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Royal Central’s Countdown to Christmas: Day Ten

So we are in to double figures already and with only fifteen days until Christmas Day arrives, why not take a moment to open Royal Central’s tenth door on our very unique Countdown to Christmas.

Our year of focus today is 1997.

Firstly lets see what The Queen had to say.

And what happened in that year?
  • 16th January- The Conservative Party loses its majority in the House of Commons after the death of Iain Mills, MP for Meriden.
  • 22nd February- Scientists at the Roslin Institute announce the birth of the first cloned sheep, named Dolly.
  • 31st March- BBC pre-school television series, Teletubbies, first airs.
  • 1st April- Nursery Education Voucher Scheme is introduced.
  • 1st May- The General Election sees the Labour Party’s Tony Blair defeat John Major and become the next Prime Minister. The Conservatives fail to make any gains.
  • 30th June- Publication of J.K Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone.
  • 19th July- The IRA declares a ceasefire.
  • 2nd August- John Major’s Prime Ministers Resignation Honours are announced.
  • 1st September- A new style of the fifty pence coin is introduced.
  • 4th October- The BBC introduces its new corporate logo across the corporation as well as new idents for BBC 1.
  • 12th November- Brazil’s Supreme Court refuses to extradite the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs, to Britain.
  • 23rd December- Rover Group produces the final Rover 100 after 17 years.
But just what happened Royally?
  • On the 15th January Diana, Princess of Wales calls for an international ban on landmines.
  • Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh made state visits to Pakistan and India.
  • The Queen and Prince Philip also paid a visit to Canada.
  • Princess Anne visits Dame Alice Owens School in Potters Bar.
  • On 31st August Diana, Princess of Wales is killed in a car crash in Paris along with Dodi Fayed. The United Kingdom and majority of the world goes into widespread mourning.
  • On the 1st September it is revealed that Diana’s driver was well over the drink-driving limit and was driving at speeds of over 100mph.
  • In light of recent events, on the 5th September Her Majesty The Queen makes a broadcast to the nation in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. The broadcast came after a few days of criticism to the Royal Family in their response to Diana’s death, a criticism that rapidly faded.
  • On the 6th September, the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales is held at Westminster Abbey. TV coverage of the funeral is hosted by both BBC 1 and ITV and attracts an audience of over 32 million.
  • On the 20th November, The Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
  • On the 11th December, The Royal Yacht Britannia is decommissioned after 44 years service.

As mentioned, on the 5th September The Queen broadcast to the nation in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. See the transcript of that broadcast below:

“Since last Sunday’s dreadful news we have seen, throughout Britain and around the world, an overwhelming expression of sadness at Diana’s death.We have all been trying in our different ways to cope. It is not easy to express a sense of loss, since the initial shock is often succeeded by a mixture of other feelings: disbelief, incomprehension, anger – and concern for those who remain. We have all felt those emotions in these last few days. So what I say to you now, as your Queen and as a grandmother, I say from my heart.First, I want to pay tribute to Diana myself. She was an exceptional and gifted human being. In good times and bad, she never lost her capacity to smile and laugh, nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.
I admired and respected her – for her energy and commitment to others, and especially for her devotion to her two boys. This week at Balmoral, we have all been trying to help William and Harry come to terms with the devastating loss that they and the rest of us have suffered.No-one who knew Diana will ever forget her. Millions of others who never met her, but felt they knew her, will remember her. I for one believe there are lessons to be drawn from her life and from the extraordinary and moving reaction to her death. I share in your determination to cherish her memory.This is also an opportunity for me, on behalf of my family, and especially Prince Charles and William and Harry, to thank all of you who have brought flowers, sent messages and paid your respects in so many ways to a remarkable person. These acts of kindness have been a huge source of help and comfort.Our thoughts are also with Diana’s family and the families of those who died with her. I know that they too have drawn strength from what has happened since last weekend, as they seek to heal their sorrow and then to face the future without a loved one.I hope that tomorrow we can all, wherever we are, join in expressing our grief at Diana’s loss, and gratitude for her all-too-short life. It is a chance to show to the whole world the British nation united in grief and respect.May those who died rest in peace and may we, each and every one of us, thank God for someone who made many, many people happy.”

Featured Photo Credit: ogoco

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