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Diamond Jubilee 2012
On 6th February 2012 the nation marked the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen’s accession to the throne; it is on this the day her Diamond Jubilee year officially begins. It is also marked the start of a very special year for the Victoria County History. We will be celebrating the Jubilee with a rededication of the series to the present Queen, who has graciously permitted the University of London to mark the occasion in what, for us, is a particularly appropriate way; for it was the present Queen’s great-great grandmother to whom the VCH series was originally dedicated and who gave the history the title, which we will keep.
The new dedication reads:
THIS HISTORY IS DEDICATED BY GRACIOUS PRIVILEGE TO
QUEEN ELIZABETH II
IN CELEBRATION OF HER MAJESTY’S DIAMOND JUBILEE,
AND INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY OF HER LATE MAJESTY
WHO GRACIOUSLY GAVE THE HISTORY ITS TITLE
Over the coming months our site will be promoting events across England which the counties involved in VCH work will be putting on to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. We are producing a commemorative paperback and looking forward to a very special Marc Fitch lecture. Look out, too, for the publication of the first books to bear the new dedication – Yorkshire East Riding IX: Great Driffield and its Townships, and Essex XI: the North-East Essex Coast, about Clacton and neighbouring resorts. They will appear in the spring, to be followed in the summer by Oxfordshire XVII, a volume on southern parishes which include Kelmscott, the home of William Morris.
On 1st May 2012, HM The Queen accepted a newly re-dedicated volume of VCH Wiltshire XVIII Cricklade and Environs from County Editor, Dr Virginia Bainbridge, and IHR Director, Prof Miles Taylor during her Jubilee visit to Salisbury.
(Photo by permission of photographer, Russell Sach)
This is not the first time members of the Royal Family have shown their support for the VCH. In 1989, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh paid a special visit to the British Library to see “Particular Places” an exhibition which celebrated the publication of the 200th volume of the series. The exhibition was shown to Her Majesty by Dr Christopher Lewis, Assistant to the General Editor of the VCH and author of the accompanying book.
Prior to that, on 11th November 1970, the publication of the 150th volume was marked by a reception at Senate House attended by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Chancellor of the University of London. This event prompted Philip Howard in The Times to describe the VCH as “a central source of facts of English social history”
We hope that many, many more people will be introduced to local history and the VCH in this Diamond Jubilee year. We are looking forward to a fantastic year filled with celebrations and hope you will join us in supporting the VCH project during 2012 and for many more years to come.
Please do keep checking back for more information on our activities over the coming months.
Image: Official portrait of The Queen taken in the Centre Room in Buckingham Palace in December 2011