Yesterday the Queen was invited to attend a cabinet meeting, a weekly gathering of the top politicians in the UK and hosted at 10 Downing Street. British monarchs, who traditionally don’t get involved in politics (at least after the civil war, which we don’t like to talk about), very rarely attend cabinet meetings in peace time. The last time a royal was invited to sit in on the proceedings was during the Second World War. But yesterday was a very special sort of cabinet meeting, since the ministers had said that they would like to give the Queen a gift in person.
At the end of the meeting, the Queen was presented with a set of 60 commemorative place mats to mark each year that she has been on the throne. That wasn’t the be all and end all of the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee, however, as she was then taken to the Foreign Office. There, William Hague presented another gift to the Queen. In honour of her sixty years of service, the Queen is to have a large section of British Antarctica named after her. Queen Elizabeth Land is a stunning part of Antarctica, featuring towering peaks and full of glacial ice stretching down to the coast, which is popular with penguins and seals.