Happy Birthday Ma’am as in ham*

Pic 1. At the helm for sixty-four years. The then Princess Elizabeth steers a rowing boat as a member of the Sea Rangers in 1944.
At the helm for 64 years. The then Princess Elizabeth steers a rowing boat as a member of the Sea Rangers in 1944.

21 April 2016

Tim Koch is after an OBE

Today is the 90th birthday of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. She ascended to the Throne in 1952 and is the longest-reigning British monarch. Now into her ninth decade, Queen Elizabeth still carries out well over three hundred engagements a year. Whatever one thinks of the institution of Monarchy, it would be churlish to deny that the Queen has led a remarkable life of service (albeit while enjoying some perks of the job). No intelligent person can produce a logical case for Royalty, but life is full of such oddities, including perhaps, an interest in long-dead rowers and a fascination with which long, thin boats can be made to move a bit faster than other long, thin boats when all use an outdated propulsion system.

To mark Her Majesty’s birthday, below are some pictures from the visit of the then Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, to the final day of the 1946 Henley Royal Regatta, 70 years ago. Their attendance at the first post-war Henley marked the inauguration of ‘The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup’ (‘The PE’), then an event for British private schools but which was opened to foreign entries in 1964.

Pic 2. Princess Elizabeth aboard one of the umpire launches.
Princess Elizabeth aboard one of the umpire launches.
Pic 3. The Royal Party afloat. Seated next to Princess Elizabeth is Sir Harcourt Gilbey Gold, then Chairman of the regatta’s Committee of Management.
The Royal Party afloat. Seated next to Princess Elizabeth is Sir Harcourt Gilbey Gold, then Chairman of the regatta’s Committee of Management.
Pic 4. Princess Elizabeth presents the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup to the Bedford School First VIII.
Princess Elizabeth presents the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup to the Bedford School First VIII.
Pic 5. Presenting the ‘PE’. To Princess Elizabeth’s right is her sister, Princess Margaret.
Presenting the ‘PE’. To Princess Elizabeth’s right is her sister, Princess Margaret.

* For those who wish to follow protocol, on meeting The Queen, she should initially be addressed as ‘Your Majesty’, and subsequently ‘Ma’am’. The pronunciation, the Palace suggests, is ‘ma’am’ as in ‘ham’, not ‘marm’ as in ‘smarm’.

2 comments

  1. The 13′ dinghy (pictured below) called ‘Duchess’ is still owned and regularly rowed by the Sea Ranger Association based at Clevedon House just below Cookham lock. They took part in the Magna Carta 800 River Relay last year.

    _____

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