Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday is a celebration of the world’s oldest reigning monarch and Britain’s longest lived. From her ascension to the throne in 1952 to the present day, the Queen has served over 64 years as head of state, longer even than her famously long reigning great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, who was on the throne for 63 years and 7 months.
Queen Elizabeth visited the Museum with the Duke of Edinburgh in 1981 to celebrate its 100th birthday, unveiling a plaque in commemoration of the centenary.
We have put together a range of products here at the Museum from up-and-coming British designers to help you cheer on this momentous occasion.
With lengthening days, intermittent showers and the creeping return of greenery to the streets, there is one thing about this time of year that we can all rejoice in: the return of spring and summer. There is no denying that warmer weather, brighter days and leafy walks to work is enough to lift anyone’s spirits, and here at the Museum we have been putting together a collection of gifts in honor of one of the most significant happenings of the season. With the distant chiming of bells in mind we have put together a collection of gifts and small favours true to the natural beauty of a very momentous occasion – and no, it’s not our recent 135th birthday either.
Summer is of course the season of weddings, and what better way to celebrate this beautiful event than by some small reminders of the natural splendor of the earth, incorporated into the big day. But where did wedding favours come from? And why do we still use them? Surprisingly, this centuries old tradition has quite an extensive history of it’s own!
For Explore Your Archives Week, Rosie Gibbs, buyer at the Museum talks about how the collections within the Library and Archives provide inspiration for her, her team and external designers.
The retail buyers at the Museum are responsible for sourcing and developing the products on sale in the Museum’s shops and online store, and one of the first places we look for inspiration for new ranges is our Library and Archive collections.
They are a fantastic source of design material and are incredibly important for retail products as they enable us to create ranges that help tell a story about the Museum and its collections. It is very important for us to be able to offer visitors exclusive gift products that remind them of their visit, and that they cannot buy anywhere else.
Mary Anning was born in 1799 to a family of poor dissenters. Despite living in a time when women were not readily recognized for their scientific contribution, Anning made an incredible discovery that led to her becoming one of the most important names in palaeontology. On the 216th anniversary of her birthday, the Museum’s online shop takes a look at her life and work and how it is still influencing scientists today.
Anning was not meant for the scientific field. She was the wrong sex, class, religion, and she was even almost killed when she was struck by lightning as a baby. However, she was clearly a born survivor as she and her brother Joseph were the only children to survive out of ten siblings. It was her cabinet-maker father, Richard, that taught Mary how to find and clean up the fossils they found on the Lyme Regis coast. They sold their ‘curiosities’ along the seafront, possibly inspiring the tongue twister, ‘She sells seashells on the seashore’.
The Museum’s Patron, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to her second child just a few days ago, so the Museum’s online shop has been gearing up with gift ideas for newborns. With bibs, toys and T-shirts it’s never too early to introduce your littlest to the prehistoric world. We also take a look at some of the incredible facts about the first six months of your little hatchling’s life.
Amazing baby facts
Here’s our favourite things about newborns.
A great icon of British geology is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. The William Smith map or ‘A Delination of the strata of England and Wales with part of Scotland’ brought revolutionary change to the way we think about the structure of the Earth and vastly advanced the science of geology.
Who was William Smith?
Born in the Oxfordshire hamlet of Churchill in 1769, William Smith was the son of a blacksmith. Even though he did well at school there was never any thought of him attending university due to his family’s poverty.