Queen Elizabeth And The Famous Red Boxes – The Story Behind Them
On September 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth becomes the longest reigning British Monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria. The palace has released a McCartney photograph to mark the milestone.
The photo shows the queen at her desk with her “red box.” The palace sees that there could be no other image to best mark the historic event than to show a slice of her everyday life – represented by her desk and red boxes.
According to the official website of the British Monarchy, the Queen’s working day begins at her desk. She begins each day by scanning the Daily British newspaper. Afterwards, she reads her daily correspondence. Every day she tries to read about 200-300 letters from the public archive.
These public letters are separate from the policy papers, Cabinet documents, telegrams and other State papers of which were sent from government ministries and other world leaders. These letters are sent up to her in the famous red boxes by her two private secretaries.
The Queen then sets out for public engagements in the afternoon until early evening. She has a weekly meeting in private with UK’s prime minister usually on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. According to the palace, there is no written record of the Queen’s meeting with the prime minister. Neither the Queen nor the Prime Minister talks about what transpired during their meetings.
In the evening, the Queen usually attends a film premiere or a concert in aid of a charitable cause. At times it is also during the evenings that she hosts official receptions at the Buckingham Palace. Also in some evenings, the Queen allots a few hours to some of her private interests like seeing her horses run at the Derby. She also spends time with the Duke of Edinburgh as he manages the estates which are run on a commercial basis.
Late in the evening, she goes back to her desk, opens the red box and reads some more of the papers. As how the palace puts it, “often, one of the last lights on in the Palace at night is The Queen finishing her ‘red box’ of official papers.”
Queen Elizabeth was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953 in a solemn ceremony conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury. Ever since her reign, the Queen has only missed two Opening of Parliament ceremonies – the first time in 1959 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and the second in 1963 when she was expecting Prince Edward.
Not known to many, The Queen and Prince Philip were married in a simple ceremony. The Queen had to collect clothing coupons for her dress as Britain was still recovering from the war back then.
Also, only few may know that the Queen is fond of Scottish country dancing. According to the palace, the Queen gives dances yearly at Balmoral Castle. The event is attended by neighbors, estate and castle staff and some members of the local community.