Meet the Diamond (re)Collection Panel

Today we will be presenting Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society and Head of the Commonwealth with the sealed Jubilee Time Capsule.

Her Majesty will receive the Diamond (re)Collection (top 60 entries) at a special presentation event, attended by contributors and supporters.

Amongst the assembled guests will be the panel of judges that had the difficult job of selecting the top 60 entries. The panel made their selections following the sealing of the Capsule on 30th September and will be present to witness the Diamond (re)Collection’s unveiling today.

The following judges sat on the panel:

  • The Honourable Lady Jane Roberts LVO, Royal Librarian at the Royal Collection, Windsor.
  • Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, Director-General of the Royal Photographic Society.
  • Mr Benedict Brogan, Deputy Editor at The Telegraph.
  • Ms Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Son and Purple Hibiscus, and Commonwealth Writer’s Prize winner in 2005.
  • Mr Dean Finch, Group Chief Executive of National Express Group PLC.
  • Mr Shehan Karunatilaka, author of Chinaman: the Legend of Pradeep Mathew which won the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize.

Remembering: the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Slave Trade

William Hague

William Hague speaks on the abolition of slavery

Today is the international day of Slavery Remembrance, which William Hague has marked out as one of the most memorable days in British history with his entry to the JTC. He remembers 25th March, 2007- the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery and a day which changed the moral fibre of our country forever.

In his entry he talks about William Wilberforce, the British philanthropist who battled to abolish the slave trade for 26 years before the Slave Trade Act of 1807 was finally passed, and slavery was officially abolished in Britain. He also remembers the famous slave, Olaudah Equiano, whose best-selling accounts of his own life and the barbarity of the slave trade, played a big role in stirring public feelings of anti-slave trade sentiment.

“Today, human-slavery reaches across every continent and culture…” – William Hague.

In his entry William Hague points to the abolition of the slave trade as a moment in history which we can take courage from. He draws attention to the 800,000 people who are estimated to be trafficked across international borders each year, and the ongoing battle which needs to be fought against modern slavery.

You can see his entry by clicking here.

JTC reveals Brits’ most memorable moments of the last 60 years

Manchester Coronation Street Party, Manchester Archives

We have received entries from over 16,000 Brits so far in the Jubilee Time Capsule and from those entries, we have compiled a list of Brits’ most memorable days of the last 60 years. From the moon landing to the death of Princess Diana, the diverse range of events reflects not just a British focus, but also a global one.

 Moment # 10: The Indian Ocean Tsunami 26/12/2004

This event had a direct impact on the Commonwealth as several Commonwealth countries were particularly affected by this tragedy on Boxing Day 2004. Its place in a list of Brits’ most remembered moments reflects the links the British feel with their Commonwealth neighbors. See this entry from Chariclea Constanti about her interview with a tsunami survivor.

 Moment # 9: The Death of Princess Diana 31/08/1997

One of the most memorable events for Brits in the last 60 years is the death of Princess Diana. The British have always viewed the Royal Family as a symbol of the nation and the untimely death of Princess Diana was both tragic and shocking for Brits, many of whom viewed her as a role model. Marlene Duncalf calls this ‘her most vivid memory’. 

Diana, Princess of Wales

Diana, Princess of Wales

Moment #8: The Moon Landing 20/07/1969

Undeniably the most far-reaching memory in the time capsule, the first men landing on the moon resonated around the world. The world waited with bated breath to see Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take the first step onto the moon. As an iconic moment in human history, this moment’s place in our countdown is very special. Alex Rogers interviewed his father about watching the moon landing as his submission to the Jubilee Time Capsule.

Moon Landing

Moon Landing

Moment #7: The Silver Jubilee June 1977

In this year of the Diamond Jubilee, it seems the British are excited to recall past Jubilees and how they celebrated then compared to now. It seems bunting and street parties are an absolute must! Check out these great entries from Florence Allard and Sophie Lewis about the Silver Jubilee.

Silver Jubilee Celebrations in Manchester

Silver Jubilee Celebrations in Manchester, Manchester Archives

 Moment #6: Commonwealth Day Observance 12/03/2012

The RCS has organised the Commonwealth Day Observance since 1966, first in St Martin in the Fields and now in Westminster Abbey. Our 2012 Observance was very memorable for all the attendees from all over the Commonwealth and Britain. With performances from Rufus Wainwright, Hugh Masekela and Laura Wright, as well as a speech from Her Majesty The Queen, it was indeed a day to remember. Aaliyah Girvan, from All Saints Bootle, gives a great account of her Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey.

Pupils from All Saints School at the Commonwealth Day Observance

Pupils from All Saints School at the Commonwealth Day Observance

Moment #5: 1966 World Cup Final 30/07/1966

England hasn’t had the best luck in football in the last 50+ years – and we certainly haven’t forgotten about it. England’s first (and only) World Cup victory came in 1966 and people of all ages throughout have made sure that their biggest football success is remembered as one of the most important memories of the last 60 years. This entry from Sammy Yates is a great account of the English pride in that victory.

England lift the World Cup

England lift the World Cup

Moment #4: September 11th 11/09/2001

As one of the defining moments of a generation, September 11th’s position on this list shows what an effect the tragedy had on the world, not just the United States. As Britain and the US have always enjoyed a close relationship, it is not surprising that this moment is one of the most memorable days of the last 60 years for Brits. Mark Backhouse’s memory of the day mirrors the response of people all over Britain and the world.

 Moment #3: Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant 03/06/2012

The British definitely know how to do a celebration in style and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant was no exception. Despite the rain, which we have to say here in Britain more often than we’d like, the Thames Pageant was one of the most spectacular and unforgettable celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee. Isobel Lane remembers watching the River Pageant with her family on the banks of the Thames.

Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant

Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, Jane Cross

Moment #2: The Coronation 02/06/1953

Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation is another example of some very memorable British pageantry! Such a huge celebration, one that has been recalled to recent memory during the Diamond Jubilee, is not likely to ever be forgotten as Her Majesty continues to oversee some of the most important moment in history. Zoe Simpson submitted her grandmother’s memories of being at the Coronation and the excitement in the London crowds!

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Moment #1: The Royal Wedding 29/04/2011

The wedding of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton drew in a massive global audience and gave the world a look at a real-life fairytale. With over 30 million television viewers in the UK, it is easy to see why the Royal Wedding is the most memorable date in the JTC history. With so many entries it was impossible for us to pick just ONE great entry for this moment so take a look at all the entries for this date!

Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding

Which of our Top 10 Most Memorable Moments for Brits do you remember most? Did your most important moment of the last 60 years make it on our list? We want to know what memories are the most important to YOU so share them with us in the Jubilee Time Capsule!

Guest Post by Maail Afaal

Maail is a Year 10 student from Cambridgeshire currently completing two weeks work experience with the Royal Commonwealth Society. In this blog post Maail shares his thoughts on the Jubilee Time Capsule and three of his favourite entries. 

I think the JTC project is a very inspirational project being carried out by the Royal Commonwealth Society and National Express because it show the countless memories and experiences we have treasure throughout the sixty years of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

In addition to this I believe this project explores countless different stories which has helped structure the states of the Commonwealth and the two billion people who populate its countries. Furthermore I view the JTC as a flagship and a legacy of the Diamond Jubilee and the years of contribution the people of the Commonwealth have shown to The Queen.

In the JTC the three entries that really stood out to me were…

Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary A Tribute – by Ruth Kezia Hope Muthu (Malaysia)

The Queen

Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary – A Tribute – by Ruth Keiza Hope Muthu

What made me choose this piece as one of my favourites from the JTC was that it was unique and the text expressed a sentimental view towards The Queen. In this entry Ruth has created a tribute for Her Majesty the queen.

Ruth quotes Who can find a virtuous women? For her price is far above rubiesand afterwards writes “Something special made especially for a special person”. This showed me that people still see the glorious reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and they value the time and commitment she has shown to us over the past sixty years.

 The Day I Met My Hero – by Mohammed Haaish (Maldives)

The Former President of Maldives

The Day I Met My Hero – by Mohammed Haaish

I chose this piece because I am from the Maldives and because I too find the former president Mohammed Nasheed, who previously campaigned for human rights in the Maldives, an iconic figure.

Furthermore I believe this post on the JTC shows just how many driven individuals have made a change to countries and other areas within the Commonwealth in the past sixty years.

Independence of a Nation – by Nicholas Lee (Singapore)

Singapore Independence

Independence of a Nation – by Nicholas Lee

The final piece I have chosen shows the independence of Singapore in 1955 as they first held their general elections. This piece shows one view of the independence of Singapore.

Furthermore it shows that although they received independence from the British Empire they still show acknowledgement of their country’s roots and how the treaty signed by them with the British in the 19th century had eventually brought the country to its current stature.

Something I would post:

If I were to write an entry for the JTC it would be about the day Maldives was introduced to democracy, because until four years ago we were under dictatorship and we weren’t able to address our own political views.

Moreover when we received the opportunity to express our political views and the power to vote I saw the nation unite and speak as one and seize political corruption.

All in all I think the JTC will be, when completed, a project which will reserve a diverse collection of memories of the people of the Commonwealth.

Olympic Torch Spotted!

People's Voice Media spotted the Olympic Torch in the North West

People’s Voice Media spotted the Olympic Torch in the North West!

JTC contributors in the UK can’t have failed to notice that the Olympic Torch has visited the four corners of the British Isles over the past couple of weeks.So far we’ve received three entries on the London 2012 Torch relay:

  • Darren Fitzy remembers the day he found out he would carry the Torch through Camden
  • Jenny Cole remembers the day she held the Torch in Belfast
  • People’s Voice Media remember seeing the Torch visit the North West of England

We’ve also received an entry from Zac Hodge in Australia who remembers the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Torch relay. If you’ve spotted an Olympic Torch, past or present, we’d love to see your photos in the JTC!

Burning Blue: Diamond Jubilee pound-a-pixel charity challenge

Burning Blue: Diamond Jubilee pound-a-pixel charity challenge

A recent JTC entry by Caroline Barnard brought the Burning Blue pound-a-pixel charity challenge to our attention.

Caroline’s JTC entry ‘The Queen’s Household in Kenya’ is dated 7th February 1952 and is about the journey made by her late father, an RAF pilot, to Kenya to bring the Royal Household back to the UK following the death of King George VI.

Caroline’s father was a member of the XXIV Squadron, which was called ‘the Commonwealth Squadron’ at the time and often got assigned VIP flights.

The entry includes an image of the log book recording the details of the flight. Caroline explains in her entry that they are selling the image of the log book, pixel by pixel, to raise money for charity. Once the sale is complete the ownership of the log book will transfer to the RAF Museum.

The money raised by the pixel sale will go to the World Food Programme, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Force Museum and the Royal Commonwealth Society.

To find out more about the Burning Blue project click here and to buy a pixel click here.

Jubilee Time Capsule deadline extended by popular demand!

We are happy to announce that due to the extraordinary level of public interest in the Jubilee Time Capsule the deadline for submissions has been extended until 30th September.

Many people had been getting in touch with the RCS to let us know that they were really enjoying contributing to the project, but that they had more memories to add. We therefore decided to go with public feeling and extend the project by a couple of months.

This means that not only do you have another three and a half months to get your important memories in, but it’s a great way to keep the kids and grandkids entertained over the summer holidays. So why not dust off those photo albums and see what memories you can discover!