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DVD Smith
1280943.  Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:21 am Reply with quote

Queens, New York
The largest borough in New York City was named after the woman who introduced tea to Great Britain.

Her name was Catherine of Braganza, a Portguese princess born in 1638. Where she grew up in Portugal, tea was a very popular drink, with Portuguese merchants regularly bringing it in from Asia. When she was married off to King Charles II of England by her father in 1662, she didn’t care for English ale and instead drank only tea. The tea-drinking habits of the new Queen eventually spread across the English aristocracy, and the demand for tea increased to the point where it became one of the main imports of the East India Company – and thus a national stereotype was born. [1]

When New Amsterdam became New York in 1665, the English set about remapping and renaming the area, and so in 1683 twelve new counties were created. Three of these were “Kings County”, named after King Charles II, “Queens County”, named after his wife, Catherine of Braganza, and “Richmond County”, named after the King’s son the Duke of Richmond. In 1898, the city was consolidated into five boroughs; Queens retained its name, while “Richmond County” became part of Staten Island, and “Kings County” became part of Brooklyn. [2][3] The etymology of Queens is contested, however, with historians saying that, although widely believed, the story has not been proven. [4]


Last edited by DVD Smith on Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:06 am; edited 2 times in total

 
DVD Smith
1280944.  Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:21 am Reply with quote

Queen Elizabeth II
In March 2017 the Guardian ran a fascinating article on the procedures that will take place when the Queen dies. [5] The whole article is interesting, but one or two notable things that I picked out:

If the Queen dies while in Scotland (most likely at Balmoral), she will lie in rest at Holyrood House in Edinburgh, where there will be a precession up the Royal Mile. She will then be put on the Royal Train for the journey down to London. On its journey, the Royal Train will have a second “cleaning train” following immediately behind it, to scoop up any flowers or debris that people have thrown onto the tracks from level crossings or station platforms.

When radio stations hear the breaking news, they are instructed to play “inoffensive music”, before switching to the news report. Every radio station in the country has playlists set up for “sudden mourning”. TV newsreaders will all wear black clothes (and black ties for the men). BBC1, BBC2 and BBC4 will all merge to cover the news, and the BBC will suspend all satirical broadcasts, and possibly all comedy shows altogether (according to The Week [6]) until after the funeral and burial. Similarly, all games and sports will be banned in the Royal Parks. However, flags will only be flown at half mast on the actual day of the Queen’s death; the following day, they will be raised back up to celebrate Charles becoming King.

The BBC might have a tough time pleasing everyone with their coverage though. In 2002, when the Queen Mother’s funeral was broadcast, 130 people complained that the BBC’s coverage had been insensitive, while 1500 people complained that Casualty had been moved to BBC2.

Things named after Queen Elizabeth II
The number of things around the world named after the Queen is quite staggering. [7][8] Obviously there are loads in the countries where she is the current or former monarch, but also in places you wouldn’t expect.

There is a Queen Elizabeth Street in Manaus, Brazil, as well as Queen Elizabeth Drive in Florida and Texas. Both Kyoto, Japan and Kentucky, USA host horse races named the Queen Elizabeth II Cup. [9][10] In fact, as the article by The Field ([7]) shows, it is possible to circumnavigate the globe and visit a place named after the Queen in every country you visit.

You may have heard of the Queen being given “Queen Elizabeth Land” in Antarctica as part of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, [11] but she also has a separate area of Antarctica called “Princess Elizabeth Land”, named after her when it was discovered in 1931.[12] (Not to be confused with "Princess Elisabeth Antarctica", a 2009 polar research station named after the young daughter of the King of Belgium.)[13]

Other unusual things named after or for the Queen are a power station,[14], a planetarium, [15], two mountain ranges, [16][17] and the daughter of a Filipino boxer. Filipino Senator and former boxer Manny Pacquiao named one of his daughters Queen Elizabeth, after his admiration for the monarch, [18], which led to the brilliant headline “Pacquiao’s wife gives birth to Queen Elizabeth”. [19]

In Brisbane, Queensland, you can find the only statue of Queen Elizabeth II in the world with her holding a handbag. [20][21]

Back in the United “Kingdom” (which is a bit of a misnomer in hindsight, since 59% of the UK’s 217-year history has had a queen on the throne): in Scotland, the brand new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the largest hospital in Europe, [22] was nicknamed “the Death Star” by locals when it was opened in 2015, owing to its four-pointed star shape. [23] The hospital boasts a 500-seater restaurant, proving once and for all that Eddie Izzard was right – there is a Death Star canteen, and it’s in the west end of Glasgow.


Last edited by DVD Smith on Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:07 am; edited 2 times in total

 
DVD Smith
1284998.  Thu May 24, 2018 4:38 pm Reply with quote

Queen Pasiphaë
In Greek mythology, Queen Pasiphaë is best known as the mother of the Minotaur, however she also placed a curse on her husband that, according to one account, led to the creation of the first ever condom.



Pasiphae was the wife of King Minos of Crete. One day, Minos prayed to the the god Poseidon to sacrifice one of Poseidon’s bulls. Poseidon gave Minos a magnificent white bull to sacrifice, but Minos was so impressed by the animal that he decided to keep it, sacrificing one of his own instead. Poseidon, angry at this affront, decided to cursed Minos’s queen, Pasiphae, by making her constantly lust for the bull. So strong was Pasiphae’s desire for this creature that she convinced Daedalus (father of famous Greek flyboy Icarus) to construct a fake Trojan Horse-style wooden cow, covered in real cowhide. Pasiphae hid inside this fake cow and convinced the bull to mount it, impregnating Pasiphae. Nine months later, she gave birth to the Minotaur, a man with the head of a bull, who ended up imprisoned in the Labyrinth (also built by Daedalus).



Pasiphae inside the cow is depicted in this statue on the beach in Vilanova, Spain, by Catalan sculptor Oscar Estruga.

Pasiphae’s husband Minos was known for his frequent adultery, so much so that Pasiphae (with the help of her sorceress sister Circe) placed a curse on Minos: any time he had sexual intercourse with another woman, he would ejaculate “poisonous creatures” into her (variously described as including scorpions, snakes, millipedes and woodlice), immediately killing her. According to Ancient Greek writer Antoninus Liberalis, the way that Minos rid himself of this disease was by inserting a goat’s bladder into his mistress’s vagina, which he would ejaculate into instead – thus inventing the condom. (This is only one account though; another account says that Minos was cured of his curse by drinking a special herbal potion.)

As an aside, the first recorded use of the condom as a protection from disease seems to be in Ancient Egypt. A tablet from the Twelfth Dynasty depicts men with protective sheaths covering their penises, acting as shields against insect bites and tropical diseases. It’s thought that they were probably made of linen, or possibly clay.

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

 
Zziggy
1285436.  Wed May 30, 2018 8:41 am Reply with quote

One of my favourite queens is Empress Theodora.

Her father was a Constantinople bear-keeper, and after he died she became a child actress, dancer, mime artist and comedian (and, most likely, prostitute) in the Constantinople hippodrome. At 14 she had a child; at 18 she became the mistress of the governor of Libya. After about four years she left Libya and went back to Constantinople via Alexandria, where she converted to Miaphysite Christianity and renounced her former lifestyle.

Back in Constantinople, she met Justinian. Although he wanted to marry her immediately, it was against the law because she was a former actress (/prostitute) and he was a senator and heir to the throne of the Byzantine Empire. So … he had the law repealed and married her anyway.

Theodora was equal co-ruler with Justinian. During the Nika riots she convinced him and his counsellors not to flee, but instead to crush the rebellion; after the riots they rebuilt the churches and monuments in Constantinople and built the original Hagia Sophia.

She improved the lot of women, and prostitutes in particular, by passing laws to prohibit forced prostitution, establish safe houses for them to live, closing brothels, expanding the rights of women in marriage and divorce, and abolishing laws that executed women for adultery.

Theodora and Justinian are now saints in the eastern orthodox church.

 
Zziggy
1285437.  Wed May 30, 2018 8:44 am Reply with quote

On the subject of Queen - what do we make of the rumours that the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic will not mention his sexuality or cause of death?

 
DVD Smith
1285440.  Wed May 30, 2018 9:01 am Reply with quote

Well, tt's not the true warts-and-all biopic that a lot of people were hoping for, but at least it's better than the original idea. Originally the plan was for Freddie Mercury to die halfway through the film and the rest of the story to be the remaining members of Queen dealing with his death and moving onto other things.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1285521.  Thu May 31, 2018 7:32 am Reply with quote

DVD Smith wrote:
[Cross-posted from my thread in the Essay Submissions forum. ^_^]

Queens, New York
The largest borough in New York City was named after the woman who introduced tea to Great Britain.

Her name was Catherine of Braganza, a Portguese princess born in 1638. Where she grew up in Portugal, tea was a very popular drink, with Portuguese merchants regularly bringing it in from Asia. When she was married off to King Charles II of England by her father in 1662, she didn’t care for English ale and instead drank only tea. The tea-drinking habits of the new Queen eventually spread across the English aristocracy, and the demand for tea increased to the point where it became one of the main imports of the East India Company – and thus a national stereotype was born. [1]

When New Amsterdam became New York in 1665, the English set about remapping and renaming the area, and so in 1683 twelve new counties were created. Three of these were “Kings County”, named after King Charles II, “Queens County”, named after his wife, Catherine of Braganza, and “Richmond County”, named after the King’s son the Duke of Richmond. In 1898, the city was consolidated into five boroughs; Queens retained its name, while “Richmond County” became part of Staten Island, and “Kings County” became part of Brooklyn. [2][3] The etymology of Queens is contested, however, with historians saying that, although widely believed, the story has not been proven. [4]


Meanwhile Queen's County this side of the Atlantic was renamed as Laois after the Irish War of Independence and again under the Local Government Act of 2001, but the original change never actually made it into the statute books. Hence nowadays when a house in, say, Mountmellick is sold, the title deeds still record it as being in Queen's County, but the property will be mapped by Laois County Council.

Because otherwise this just wouldn't be Ireland, right?

Also, their county town, formerly Maryborough, is one of those renamed just to piss off the English, which means that it's quite possible to lose friends even among an exclusively Irish population sample about its pronunciation. Most people will pronounce it as Portleesh, analogous with its county, while the closest thing Gaeilge has to RP insists on Portleeshe with a schwa analogous with the mythical prince Naoise, and the good people of Laois themselves differ between the majority pronunciation and Portleeshaw. To me the schwa pronunciation definitely makes the most logical sense, but because I'm a lazy ass and it saves me a syllable I say Portleesh anyway.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Alexander Howard
1294630.  Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:39 am Reply with quote

What was the name of Napoleon's Empress (who was also thereby Queen of Italy)? I can anticipate klaxons.

 
suze
1294635.  Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:39 am Reply with quote

Since the Empire was proclaimed in 1804, and Napoleon changed wives in 1810, wouldn't both of his wives have been Impératrice des Français and Regina d'Italia?

He did not change wives because he didn't like the old one any more. Rather, Joséphine was 46 and had not borne him an heir, and the two accepted that by now she wasn't going to. He proposed marriage to a 14 year old Russian princess but the Russians weren't up for it (she went on to become Queen of the Netherlands instead), and when that fell through he married an 18 year old Austrian princess instead.

Even Napoleon couldn't have contracted a bigamous marriage without the Pope getting rather upset about it and so he divorced Joséphine to marry the Austrian Maria Louise, but he did not revoke her imperial title. I think that during his second marriage, both women were considered to be Empress.

 
Alexander Howard
1294647.  Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:11 pm Reply with quote

Indeed - and neither was named 'Josephine'. Josephine's actual name was Rose, or in full, Marie-Josèphe-Rose. Bonaparte, coming across this pretty and flirtatious widow (her husband had been guillotined in the reign of terror) invented the name 'Josèphine' for her.

Napoleon's first love was Désirée Clary (later Queen Desideria of Sweden and Norway): a biography of the Emperor which I lapped up tells that he disliked the implications of the name Désirée and nicknamed her 'Eugénie' (which by coincidence was the actual name of Napoleon III's empress). The unreliable Wikipedia, which might have to trust on this occasion, says that Désirée was in fact born 'Eugénie Bernardine Désirée', which rather ruins the story.

Josephine's daughter was a queen too, briefly: Hortense married Napoleon's younger brother, who was made King of Holland, before being deposed by his brother and step-father. Their son, Louis-Napoleon, became Emperor Napoleon III.

I am sure that genealogists can tell me whether Rose / Josephine has descendants today in the royal houses of Europe. Napoleon however doesn't.

 
Dix
1294711.  Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:03 am Reply with quote

Back to the queens:

Margrethe I of Denmark. Described as "One of Scandinavia’s most eminent monarchs" in Encyclopaedia Britannica.
She ruled the roost when her Norwegian husband was alive, then, after her fathers death, got her young son elected as king of Denmark and herself as regent. Husband then dies; add Norway. Son dies; she adopts a six-year-old nephew which becomes nominal king and she stays in power.
Cue some unrest in Sweden; she backs the right side; add Sweden.

Not a bad achievement for a woman in the 14th century.

The current Danish queen deliberately chose to reign as Margrethe II.
In case anyone thought they could pass Margrethe I off as "just being regent".

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Margaret-I

 
suze
1294718.  Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:09 am Reply with quote

Alexander Howard wrote:
I am sure that genealogists can tell me whether Rose / Josephine has descendants today in the royal houses of Europe. Napoleon however doesn't.


Her son by first marriage is an ancestor of the pretender to the throne of Lithuania. There are half a dozen other descendants who rank in the hundreds in order of succession to the British throne (or in some cases, would do but for being Catholic).

But she has no descendant who is a direct part of an extant royal line.

 
DVD Smith
1296165.  Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:39 am Reply with quote

Q: Who is the current Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment?

[Klaxon: The Queen / Prince Charles / Duchess of Cornwall / Princess Diana]

A: It's actually the Queen of Denmark. Not Sandi Toksvig, but Queen Margrethe II.

When the regiment was created in 1992, it was the most senior English infantry regiment, and the Colonelcy was shared jointly between Princess Diana and Queen Margrethe. However when Diana divorced Charles in 1996, she relinquished the title and Margrethe has remained the sole Colonel ever since. [1] [2]

Queen Margrethe is also an accomplished artist, and provided the illustrations for the first Danish edition of The Lord of the Rings under the pseudonym "Ingahild Grathmer". [3] [4] [5]



The story goes that in the early 1970s before she became Queen, she sent some of her sketches to JRR Tolkien, who loved them and was struck by how similar they were to his own drawings. He agreed to use them in the Danish edition (redrawn by professional artist Eric Fraser) and they have since been used in other publications, including in the 1977 British Folio Edition. [6][7] She also reportedly helped with the original Danish translation of the books. [8]

The image above is one of her sketches, of the Nazgûl (Black Rider) on horseback. You can see more of her sketches and drawings here.

 
Dix
1296446.  Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:55 am Reply with quote

Another Scandi:

Christina of Sweden

Queen at six years old, educated as a (male) prince would be (including the weapons and the swearing), took fully over as reigning queen at 18, refused to marry, collected art, abdicated at 28, converted to Catholicism and went to live in Rome.

BBC World service had a brilliant program about her recently. Available onlline. Recommended.

 
DVD Smith
1296564.  Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:05 am Reply with quote

Shifting gears slightly - here's a clip of a Queen gig at Wembley Stadium where you can actually see the sound waves travel through the crowd as they clap.



Source: https://rebrn.com/re/speed-of-sound-visualized-via-waves-of-queen-fans-clapping-in-ry-2820627/

 

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