May 29, 2012

JUBILEE WEEK + A Giveaway!

If you’re not a fan of HM The Queen, you might want to check back next Monday, because for the rest of the week, I am going to be featuring all things Diamond Jubilee!HMTQSince I am distraught about not being in the UK to celebrate in Wales with Andy and the children at a street party, and I am missing the Flotilla on the Thames, as well as the 2000 beacons which are being lit up and down the UK, I was delighted to receive an offer to view and review two DVDs from BBC America, the Queen’s Palaces: Buckingham, Windsor and Holyrood House, and the Diamond Queen.QDJ_English_Uncoated_CMYK

Each of the DVDs is three hours long, and although I haven’t finished either, the hour or more I’ve seen of each has shown me that this is another quality BBC production. Inlay

The Queen’s Palaces is narrated by Fiona Bruce of Antiques Roadshow fame. She’s excellent, bringing a lot of history along with a bit of humour and a flash of leg. The Queen's PalacesThe BBC seemed to have wide access to the palaces and take the viewer into areas not on the tourist routes. The Palaces has an introduction by the Prince of Wales, which itself is fascinating to see.US_DIAMOND QUEEN_FINAL_InlayThe Diamond Queen is narrated by BBC newsman and commentator, Andrew Marr, who has the most elastic face I’ve ever seen. I was always a big fan of his insight and opinions when I lived in the UK, so it’s fun to see him on this video… even if he does look like Opie.AndrewMarr460But he’s balanced by HM The Queen in her bright colours, beautiful jewels and measured tones. Not only does Marr talk about The Queen’s life, but he also delves into what she actually does.The Diamond Queen He interviews HM’s children and grandchildren, including Princes Harry and William. He talks to Prime Ministers and heads of state who give personal insight on her impact.

The Diamond Queen will be airing on BBC America on June 3, and The Queen’s Palaces was released May 29th. But I have a copy of each to give away. Just leave a comment telling why you admire HM The Queen and I will pick a winner on Thursday, May 31, and mail the DVD’s out on June 1, so you can watch them during the Diamond Jubilee Weekend. (US readers only!)

There will be downloads, great images, fun facts and more during the rest of this Diamond Jubilee Week on Pigtown*Design. Stay tuned!

45 comments:

  1. Her Royal Majesty, the Queen, has remained unflappable and steadfast despite a panoply of soap opera type events that have touched her reign. I admire her for being a constant for so long and for, every once in a while, showing a hint of a delightful sense of humor.

    Ricki

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  2. I've seen both programmes and can attest to their enjoyment, (if you're a fan of royalty). Marr's programme is well researched, and is an accompaniment to his book of the same title. Of no particular relevance, he and I were at school together.

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    1. I've always been a fan of Andrew Marr! He's done a wonderful job on this. I love the sort of "man on the scene" bit that he does.

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  3. I have been fascinated with HM since I was a kid. If nothing else, I am envious of the endless occasions on which she can wear a hat. Actually, being born into a position where one's life is not one's own is the unique challenge that she has risen to and what I find so interesting.

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    1. Kerry... especially she wasn't really supposed to be the person in the position.

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  4. Hi, Meg,
    So I grew up in a dysfunctional family in a suburb of Los Angeles in the 60's and, as solace in my difficult circumstances, I told myself that I was the real Princess Anne and had been swapped at birth. Although I kept this secret to myself, it did affect my bearing such that that the adults in my neighborhood called me "Duchess." You laugh. I considered it only right. Fast forward to 1976 and the summer of the Bicentennial. I was working on Capital Hill as an intern and rushed out of my office to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty's motorcade --as her limosine glided by, I caught her eye and it was, well, something special. This cemented my lifelong interest in and affection for the British Royal Family. I love the ceremony and the traditions but I admire the sense of duty, service and discipline that marks the Queen and Prince WIlliam. Would love to win either DVD!
    Anne

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    1. Anne... thanks so much for sharing this. You're the best!

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  5. These were on pbs a few weeks ago ( or was it months ago?) and I adored them. I saved them on my TIVO and watched and rewatched them. Like crack to me! Please pick me!
    The longevity of the Queen in a time when the monarchy was in peril and kings and queens around Europe were loosing their thrones (and heads!)is really incredible - whats not to respect? She changed just enough with the times to create stability and respect for the dynasty. Did you see the surprisingly good Katie Couric special last night? I had it on while finishing my packing and it was fascinating!

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    1. Stafan... crack is whack! I missed the Katie Couric special though.

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  6. One of the other commenters used the word "unflappable". Yes, that is absolutely it. HM the Queen maintains a calm and serene face regardless of what is going on with the world or in her own family. The essence of a true leader is not to panic, to not give in to one's emotions, but to think of her people and what they need from her. I've always admired that quality in her. In a time when royalty seems antiquated and unnecessary, the Royal Family has continued to evolve and prove their relevance in the world through their social work.

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  7. A momentous occasion and I would love to see these videos. I adore seeing images when she was a young Queen and how over the years she has always shown a regal public persona. Katie's interview with the young Royals was enlightening and confirmed that she is being more accepting to the changing times.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. So disappointed that i missed the special!

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  8. Why do I admire HM the Queen? As a student of history, especially European history, it has always struck me that fairy tales are such tragic lies where women are concerned. We joked about the unlucky wives of Henry VIII here last week, but really, being a princess or a queen has historically been a heavy burden and a dangerous occupation in every country throughout the centuries. There are a handful of exceptions, of course -- extraordinary women like Elizabeth I of England, Maria Theresa of Austria, Catherine the Great of Russia -- but there are far more women who were crushed, manipulated and destroyed, finding themselves ironically powerless and trapped despite their palaces and jeweled crowns: Think of the Napoleon's beloved Empress Josephine and others who were cast aside because they did not bear male heirs, or the last Russian Tsarina Alexandra, whose frantic motherly concern for her hemophiliac son led her to be ensnared by Rasputin, gravely and perhaps fatally compromising that royal family. Then there's Marie Antoinette, thrown in over her head, scapegoated for all of France's problems even as she was ostracized by the King and his advisors and completely excluded from policymaking and governance. More recently, we all remember how every little girl longed to step into the magical shoes of Princess Diana on her wedding day, and the world watched as that fairy tale trajectory ended so tragically.

    Celebrity can be treacherous for anyone's well-being. The paprazzi are everywhere, waiting in the shadows to capture your lowest moments on film and splash them across the tabloids. One day the people love you, but without warning, fans turn on you and delight in your demise. To be put in those circumstances at such a young age, under the harsh spotlight of fame that you never sought, with the whole world watching your every move, must be a terrific strain. These days, the monarchy is largely symbolic and the Queen has so much more influence than power, yet she's under greater pulic scrutiny than ever before.

    Why do I admire HM the Queen? Because she rises above all of this, always has, even in her youth. She promotes and preserves the rich historical legacy of Britain, and uses her influence to do as much good as she can. She is the epitome of grace under pressure!

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    1. Rebecca. this was such an eloquent arguement. You know your stuff!

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    2. Interesting that the women you mention who were badly done by, were all married to the reigning monarch. As for Diana,I cried on and off for a week when she died, just appalling that saga

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  9. Oh my! Lovely giveaway! I watched that ABC special Katie Couric did last night and was just glued to the TV screen! I think HM is simply amazing! To have become Queen at such a young age, she has done an utterly amazing job of serving her country, all the while living her life in a fishbowl.

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    1. Can't believe I forgot to watch the show!

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  10. Dear Miss Meggie: I'm writing on behalf of G, who for some unknown reason at age five is completely sotted with the British royals. You would greatly please HRH G by selecting my daughter to receive one of the DVDs.

    Either DVD would be well received. She seems to love the concept of ruling over one's subjects, and with a collection of 35 stuffed cats and counting (in addition to her more recent acquisitions of a stuffed pink flamingo and a rooster (???!!!)), I think she has reign over a good number of her own subjects. Don't get me started on the concept of living in a palace -- she frequently asks for information about princesses in palaces, so maybe she wants to live somewhere more grandiose than our (small) house in MD?

    Several times in grocery stores last week, she picked up and tried to put into the cart magazines highlighting HM The Queen. She looked very disappointed that I demanded she put the $10+ magazines back on the shelf!

    So, you would please G by selecting her to receive one of the DVDs? Thank you.

    -- Miss M.A.

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  11. I have always loved Her Majesty for her stedfast loyalty to country, duty and family. She has threaded the mine-filled path from empire to nation in a constantly changing world with dignity and strength. Not an easy task.
    Mary

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  12. Since I have been to UK a number of times over the years, I always look to see if HM's flag is flying(tells if she is in residence + HM looks exactly like(or the other way around) my cousin Margaret even down to the hair + height. I adore HM + everyone in her large family. Kudos to Katie Couric at ABC. Loved it...thank you Meg

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    1. Peggy... I always look, too! When I was driving by Windsor in March, I checked!

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  13. I predict a week of fanciful hats and 'fascinators'!

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  14. Just when I'm convinced we've evolved from a culture of character to a culture of personality (thank you, Susan Cain, for the reference), I remember the stability of the monarchy and the longevity and unwavering propriety of the Diamond Jubilee Queen. Say what you will, I'm a fan of pomp and circumstance and of the juxtaposition this Queen has maintained against our more casual, celebrity-driven surface that sometimes hides the integrity and tradition of the dear US of A.

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    1. Annie... that's one of the points that Andrew Marr made... that the "celebs" pander to the cameras and the crowds, and The Queen accepts them as being part of her life and doesn't court them for attention.

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  15. I will look forward to all your Jubilee posts.
    I have always admired The Queen, and absolutely adored "The Queen Mum." They are both good examples of strength and grace. Seriously, how can you not love a woman that enjoys a nip and is a fan of horse racing?

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    1. Gin and horses! You're right, what's not to love!

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  16. And, how can you not enjoy seeing her toddling through the Palace with the corgis swirling around her heels. It seems they have been another of her life-long passions. Were I a dog-person, they would be my choice as well. I admire her greatly and am glad that she seems to have warmed up a bit more in presenting herself to the people in her Jubilee years. Perhaps it took Wills and Harry to show her the way.

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    1. Wills and Harry, and perhaps Diana's death.

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  17. I used to travel to England, Scotland, Wales every summmer for many years but am no longer able to do so as I am 83 and very arthritic. So you can see why your blog is my very favorite. The Queen is so special because she is so constant and she loves her animals. Our way of life has changed so much it is so
    refreshing to see palaces, princes, jewels and be taken to another time.

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    1. Her constancy is one of the reasons she remains so beloved.

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  18. I am a fan of the Royals; during the Montreal Games (equestrian), my mother and I were walking the cross country course and happen to wait at a huge jump....a Range Rover pulled up and the Queen got out to watch the next rider; Princess Anne. She turned to my mother and said; "you know, it would be much easier if I were riding"....it seems mothers are the same all over......


    ...can't wait for the rest of the week!! Thanks for all you do. Susie

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  19. Meg
    I knew you'd be covering the Jubliee! I'm from the UK and love it when you cover anything from home. I am going back after the Jubliee next week as timing just didn't work out to be there during it. I watched the Katie Couric special last night and was glued to the t.v. It was too late for my daughter to see it but she really wanted to knowing it's her heritage. I'm very proud of my country and of the Queen. Thank you!

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  20. Helen Mirren's Oscar speech summed up ER11 to a T. Did you know is ER11 is also Queen of Australia?

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  21. While I greatly admire the Queen as the living embodiment of many of Britain's best traditions it is the fact that she has evolved as the world has that makes me a fan. Hands that once held her were once held by Queen Victoria and yet her hands once changed spark plugs. She has spent countless hours with every PM since Churchill yet also traveled the world meeting the common man (and quite a few world leaders). Throughout it all she has never (publicly) made a misstep or spoken an unkind word. She is wise and she is wonderful. Long may she reign!
    Carey Pickard
    copickard@yahoo.com

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  22. have loved this post> I also am amazed at the Queen's jewellery, no doubt all real pearls. Did anyone notice at William's wedding how sprightly both the Queen and Prince Philip alighted from their carriage?

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  23. I'm also sorry that I couldn't be there to join in the festivities, but I'm putting bunting up for a party this weekend. The Queen is just a marvel---she has dedicated her life to her duty to her country, and she's done it splendidly. She never fails to meet any situation with grace and dignity.

    Wonderful giveaway---thank you for the chance to win.

    Enjoy your weekend.

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  24. I really miss the BBC! The Queen is such a wonderful figure and every time that I think of her, I think of one great story from our time in Oxford. One of my wife's co-workers was asking why we stayed up all night and were so excited about the Presidential election. When my wife was unable to explain to her how important the election is to many Americans, one of her older co-workers pipped up to explain that we got excited about it like was a Coronation. The kicker is that the older co-worker would have been at most about 6 when the Queen was coronated!

    Cheers!

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