Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Part 2

LOHAG Blog Hero Image - Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Part 2

The Land of Hope and Glory Collection tells the story of Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee fast approaches, this blog series will revisit the historic moments during Her Majesty’s record-breaking reign that have helped define Great Britain. This week, let’s journey back to 1960s football, fashion and more.

Did you know that instant potato, the mash you buy pre-made at the supermarket, wasn’t a shop bought item until 1968? Angel Delight made its debut in 1967 and spreadable margarine wasn’t a thing before 1969!

Many do reminisce on the 60s as the time to be alive.

Swinging Sixties Fashion

In the early 60s, the emergence of supermodels like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton redefined beauty and became true fashion icons. The latest clothing styles could be found in London Boutique shops. And whilst children began to practice with makeup on their dolls, teenagers discovered false eyelashes.

Inspiration came from the likes of the mods on scooters, skinheads, and hippies with their long flowing hairstyles.

Swinging Sixties - Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Part 2
1960’s fashion

Mary Quant, the queen of the miniskirt, had a boutique on Carnaby Street in London called Bazaar. She also released her own line of cosmetics in 1966. Many began to embrace their natural curves — new trends such as wearing trouser suits and miniskirts emerged.

England wins the FIFA World Cup

The TV audience in 1966 had to follow along the England match against Germany in black and white. However, for the first time they could see slow motion replays from the live match.

Multiple towns in England hosted games for the tournament, but the final was played at Wembley Stadium on the 30th July 1966.

Although the match didn’t get off to a good start and there were a few hiccups throughout, the team managed to bring home the first World Cup title for England.

Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince Philip were amongst the 93,000 spectators. The Queen then presented the trophy for the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

The shot by Geoff Hurst, which hit the crossbar and landed down near the goal line, was decided by the referee as a goal — which was highly contested at the time.

Years later, technology had advanced, and the ball was never over the line.

Beatlemania

The Beatles.

Need we say more?

Comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, The Beatles were managed by Brian Epstein and signed by EMI on the Parlophone Label.

Did you know that they were originally turned down by Decca, the British record label?

Changing the pop music scene forever, Please Please Me was released January 12th 1963, and was an instant favourite among the public. They remained number 1 on the charts for 6 months with their first album, which was recorded in an entire 13-hour session.

First Flight of the Concorde

Concorde was the first aeroplane to travel faster than the speed of sound.

Built jointly between Great Britain and France, it reduced the flight time between London and New York to roughly three hours.

Eventually flown worldwide, she first took to the skies on March 2nd 1969.

Sadly, in the end it was found the aeroplane had several problems such as noise and high expenses. However, it did unify the work of different countries, ensuring that Europe paved the way for aerospace development.

The Great Train Robbery

15 men and £2,600,000. What a heist that is.

Aided by two accomplices, these fifteen men managed to stop the Glasgow–London Royal Mail Train, steal over two and a half million pounds from the front two carriages, and transport the lot with their Land Rovers to a nearby hideaway, all without the staff in the remaining ten carriages even knowing a thing.

August 8th, 1963. The day they got lucky.

It was a bank holiday so the amount they stole was much larger than they had anticipated getting.

At their hideaway they noticed low flying RAF aircraft which they assumed were on the look-out for them. They in fact weren’t. But this spooked the robbers so much that they left and hired six thieves to burn the place down.

The poor job the thieves did left fingerprint marks on a Monopoly board and a ketchup bottle.


If you’re interested…

The Land of Hope and Glory Collection celebrates Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And today, you can start the Collection of a Lifetime. Click here to secure the first Medal, featuring the Queen’s Coronation for FREE >>

DN 2021 LOHAG Blog images 650x 2 - Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: Part 2

If you haven’t read the first blog in the series, click here >>

The story behind this year’s RBL Masterpiece Poppy Coin

Want to know how a 1945 British Army Mess Tin, a WWII Spitfire and a D-Day Landing Craft have been repurposed to serve as a poignant tribute to the fallen? Keep reading to find out.


Since 2004, The Westminster Collection has felt honored to be in partnership with the Royal British Legion, supporting them year on year by raising funds which enable them to continue to provide financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the UK Armed Forces, their families and dependents.

In support of the Royal British Legion, each year we produce a stand-out coin to mark Remembrance Day. We call it the Masterpiece’.

And now, we’re excited to announce details of this year’s ‘Masterpiece’ coin

When you discover the story behind the metal used to create this coin, you’ll quickly realize that it’s one of the most unique and historically fascinating coins ever released. It really does live up to its name.

The Masterpiece

As this year marks the Centenary of the Royal British Legion, an exceptional Masterpiece Poppy Coin has been released, commemorating this important milestone. It represents the three military facets of RBL ─ the Army, RAF and the Navy.

This is why we commissioned a three-dimensional1921 stylePoppy to be crafted from three pieces of historic metal representing the three divisions of the military:

1. WWII Spitfire ─ to be precise, the MK356, which flew during the D-Day campaign and shot down a German Me Bf109

2. A British Army Mess Tin from 1945

3. Landing Craft LCT7074 ─ the actual craft that landed on Gold Beach during D-Day

Historic Metals ─ crafted into a Masterpiece…

We acquired the craft metal with the kind assistance of the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, allowing us to source the substance from the original steel plating of the landing craft LCT 7074. LCT 7074 landed on Gold Beach on D-Day, 6th June 1944, and the plating used is from the hull that was physically in contact with the actual beach on D-Day itself. Today, LCT is the only surviving Landing Craft Tank left from this momentous day.

You may notice dark spots visible within the red enamel of some Poppies ─ and these are the filings from the historic LCT 7074 Steel.

The material used derived from Army origins is a combination of ex-MK356 metal and 1945 dated ex-British Army Mess Tins, mixed to a 50:50 ratio. The MK-356, officially named the Spitfire Mk IX, took an active part in D-Day operations in June 1944. The original wing main spar was removed around the year 2008, and it is this metal that has been combined with the Mess Tins.

Mess tins were and still are used for a number of different things within the Army. Soldiers use them to heat food, eat from, boil water and to wash and shave in. They can be cleaned easily and used for storage of other items.

During the Second World War, aluminum was a scarce commodity primarily reserved for aircraft production, and whilst perhaps not as romantic as the Spitfire, these tins are significant items ─ because an army marches on its stomach!

What’s more, it has been struck from 5oz of fine 999/1000 Silver and is an impressive 65mm in diameter!


If you’re interested…

This year’s Masterpiece Poppy Coin it is now available to order. Click here to add one to your collection today >>

2021 Jersey Masterpiece Poppy Antique Silver Coin - The story behind this year's RBL Masterpiece Poppy Coin
2021 Masterpiece Poppy Coin

100 Years of Remembrance: Honouring the Centenary of the Royal British Legion

2021 marks the centenary of the Royal British Legion. For 100 years the Royal British Legion (RBL) has been providing financial, social and life-long support to the Armed Forces community.

Established out of the need to provide care for those who had fought during the First World War and returned home needing assistance, RBL has been a support system and helping hand for many across the years.

Since 2004 The Westminster Collection has been proud partners with the Royal British Legion, and throughout that time our collectors have raised over £1.1 million for the organisation.

This staggering contribution has been crucial in allowing us to continue providing vital welfare services to veterans and their families.

Charles Byrne – Director General, Royal British Legion

In this special centenary year, we look back over RBL’s history, their achievements, and our continued relationship with this vital organisation.

The history of the Poppy

Out of destroyed fields left barren from the First World War, beautiful red Flanders poppies began to grow. This is what gave Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae inspiration to write the poem ‘In Flanders Fields‘.

Spearheaded by Moina Michael and Anna Guérin, the poppy was adopted across the globe as a symbol of Remembrance. Both Michael and Guérin produced poppies, and together, nine million poppies were produced and sold in 1921, raising more than £106,000 which went towards aiding ex-Servicemen.

Interestingly, due to the poppies being produced by different manufacturers and in separate countries, their appearance became quite different.

Jersey 2021 BU 50p RBL 1921 poppy both sides - 100 Years of Remembrance: Honouring the Centenary of the Royal British Legion
A 50p coin inspired by the 1921 poppy – part of The RBL Centenary BU Colour 50p Pair

Those made in France were vivid red, simple, made from fabric and with a little green stalk. They included two messages on them which were ‘British Legion Remembrance Day’ and ‘Made by the Women and Children. The devastated areas of France.’

Whereas, the ones produced in Britain had a total number of five petals made from silk, with black stitching, little beads and a leaf.

The poppy design has changed a lot over the past 100 years; today it comprises of two red paper petals with a black centre and green paper leaf. But the meaning behind the symbol remains the same, and now, an amazing forty million poppies are dispersed globally each year.

Jersey 2021 BU 50p RBL Modern poppy colour print both sides - 100 Years of Remembrance: Honouring the Centenary of the Royal British Legion
The modern-day poppy depicted on a 50p coin – part of The RBL Centenary BU Colour 50p Pair

RBL: 1921 – 2021

From the very beginning, the Royal British Legion has given their undivided attention to helping veterans as they believe that “no-one should suffer for having served others”.

Since then, RBL has worked tirelessly to honour that promise. Here are just some of the fantastic things they have achieved over the past 100 years.

The first TB hospital

Tuberculosis (TB) was one of the most serious health issues experienced after the First World War, resulting in the deaths of 18,000 returning servicemen. To help treat patients, RBL set up the very first British TB hospital, providing much-needed treatment to patients and also providing jobs and housing to servicemen and their families.

The village surrounding this hospital is now a thriving community which still supports the RBL to this day, producing 20 million Remembrance poppies every year.

Rehabilitation centres

RBL has funded many rehabilitation centres to provide much-needed support to veterans and members of the Armed Forces. Their services include wellbeing courses, and a whole host of activities aimed at building camaraderie such as:

  • Archery
  • Mountain biking
  • Wheelchair basketball

They have also part-funded The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre which houses the Royal British Legion Complex Trauma Gym, open for patients to participate in fitness activities which aim to increase their mobility and help them to regain independence.

Kingsman Anthony Cooper 1 - 100 Years of Remembrance: Honouring the Centenary of the Royal British Legion
Kingsman Anthony Cooper has been supported by RBL and is hoping to enter the Paralympics

COVID-19 support

More recently, RBL have been supporting the Armed Forces community during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help with a dramatic increase in calls for accessing food, RBL extended their Benefit, Debt and Money Advice Service. Another vital service utilised during the pandemic has been RBL’s Telephone Buddies scheme, which offers companionship and support to anyone feeling lonely or isolated.

Since 1921, the RBL has gained 180,000 members and 110,000 volunteers, making them the nation’s largest Armed Forces charity.

Working hard to ensure that the Armed Forces community have a voice, they communicate with members of parliament and officials to establish the representation the community deserve. Transitioning to civilian life can be difficult for ex-serving personnel and that’s why RBL continue to be there to provide lifelong support to them and their families, offering advice and guidance but also rehabilitation and recovery activities.


RBL’s Partnership with The Westminster Collection

Since 2004, The Westminster Collection has been honoured to produce annual poppy coins in collaboration with the Royal British Legion. From Brilliant Uncirculated coins, to intricate Masterpiece coins, these are one-of-a-kind designs and are as unique as they are beautiful.

A selection of just some of the Poppy Coins weve designed and released - 100 Years of Remembrance: Honouring the Centenary of the Royal British Legion
A selection of just some of the Poppy Coins we’ve designed and released

Over the past 17 years, collectors have shown their support to the RBL through purchasing these annual coin designs to take pride of place in their collections. 10% of any sales are contributed directly to RBL to support their vital work with the Armed Forces community.

We would like to thank our collectors for continuing to show their support to the RBL and help them to provide financial, social and emotional support to all who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their families.

The 2021 Poppy Coin Collection

In this milestone anniversary year a new, very special design has been issued to commemorate RBL’s centenary.

Jersey 2021 Poppy 1921 and modern Jersey 5 CuNi Proof Gold Plated print both sides - 100 Years of Remembrance: Honouring the Centenary of the Royal British Legion
The 2021 Poppy Coin in honour of Royal British Legion’s 100 year anniversary

The design perfectly illustrates RBL’s centenary year, featuring the 1921 RBL Poppy alongside the iconic modern day poppy. The reverse also includes the messages ‘We will remember them’ and ‘100 years’.

‘We will remember them’ was chosen because it is a significant line taken from the poem ‘For the Fallen’ written by Lauren Binyon in 1914. ‘For the Fallen’ endures as a dignified and solemn expression of loss.

This year’s design brings both the past and present together, acknowledging all of the outstanding work the Royal British Legion has done throughout the past 100 years – and will continue to do so for many more.


If you’re interested…

Take a closer look at this year’s coins in the video below, and if you’d like to own one of this year’s commemorative Poppy coins you can shop the complete range here >>