HISTORY. You know how I enjoy it. The 70th anniversary of D-Day is, as you know, today: The BBC is doing a ton of coverage of it, and the New York Times has a great piece talking to men who were at Normandy about what they remember (they speak to an American, a Canadian, a Brit, a Frenchman, and a German); the Los Angeles Times has all of their archives of the front pages up, and Eisenhower’s notes, win or lose. In short, there are all kinds of fascinating and moving historical to-dos happening today (I have already cried once; it doesn’t help that HBO is running a Band of Brothers marathon). And everyone came out and there are hats and turbans ahoy. Shall we take a look?
Interestingly, Queen Elizabeth II herself is playing a big part in a lot of the ceremonies in part because she actually served in the armed forces herself during World War II (she’s also doing a proper State Visit to Paris and having a flower market named after her and all kinds of whatnot). As per the History Channel, “After months of begging her father to let his heir pitch in, Elizabeth—then an 18-year-old princess—joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II. Known as Second Subaltern Elizabeth Windsor, she donned a pair of coveralls and trained in London as a mechanic and military truck driver. The queen remains the only female member of the royal family to have entered the armed forces and is the only living head of state who served in World War II.” THAT IS A BOOK. Obviously, if it were a book, she would fall in love with the dashing commoner who trained her in mechanics but It Could Not Be, etc etc. Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the events — there are literally old men PARACHUTING within! As well as hats, of course. (Editorial note: Kate and Wills are attending an event this afternoon as well, but they’ll get their own post with some other bits and pieces, because events are continuing throughout the day; hilariously, with The Queen, and Charles, and William all out of England, guess who is officially in charge, royal family speaking? HARRY. HOLD DOWN THE FORT, Harry. Clean up the mess from that party before everyone gets home.)
Other stuff you might be interested in reading on this tip: The Queen’s hat was too big for Francois Hollande’s Citroen so they had to dig up another car for her at the last minute. Thank God someone thought of that before she got there and her head got stuck. Imagine the scandale
And this is AWESOME: “All day [June 6th] BBC Radio 4 will be re-voicing the news bulletin scripts that were read out as the allied forces landed in Normandy for D-Day, 70 years ago to the day. Benedict Cumberbatch will be joined by Sir Patrick Stewart and Toby Jones to read bulletins within the station’s usual news output, at the time at which they will have originally been broadcast.” That link has a clip of Cumberbatch reading one of the bulletins. It’s really neat. I’m sure at some point, they’ll have all of them available for us to hear. (Here is, indeed, a link to them all, thanks to Fug National Mer.)
Additionally, as you guys know, I cannot resist books about People Having Romantical Problems During Wars, so if you have good WWII Book Recommendations, this seems like a good place for us to share in the comments, right? I have several that I will pop in there, too. Books! History! Hats! Cumberbatch!