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.

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.

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.

Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in the Jubilee Time Capsule!

After a busy (and wet) Diamond Jubilee Weekend – we’ve rounded up some of the best JTC entries about the Jubilee!


Offwell Primary School in East Devon, England celebrated with a Balloon Launch!

Offwell Church of England Primary School in East Devon, England kicked off the Jubilee Weekend with a Grand Jubilee Balloon Launch! Each balloon had a special message for HM The Queen attached and copies of the messages were posted to Her Majesty just in case some of the balloons didn’t reach Buckingham Palace.


Nigeria celebrated the Jubilee with a Big Lunch and a Jubilee Dance

Schools and communities all over the Commonwealth hosted Big Lunches to bring people together to celebrate the Jubilee. Nigeria hosted a Big Lunch that included a Big Jubilee Lunch Dance! They also had an impressive spread of food and drink to keep up their energy for all the dancing!


Jane Cross watched the River Pageant from the Houses of Parliament

The main event Sunday – after lunch – was the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant where, in true British fashion, it rained for the whole day… Jane Cross watched the River Pageant from a room in the Houses of Parliament, where she captured some really great photos, which you can see here.


Riley Kernaghan watched the Pageant in the middle of the night in Australia

You didn’t have to be in London to enjoy the River Pageant, however, and Riley Kernaghan watched in the middle of the night from Australia! It appears the importance of bunting to a great celebration is not lost on the Commonwealth…


Lousia Decker waited for 4 hours to capture this image of the Royal Family!

The weekend wrapped up with a Royal Procession through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace where the Royal Family made a balcony appearance and The Queen was honoured by a flyover by aircraft of the last 60 years. Lousia Cocksedge waited for 4 hours to see the Royal Family in their carriages and was not disappointed! Check out her great photos from the grand finale of the Jubilee Weekend!

If you haven’t uploaded your Jubilee memories yet you can do so here. Due to popular demand – we’ve extended the closing date of the Jubilee Time Capsule to 30 September, 2012 so there is plenty of time left to share your memories!

Bootle pupil unveils his Jubilee Time Capsule entry on National Express coach

Pupils at All Saints Primary unveil the coach

Pupils from All Saints Primary School unveil the National Express JTC coach

All Saints Primary School –  a JTC SuperSchool – in Bootle, Liverpool, recently followed in the footsteps of St Ambrose Primary in Manchester, by spearheading the campaign for Liverpool residents to contribute to the Jubilee Time Capsule.

Ten year old Michael Larsen-Kennedy, a pupil at the school, unveiled a special Jubilee Time Capsule coach which had been decorated with excerpts of his entry. Michael’s entry is about his first visit to London, where he watched his cousin take part in the Changing of the Guards. You can see Michael’s entry here.

St Ambrose Primary School launches appeal for Manchester memories of Jubilee weekend


Marissa Jennings-Bryan

Marissa Jennings-Bryan unveils her Jubilee Time Capsule entry on a National Express coach

St Ambrose Primary School in Manchester recently appealed for Manchester residents to submit their memories of this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee festivities to the Jubilee Time Capsule.

Nine year old Marissa Jennings-Bryan fronted the appeal by unveiling her own submission to the Jubilee time Capsule on the side of a special National Express coach – one of three being unveiled across the North to support the Diamond Jubilee project.

Local history is an important aspect of the Jubilee Time Capsule, and with National Express’s help we’re calling on the Manchester public to make sure their city is represented in the project.