Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was educated at home, her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; when her father died in February 1952, she became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa and Ceylon, became republics.
Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992 and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy has been and remains high, as does her personal popularity. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.
Her father, the Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, Mary after her paternal grandmother. Called "Lilibet" by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery. Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930; the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Lessons concentrated on history, language and music. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family; the book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, her attitude of responsibility. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character, she has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant." Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved". During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young. Many people believed he would have children of his own; when her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father.
That year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth's father became king, she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed so she could socialise with girls her own age, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger. In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured the United States; as in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Elizabeth "looked tearful", they corresponded and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.
In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War. Lord Hailsham suggested that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada to avoid the frequent aerial bombing; this was rejected by Elizabeth's mother. I won't leave wit
Queen's Police Medal
The Queen's Police Medal is awarded to police officers in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations, for gallantry or distinguished service. It was created on 19 May 1954, when it replaced the King's Police and Fire Services Medal, which itself replaced the King's Police Medal in 1940; the KPM was introduced by a Royal Warrant of 7 July 1909 inspired by the need to recognise the gallantry of the police officers involved in the Tottenham Outrage. The original KPM, despite its name, could be awarded to members of recognised fire brigades, it was intended that the medal should be awarded once a year, to no more than 120 recipients, with a maximum of: 40 from the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies. More could be awarded in exceptional circumstances; the ribbon was to be "an inch and three-eighths in width, dark blue with a narrow silver stripe-on either side". Those who received further awards of the medal were to wear a silver bar on the ribbon in lieu of a further issue of the medal, or a rosette where the ribbon alone was worn.
Recipients were required to have shown: Conspicuous gallantry in saving life and property, or in preventing crime or arresting criminals. A specially distinguished record in administrative or detective service. Success in organizing Police Forces or Fire Brigades or Departments, or in maintaining their organization under special difficulties. Special services in dealing with serious or widespread outbreaks of crime or public disorder, or of fire. Valuable political and secret services. Special services to Royalty and Heads of States. Prolonged service. Provision was made for the forfeiture of the award in the event that a recipient was convicted of a criminal offence. Minor amendments to the warrant were made on 3 October 1916. On 1 October 1930, changes were made to the forfeiture provisions, no longer specifying grounds for forfeiture, but allowing the medal to be restored again. In the 1932 New Year Honours list, a distinction was made signifying only some of the medals were being awarded for gallantry.
On 27 December 1933, the warrant was amended to introduce distinctions as to whether the medal was awarded for gallantry or for distinguished service, by adding an appropriate inscription to the reverse of the medal, adding a central red stripe to the ribbon for gallantry awards. Both types of award adopted the current ribbon design, with a further silver strip in the middle of the ribbon; the award criteria were changed so recipients had: either performed acts of exceptional courage and skill or exhibited conspicuous devotion to duty. In 1936, amendments of 25 May gave greater provision for territories to opt to award their own equivalent medals. Further minor amendments were made on 15 December. On 6 September 1940, the name was changed to the King's Police and Fire Services Medal to better reflect the eligibility of fire service personnel. There was no longer any limit on the number to be awarded in one year. In a warrant of 19 May 1954 the current version of the medal, named the Queen's Police Medal was introduced.
Between 30 December 2009 and 12 June 2011, the medal was awarded to 71 officers in England and Wales. The most common form of the current award is the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service; the equivalent medal for gallantry, the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry, which could be awarded posthumously, has not been awarded since 1977, since which time the Queen's Gallantry Medal has been awarded posthumously. Acts of gallantry in the police service attract the George Cross, George Medal or Queen's Gallantry Medal. Over time, many Commonwealth countries have created their own police medals, replacing the issue of the QPM to police in those countries. For example, Australia created the Australian Police Medal in 1986, it did not supersede the QPM which continued to be awarded to Australians until 1989. On 5 October 1992, Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, announced that Australia would make no further recommendations for British honours; the Australian Order of Wear states that "all imperial British awards made to Australian citizens after 5 October 1992 are foreign awards and should be worn accordingly".
Recipients may use the post-nominal letters QPM, QPFSM, QFSM, KPM or KPFSM, as appropriate, although the right to use these was only granted on 20 July 1969. The circular "silver" medal is 36 mm in diameter. On the obverse is a profile of The Queen; the reverse depicts a figure holding a shield. The words For Distinguished Police Service or For Gallantry are inscribed around the edge of the reverse side; the ribbon's colours consist of two wide blue stripes. For the Gallantry award, a thin red stripe runs through each silver stripe. British and Commonwealth orders and decorations Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal ODM of the UK Stephen Stratford medal page
National Police Memorial (United Kingdom)
The National Police Memorial is a memorial in central London, commemorating about 4000 police officers killed in the course of their duties in the United Kingdom. It was designed by Lord Foster of Thames Bank and Per Arnoldi and unveiled in 2005; the Project Architect for Foster was Peter Ridley. In 1984, following the shooting of Yvonne Fletcher, film director Michael Winner founded the Police Memorial Trust; the Trust concentrated on erecting smaller monuments at the points where officers had died on duty. From the mid-1990s the Trust lobbied and raised funds for a single, larger scale memorial to commemorate all police officers who had died in the course of their duties. Winner stated that "Memorials to soldiers and airmen are commonplace, but the police fight a war with no beginning and no end". Winner donated £500,000 of his own money to the campaign for a national memorial and the remainder of the total cost of £2.3 million was met by a public collection. After a ten-year campaign, Westminster City Council granted planning permission in October 2002.
The Memorial was built to a design by Lord Foster of Thames Bank and Danish designer Per Arnoldi, on the corner of The Mall and Horse Guards Road, directly outside the Old Admiralty Building. The site was occupied at the time by an air shaft on the Bakerloo line of the London Underground. On 22 July 2004 a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony took place on the site, performed by Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Winner, officers from the Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester Police, representing the two forces with the highest number of officers killed in the line of duty; the Memorial was formally unveiled on 26 April 2005 by Tony Blair. Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy, the leaders of the UK's other leading political parties at the time, were present. A guard of honour was provided by 56 officers wearing the uniforms of each of the UK's police forces; the Queen stated that "It is appropriate that this should be positioned in The Mall - an area of London so associated with our national way of life.
When people pass by the memorial, I hope they will pause and reflect on the proud traditions that it represents. The courage and personal sacrifice recorded here will, I am certain, serve as an inspiration to us all."Despite concerns over the potential cost, construction of the Memorial came in at £400,000 under budget, in part because a number of the contractors concerned carried out their work free of charge. The Memorial was a winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects award for 2006. Michael Winner publicly voiced some surprise at the structure being included in the "Arts and Leisure" classification; the Memorial consists of two distinct architectural elements, linked by a terrace of Purbeck stone. A black rectangular creeper-covered enclosure surrounds the air shaft; the northern face of the enclosure is kept free of creepers, is inscribed with the police badge of office and the text "The National Police Memorial: Honouring Those Who Serve". This face includes a vitrine in which the Roll of Honour is displayed.
North of the block, a glass column is sited in a reflecting pool. The column is internally illuminated by fibre optic cables with a faint blue light, symbolising the blue lamp which traditionally hangs outside police stations in the United Kingdom; the column is intended to screen the vitrine from passing traffic on The Mall. The column is consisting of 622 stacked sheets of glass, weighing 28.6 tonnes. The Memorial contains the UK Police Roll of Honour behind a glass panel, containing the names of 4000 officers killed whilst on duty, in the course of effecting an arrest or whilst carrying out hazardous duties; the earliest entry is that of an unknown constable killed in 1680. The book is compiled from the 4000 names recorded by the Police Roll of Honour Trust, listing all officers who have died in the line of duty; the Memorial attracted criticism from some families of officers killed in the line of duty, regarding the high cost, that the roll of honour lists only those officers killed during arrests or as a result of criminal acts, rather than all officers killed in the line of duty.
Before construction, objections were raised to the Memorial's construction by the London Historical Parks Group and the local residents' association. Concern was raised by some Irish republicans that the Memorial includes the names of those RUC officers killed in The Troubles. Official website Image gallery at Foster & Partners
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is the head of London's Metropolitan Police Service. Cressida Dick was appointed to the post in 2017, assumed office on 10 April; the Commissioner is regarded as the highest ranking police officer in the United Kingdom, although their authority is confined to the Metropolitan Police Service's area of operation, the Metropolitan Police District. However, unlike other police forces the Metropolitan Police has certain national responsibilities such as leading counter-terrorism policing and the protection of the Royal Family and senior members of Her Majesty's Government. Furthermore, the postholder is directly accountable to the Home Secretary and the public nationally amongst many others whereas smaller police forces are only accountable to residents and their local Police and Crime Commissioner or police authority; the rank is referred to as the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the Met Commissioner or just "Commissioner". The Commissioner's annual salary without pension contributions or allowances from 1 September 2016 is £270,648 + £2,373.
The rank of Commissioner was created by the Metropolitan Police Act 1829. The Commissioners were Justices of the Peace and not sworn constables until 1 April 1974; the title Commissioner was not used until 1839. The insignia of rank is a crown above a Bath Star, known as "pips", above crossed tipstaves within a wreath similar to the insignia worn by a full general in the British Army; this badge is all but unique within the British police, shared only with the Commissioner of the City of London Police, the smallest territorial police force, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary. Like all chief officer ranks in the British police, commissioners wear gorget patches on the collars of their tunics; the gorget patches are similar to those worn by generals, aside from being of silver-on-black instead of the Army's gold-on-red. At one time, the commissioners were either civil servants. Sir John Nott-Bower, who served as Commissioner from 1953 to 1958, was the first career police officer to hold the post, despite several previous Commissioners having served in senior administrative positions in colonial forces, the Metropolitan Police itself.
Nott-Bower's successor Sir Joseph Simpson was the first Commissioner to have started his career as the lowest rank of Constable. However, Sir Robert Mark, appointed in 1972, was the first to have risen through all the ranks from the lowest to the highest, as all his successors have done; as of 2008, the post of Commissioner is appointed for a period of five years. Applicants are appointed to the post by the Queen, following a recommendation by the Home Secretary under the Police Act 1996; as of 2010 the salary of the Commissioner of the Metropolis is £260,088. Applicants to the post of Commissioner had to be British citizens, be "serving UK chief constables or of equivalent UK ranks and above, or have recent experience at these levels"; the post of Commissioner is "accountable to the Home Secretary. In August 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron wanted former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Bill Bratton to become the new Met Police Commissioner, but this was blocked by the Home Office pointing out that the Commissioner has to be British.
This changed with an amendment to the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 whereby a person, or has been "a police officer in an approved overseas police force, of at least the approved rank" could be appointed, in addition to "a constable in any part of the United Kingdom". The selection process in 2017 to select Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe's successor involved the candidates undergoing psychometric testing in addition to interviews with the Home Secretary, Mayor of London and Policing Minister; the process is conducted in private and the Home Office has called for a "news blackout." The discussion and public profile of the candidates was limited to speculation and rumour, with the Home Office refusing to confirm the shortlisted candidates covered in the media. The Centre for Public Safety has recommended the selection process be reformed, to provide opportunities for greater public and workforce engagement in the process. In particular, suggesting a series of community interview panels and a public candidate forum - though they maintain that the final decision should still rest with the Home Secretary.
UK police ranks Metropolitan Police Service timeline Commissioner Hogan-Howe in full ceremonial dress leading crowds up the Mall during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012
A police officer known as an officer, policewoman, cop/copper, police agent, or a police employee is a warranted law employee of a police force. In most countries, "police officer" is a generic term not specifying a particular rank. In some, the use of the rank "officer" is reserved for military personnel. Police officers are charged with the apprehension of criminals and the prevention and detection of crime and assistance of the general public, the maintenance of public order. Police officers may be sworn to an oath, have the power to arrest people and detain them for a limited time, along with other duties and powers; some officers are trained in special duties, such as counter-terrorism, child protection, VIP protection, civil law enforcement, investigation techniques into major crime including fraud, rape and drug trafficking. Although many police officers wear a corresponding uniform, some police officers are plain-clothed in order to dissimulate as ordinary. In most countries police officers are given exemptions from certain laws to perform their duties.
For example an officer may use force if necessary to arrest or detain a person when it would ordinarily be assault. Officers can break road rules to perform their duties; the word police comes from the Greek politeia meaning government, which came to mean its civil administration. Police officers are those empowered by government to enforce the laws. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison wrote "If men were pure, no government would be necessary."These words apply to those who serve government, including police. The more general term for the function is peace officer. A sheriff is the top police officer of a county, with that word coming from the person enforcing law over a shire. A person, deputized to serve the function of the sheriff is referred to as the deputy. A common nickname for a police officer is cop; the term copper is used in Britain to mean "someone who captures". The common myth is that it's a term referring to the police officer's buttons which are made of copper; the term County Mountie is used in reference to county police officers or county sheriff's deputies in the United States.
As with Canadian Mounties, the term mountie comes from police. Responsibilities of a police officer are varied, may differ from within one political context to another. Typical duties relate to keeping the peace, law enforcement, protection of people and property and the investigation of crimes. Officers are expected to respond to a variety of situations. Rules and guidelines dictate how an officer should behave within the community, in many contexts, restrictions are placed on what the uniformed officer wears. In some countries and procedures dictate that a police officer is obliged to intervene in a criminal incident if they are off-duty. Police officers in nearly all countries retain their lawful powers while off duty. In the majority of Western legal systems, the major role of the police is to maintain order, keeping the peace through surveillance of the public, the subsequent reporting and apprehension of suspected violators of the law, they function to discourage crimes through high-visibility policing, most police forces have an investigative capability.
Police have the legal authority to arrest and detain granted by magistrates. Police officers respond to emergency calls, along with routine community policing. Police are used as an emergency service and may provide a public safety function at large gatherings, as well as in emergencies, disasters and rescue situations, road traffic collisions. To provide a prompt response in emergencies, the police coordinate their operations with fire and emergency medical services. In some countries, individuals serve jointly as police officers as well as firefighters. In many countries, there is a common emergency service number that allows the police, firefighters, or medical services to be summoned to an emergency; some countries, such as the United Kingdom have outlined command procedures, for the use in major emergencies or disorder. The Gold Silver Bronze command structure is a system set up to improve communications between ground-based officers and the control room Bronze Commander would be a senior officer on the ground, coordinating the efforts in the center of the emergency, Silver Commanders would be positioned in an'Incident Control Room' erected to improve better communications at the scene, a Gold Commander who would be in the Control Room.
Police are responsible for reprimanding minor offenders by issuing citations which may result in the imposition of fines for violations of traffic law. Traffic enforcement is and accomplished by police officers on motorcycles—called motor officers, these officers refer to the motorcycles they ride on duty as motors. Police are trained to assist persons in distress, such as motorists whose car has broken down and people experiencing a medical emergency. Police are trained in basic first aid such as CPR; some park rangers are commissioned as law enforcement officers and carry out a law-enforcement role within national parks and other back-country wilderness and recreational areas, whereas Military police perform law enforcement functions within the military. In most countries, candidates for the police force
College of Arms
The College of Arms known as the College of Heralds, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sovereign and are delegated authority to act on behalf of the Crown in all matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees; the College is the official body responsible for matters relating to the flying of flags on land, it maintains the official registers of flags and other national symbols. Though a part of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom the College is self-financed, unsupported by any public funds. Founded by royal charter in 1484 by King Richard III, the College is one of the few remaining official heraldic authorities in Europe. Within the United Kingdom, there are two such authorities, the Court of the Lord Lyon in Scotland and the College for the rest of the United Kingdom; the College has had its home in the City of London since its foundation, has been at its present location, on Queen Victoria Street, since 1555.
The College of Arms undertakes and consults on the planning of many ceremonial occasions such as coronations, state funerals, the annual Garter Service and the State Opening of Parliament. Heralds of the College accompany the sovereign on many of these occasions; the College comprises thirteen officers or heralds: three Kings of Arms, six Heralds of Arms and four Pursuivants of Arms. There are seven officers extraordinary, who take part in ceremonial occasions but are not part of the College; the entire corporation is overseen by the Earl Marshal, a hereditary office held by the Duke of Norfolk Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk. King Richard III's interest in heraldry was indicated by his possession of two important rolls of arms. While still Duke of Gloucester and Constable of England for his brother from 1469, he in the latter capacity supervised the heralds and made plans for the reform of their organisation. Soon after his accession to the throne he created Sir John Howard as Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshal of England, who became the first Howard appointed to both positions.
In the first year of his reign, the royal heralds were incorporated under royal charter dated 2 March 1484, under the Latin name "Le Garter regis armorum Anglicorum, regis armorum partium Australium, regis armorum partium Borealium, regis armorum Wallæ et heraldorum, sive pursevandorum armorum." Translated as: "the Garter King of Arms of England, the King of Arms of the Southern parts, the King of Arms of the Northern parts, the King of Arms of Wales, all other heralds and pursuivants of arms". The charter goes on to state that the heralds "for the time being, shall be in perpetuity a body corporate in fact and name, shall preserve a succession unbroken." This charter titled. There has been some evidence that prior to this charter, the royal heralds had in some ways behaved like a corporation as early as 1420; the charter is the earliest surviving document to affirm the chapter as a corporate body of heralds. The charter outlines the constitution of the officers, their hierarchy, the privileges conferred upon them and their jurisdiction over all heraldic matters in the Kingdom of England.
The King empowered the College to have and use only one common seal of authority, instructed them to find a chaplain to celebrate mass daily for himself, Anne Neville, the Queen Consort, his heir, Prince Edward. The College was granted a house named Coldharbour on Upper Thames Street in the parish of All-Hallows-the-Less, for storing records and living space for the heralds; the house, built by Sir John de Pulteney, four times Lord Mayor of London, was said to be one of the greatest in the City of London. The defeat and death of Richard III at Bosworth field was a double blow for the heralds, for they lost both their patron, the King, their benefactor, the Earl Marshal, slain; the victorious Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII soon after the battle. Henry's first Parliament of 1485 passed an Act of Resumption, in which large grants of crown properties made by his two predecessors to their supporters were cancelled. Whether this act affected the status of the College's charter is debatable.
Henry granted the house to his mother Lady Margaret Beaufort, for life. This was because it was supposed that the house was granted to John Writhe the Garter King of Arms and not to the heralds as a corporation; as a result, the heralds were left destitute and many of their books and records were lost. Despite this ill treatment from the King, the heralds' position at the royal court remained, they were compelled by the King to attend him at all times. Of the reign of King Henry VIII, it has been said that: "at no time since its establishment, was in higher estimation, nor in fuller employment, than in this reign." Henry VIII was fond of pomp and magnificence, thus gave the heralds plenty of opportunity to exercise their roles in his court. In addition, the members of the College were expected to be despatched to foreign courts on missions, whether to declare war, accompany armies, summon garrisons or deliver messages to foreign potentates and generals. During his magnificent meeting with Francis I of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520, Henry VIII brought with him eighteen officers of arms all he had, to regulate the many tournaments and ceremonies held there.