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Library Happenings – Queen Elizabeth II surpasses record (Sept. 16, 2015 issue)

Last week, after more than sixty-three years, seven months and two days on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch, surpassing the record of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. During her long life, the queen has sat for more than 130 official portraits and has been represented by twenty-three different waxwork figures at Madame Tussaud’s.
It often amuses people to learn that she drives without a license. Nor is she required to have tags on her vehicles. Nevertheless, Elizabeth is more familiar with automobiles than most people might imagine, since she was trained to maintain motor vehicles during her service in the Second World War.
We Americans fought a Revolutionary War to throw off the hated rule of Queen Elizabeth’s fourth great-grandfather George III, but we still are fascinated by her and her family. In fact, we’re intrigued by numerous British queens.
A fictional account of the relationship between Henry VIII and his sixth wife Katherine Parr is currently on “The New York Times” bestseller list. Not coincidentally, it is available at your library. Philippa Gregory’s “The Taming of the Queen” follows the twice-widowed “Kateryn” (spelling was fluid in her day) to the court of Henry VIII.
Although Katherine already was in love with Thomas Seymour, the brother of Henry’s third wife, she married the aging king out of a sense of duty to him and her own family. Knowing that Henry had divorced two wives and beheaded two others, she was not entirely comfortable in her new role.
Although her previous marriages had been childless, she also was uneasy about the prospect of pregnancy and childbirth. A miscarriage had doomed Anne Boleyn and complications of childbirth had killed Jane Seymour, who was the mother of Henry’s only son and heir. Katherine Parr was a devoted stepmother to Henry’s three children. She also was a deeply religious and highly intelligent woman. We know this because she published three books of devotions and managed to survive her third husband to marry yet a fourth!
Board Meeting
The Board of Trustees of the Unicoi County Public Library will meet in the library lobby at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17. The public is welcome to attend. If you require special accommodations, please call the library at 743-6533 for assistance.
Lego Club
Our popular Lego Club will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Since space and our supply of Legos are limited, reservations are required. Please call the library if you want to reserve a place for your child.