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June 09-14, 2016. Visit to the United Kingdom

Fragment of Saint George's Chapel's facade at Windsor Castle

Fragment of Saint George’s Chapel’s facade at Windsor Castle

In the visit’s plan:

  • Participation in the festive events celebrating the 90th Jubilee of the Queen of the United Kingdom Elizabeth I

In 2016, Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom celebrates Her Jubilee 90th birthday. Although Her Majesty was born on April 21, according to the tradition, the official events are held in the first month of summer. This tradition was established in the beginning of the 20th century by King Edward VII (November 9, 1841 — May 6, 1910). King Edward VII was born in late autumn, but he wanted to celebrate his birthday in summer, in good weather, and at the great gathering of people. This year the official birthday of the Queen is celebrated on June 11.

Also, on the 10th of June this year, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of the Queen of the United Kingdom, will turn 95 years old.

  • Participation in the Service of the Most Noble Order of the Garter in Windsor Castle
One of the Alleys in Regent's Park in London

One of the Alleys in Regent’s Park in London

The Most Noble Order of the Garter is the highest Order of Chivalry in England, and one of the oldest orders in the world.

It was founded by King Edward III on April 23 of 1348, and dedicated to God, the Most Holy Virgin, and Saint Martyr George, England’s heavenly patron, for the purpose of “uniting a certain number of dignified persons unto doing the good works and lifting up the morale.”

There are a few legends concerning the origin of the Order, the most well known one is related to Countess of Salisbury. While dancing with the King, she dropped a garter, and the crowd started to laugh, but the King picked up the garter and tied it to his own leg, saying, «Honi soit qui mal y pense» (the most accurate translation is, “Shame on him who thinks evil of it.”), which became the Order’s motto.

According to another tradition, back at the end of the 12th century, Saint George appeared to Richard I during a crusade, and instructed him to tie garters to the legs of his knights.

Egg Casket. English enamel. Easter 2000. Great Britain. From my private collection

Egg Casket. English enamel. Easter 2000. Great Britain. From my private collection

Most of the British orders are common for the entire United Kingdom, except the Most Noble Order of the Garter, which is purely English. Its equivalent in Scotland is the Order of the Thistle, which exists since 1687, and the Order of Saint Patrick in Ireland, which exists since 1783 (after the gaining of independence by Ireland, this Order has not been granted, and its last knight died in 1974).

The number of the Knights of the Order is limited to the Order’s Sovereign (the Monarch) and no more than 24 Companions. The Companions can be knights (Knights Companions) and ladies (Ladies Companions).

Members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs can be Supernumerary members of the Order.

Membership in the Order is granted personally by the Sovereign (the membership in other British orders of chivalry is usually given according to the recommendation of the Prime Minister).

When a member is joining the Order, he pledges to keep all regulations of the Order, the main one of them being the protection of the Order’s Sovereign.

  • Visiting the antiques market Portobello in London, and developing my collection of the English enamels

The Portobello Road Market — is one of the most famous and popular markets in London among the tourists. Stretching for two miles along the main street, Portobello market is famous in the first place by its antiques shops. Probably, it is the largest market of antiques in the whole world. Known back from the 19th century, the market gained its popularity in the 1950s, and since then has never lost it.

  • Viewing a collection of roses at Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park is one of the main Royal parks of London, stretching in the area of 188 hectares, on the border between Westminster and Camden. In the old days, the park belonged to the hunting lands of King Henry VIII. When in the 1810s and 1820s this territory was included within the city’s limits, a park was laid out here, as a place for entertainment of the Prince-Regent (who would be known as George IV). Since 1838, the park has been opened for all visitors.

Following the trip, I will prepare and publish my report and photographs.


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