For many it’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since the Falklands conflict took place.
It’s a conflict our nation remembers only too well. It was one of the first military endeavours that had been televised, with daily reports being broadcast to our screens, reports of heroic fighting and of course, sadly, casualties.
Indeed, it’s to all those that served our country in the Falklands that we’re proud to dedicate a superb set of new commemoratives – issued for the 40th anniversary.
I’d like to talk you through each of the designs, and in doing so tell the story of the Falklands conflict…
Our battleships crossing the Atlantic
In a move condemned by the United Nations, in 1976 Argentinian forces occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. In the weeks that followed, islanders were forcibly deported.
In response, for the first time since the Second World War, all branches of the British armed forces were deployed and within days a British task force set sail across the Atlantic.
Troops landing on the Falkland Islands
The Task Force landed 4,000 troops in the East Falklands. Goose Green was the first settlement to be taken by British forces. British troops then face a difficult journey through tough terrain, enemy minefields, and hostile weather conditions.
British troops ‘yomping’ across difficult terrain on the Islands
The design of this commemorative pays homage to one of the most famous images from the conflict, taken by Royal Marines photographer Peter Holdgate, showing a Corporal with a Union flag fixed to his pack.
British aircraft patrolling the skies
British aircraft played a key role in the conflict, most famously with the Harrier jets and the Vulcan bomber – two planes that are still strong in British consciousness because of their important role in defending the Falklands.
Although at the start of the conflict Argentina seemed to have an advantage in the air with over 100 aircraft of varying types, it was the strategy of the British Air Force that meant the British pilots were able to beat the odds and take control of the skies.
Returning to a Hero’s welcome
British troops were eventually able to make their way home, with huge crowds gathering in Portsmouth and Southampton to welcome them back – a well deserved hero’s welcome on their return.
This BRAND NEW set of commemoratives tells the story of the conflict and comes complete in a presentation pack to display and store them for years to come. I hope that you agree that it’s a perfect tribute to this important moment in British military history.
Did you serve in the Falklands or have memories of family or friends that were involved? As part of our remembering of the conflict 40 years since the invasion, we’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.
If you’re interested…
In celebrating The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year, we’re taking part in a truly historic moment.
And with so many festivities going on, I’ve put together a countdown of the TOP 5 weird and wonderful must-see moments this Platinum Jubilee weekend.
Now, you may have already tried your hand at recreating the Fortnum and Mason Official Platinum Jubilee pudding — a Lemon Swiss Roll and Amaretti Trifle, chosen by Dame Mary Berry herself!
Or perhaps you’ve heard about the 3 second sell-out of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Barbie Doll?
Well, it doesn’t stop there. Up and down the country, formal and informal celebrations will be taking place. Here’s a countdown of my top 5 must-see moments:
5. Trooping the Colour, Thursday 2nd June
In just over a week’s time, more than 850 soldiers, 200 horses and 300 musicians will come together for the traditional parade to mark The Queen’s Official Birthday. This will be the first time since 2019 that the occasion of pageantry, fanfares and drumbeats can go ahead in its full splendour.
The colour being trooped this year is that of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, with soldiers making their way from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade.
4. The Epsom Derby, Friday 3rd – Saturday 4th June
Continuing her lifelong relationship with the world’s greatest flat race, The Epsom Derby, this year the Queen has entered three of her horses in the derby as she attempts to win the prestigious horse race for the first time.
With a touch of carnival, this one’s for everyone — from racing royalty to racing rookies.
3. The United Kingdom and Commonwealth Illuminated, Thursday 2nd June
On the evening of 2nd June, the United Kingdom and Commonwealth will be illuminated by a blaze of light when more than 1,500 beacons are ignited in towns, villages and cities throughout Britain, the British Isles and the UK’s overseas territories, as well as the capital cities of Commonwealth countries.
This tradition dates back hundreds of years, celebrating royal weddings, jubilees, and coronations and has since become a symbol of unity across borders.
2. Platinum Party at the Palace, Saturday 4th June
This promises to be an occasion to remember, playing a central part in a weekend of pomp and parties.
A star-studded line-up of artists, bands, and entertainers from across music, film and theatre are set to give you the show of a lifetime.
The event will take place at Buckingham Palace and be broadcast live on the BBC.
1. The Big Jubilee Lunch, Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June
Inspiring community spirit across the nation, the initiative offers the opportunity to share food, friendship, and frivolity with neighbours.
Thousands of people have signed up to host a lunch with street parties expected to match those which broke out spontaneously at the end of the Second World War.
And while you’re stocking up on supplies for your very own Big Jubilee Lunch, you may spot some subtle Platinum Jubilee tributes from our supermarket staples like Heinz’s Salad Queen (Salad Cream) and HM Sauce (HP Sauce).
So, it’s fair to say there’s enough to keep us busy over what promises to be one historic weekend in Great Britain.
And don’t forget, there’s still time to claim your FREE Platinum Jubilee Commemorative Souvenir.
With this Introductory Offer you’ll only pay £2.99 postage. It’s the perfect tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, 70 years our Queen.
The Land of Hope and Glory Collection tells the story of Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In the final instalment of the series, we will revisit some of the important events that have happened during Her Majesty’s reign in the past three decades.
Fire at Windsor Castle
On the 20th November, 1992 a terrible fire took place at Windsor Castle, the magnificent building Her Majesty the Queen calls home for most of her private weekends and one month a year over Easter.
Maintenance work was being carried out in the Castle at the time when a faulty spotlight overheated leading to it igniting. A nearby curtain took hold of the heat, lighting up in flames.
The fire spread dramatically.
Luckily, due to the work being carried out, much of the furniture which would have been near when the fire started, had already been removed to create space. This meant that a lot of possessions that would have been completely destroyed, were safely tucked away somewhere else.
Those working in the Castle, along with soldiers and members of the Royal family, all formed a human chain to pass items along out of the building. As such this meant that 300 clocks, historic manuscripts, thousands of valuable books, a forty-six-meter-long table, thirty-seven-meter-long carpet, and a collection of miniatures were all rescued.
Help quickly arrived and all together 1.5 million gallons (6,750 tons) of water from the mains water supply, a reservoir fire hydrant, a swimming pool, a pond, and the nearby River Thames were used to stop the fire.
After five years the Castle was returned to its former glory and remains open to the public throughout the year — continuing its 900 years of history today.
Channel Tunnel Opens
The American Society of Civil Engineers described this as one of the “seven wonders of the world” in 1996. Connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time ever since the Ice Age, The Channel Tunnel reduced travel time between England and France to a mere thirty-five minutes. At the height of its construction fifteen thousand people were employed and eleven boring machines used. One boring machine is as long as two two football pitches, and all eleven together weighed an enormous twelve thousand tones.
Interestingly, one remains buried under the Channel and another was sold on eBay in 2004 for £39,999!
Her Majesty travelled from Waterloo to Calais on the 6th May, 1994 at a speed of 80 pmh. She joined President Mitterrand, who had travelled from Paris at 186 mph and together they officially opened the Channel, cutting red, white and blue ribbons to the sound of each’s national anthems.
The Angel of the North is constructed
Standing at an impressive sixty-five feet, the impressive Angel of the North is the height of four double decker buses!
In 1994, when winning artist Antony Gormley’s designs were revealed, the public were not too happy with the plans. Causing uproar, materials put forward were frowned upon, along with the size and magnitude of the sculpture in such an open and unlikely place.
However, many years on, those that live near have fallen in love with it. It has become a site of pleasure and this year celebrates its 24th birthday. Made from steel and a small amount of cooper, the Angel is meant to last for more than one hundred years. Coppers slows the erosion of the steel, and the materials together are quite malleable and can be easily manipulated into a variety of shapes and forms. The Angel of the North cost £800,000 to build and is seen by more than one person every second. It represents the history behind the site, societies future and our transition from the industrial age to the information age. An evolving sculpture to evolve with us.
The Millennium Fireworks
The millennium fireworks marked the movement into a new decade. Celebrations were held up and down the United Kingdom, with something for everyone to take part in, and crowds of more than two million took to London.
An incredible firework display took place by the River Thames. Outside of the UK, events were coordinated around the world to see in the new millennium, including an outdoor concert in Washington, United States.
On the Tower Bridge of London Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II lit a laser which shot fire across the river to the national beacon. This beacon took hold of the fire, signalling the embrace of a new century. Soon after, beacons across the UK all became lit, uniting everyone across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Her Majesty also attended the Millennium Dome in Greenwich which held a special concert.
Birth of Prince George
In 2012, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that they were expecting their first child. This child would become third in line to the throne and would become a future monarch of the United Kingdom. On 22nd July 2013, Prince George was born at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.
Prior to his birth the Queen made some changes which impacted the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701). A new Crown Act (2013) was brought into force which essentially put an end to a younger son displacing an elder daughter in the line of succession to the throne. Prince George is the first to have been born under this act. You can find out more about the line of succession here >>
As is tradition with any Royal birth, the announcement was placed on the easel outside Buckingham Palace. Along with this, many celebrated up and down the commonwealth countries, and certain water features across the globe were illuminated in blue.
This instalment marks the last in our Britain through the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II blog series. We hope you have enjoyed travelling back with us through the different decades as much as we have.
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 Coronation Medal for FREE >>
Revisit the historic moments that have shaped Britain through the reign of Queen Elizabeth II with our Land of Hope and Glory blog series: