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23 November 2017

Queen celebrates 70 years of marriage

Not many people manage to stay married for 70 years – there are around 1,260 in the UK this year. And they all get a card from the Queen.

There is one couple who don't get a card from the Queen, though, and that's the Queen herself and husband the Duke of Edinburgh. This week, they celebrated 70 years with a small family party. In the UK, we call a 70-year wedding anniversary the "platinum" anniversary, because platinum is one of the most valuable metals used in jewellery. We call a 50th anniversary a "Golden Wedding" and a 60th anniversary a Diamond Wedding.

The couple married in 1947, just after the end of the second world war. There was still rationing of food and other materials then, and people were given books of "coupons" This meant that the Queen could not just buy her dress, but had to save 300 "coupons" allowing her to pay for the material.

At the age of 91, the Queen is breaking lots of records. She is now the oldest UK King or Queen, the one who has been King or Queen longest, and also the longest-married.

Queen appoints woman to ancient role

There are lots of people with strange-sounding jobs in the UK Houses of Parliament, mostly because our parliamentary system has been going for hundreds of years.

One of these is Black Rod, the title given to the person who keeps the House of Lords in order. There have now been 60 Black Rods in the 650-year history of the House of Lords, and Sarah Clarke will be the first woman.

She will be seen in public sometimes at the State Opening of Parliament, where her job is to bang on a door to get MPs to come and hear the Queen's Speech.

Mrs Clarke is used to organising things – she has been the main organiser of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. She started her career at the All England Lawn Tennis Club as a ball girl supervisor and rose to the top job.

Christmas getting closer

The largest indoor ice and snow sculpture attraction has opened in London. The Magical Ice Kingdom is in Hyde Park. It is themed around the deep sea.

It is part of the annual Winter Wonderland, which includes funfair rides, a circus, an ice bar and a Christmas market.

Nursery bans glitter

At this time of year, when people are planning the Christmas celebrations, lots of schools and nurseries get children to make cards and pictures covered in glitter (that's the tiny metallic pieces).

But one nursery chain has banned glitter. Cheryl Hadland, the managing director of Tops Day Nurseries says the glitter does "terrible damage" to nature. She says glitter is a microplastic and that causes the problem.

"There are 22,000 thousand nurseries in the country, so if we're all getting through pounds and pounds of glitter, we're doing terrible damage."

The children are sticking rice and lentils to their cards instead.


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