Happy Birthday, EII

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

Okay, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom was born on April 12, 1924. Why is her birthday being celebrated today?

Two reasons: King George II and the fickle British weather.

In 1748, King George II decided to move the traditional military parade, called Trooping of the Colours, away from his November birthday because it was too cold. He combined his birthday celebration and the parade at a time of more temperate weather.

Since that time, all British sovereigns are able to choose the date of their ‘official’ birthday, as well as having a more private celebration on the day they were actually born.

Queen Elizabeth II chose June, which is normally a beautiful month weather-wise in England. Originally, she proclaimed that the Trooping of the Colours would be held on the second Thursday of June, but in 1959 decided Saturday would be a better day for the celebration.

Why am I so interested? Because the Kingdom of Carlow from the Fairies of Carlow series is very Irish and is headed by a monarchy. A lot of their rituals and celebrations are based upon those of the British Royal Family.

But, in the Fairies of Carlow, the royal princesses are named after roses and their gowns (Victorian-ish) are the color of their namesake rose. The boys wear morning coats, trousers, and cravats. They are able to fly, but the higher the rank, the less likely they do. It’s a status thing.

The weird thing is that The Gilded Fairies are the highest fairies in the land. Their presentations are always anticipated and feature highly-coordinated and complex flying skills. So, the royals and nobility ride in carriages–and The Gildeds fly. Nothing is perfect, even in the fairy kingdom.

OH! I have to ask: Do you have a place in your garden where the fairies are able to gather? Chairs and tables are best so they have a place to have their tea, which they conjured. It’s a complex process to gain permission to cross into the human world. It’s also very tiring to cross that border. Princess Zepherine may do both in my new book based on her life.

Make way for the fairies! Sonja

It’s Time to Spring Forward!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Unless you live in a place that doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time (DST), you need to move the hands of time tonight.

DST goes into effect tomorrow morning. Since it’s Spring, you need to turn the clocks forward one hour, which moves the morning to an earlier time. Hello, caffeine!

You can thank Germany and Austria for DST. They were the first countries to use the new time in 1916 to make better use of fuel during the war. This was adopted by several other countries just weeks later, including the United Kingdom and France.

DST was rescinded at the end of WWI and was repeated for WWII. Today, more than seventy countries observe DST.

A plan to make the most of seasonal daylight was actually put forth by Benjamin Franklin. Yes, that Benjamin Franklin. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

But he meant it as a joke–for Parisians.

He was living in Paris and wrote a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris. The essay, entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”, called for the people of that city to awaken earlier in order to reduce their need for candles.

Oh, that Ben. What a kidder.

The citizens of Ancient Rome relied on water clocks that used different scales throughout the year in order to follow the solar calendar.

But B. Franklin and Caesar are not credited with the invention of DST. That honor goes to New Zealander George Vernon Hudson and British builder William Willett. Do you thank them or curse them? I think that depends on which way the clock is bouncing–a thank you for the ‘extra’ hour in the Autumn and a curse for losing an hour in the Spring.

We can all be thankful that their particular schedule didn’t go into place. Hudson suggested moving the clocks by two hours, and Willett wanted the clocks to move in twenty-minute increments over four-week periods.

Wow. And you thought one hour twice a year was hard!

Don’t forget so you’re not late tomorrow! Sonja