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Queen Elizabeth II
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Can you believe that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is officially 94-years-old?!
This month – on 21st April – we’ll be celebrating the first of Queen Elizabeth’s birthdays (yes, that’s right, she gets two! The second, public celebration is the second Saturday of June). So, in honour of Her Majesty, we’re looking back at the early life of the woman who wasn’t expected to become Queen at birth but has gone on to be both the longest-reigning AND oldest monarch Great Britain has ever seen.
Born in 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was an exciting addition to the royal household but unlikely to reign, despite being third in line to the throne. After all, her uncle – Prince Edward – was heir apparent and expected to marry and produce princes and princesses of his own.
She spent the youngest years of her childhood between her family homes in Piccadilly and Richmond park, before moving to Royal Lodge in Great Windsor Park, where she was gifted her own property in the ground – the Little Cottage (Y Bwthyn Bach) in 1932. Imagine owning a house at the age of 6-years-old!
Educated at home, alongside her sister Princess Margaret Rose, the young Princess Elizabeth learnt a variety of academic subjects and languages, alongside arts, dancing and music. She also started to nurture her love of animals, starting to ride a beloved Shetland pony named Peggy and gaining their families first two Pembroke Welsh Corgis – Dookie and Jane – a year later.
Just a few years later a series of events changed the future of the monarchy forever. In 1936, Kind George V – the Princess’ grandfather – passed away, making her second in line to the throne. Then just one year later, her uncle King Edward abdicated for love, making Princess Elizabeth’s father King and Her Royal Highness heir presumptive – destined to rule unless her parents had a son.
At the outbreak of war, it was thought that the princesses should be evacuated to Canada for their safety, but their mother wouldn’t allow it. She insisted that the girls wouldn’t go without her, that she wouldn’t go without her husband and of course as King, he couldn’t leave – he had a nation to run in a time of crisis. Instead, they moved around various country homes before settling at Windsor Castle, where they remained for the majority of the war.
It was during this time that Her Royal Highness started to take on royal duties, with the first of her now-famous radio broadcasts in 1940 during Children’s Hour, where she sent a message of reassurance to evacuated children across the UK. Two years later, she made her first public appearance by inspecting the troops and eventually accompanied her parents on official visits throughout Britain.
In 1945, the now 19-year-old Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service to help in the war efforts, where she spent a few short months training to be an expert driver and mechanic. She mingled with other British women who had stepped up to play their part and was the first female royal family member to become a full-time active member of the Armed Services (the first of many firsts in the future monarch’s life).
This wartime period was also the beginning of a budding romance for the teenage Princess, as she corresponded with her distant cousin Phillip Mountbatten, whom she had claimed to have fallen in love with at the age of 13. Although the King was initially hesitant about the match, the couple were able to announce their engagement in early 1947 and married at Westminster Abbey on 20th November the same year. Although a momentous occasion, the event itself was not an extravagant one; it certainly paled in comparison to the wedding of her son, Prince Charles, and those of her grandsons, Princes William and Harry. In fact, due to Britain still feeling the effects of war, Princess Elizabeth had to collect coupons to buy her wedding dress, just like all other young brides at the time.
Sadly, just five years later, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip had to give up their relatively normal life as a Naval Officer and a wife with two young children. King George VI passed away at the young age of 56, and the new Queen had to ascend her throne.
The rest, as they say, is history. As Queen, she’s seen the country through financial highs and lows, through times of peace and times of crisis, through happy times and incredibly sad times. She’s seen 14 British Prime Ministers elected, raised four children and now heads up a dynasty of seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Of course, equally importantly, she’s had at least 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis!
Even without the record-breaking 68-year reign, we think our Queen has created a legacy that will stand out in the history books for generations to come.
Let’s Get Moving:
Time for Some Physical Activities!
Games to Play Indoors with Your Little Princes and Princesses
The benefits of playing are multiple. Playing helps children engage with others, develop new skills, use their imaginations, increase their confidence and develop resilience.
If they can play outdoors, there’s the added benefit of fresh air! Sometimes, however, playing outdoors is not possible. Whatever the reason for having to stay and play indoors, it can help to think of some different activities to keep the younger family members entertained – and away from screens.
Below are some of our favourite games.
Many if not all may be already known to you, so if that’s the case, then this is just a reminder!
This is a fun game to help children, especially younger children, to think beyond just how things look.
Take a shoebox or similar and cut a hole in the lid, big enough for a child to put their hand in. Out of sight, put some interesting objects into the box, pop the lid back on and let your little one put his/her hand in within peeking, to see if they can tell you what the item is. Encourage them to ask questions and give some clues if needed.
Suggestions of things to include are a rubber, a leaf, a jelly cube, a crisp and a coin.
The standard variation of this game goes “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…” followed by the first letter of the object.
If you have a child who has never played, you can start by picking out a secret object within plain sight and saying, “I-Spy something blue.” If there is only one child, then he/she can keep guessing until he/she gets it right. If there are multiple children then they can take turns looking around and guessing. The first child correct gets to spy something next.
For older children, you can make this game a bit more tricky! For example, “4 O in the F B” could be 4 oranges in the fruit bowl!
This activity requires you to come up with themes. There are some ideas below. Within your chosen theme, take turns with letters of the alphabet and come up with things in the theme. For instance, in the theme “Animals”, you would have antelope, baboon, cow, duck, etc.
You can do this verbally, or you could get the children to write their answers down. In this case, at the end if a child has an answer that nobody else has chosen they could get double the points.
- Boys’ or girls’ names
- Household items
- Kitchen items
The Radio Game
Turn the radio off. All players choose a word that they think will be heard first on the radio when it is turned back on.
The word can be spoken or sung. Whoever’s word is heard first, wins the round and scores one point. The radio is then turned off and players choose another word. The overall winner is the one who scores the most points after a number of rounds or is the first to score a certain number of points.
Players can use the same word again for subsequent rounds, however a winning word cannot be used again in the game.
Alternatively, take it in turns to choose words to avoid players shouting out their words. Rotate the order of selection. No players can have the same word in the same round.
Think about changing the channel after each round to get a cross section of radio stations with different themes.
The Shopping Game
Each player has to think of things they ‘bought’ from the supermarket. The youngest player then starts the game by saying – “I went to the supermarket and I bought…” and name the item they bought.
The next player must repeat the sentence, “I went to the supermarket and I bought…” and say what the previous player bought, and then add what they themselves bought. This carries on until a player forgets one of the items on the list, in which they are eliminated from the game. The game continues until only person is left.
If playing with younger children, keep the items simple such as milk, sugar, potatoes, etc. If playing with older children or adults allow your imagination to make the list as difficult as possible such as “a man’s blue jumper sized medium” or “a small jar of mixed peppercorns”!
Fresh Air Fun:
The Treasure Trails Garden Games Modern Pentathlon for 2020
Hello athletes and welcome back the Treasure Trails Garden Games Modern Pentathlon for 2020, live from your garden! Your next event has been announced, so gather your teams and get ready for some more crazy sporting action!
Don’t forget, over the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing the remaining slightly wacky events to compete in, all easy and cheap to organise. With your own garden pentathlon, you’ll all have great fun while slipping some exercise into your day!
If you missed it, you can click on the following links to head back and participate in the first event, The Paper Aeroplane Javelin.
Before we get onto this second event, here is a reminder of the ground rules on scoring, and some suggestions on how to make your events even more spectacular!
- If there are enough members in your household, create teams of two people to compete instead of competing as individuals.
- Points are awarded per event. After competing in each event, rank the teams from first to last. The winning team should be awarded five points, the second team four points and so on.
- The team that has the most points after the final, fifth event will win the gold medal (and eternal glory!).
Some Fun Ideas!
Want to go all out and make these events a really memorable experience for the whole family? We’ve got some great ideas for you:
- Create your own Garden Pentathlon torch.
- Split into teams before you start tackling the events and have each team design and create their own flags.
- Hold an opening ceremony, with teams marching into the garden, with their flags and torch, to the tune of Chariots of Fire.
- Prepare sporting themed party food if you’ve got the supplies, or channel Wimbledon with post-event strawberries and cream.
- Create your own gold, silver and bronze medal ribbons, and hold a closing ceremony for the prize-giving (to the tune of We Are the Champions, of course!).
Ready to get started? Here’s your second event!
Event 2: Synchronised Garden Swimming
Pop on your goggles – for this event, teams must create a mock synchronised swimming routine on the lawn to compete for victory!
Your routine will be done to music, and the points must be awarded by an official judicator for style, synchronisation, humour and timeliness.
You will need:
- Pieces of fabric, tape or similar to create a pool perimeter.
- A music-playing device.
- A stopwatch to monitor timeliness.
- Matching outfits (optional).
Each team must find a quiet place and give themselves five to ten minutes to create a one minute synchronised routine to the sound of Ravel’s Bolero.
The routine needs to see both players walking around pretending to swim in the mock pool in perfect synchronisation. You can use any or as many swimming strokes as you want. Lots of smiles and the odd trick will add to the overall effect.
Garden Games Committee rules:
- Swimmers are not allowed to talk to each other during the performance.
- Other teams are not allowed to interrupt or cause a distraction. If they do, they risk being disqualified.
- Swimmers are not allowed to go outside of the perimeter area during the performance.
- The distance is measured from the throwing line to the point where the paper plane first touches down.
- The judge’s decision is final!
Awarding of Points
That was some fantastic competing, athletes – you’ve all done fantastically again!
Time now for the post event mini-points awarding gathering, to reward the winning competitors so far.
Remember to save the tally of points from each event for each of the winning teams, so that they can work towards ultimately winning that coveted Gold Medal at the closing ceremony!
Don’t forget to join us next time, for Event #3 – The Egg and Spoon Steeplechase!
Getting YUMMY With It…
Host your own Garden Party
Host your own Garden Party
(or indoor Afternoon tea if an outdoor space is not available!)
The first Royal Garden Parties were held in the 1860s when Queen Victoria began hosting “breakfasts”, despite the fact that they were held in the afternoon. Fuelled by imports of tea from its colonies, British high society had taken afternoon tea breaks to their heart and the monarchy wrapped this into royal tradition by hosting two garden parties a year.
Change began in the post-WWII era. Under King George VI, the guest list became more democratic. His daughter, our current Queen, carried on this modernisation.
Nowadays, names for the guest list are put forward by the government, the armed services, and different charities. The dress code, though not quite as strict as previously, is still formal: men wear morning dress or lounge suits and women wear dresses with fascinators. Military attendees don their dress uniforms. The gates to Buckingham Palace open at 3 p.m., and the royal family arrives at around 4 p.m. as the National Anthem is played by a military band.
Every year, 30,000 members of the public are invited to the Garden Parties—three take place at Buckingham Palace in London and one takes place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. It’s estimated 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches, and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed. The reasoning? “Garden Parties are an important way for The Queen to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community,” the monarchy’s website explains.
In keeping with this British tradition, why not hold your own garden party – or afternoon tea if you don’t have outdoor space available?
Our recipe for the perfect garden party/afternoon tea includes the following:
Traditionally served in white bread, but personal preference allows for variations! The key to success here is wafer-thin cucumber. Don’t forget to cut off the crusts!
Scones Served with Jam and Clotted Cream.
This is a source of passionate debate in the South West, but here in Cornwall (the home of TT) the jam goes on first!
According to historians, the Victoria sandwich or sponge was named after Queen Victoria when she spent time in retreat at her residence (Osborne House) on the Isle of Wight following the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861.
Earl Grey Tea (or any tea of your choice!).
Earl Grey tea is made from a blend of Keemun tea with Bergamot oil. This tea is both full bodied and, delicate and refreshing, and is a quintessentially British classic. Named after Prime Minister Charles Grey, legend has it that the tea originated as a replication of a tea given to the Prime Minister by a Chinese Mandarin as a gift after one of the Lord’s men saved his son from drowning.
– A blanket or comfy chair(s).
– A good book or radio if enjoying your tea alone.
– Some good conversation (and no mobiles!) if you are lucky enough to be with some of your favourite people.
Enjoy – and of course, don’t forget to extend your little finger while sipping your tea, we may be in lockdown but we must still show impeccable decorum!
Our TOP Five…
Films with a Royal link
Top Royalty Films
The Treasure Trails team are taking some time out for some right royal relaxation in honour of Her Majesty. We’re donning our crowns, grabbing our afternoon teas and settling down on the sofa to watch our favourite royal films.
To give you some inspiration, we’ve gathered our top five films about our very own Queen that we’re keen to rewatch and rediscover. They’re all available through various rental and streaming sites if you fancy watching along with us!
The Queen (2006)
How could we not start this list with The Queen? A moving, biographical film looking at the royal response to the death of Princess Diana, this may not be one to watch with your Mini Princes and Princesses but deserves a spot at the top of your royal watchlist.
Helen Mirren does a fantastic job portraying Queen Elizabeth II – a role that won her several awards. She acts alongside a stellar cast, including Alex Jennings as Prince Charles, who you may recognise from other royal roles, playing Edward VIII in the first two series of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ and King Leopold in ITV’s ‘Victoria’.
Our Top Scene: When an upset Queen Elizabeth sees a stag on the Scottish moors. Simple but beautiful.
The Queen’s Corgi (2019)
This is a fantastic family-friendly feel-good film, perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons. Follow the mishaps of Rex, the Queen’s number one corgi, when he accidentally ends up in a dog shelter after leaving the palace.
Rex meets several interesting canines who aren’t quite used to the same life of luxury he is. Can he conquer the dog-house bully and make his way back to the palace? You’ll be in for a lot of laughs as you take on the adventure with him.
Our Top Scene: Well, we don’t want to give too much away, but Rex’s attempt to get back into his home had us in stitches!
A Royal Night Out (2015)
Have a party at home, alongside the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret as they take London by storm on a night of celebration. Inspired by a small historical footnote (with a lot of creative licences), the sisters mingle with the crowds to celebrate VE Day among the general population.
What was supposed to be a chaperoned trip to The Ritz turns into a night of revelry and escapades when Princess Margaret runs off to join other parties, and Princess Elizabeth tries to track her down. In reality, the two Princesses went out with an organised group, leaving at 10 pm and returning at 1 am; but with a taste of excitement, adventure and a little romance, we like this version better!
Our Top Scene: That would be a toss up between the conga at The Ritz, and Princess Margaret in a wheelbarrow.
The Kings Speech (2010)
Ah, another multi-award-winning historical drama for a cosy night in; this time, following the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI (Duke of York at the start of the film) and his battle to conquer his speech impediment. This heart-warming film is about 74.4% historically accurate (according to Information is Beautiful), and the aspects that aren’t, aren’t even overly dramatic – a fantastic history lesson with an utterly brilliant cast.
If you’ve not seen it before, don’t be fooled – this may seem like a lovely family-friendly film, but you may wish to cover your Mini Prince and Princesses ears during the sweary rant scene around halfway through (and towards the end too)!
Our Top Scene: The funny montage of vocal exercises, particularly when Bertie is rolling around the floor repeating tongue twisters.
The BFG (1989 & 2016)
Okay, this one isn’t technically about the Queen, but she does pop up – that’s all the excuse we needed to revisit our favourite Big Friendly Giant and his friend Sophie. When the loveable dream-catching giant whisks Sophie away from the orphanage, it’s so easy to get taken on the adventure into Dream Country with them.
Queen Elizabeth II is the first person Sophie thinks of when she realises they need to imprison the not-so-friendly giants to save all the children in England. So, they catch a nightmare, and Sophie boldly sneaks into the palace… Well, we don’t want to spoil the rest if you’ve never seen the films or read the book!
Our Top Scene: The Whizzpopper song in the original (although, the whizzpopper scene in the remake is pretty good too!).
If you want to watch along, you can rent The BFG (1989) from Amazon Prime. You can also rent The BFG (2016) from Amazon Prime, or stream it on Netflix. Please note, The BFG (1989) is rated U, while The BFG (2016) is rated PG.
We know it’s not exactly a film, but we couldn’t not include this beauty!
Our Survey Says…
That’s our top five for some right royal entertainment, but we’d love to hear yours too! Tag us on social media using #OurSurveySays to let us know your go-to films about Her Majesty, or any of her ancestors. We’ll add them to our to watch list (any excuse for another serving of scones and cucumber sandwiches…).
Fancy receiving a ROYAL Stamp of Approval?
Stamp It Out!
Did you know that the UK is the only country in the world to omit its name on postage stamps? The monarch’s image signifies the UK as the country of origin.
So, for this edition of TT Strange Times, the competition task is to recreate the look of the monarch on a stamp.
What you need to do is encourage all your princes and princesses to make and decorate a crown – then send in a photo of themselves wearing it, side on, in your depiction of the Queen’s head on a postage stamp. A ‘first class’ effort is going to be required here!
Please send us your photos using the Entry Form below and include the hashtag #FirstClassRoyal. From all entries received, a winner will be chosen to win a Treasure Trails voucher!
We will also publish the winning entry on this page.
Closing date for entry is midday, Friday 8th May 2020.
Entry Form for #FirstClassRoyal:
This competition is now closed! A HUGE thank you to all your amazing entries!
Here is our winner, plus our four runners-up! Congratulations! We wonder if they’ll be wearing their crowns when they explore on their future Trail adventure!
Time to Grab That Thinking Cap Again!
So now’s your chance to get your mind active…
We’ve put together some more fab puzzles for you to crack.
To start off with, click on the following image to open a download and print out our:
Secret Royal Crossword
This crossword contains the names of some members of the British Royal Family, and the names of some places linked to the monarchy.
The clues for the Royals are in the form of anagrams which you will need to unravel; the answer will either be their title and their first name, i.e. Prince Edward, or their full title, i.e. Duchess of Cambridge.
Depending on your Royal Family knowledge, the clues for the castles and palaces may require some internet research to find the answer!
(If you get stuck, don’t worry, you can find the answers for it here!)
The Right Royal Mini Treasure Trail
So while we can’t currently ACTUALLY get out to explore at the moment – there’s no reason why we can’t VIRTUALLY get out!
We’ve come up a MINI VIRTUAL Trail for you to explore with. All you need is a device with internet connection and access to Google maps and Streetview.
Click the image below to download the Right Royal Mini Trail – and good luck!
(Stuck? don’t worry, the answers for it can be found here!)
Tristan’s “Evil” Observational Puzzle!
Woolpack Battery, Hugh Town, St, Mary’s, Isles of Scilly.
Yes, we’re still here, at home in isolation, so we couldn’t resist another chance to go through some of our archive of location images to come up with some alternative “Evil” observational challenges for you – BWAHAHAHAHAAAA!
Click on the image opposite to open a larger version. It was taken on a trip a couple of years ago on a trip to the glorious Isles of Scilly, 25 miles off the south western tip of Cornwall. Study it closely and then answer the three sneaky questions of various difficulty below.
Our easy level question is:
How many years is it from the war with France to the most recent time that the later generation of big guns were installed on The Garrison?
Our medium level question is:
Note down the words that that have 2 of the same double letters next to each other. Which of these words is repeated most often?
Our hard level question is:
Using only the illustration, multiply “P” by “C”. Now divide this by “B”.
(Don’t worry – we won’t make you wait a month for the answers – if you are stuck, they can be found here!)
Show your love for our NHS Heroes – by downloading and printing out this poster to put in your front window:
and don’t forget to show your support by sending a heart via this NHS Gratitude map:
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Treasure Trails Admin 24th April 2020
Tags: Activities, Fun Games, Home Activities, Home Treasure Hunt, Ideas, Inspiration, Lockdown, puzzles, Queen Elizabeth II, Royal Birthday, Royal Family, Royalty, Self-Isolation, Social Distancing, Treasure Hunt Around the Home