We are now a week in to this year’s Olympic Games, which continue at pace, with the medal tally beginning to stack up for Team GB. As I write this, Team GB have accumulated 13 medals with plenty more events to come over the next few weeks. In fact, by the time the Games close on 21 August, more than 200 nations and 10,500 athletes will have competed in 306 events across 28 sports at this year’s Games. So as sports fans and patriots continue to be inspired by the performances of Team GB athletes in Rio, we caught up with Peter Blake, designer of the 2016 Team GB 50p, to find out a little more about his inspiration for the coin design.
The Olympic Games are now upon us, with the opening ceremony of Rio 2016 taking place on 5 August. Across the world people are preparing to rally behind their favourite athletes. For die-hard sports fans the Road to Rio will have felt like a long one. While many of us will find it hard to believe that four years have passed since the Olympic Games graced Great Britain. So, before the Olympic Games get underway, we’ve put together a ‘Guide to the Games’ to make sure you don’t miss a sporting moment.
It was on 1 July 1916, one hundred years ago, that one of history’s deadliest battles would begin. The Battle of the Somme is considered to be one of the bloodiest battles in military history. In total the battle spanned 141 days – ending on 18 November 1916 – and saw the British Army alone suffer more than 400,000 casualties. Now, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Britain prepares to remember the sacrifices made as the First World War centenary commemorations, which began in 2014, continue.
This weekend the nation continues the celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, this time marking The Queen’s official birthday on Saturday 11 June. Ever since the seventeenth century it has been tradition to mark the monarch’s birthday on a day other than their actual birthday, should it fall outside of summer months. So, with The Queen’s actual birthday falling on 21 April, we celebrate Her Majesty’s official birthday on a Saturday in June. From traditional celebrations, such as Trooping the Colour, to the fanfare and festivities of street parties and events, the official birthday celebrations to mark The Queen’s 90th birthday are sure to stretch far and wide as the nation celebrates Her Majesty’s personal milestone.
In little over a week’s time, football will once again take over our televisions and newspapers. From 10 June to 10 July, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be competing at Euro 2016 in France, 50 years since a team from the ‘home nations’ last won a major trophy at the 1966 World Cup. Yesterday, the England football team played its final friendly before Euro 2016, against Portugal at Wembley Stadium, and a rather special coin was used to kick off proceedings…
This year, The Royal Mint has invited coin collectors far and wide to share their collections with us and our Royal Mint blog readers. From old coins to new, commemorative to circulating, we’re getting to know more about you and your collections; from the whys to the whats, putting your collections in the spotlight in our new ‘Your Collections’ blog feature.
So far we have had a wonderful response to our Facebook request and have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your responses. In our first edition of Your Collections we introduced you to 42 year old Robert Durrant from Reading, and now, for our second installment we have 16 year old coin collector, Jacob Darby.
It’s been more than three years in the planning and making, but finally the doors to The Royal Mint Experience are open! Wednesday marked a true milestone in Royal Mint history, as we finally opened the doors and welcomed some of our first guests into the new, purpose built, visitor attraction at our site here in Llantrisant, South Wales. Far from the rare tours of the past, with a purpose built attraction and exhibition, as the name suggests, The Royal Mint Experience promises to be so much more. We were there on Wednesday, as we welcomed the first guests, to find out more and give you a sneak peek at what you’ll find inside…