• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

ES1702 Graphics & Test Thread

British Republic (4)

ES1702

Active member
Buckingham House
is a public institution in Westminster, London dedicated to the history of the monarchy of the United Kingdom which existed until 1820. Its permanent collection of over one million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in Britain on the subject, having been collected from former royal households and other institutions in the years following the British Revolution.

The museum at Buckingham House was established on 30 January 1824, exactly 175 years since the execution of King Charles I and was housed in what had been a private retreat for Queen Charlotte until her death in 1818. Large renovations of the House had continued after the accession of King George IV to the throne in January 1820, and after his execution in April 1820 at the end of the Revolution, the Provisional Government under Arthur Thistlewood determined that the work should continue and the site converted from royal palace to a second national museum, alongside the British Museum established in 1753. Architect John Nash was commissioned to work on the building, including the addition of the famous Marble Arch entrance, to demonstrate the new British Republic's commitment to the preservation and display of the nation's history.

The museum sourced its collection from the former royal households, including Carlton House, St James's Palace, Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle, which remain on display despite repeated legal challenges from members of the House of Hanover to recover items such as papers and jewellery belonging to their ancestors. The British Crown Jewels were displayed at Buckingham House between 1824 and 1961 when they were returned to the Tower of London to be displayed in the renovated Jewel House.

Like other publicly funded national museums in Britain, Buckingham House does not charge an admission fee. Visitors have access to Buckingham House itself, the Buckingham House Gallery, dedicated to displaying portraits of monarchs and royalty, the Buckingham House Gardens and the Royal Mews at Buckingham House, where the carriages used during the monarchy such as the Gold State Coach and carriages still in use today, such as the Lord Mayor of London's State Coach, can be viewed. The Buckingham House estate was made a Grade I Listed Building in March 1970 ahead of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Republic in April 1970.

In 2020, the year of the 200th anniversary of the Republic, the museum recorded over 10.2 million visitors, breaking the previous record of 9.6 million set in 2010 when multiple special exhibitions were held to mark the 350th anniversary of the restoration to the throne of Charles II in 1660 after the Interregnum.

Buckingham House can be accessed via public transport through the London Underground stations at Green Park, Hyde Park Corner and Grosvenor Gardens. Constitution Hill remains a public access road to private vehicles, private hire vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Buses are not permitted to run routes down Constitution Hill or The Mall.
 
British Republic (6)

ES1702

Active member
1614678745241.pngUniversal Basics (UB) is the programme of four universal basic services that forms the core of the welfare state in Britain. It was introduced in 2000 to replace and upgrade the various number of benefits for working-age adults, their dependents and retired adults and sought to return to the welfare state in Britain to the basic ideas set out by Thomas Spence, Arthur Thistlewood and William Davidson in the 19th Century. All residents in Britain are eligible for all the services provided through the programme.

Universal Basics is comprised of four basic services, created by the Universal Basics Act 1996 and defined as:

1) Universal Basics: Guaranteed Income
2) Universal Basics: Housing Service
3) Universal Basics: Information Service
4) Universal Basics: Transport for Britain



The National Health and Care Service (NHCS), which uses UB-style branding, state-provided education, free school lunches and legal services are not considered part of the Universal Basics programme.

History
The radical overhaul of Britain's welfare state was first proposed in 1990 at the annual conference of the National Spencean Alliance by Leader, and former Chief Commissioner, Eric Varley as part of the party's "bold offer" to the electorate after unexpectedly losing the 1988 election. The party won a significant majority in the 1991 election which saw the formal consultations and preparations for implementation legislation begin. When Varley resigned in 1993 due to a health scare, the Social Security Commissioner, who had overseen the first two years of work on the policy, Ann Taylor was elected to succeed him and declared the welfare reforms a "Millennium challenge" for Britain and promised to have the reforms in place by 2000. A white paper on the proposals was published in January 1994 and draft legislation published in February 1995. The Speceans made the draft legislation and the policy the key focus of their campaign in the 1995 election in which they were re-elected with another significant majority. Universals Basics, and the wider reforms of social security, were legislated for in the Universal Basics Act 1996 and the Welfare Reform Act 1997. A third successive Spencean victory in the 1999 election ensured that the reforms took effect, as planned, on 1st January 2000.

Services
All four services are operated under the umbrella of Universal Basics, but are largely administered in separate government departments while using a single database to ensure consistency in the data used by each department. 'Guaranteed Income' and the 'Housing Service' are managed by the Department for Employment and Social Security, the 'Information Service' is managed by the Department for Culture and National Heritage and 'Transport for Britain' is an executive agency within the Department for Infrastructure and Enterprise. Accounting for both capital and current expenditure, spending on Universal Basics in 2020 was £914.8 billion - equivalent to 34% of GDP.

Guaranteed Income
Guaranteed Income, otherwise known as basic income or universal basic income, is the the cornerstone of the Universal Basics programme. It was designed to replace almost all of the individual benefit payments that existed prior to 2000, while eradicating poverty and returning the welfare state, on the whole, to its origins when surplus revenue achieved by government was redistributed in equal sized payments to all residents. This system existed between 1820 and 1883 when it was replaced by William Gladstone and the Whigs by an early version of the welfare state that existed between 1883 and 2000.

Guaranteed Income is, by far, the single largest expenditure in the government's budget, with £850.1 billion being spent on the programme in 2020 - the equivalent of 31.65% of GDP, and 93% of the total capital and current expenditure of Universal Basics. Every adult (those aged 18 and over) resident receives a £1,000 payment on the first working day of each month of the year, totalling to £12,000 across one calendar year, direct to the bank account they have registered with for the purposes of Universal Basics. The payment is tax-free and makes up the vast majority of the £15,000 'personal allowance', which is the income one can accrue before they begin to pay income tax. Every resident aged 0 to 17 receives a £3,000 payment into a dedicated personal Guaranteed Income Fund. Parents of children aged 0 to 15 are able to access up to 50% of the payments each month to help pay towards costs relating to their child. At ages 16 and 17 responsibility for the fund is transferred directly to the child, who access up to 75% of the payments monthly. These rules were designed to ensure that each child would have a minimum amount of £24,000 in their funds upon their 18th birthday, allowing them to fund the tuition for an undergraduate university degree (which is capped at £4,000 a year) if they wish to attend university while still retaining a significant amount to expend as they wish.

Housing Service
Through the Housing Service, the government spends £19.1 billion each year in capital expenditure to build 225,000 prefab homes which are built in factories across Britain. All the homes are social housing for at least the first 5 years. Tenants who remain in a property for 5 years or more can then opt-in to the Share to Buy scheme which allows them to purchase a share in the property of up to 50% initially, and 'staircase' up to 100% ownership over a period of 25 years. In the first year of the scheme, in 2000, all the homeless and rough sleepers in Britain were given a newbuild through the Housing Service with the first year rent and utility free applied to all homes in the first year of the scheme. This allowed homelessness and rough sleeping in Britain to be completely eradicated, which remains the case as of 2020. The rent exemption applied only for the first year of the scheme. The utility exemption, applied to gas, water and electricity, remains in place for the first year of the tenancy through a £3,250 Utility Allowance paid directly to suppliers by the government, at a total cost to the government of £731.3 million a year.

Information Service
The Information Service is the second largest service provided through Universal Basics in terms of total expenditure, costing £34 billion in 2020. For all households, the Television Licence Fee, which allows live television to be watched in a household and which is set independently by the BBC each year as their funding source, is financed directly through the service. Every household also has a basic broadband package financed through the service, providing at least 50Mb broadband at a cost of £25 per month per household. Households may opt for a faster speed or package extension, such as including a landline telephone, with a private company. In this case, the government will continue to finance the first £25 of the monthly bill, with the remainder financed by the household themselves. Finally, the Information Service provides a basic mobile phone package to all adults at the value of £18 a month, which provides 75GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. As with broadband, adults can opt for package extensions with private providers and the government will finance the first £18 of their monthly bill with the remainder financed by the individual. Mobile phones for those under the age of 18 are not financed through the scheme, however the government launched a consultation in 2019 on extending the policy to 16 and 17-year-olds.

Transport for Britain
Through Transport for Britain, which is responsible for most of the transport network in Britain, all residents are given free bus travel regardless of age at a cost of £10.1 billion in 2020. As with all other Transport for Britain services on rail, rapid transit, trams, tolls and bicycle and scooter hire, travellers must tap in and out for their journeys on buses with their TfB Travelcards or contactless payment device. Despite no charge being made, tapping in and out is still required in order to allow records to be kept of how many journeys are made on the bus network and where additional services may be needed in future to deal with overcrowding. Non-residents, such as tourists and those on temporary visas, are charged £1 for each journey they make on the bus network, with travel remaining free for non-resident children aged 10 and below.
 

ES1702

Active member
Major Political Parties of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (as of 2021)
- English National Party (ENP)
- Leader: Simon Hughes
- Freedom Party (FRP)
- Leader: John Redwood
- Fianna Fail (FFL)
- Leader: Michael McGrath
- National Party (NAT)
- Leader: Theresa May
- National Patriotic Union (NPU)
- Leader: Patricia Mountain
- Plaid Cymru (PLC)
- Leader: Rhun ap Iorwerth
- People's Solidarity Party (PSP)
- Leader: John McDonnell
- Progressive Alliance (PGA)
- Leader: Tony Blair
- Scottish National Party (SNP)
- Leader: Alex Salmond
- Sinn Fein (SFN)
- Leader: Gerry Adams
- Social Liberal Party (SLP)
- Leader: Gordon Brown
- Ulster's Voice (ULV)
- Leader: Nigel Dodds
 

ES1702

Active member
The Blair Years
Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair may not have had the most typical of elevations to the top level of British politics, but it is indisputable that he has been the most successful political leader in the United Kingdom, and indeed the Western world, since at least the end of the Second World War. After Margaret Thatcher left office in 1990 few believed it was possible for one figure to be such a dominant force in their own party and the national political arena ever again. Indeed, it is not only in terms of influence that Blair resembled Thatcher, the Iron Lady herself declared Blair as her natural heir some way into his time as Prime Minister - continuing the work she had begun in 1979 to break the post-war consensus and provide new emphasis on free market policies.

Tony Blair's almost complete domination of British politics traced its roots to 1992 and Black Wednesday. When Britain crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the Conservative Party's reputation for economic competency and management was destroyed. That propelled Labour to extraordinary leads in opinion polls, but the sudden death of John Smith in 1994 saw the still relatively little-known Tony Blair elected as his successor. His new brand of centrism, combined with fiscal responsibility and constitutional reform, while embracing popular market economics and social justice over equality saw his personal popularity soar (to become the most popular Leader of the Opposition since records began) and Labour skyrocket to unimaginable heights in the opinion polls.

The 1997 general election result, to this day, remains almost beyond belief. Never before has one political party alone so dominated the House of Commons - and rarely has it ever occurred in another mature and free democracy like the United Kingdom. For the first time in 66 years, an absolute majority of votes cast was won by one party, and the record for the number of votes cast for a party in a general election was broken by a huge amount.

Labour's enormous victory with 58.3% of the vote and 604 seats was so large and the opposition so crushed (the Conservatives were almost extinguished, reduced to a rump of just 21 seats but still enough to become the Official Opposition) that Blair himself felt the need to reassure the nation that he would use his power responsibly. After all, he was placed in a position where he could do anything he wanted and implement any policy he desired for the next five years at least. Many believed, and were proven right, that the scale of Labour's victory would keep them in power for well beyond five years.

That victory in 1997 and the incredible endorsement that came from it gave Tony Blair the mandate to mould 21st Century Britain in his image, and the image of New Labour. For many millions of young people in Britain today, there has never been anyone other than Tony Blair as Prime Minister. Despite scandals and controversies, his constant graft and dogged determination to reform society and the economy has made him one of the most respected men not just in these islands but across the whole world. The story of the Blair Years is one of triumph and tragedy, longevity and lives cut too short, of success and failure, of praise and controversy. The whole story hasn't been told, until now.


97MassiveLandslide.png
 

ES1702

Active member
The Blair Years
The ashen-faced look on Sir Edward Heath's face as his near-16,000 vote majority was overturned to become a near-6,000 vote Labour majority in Old Bexley and Sidcup, bringing an end to the former Prime Minister's 47-year long tenure as an MP and 5-year period as Father of the House, just about summed up the mood of the Conservative Party on election night in 1997. Hundreds of Tories, whether they were relative newbies or respected former Prime Ministers, could not hold back the Labour tidal wave that swept across the electoral map of Great Britain on 1st May and the party was crippled to unimaginably low numbers. Apart from the seats of William Hague, Norman Fowler and John Major, the Conservatives were now a party of the South East of England. The 11 Liberal Democrats, 3 Scottish Nationalists and 2 Welsh nationalists were the only others to hold out against Labour's sweep. Northern Ireland's unique party system boosted the opposition's numbers to 55 in the new Parliament.


Tony Blair's jubilant arrival in Downing Street on 2nd May was immediately followed by the first significant task of governing - forming a Cabinet. The Shadow Cabinet was transferred almost exactly into the Cabinet, with key appointments being made such as John Prescott as Deputy Prime Minister, Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Robin Cook as Foreign Secretary and Jack Straw as Home Secretary. The new government set to work with a swift pace, Gordon Brown unexpectedly announcing on 6th May that the Bank of England would be given operational independence over monetary policy and Blair himself introducing the Bill to hold the referenda on devolution in Scotland and Wales in September 1997. Just over a month after entering office, the Labour government had the United Kingdom sign up to the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty that had contributed to the previous Tory government enduring almighty internal rows that helped seal its destruction in the election.

While the Blair government set to work, what remained of the Conservative Party set about electing a successor to John Major to take on the unenviable task of Leader of the Opposition to a totally dominant government. With Major out of the running for obvious reasons, there just 20 possible contenders and only two stepped forward. With the State Opening of Parliament out of the way on 14th May, William Hague (the Wales Secretary in Major's government) and Virginia Bottomley (the National Heritage Secretary in Major's government) announced their candidacies for the leadership. The rump of 21 MPs voted on 22nd May for their new leader and, in a result that was both a surprise and unsurprising, Virginia Bottomley won out to become the second female leader of her party thanks to John Major's casting vote. Major, as the former leader, had sought to keep his vote private, but the public declarations of his 20 colleagues - splitting evenly between the two candidates - unmasked Major as the man who had made Bottomley his successor.



Bottomley had only 20 other MPs from, and was determined to leave at least a small number of MPs on the backbenches out of the Shadow Cabinet to ensure her leadership could be held to account. Bringing in a handful of Peers and a giving a couple of members multiple portfolios, Bottomley unveiled her Shadow Cabinet on 24th May...

Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party
Virginia Bottomley MP
Shadow Deputy Prime Minister
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Norman Fowler MP
Shadow Chancellor of the ExchequerNicholas Soames MP
Shadow Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Shadow Attorney General of England and Wales
Nick Hawkins MP
Shadow Leader of the House of CommonsJulian Lewis MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
Chairman of the Conservative Party
The Lord Baker of Dorking
Shadow Chief Secretary to the TreasuryPhilip Hammond MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth AffairsJohn Major MP
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentWilliam Hague MP
Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodRichard Ottaway MP
Shadow Secretary of State for HealthFrancis Maude MP
Shadow Secretary of State for DefenceRichard Benyon MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Social SecurityPeter Ainsworth MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and EmploymentCheryl Gillan MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and IndustryIan Taylor MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and SportThe Lord Ryder of Wensum
Shadow Secretary of State for International DevelopmentDominic Grieve MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Michael Mates MP
Opposition Chief WhipPaul Beresford MP
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords The Lord Strathclyde

The four MPs that Bottomley had left on the backbenches were balanced 50-50 between those who had supported her in the leadership election and those who had supported William Hague. The 'loyalist' backbenchers were Geoffrey Johnson Smith and Charles Wardle, and the others were Desmond Swayne and Christopher Chope.
 

cikka

"Sucks up to the British more than the bloody DUP"
Location
Kentkingsh- kentklungklicklingshirekington
Pronouns
he/him, she/her
The Blair Years
The ashen-faced look on Sir Edward Heath's face as his near-16,000 vote majority was overturned to become a near-6,000 vote Labour majority in Old Bexley and Sidcup, bringing an end to the former Prime Minister's 47-year long tenure as an MP and 5-year period as Father of the House, just about summed up the mood of the Conservative Party on election night in 1997. Hundreds of Tories, whether they were relative newbies or respected former Prime Ministers, could not hold back the Labour tidal wave that swept across the electoral map of Great Britain on 1st May and the party was crippled to unimaginably low numbers. Apart from the seats of William Hague, Norman Fowler and John Major, the Conservatives were now a party of the South East of England. The 11 Liberal Democrats, 3 Scottish Nationalists and 2 Welsh nationalists were the only others to hold out against Labour's sweep. Northern Ireland's unique party system boosted the opposition's numbers to 55 in the new Parliament.


Tony Blair's jubilant arrival in Downing Street on 2nd May was immediately followed by the first significant task of governing - forming a Cabinet. The Shadow Cabinet was transferred almost exactly into the Cabinet, with key appointments being made such as John Prescott as Deputy Prime Minister, Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Robin Cook as Foreign Secretary and Jack Straw as Home Secretary. The new government set to work with a swift pace, Gordon Brown unexpectedly announcing on 6th May that the Bank of England would be given operational independence over monetary policy and Blair himself introducing the Bill to hold the referenda on devolution in Scotland and Wales in September 1997. Just over a month after entering office, the Labour government had the United Kingdom sign up to the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty that had contributed to the previous Tory government enduring almighty internal rows that helped seal its destruction in the election.

While the Blair government set to work, what remained of the Conservative Party set about electing a successor to John Major to take on the unenviable task of Leader of the Opposition to a totally dominant government. With Major out of the running for obvious reasons, there just 20 possible contenders and only two stepped forward. With the State Opening of Parliament out of the way on 14th May, William Hague (the Wales Secretary in Major's government) and Virginia Bottomley (the National Heritage Secretary in Major's government) announced their candidacies for the leadership. The rump of 21 MPs voted on 22nd May for their new leader and, in a result that was both a surprise and unsurprising, Virginia Bottomley won out to become the second female leader of her party thanks to John Major's casting vote. Major, as the former leader, had sought to keep his vote private, but the public declarations of his 20 colleagues - splitting evenly between the two candidates - unmasked Major as the man who had made Bottomley his successor.



Bottomley had only 20 other MPs from, and was determined to leave at least a small number of MPs on the backbenches out of the Shadow Cabinet to ensure her leadership could be held to account. Bringing in a handful of Peers and a giving a couple of members multiple portfolios, Bottomley unveiled her Shadow Cabinet on 24th May...

Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party
Virginia Bottomley MP
Shadow Deputy Prime Minister
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Norman Fowler MP
Shadow Chancellor of the ExchequerNicholas Soames MP
Shadow Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Shadow Attorney General of England and Wales
Nick Hawkins MP
Shadow Leader of the House of CommonsJulian Lewis MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords
Chairman of the Conservative Party
The Lord Baker of Dorking
Shadow Chief Secretary to the TreasuryPhilip Hammond MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth AffairsJohn Major MP
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentWilliam Hague MP
Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodRichard Ottaway MP
Shadow Secretary of State for HealthFrancis Maude MP
Shadow Secretary of State for DefenceRichard Benyon MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Social SecurityPeter Ainsworth MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and EmploymentCheryl Gillan MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and IndustryIan Taylor MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and SportThe Lord Ryder of Wensum
Shadow Secretary of State for International DevelopmentDominic Grieve MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Michael Mates MP
Opposition Chief WhipPaul Beresford MP
Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords The Lord Strathclyde

The four MPs that Bottomley had left on the backbenches were balanced 50-50 between those who had supported her in the leadership election and those who had supported William Hague. The 'loyalist' backbenchers were Geoffrey Johnson Smith and Charles Wardle, and the others were Desmond Swayne and Christopher Chope.
fucking sutton coldfield
 

ES1702

Active member
Major Political Parties of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (as of 2021)
...
2018 Wales.png
The 2018 Welsh presidential election was the eleventh presidential election to be held in Wales and was contested by seven candidates. It was held on Thursday, 21 June 2018. President Eluned Morgan was seeking re-election for a second term in office, after serving her first five-year term since 2013.

The seven candidates were Stephen Kinnock of the Social Liberal Party, Eluned Morgan of the Progressive Alliance, Robin Millar of the National Party, Lesley Griffiths of the People's Solidarity Party, Caroline Jones of the Freedom Party, Rhun ap Iorwerth of Plaid Cymru and David Rowlands of the National Patriotic Union. Candidates had to receive the nominations of no fewer than 150 elected councillors or Members of the Senedd or 5,000 registered eligible voters and pay a deposit of £25,000 - returnable if a candidate wins 7.5% or more of the first preference votes in the election.

Eluned Morgan won a plurality of first preference votes with 19.2%, though was ultimately defeated by Stephen Kinnock on the sixth and final count of the votes by a margin of 26,000 votes. Kinnock was inaugurated as President of Wales on 1st July 2018, swearing allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen and the Constitution, in accordance with the Constitution of Wales.


First Count
  • Eluned Morgan: 389,111 (19.2%)
  • Stephen Kinnock: 374,925 (18.5%)
  • Robin Millar: 318,179 (15.7%)
  • Lesley Griffiths: 310,073 (15.3%)
  • Rhun ap Iorweth: 251,301 (12.4%)
  • Caroline Jones: 218,875 (10.8%)
  • David Rowlands: 164,156 (8.1%)
Second Count
  • Eluned Morgan: 430,324 (21.5%)
  • Stephen Kinnock: 383,869 (19.2%)
  • Robin Millar: 370,523 (18.5%)
  • Lesley Griffiths: 310,073 (15.5%)
  • Caroline Jones: 258,386 (12.9%)
  • Rhun ap Iorweth: 251,301 (12.4%)
Third Count
  • Eluned Morgan: 487,196 (24.7%)
  • Stephen Kinnock: 435,118 (22.1%)
  • Robin Millar: 404,734 (20.6%)
  • Lesley Griffiths: 376,061 (19.1%)
  • Caroline Jones: 265,707 (13.5%)
Fourth Count
  • Eluned Morgan: 554,520 (28.8%)
  • Robin Millar: 547,465 (28.4%)
  • Stephen Kinnock: 444,862 (23.1%)
  • Lesley Griffiths: 379,605 (19.7%)
Fifth Count
  • Eluned Morgan: 666,276 (35.8%)
  • Stephen Kinnock: 646,304 (34.7%)
  • Robin Millar: 550,453 (29.5%)
Sixth Count
  • Stephen Kinnock: 899,726 (50.7%)
  • Eluned Morgan: 873,531 (49.3%)
 

ES1702

Active member
QueenMargaret.pngMargaret (Margaret Rose; 21 August 1930 - 9 February 2002) was Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth Realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2002.

Margaret was born in Glamis Castle, Angus, as the second child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) and spent much of her childhood with her parents and sister, Princess Elizabeth. Her life changed dramatically at the age of six when her paternal uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry divorcee Wallis Simpson. Her father became King, and her sister heir presumptive with Margaret second in line to the throne. During the Second World War, the two sisters stayed at Windsor Castle despite suggestions to evacuate them to Canada. During the war years, Margaret was considered too young to perform any official duties and instead continued her education with Marion Crawford, the governess who educated her alongside Elizabeth. Margaret was a Brownie in the 1st Buckingham Palace Brownie Pack, formed in 1937, which enabled her to socialise with girls her own age and engage in activities.

Her life changed dramatically for a second time at the age of sixteen when her sister, the heir presumptive, died by accidental choking placing Margaret as first in line for the throne. Upon her elevation to heir presumptive, Margaret's parents arranged private tuition for her in constitutional history and in 1947 she undertook her first solo engagement and went on her first overseas tour, accompanying her parents through southern Africa.

Her father died unexpectedly on 6 February 1952 and Margaret, aged twenty one, became Queen. Margaret was grief-stricken by the death of her father and said to have been prescribed sedatives to help her sleep. The Queen sought comfort from both her mother, the now widowed Queen Mother, and Peter Townsend, the late King's equerry who had been her chaperone during the 1947 overseas tour. A biographer of Margaret, Craig Brown, stated that the Queen had fallen in love with Townsend in 1947 and that Townsend's love for Margaret began in 1951. With Townsend being married, before divorcing his wife in 1952, however, it was considered unacceptable for the Queen to pursue a relationship with him, to marry him and to produce heirs. The Queen Mother warned Margaret that if she were to pursue a relationship with Townsend she would have to abdicate, a subject that was still sensitive and appalling to the Queen Mother due to the abdication crisis in 1936 and her blaming King George VI's sudden accession to the throne for a deterioration in his health. Margaret broke off her relationship with Townsend before her coronation in 1953. Margaret met the photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones in 1958 and they became engaged in October 1959 and married in May 1960 in the first wedding for a reigning monarch since Queen Victoria and the first televised royal wedding. A global viewing audience of 300 million people watch the wedding, slightly more than the 277 million estimated to have watched the coronation. Margaret bestowed the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon her husband and confirmed his role as Prince Consort.

The couple had two children, Prince Albert David Charles born in 1961 and Princess Elizabeth Frances Mary born in 1964. Prince Albert was created Prince of Wales in 1971 and was crowned in his investiture by Margaret in 1983. Princess Elizabeth was created Princess Royal by Margaret in 1982. Although their marriage was happy for the first few years, Margaret and the Duke of Edinburgh had begun to drift apart by the early 1970s and announced their separation in 1976 and divorce in 1978. Whilst it came as a surprise to many, the public supported the Queen and showed their support during the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977 to mark her twenty-fifth year on the throne.

Margaret's later years were marred by illness and disability. Having started smoking cigarettes as a teenager, she continued to smoke heavily for many years afterwards and, in 1985, had part of her left lung removed in an operation that drew parallels with that of her father. She gave up smoking in 1991, but continued to drink heavily. She also suffered a nervous breakdown in the 1970s and was treated for depression, though this was kept hidden from the public until the final years of her reign when she spoke out about her challenges with mental health to raise awareness in a move that has been credited with normalising and removing the stigma from mental health conditions not just in the United Kingdom but across large parts of the world, too.

In 1993 she was admitted to hospital for pneumonia and suffered her first stroke, a mild one, in 1998. Loss of appetite and swallowing problems after another stroke saw her admitted to hospital in January 2001. Having been left with partial vision and paralysis on the left side of her body, Margaret requested that a regency be established to transfer her duties to Prince Albert. Margaret made final appearances for her mother's 101st birthday in August 2001 and the 100th birthday of her aunt, Princess Alice, in December 2001, in addition to delivering a final Christmas broadcast. Margaret marked 50 years on the throne on 6 February 2002. She suffered a stroke on 8 February 2002 and, after developing cardiac problems overnight, was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London where she died on 9 February 2002. Her body lay in state in Westminster Hall for three days, during which time 400,000 viewed her coffin. Her state funeral was held at Westminster Abbey on 15 February 2002, which was declared a bank holiday, and attended by numerous heads of state and government and charity representatives. Up to one million people were estimated to have gathered in London to watch the processions, while smaller numbers gathered in Windsor for the final journey from the train station to Windsor Castle. An audience of 3 billion people around the world watched the funeral on television. Margaret was buried alongside her father in the King George VI Memorial Chapel.

Margaret reigned as constitutional monarch through major political, economic and societal changes, including devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa, the floating of sterling and the advancements in rights for women and the LGBT community. Several of her realms varied for the first forty years of her reign as territories gained independence and others become republics. There were nine Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom during her fifty-year reign. Despite the varying condition of her health throughout her reign, Margaret made hundreds of state visits to other countries and conducted several tours of the Commonwealth, making her the most widely travelled head of state. Margaret remained popular throughout her reign and, despite expectations that it could have damaged her and the monarchy, her separation and divorce from the Anthony, Duke of Edinburgh coinciding with her Silver Jubilee in 1977 reaffirmed her popularity and public image as a modern and forward-thinking monarch.
 

ES1702

Active member
KingAlbert.pngAlbert (Albert David Charles; born 3 November 1961) is King of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth Realms.

Albert was born in Buckingham Palace in 1961 as the first child of Queen Margaret and Anthony, Duke of Edinburgh and was immediately first in line to the throne. Albert attended several independent schools in London and studied at the University of Oxford, taking a keen interest in engineering, woodwork and furniture, before become a full-time working member of the Royal Family. His mother made him Prince of Wales on his tenth birthday in 1971 and his investiture took place at Caenarfon Castle when he was twenty one in 1983. Albert occasionally designed furniture for aristocrats and it was through his work that he met Serena Stanhope, who he would marry in October 1993 at St Paul's Cathedral, London. Stanhope become Princess of Wales.

The couple have two children, Prince Charles Patrick George born in 1999 and Princess Margaret Alexandra born in 2002. Albert became Prince Regent in January 2001 after his mother requested a regency be established following her second stroke. The regency period lasted for thirteen months before Queen Margaret passed away in February 2002 and Albert ascended to the throne. The Accession Council proclaimed Albert as King on 10 February 2002. Albert's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, passed away less than two months into his reign in March 2002 after outliving both her daughters. In a change from his mother's accession fifty years before, Albert's coronation was held in a shorter time frame after his accession, with the ceremony taking place at Westminster Abbey on 12 September 2002 and watched by a worldwide audience of 2.5 billion. An extended bank holiday weekend of celebrations took place afterwards, some of which were originally planned for celebrations of his mother's Golden Jubilee that would have been staged in June 2002.

Albert's reign has been viewed as a continuation of the modernisation efforts undertaken by his mother, with his 2012 television interview with Fiona Bruce, the first sit-down television interview with a British monarch, being seen as a significant advancement of that cause. Personal support for Albert has remained high throughout his life, with the public sympathising with him and his mother during his parent's divorce in the 1970s and Albert's role as her 'rock' being appreciated by the people. Support for the institution of the monarchy dipped briefly following the death of his mother amid some calls for a referendum of the continuation of the monarchy, but supported rebounded in the build-up to his coronation and has remained consistent since.

During his reign, Albert has witnessed several important political and cultural moments in the United Kingdom, including the first peacetime coalition government since the end of the Second World War, two consecutive female Prime Ministers, the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the 2012 London Olympic Games, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in England and England's second World Cup victory. In 2005 Albert became the first reigning British monarch to make a state visit to what is now the Republic of Ireland since his great-grandfather King George V in 1911. He became the first monarch to broadcast the annual Royal Christmas Message in HD, 3D and 4K.

Albert made his son Prince of Wales upon his sixteenth birthday in 2015 and crowned him in an investiture on his twenty-first birthday in 2020, thirty-seven years after his own investiture. Albert's father died in 2017 and was given a private funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor before being buried in Wales.
 

ES1702

Active member
Winston Churchill formed the Third Churchill Ministry in the United Kingdom after the 1951 general election. He was reappointed as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by King George VI and oversaw the accession of Queen Margaret in 1952 and her coronation.

The Conservative Party returned to power in the United Kingdom after winning the 1951 general election following six years in opposition. This was the first majority Conservative government formed since Stanley Baldwin's 1924-1929 ministry. Winston Churchill became Prime Minister for a second time. Churchill's government had several prominent figures and up-and-coming stars. Rab Butler was appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer while Sir Anthony Eden returned as Foreign Secretary. The noted Scottish lawyer Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, who had gained fame as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, became Home Secretary. Florence Horsbrugh became the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a Conservative government when she was appointed Minister of Education in 1951.

The Churchill ministry was primarily concerned with international affairs, the widening Cold War and decolonisation of the British Empire, especially the Mau Mau Uprising and the Malayan Emergency. Despite this, in April 1952 the government carried out what was a significant rebuilding of the global financial structure by taking the decision to float a convertible Pound Sterling on the markets, abolishing the fixed exchange rate in an attempt to strengthen the economy and deal with issues relating to the balance of payments and reserves. By the end of the Churchill ministry, unemployment had almost doubled compared to 1952.

Following the decision to float Sterling, other significant decisions were also made. The pledge to build 300,000 new houses per annum was scrapped, interested rates were increased slightly and public spending was cut. Defence spending saw significant cuts and Britain withdrew from some bases in Asia and the Middle East and the 'East of Suez' was largely abandoned and control of the Suez Canal was ceded to the Kingdom of Egypt.

Churchill suffered a serious stroke on 23 June 1953 and was partially paralysed down one side. Though he presided over Cabinet the following morning, his condition deteriorated later in the day and he reluctantly persuaded to tender his resignation before leaving to go to Chartwell to recover. Although his protégé Sir Anthony Eden was also unwell at the time, he was invited to form a new government by Queen Margaret.
 

ES1702

Active member
1stEden.png
The First Eden Ministry was formed following the sudden resignation of Winston Churchill in June 1953. Anthony Eden, then-Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, took over as Leader of the Conservative Party, and thus became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Unwell at the time of his appointment, Eden appointed his first Cabinet over the telephone and chose to appoint Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury, as his Deputy Prime Minister and charged with responsibility of keeping the government running until Eden became well enough to take over fully, which he soon was.

Eden came to power at the conclusion of the Korean War, which resulted in a military stalemate and the deaths of over 1,000 British soldiers. The "special relationship" with the United States was an important foreign policy focus for Eden, with him making two official visits between 1953 and 1956 and Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd making four visits. The decolonisation of the British Empire and withdrawal from 'East of Suez' began in earnest, with British forces beginning to gradually withdraw from postings in Asia and Sudan gaining independence in 1956. Just two months into his premiership, in August 1953, Eden authorised Operation Boot which brought about the 1953 Iranian coup d'etat to overthrow Mohammad Mosaddegh and install a pro-western regime under a strong monarchy. In October 1953, Eden sent British forces to British Guiana to military occupy the colony after the People's Progressive Party (PPP) won a majority in the colony's election. The British government considered the PPP to be too friendly with communist organisations, so the constitution was suspended and a state of emergency declared with the Governor assuming direct control until new elections were held in 1957.

Eden's first government also saw European integration continue on the continent with the European Defence Community and European Political Community being established in 1956. The UK approved of the plans, but decided to remain outside of the communities. The UK's decision to float Sterling in 1952 was credited by some architects of European integration with providing greater support for the proposals, particularly in France.

As Eden had never held a domestic portfolio before, most domestic issues were left to be handled by the Marquess of Salisbury and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rab Butler. The first few months of Eden's premiership saw the economy continue to suffer from the effects of the financial crisis and the floating of Sterling, with unemployment rising to just under 800,000 by the end of 1953. However, by the end of 1954 unemployment had begun to fall and the economy began to recover.

In 1955, the UK annexed the uninhabitable islet of Rockall in the Atlantic Ocean. It was formally incorporated into the UK as part of Scotland in 1965. It would later be revealed that the decision was taken to claim the rock as British territory in order to prevent "hostile agents" using Rockall as a post from which to spy on the future South Uist missile testing range. In February 1956, the Crown Colony of Malta held a referendum on whether or not to integrate with the UK on the terms of proposals agreed by the British government, which included representation in the House of Commons and continued self-government over home affairs. The Maltese voted 77% to 23% in favour of integration.
 

ES1702

Active member
1956elec.png
The 1956 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 14 June 1956, five years after the previous general election in 1951. It was the first election to take place since Anthony Eden had took over from Winston Churchill as Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader, and the first election not to feature Clement Attlee as Labour Party leader since 1931. It was also the first general election to be held with Margaret as monarch, having succeeded her father George VI a year after the previous election.

The election resulted in a second consecutive victory for the Conservatives and an increased overall majority of 42, up from 17. The Conservatives gained 15 seats for a return of 336, while Labour under new leader Herbert Morrison lost 9 seats for a return of 286 seats. The Liberals retained their 6 seats and won more than 1 million votes again after falling below a million in 1951 for the first time since the Reform Act 1867. In Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein won 2 seats at a UK election for the first time since the partition of Ireland.

The Conservatives sought to take advantage of the end of food rationing, the growing economy and belief that taking tough choices on the economy was going to benefit Britain in the long term. In light of stronger than expected finances, the Conservatives also reintroduced their pledge to build 300,000 houses each year and watered down plans to withdraw from 'East of Suez'.

The Labour Party pledged to continue with decolonisation and pursue high-level talks with other great powers over disarmament. Labour also promised to abolish dental, optical and prescription charges in the NHS. Following the creation of ITV in 1955, the first commercial television network in the UK, Labour said it would create another alternative to the BBC but in the form of another public television service free from advertisements. Steel and road haulage would be re-nationalised under Labour.

Meanwhile, the Liberals stated that they would seek to involve Britain in the process of European unification and create a Consultative Colonial Assembly to bring together representatives from Britain's colonies on a regular basis to discuss developments in their territories. The Liberals also pledged to abolish protectionist tariffs, hold a Royal Commission on trade union reform, devolve powers to separate assemblies for Scotland and Wales and reform the voting system for the House of Commons.

Television took a prominent role in a British election campaign for the first time and it is the earliest election from which television coverage survives, with the 1950 and 1951 coverage being broadcast live but not recorded.

Following the election, Anthony Eden formed the Second Eden Ministry which saw Rab Butler move from Chancellor of the Exchequer to become Foreign Secretary, while Sir David Eccles became Chancellor and Selwyn Lloyd became Home Secretary.
 
Top