Grenadier (White, positioned on the left),Coldstream (Red on the right), Irish (Blue on the right), Welsh (White/Green/White on the left), Scots Guards have no plume.
Once the Foot Guards have marched past the Queen, she rides back to Buckingham Palace at the head of the soldiers, before taking the salute again at the Palace from a dais. The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by members of the Royal Family from Buckingham Palace balcony. A 41-gun salute is also fired in Green Park to mark the occasion.
N W Window: 1950s – Coronation Chicken by Anne Guy
Coronation Chicken or Poulet Reine Elizabeth, was invented for the foreign guests attending a banquet at Westminster School, London, after the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The food had to be prepared in advance and food writer and flower arranger, Constance Spry, together with Rosemary Hume, a chef, who were both founders of the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London, proposed a recipe of cold chicken in a curry cream sauce to be served with a well-seasoned dressed salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs. The recipe won the approval of the Minister of Works and has since been known as Coronation Chicken.
N E Window: 1950s – Thee Ascent of Everest by Liz Piper
When the Queen acceded to the throne on 6th February 1952, Everest had not been climbed. There had already been seven major attempts to reach the summit and a further attempt was made in the Spring of that year by a Swiss team. They were nearly successful, reaching 28,200 feet, only 800 feet below the summit.
By then, plans were already in place for another British attempt in 1953. It was led by Col. John Hunt (later Lord Hunt), who assembled a very able and experienced team of climbers. After a period of build-up and acclimatisation in April and May, two pairs of climbers were ready to make an assault.
The first pair, Bourdillon and Evans, had trouble with oxygen cylinders and had to retreat only 300 feet below the summit on 26th May. The following day, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from Nepal made their summit bid. Using a high level camp they reached the top at 11.30 am on 29th May. They planted the Union Jack for the Queen on the highest point on earth. It took another day for the climbers to return to their support camp and for the news to be relayed back to base camp. It was then sent by runner and wireless transmitter (in code to prevent a news leak) to the British Embassy in Kathmandu. Telegrams were then sent to Britain and the news of success was released to a rapturous public on the morning of 2nd June, the Queen’s Coronation Day.
Font: 1960s – Beatlemania by Kath Spashett
Beatlemania was the fanaticism surrounding the Liverpool rock band The Beatles in the 1960s. The group’s popularity grew in the United Kingdom throughout 1963, propelled by the singles ‘Please Please Me’, ‘From, Me to You’ and ‘She Loves You’.
The press adopted the term “Beatlemania” to describe the scenes of hysteria and high-pitched screaming by female fans, sometimes called ‘teenyboppers’ who assembled anywhere the Beatles performed or appeared. The behaviour of these fans was scorned by many and was even the subject of analysis by psychologists and sociologists! The Beatles surpassed any previous examples of fan worship and changed popular culture forever.
Pedestal by choir: 1960s – Investiture of the Prince of Wales by Juliet Barker
The tradition of investing the heir apparent of the British monarch with the title of “Prince of Wales” began in 1301, when King Edward I of England, having completed the conquest of Wales, gave the title to his heir apparent, Prince Edward (later King Edward II of England).
Prince Charles was made Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester by letters patent on 26th July 1958, but the official investiture was not held unit 1st July 1969. The ceremony took place at Caernarfon Castle.
During the investiture ceremony, the letters patent were read aloud in Welsh and stated that 20 year old Prince Charles Philip Arthur George would receive the title, style, honour and privilege of the Principality of Wales and Earldom of Chester. The Queen attired her heir with a girdle, sword, coronet, ring, rod and kingly mantle, in that order.
Prince Charles then declared: ’I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship, and faith and truth I will bear unto thee, to live and die against all manner of folks.’
Front of altar steps: 1970s – Decimal Day by Barbara Hadlow
For centuries, Britain relied on a coinage system of pounds, shillings and pence. Twelve pennies made a shilling and 20 shillings a pound. It’s hard to imagine for those under 50, but it was a complex arithmetic that many wrestled with every day.
In 1961 a special committee was set up to think about whether Britain should introduce a decimal currency. On 1st March 1966 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Callaghan, announced that pounds, shillings and pence would be replaced by a decimal currency, with 100 units in a pound.
So what should those units be called? The committee had thought about cents and dollars, but eventually decided to stick with pounds and pence. They proposed five new coins, with designs and shapes that were similar to the old coinage.
Decimal Day was set for 15th February 1971 when the new coins would be introduced and Britain’s monetary system saw its biggest change for more than 1,000 years.
Altar: 1970s – Silver Jubilee by Jane Ritchie
The Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II marked the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. The actual anniversary of The Queen’s Accession on 6th February 1952 was commemorated in church services throughout that month.
The full jubilee celebrations began in the summer of 1977 with many street parties and parades taking place throughout the country.The Queen also embarked on a large scale tour, having decided that she wished to mark her jubilee by meeting as many of her people as possible. No other Sovereign had visited so much of Britain in the course of just three months. Official overseas visits were also made and during the year it was estimated that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh travelled 56,000 miles.
On the evening of Monday, 6th June The Queen lit a bonfire beacon at Windsor which started a chain of beacons across the country. The next day vast crowds saw the Queen drive in the Gold State Coach to St Paul’s Cathedral for a Service of Thanksgiving. Afterwards she attended a lunch at the Guildhall, in which she made a speech declaring ‘My Lord Mayor, when I was twenty-one I pledged my life to the service of our people and I asked for God’s help to make good that vow. Although that vow was made in my salad days, when I was green in judgement, I do not regret nor retract one word of it’.
Lady Chapel: 1980s – Royal Residences by Nikki Gaskell
The collage showed the two royal residences that the Queen spends holidays at: Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House.
Balmoral Castle – The Scottish home of the Royal Family. It is used as the private residence of the Queen and her family, who take residence in the castle each summer. The Castle was purchased by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1852. However the castle was deemed too small and a bigger version was built adjacent to the original. Work began in 1853 and the new castle was completed in 1856. The castle sits on the 20,000-hectare Balmoral estate in Royal Deeside.
Sandringham House – It has been the private home in Norfolk of British monarchs since 1862. The house was the venue of the first ever Christmas broadcast. It remained as such until Queen Elizabeth II changed the broadcast to a televised version in 1957, filmed in the library at Sandringham. The Royal Family spend Christmas here and can be seen making their way to Church each Christmas morning.
Lady Chapel: 1980s – Miners’ Strike by Jane Ritchie
The miners’ strike of 1984 – 1985 was one of the most bitter industrial disputes Britain has ever seen. The year-long strike involved hardship and violence as pit communities from South Wales to Scotland fought to retain their local collieries.
On 12th March 1984, Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), called a national strike against the pit closures. Britain was to witness a fierce, hard fought battle involving the government, police, press and the NUM.
A key confrontation occurred in the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ when one mass picket on 18th June 1984 was 10,000 strong and the pickets were met with police in riot gear, police horses and dogs. Thousands of miners were arrested, fined, imprisoned or sacked, some never to work again.
On another occasion a coach load of pickets arrived in our Yorkshire Dales village of West Burton – they had meant to go to West Burton Power Station in Nottinghamshire!
Lady Chapel window: 1990s – Harry Potter by Jean Styles
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J K Rowling from June 1997 – July 2007.
Since the release of the first novel – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – the books have found immense popularity, they have attracted a wide adult audience as well as younger readers and are often considered cornerstones of modern young adult literature.
The books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history and have been translated into eighty languages. The original seven books have been adapted into an eight-part namesake film series.
Lady Chapel ledge: 1990s – The Royal Yacht Britannia 1953 to 1997 by Joan Ford
‘Looking back over forty-four years we can all reflect with pride and gratitude upon the great ship which has served the country, the Royal Navy and my family with such distinction’. (Her Majesty The Queen)
Britannia was the first Royal Yacht to be built with complete ocean-going capacity and designed as a Royal residence to entertain guests around the world and also double as a hospital ship in time of war. She was launched from the John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank on 16th April 1953 and was in service from 1954 – 1997.
For over 44 years the Royal Yacht travelled more than a million nautical miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world. When she was decommissioned on 11th December 1997, it marked the end of a long tradition of British Royal Yachts, dating back to 1660 and the reign of Charles II. Today Britannia is permanently berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith in Edinburgh and is a visitor attraction and exclusive evening events venue.
Lady Chapel ledge: 1990s – State visit to South Africa by Barbara Hadlow
One of the highlights of the Queen’s reign was meeting Nelson Mandela in Cape Town in March 1995, when the she paid a State Visit with the Duke of Edinburgh, as the guests of the President.
The Queen had last toured South Africa as a young princess in 1947 with her parents and sister. She returned following the end of apartheid and white minority rule as British Head of State and as Head of the Commonwealth. Though she had flown to South Africa, the plan was to arrive, officially, by sea, as in 1947. Therefore the Queen joined the Royal Yacht at Simon’s Town naval base the night before. The voyage into Cape Town took Britannia past Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela had spent much of his adult life in prison; now here he was, waiting on the red carpet to greet her as she walked down the gangway!
This proved to be a highly successful tour and the Queen described it as one of the outstanding experiences of her life.The Queen and Nelson Mandela were known to enjoy a warm friendship. In fact they became so close he was one of the few people permitted to call her by her first name.
Entrance to Lady Chapel: Collage of Family Life by Margaret Proctor
South facing windows
2000s – Eat your 5-a-Day (NHS) by Eve Peacock
On 23rd March 2003. the 5-a-day campaign was launched by the government, following a recommendation by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to encourage people to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables to at least five portions a day.The WHO recommended eating a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables every day to lower the risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.
2000s – Golden Jubilee by Ray Wilkinson
‘Gratitude, respect and pride, these words sum up how I feel about the people of this country and the Commonwealth – and what this Golden Jubilee means to me’.(The Queen)
A packed programme of events took place in 2002 to celebrate fifty years of The Queen’s reign. The central focus for the year was the Jubilee weekend in June which began with a classical music concert in the gardens at Buckingham Palace. There was a Jubilee Church Service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral which followed a Ceremonial Procession from Buckingham Palace. Events culminated in a pop concert at Buckingham Palace with performers including Paul McCartney, Bryan Adams, Elton John and Shirley Bassey. The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display and The Queen lighting the National Beacon, the last in a string of 2,006 beacons which had been lit in a chain across the Commonwealth.
2010s – 2012 Summer Olympics by Mandy Banks
The opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics took place on the evening of Friday, 27th July in the Olympic Stadium in the East End of London, during which the Games were formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation’s culture was directed by Danny Boyle and was entitled ‘Isles of Wonder’.
The opening ceremony was immediately hailed a tremendous success and received widespread acclaim.10,768 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees participated. The United States won the most gold medals (46) and the highest number of medals overall (104). China finished second with a total of 91 medals (38 gold) and Great Britain came third with 65 medals overall (29 gold).
Nicola Adams was the first woman in history to win an Olympic boxing title and Chris Hoy is the most successful Olympic cyclist of all time. [At the 2012 Games] He won two gold medals.
The Olympic symbol is based on a design first created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1913. The five interlaced rings represent the union of the five continents of the World and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games, whilst the colours are those that appear on all the National flags of the World at the time of its inception. The Olympic rings made their first appearance at the Games of the VII Olympia Antwerp in 1920.
West window: 2010s – the Queen’s 90th Birthday by Mary Sutherland
The Queen celebrated her 90th birthday on 21st April 2016 and her official birthday on 11th June 2016. Her Majesty’s actual birthday was spent in Windsor where she met well-wishers during a walkabout in the town centre, before unveiling a plaque marking The Queen’s Walkway. Later in the evening, Her Majesty, with the Prince of Wales, lit the principal beacon which set in train a series of over 900 beacons across the country and worldwide to celebrate her momentous milestone.
On 10th June the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. Prayers at the service were led by people representing aspects of Her Majesty’s life and role. Sir David Attenborough read Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond’s personal account of growing up to be 90.
On 11th June, The Queen’s Official birthday, Her Majesty was joined by members of her family at The Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade, followed by an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with a Flypast.June 12th saw a huge street party and parade take place on the Mall – The Patron’s Lunch – a celebration of over 600 charities and organisations that the Queen was Patron of.
Baptistry: 2010s – The wedding of William and Kate by Susan Fawcett and Christine Tuer
HRH Prince William of Wales married Catherine Middleton on 29th April 2011 in Westminster Abbey. They first met in 2001 while studying at the University of St Andrews. They began dating in 2003 and announced their engagement on 16th November 2010. Prince William is second in the line of succession to the throne.
The Queen gave her formal consent to the marriage and said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ for the couple. She declared that the wedding day would be a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom.
Lining the aisle of Westminster Abbey were eight 20 feet-high trees – six English Field Maple and two Hornbeam. Catherine carried a bouquet of Myrtle, Lily-of-the-Valley, Sweet William, Ivy, Myrtle and Hyacinth. The Dean of Westminster conducted the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury married the couple and the Bishop of London gave the address.
Baptistry: 2010s – The Duke of Edinburgh. 10th June 1921 to 9th April 2021 by Susan Fawcett and Christine Tuer
HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. As such, he was the consort of the British monarch from her accession as Queen on 6th February 1952 until his death on 9th April 2021 two months before his 100th birthday, making him the longest serving consort in history. He was also the longest-lived male member of the British royal family.
He retired from his royal duties on 2nd August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements and made 5,493 speeches.Prince Philip was a patron of over 780 organisations.
He launched the highly successful Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 1956. He was especially interested in scientific and technological research, conservation and the environment and the encouragement of sport. He played polo until 1971, when he started to compete in carriage driving, a sport which he helped to expand; the early rule book was drafted under his supervision.
In 2017, Her Majesty appointed The Duke of Edinburgh to be a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of his years of service.’He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply been my strength and stay all these years’ said The Queen, in a speech to mark their Golden Wedding Anniversary ‘and I owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’
BAWB Federation Displays
School children at the BAWB Federation schools (Askrigg, Bainbridge and West Burton) created two special displays to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee