BRITAIN: This week in history 28 April – 4 May

Britain magazine

This week in history saw a royal wedding, the opening of the Great Exhibition and the first transatlantic crossing of Queen Mary 2…

Britain magazine

28 April

On this day in 2004, St Mary’s Axe opened in the City of London. It has been known as ‘The Gherkin’ since its construction and is the second highest building in the heart of London’s financial centre.

Britain magazine

29 April

On the 29 April in 2011, HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton were married in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

It was on this day in 1993, it was announced that Buckingham Palace would be opened to the public.

30 April

It was in 1513 that Edmund de la Pole was executed on the orders of Henry VIII. He was the Yorkist pretender to the English throne.

Britain magazine

1 May

The Great Exhibition was opened on this day in 1851 by Queen Victoria. This was the first international exhibition of manufactured products held in the purpose-built Crystal Palace in Hyde Park and was organised by Henry Cole and Prince Albert.

The Wedgwood Pottery was founded by Josiah Wedgwood in Staffordshire on this day in 1759. It was Wedgwood that transformed the rough pottery of the time in to the smooth, durable crockery we know today.

Britain’s first official adhesive stamp, the Penny Black, was issued on the 1 May in 1840 as part of postal reforms by Rowland Hill. The stamp featured a profile of Queen Victoria.

2 May

Queen Elizabeth 2, the great British ocean liner, departed on her maiden voyage on this day in 1969. The transatlantic crossing took 4 days, 16 hours and 35 minutes.

It was on this day in 1536 that Anne Boleyn was arrested and imprisoned on charges of incest, adultery, treason and witchcraft by Henry VIII.

Britain magazine

3 May

The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway opened on this day in 1830. It is claimed as one of the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and to have a tunnel in its network.

4 May

This day in 1989 marks Margaret Thatcher’s ten years as Prime Minister. She was the first British Prime Minister of the 20th century to do so.

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