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Card From The Queen (England)

The Queen sends congratulatory messages to those celebrating their 100th and 105th birthday and every year thereafter and those celebrating their 60th, 65th and 70th wedding anniversaries and every year thereafter. You should apply for a message at least 3 weeks before the day.

The card will have a personalised message with a facsimile signature. The card comes in a special envelope, delivered through the normal post system. There is no charge for this service.

To apply to receive a congratulatory message from The Queen, you should make your application at least 3 weeks before the special day. You will need to complete a form and supply a photocopy of the marriage or birth certificate.

Find the forms and further guidance on the British Monarchy(link opens in new window).Order a copy of a birth or marriage online from the General Register Office for England and Wales.

Never clink your glasses in Hungary

In Hungary people don’t clink beer glasses. Legend has it, that when Hungary’s 1848 revolution against the Habsburgs was defeated, the Austrians celebrated in Vienna by toasting and clinking their beer glasses. Hungarians vowed not to cheers with beer for 150 years. While that time frame is over – Hungarians still don’t ‘cheers’ with beer.
Nevertheless with any other alcoholic beverage like wine or pálinka it’s considered rude not to look the other person in the eye when saying cheers (‘egészségedre’). People will literally have their eyes wide open and protruding as they clink glasses to make sure you know that they’re looking at you, and that they know that you’re looking at them.

Dennmark has 7000 approved baby names

Denmark is one such nation that has unusual naming laws. Parents can only choose a name from a list of 7,000 names. The laws also require that the name must show the gender of the child and not be unusual. Furthermore, surnames cannot be the first ones. Imaginative spelling of the usual names is also not permissible under these laws. The names must be in line with Danish orthography. For instance, the name Camilla is allowed under the regulations, but spelling it as Cammmilla is not allowed. Furthermore, some ancient Danish names are protected by the law. Some of the prohibited names include Pluto, Monkey, and Anus. Approved names may also include Fee, Molli, Jiminico, and Benji.

The authorities have several reasons for putting in place these naming laws. They seek to protect the children from being given odd names that suit their parent’s desires. Many children face abuse when they are younger due to having a different name. The names are also regulated in order to identify the gender of a child without confusion. The laws are also used to protect some Danish last names that are rare or of noble history.

Did you know that RZSS Edinburgh Zoo is home to a knighted penguin? Meet Sir Nils Olav!

Nils Olav, a king penguin, is named after Major Nils Egelien, who organised the original adoption back in 1972, and the then-King of Norway, King Olav. Following his adoption, Nils was given the role of mascot for the Norwegian Guard and has quickly moved up the ranks:

1982 – Corporal
1987 – Sergeant
1993 – Regimental Sergeant Major
2001 – Honourable Regimental Sergeant Major
2005 – Colonel-in-Chief
2008 – Knighthood
2016 – Brigadier

Nils is regarded very highly among the Norwegian Guardsman and has received these honours and medals due to his outstanding service and good conduct! The Guardsmen like to visit Nils every few years while they are in the city performing at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. They last visited in August 2016.

Some other facts you might not know about Sir Nils Olav:

  • Sir Nils resides with the rest of our colony in Penguins Rock, which includes the largest outdoor penguin pool in Europe.
  • In 2005, the Zoo was presented with a 4-foot tall bronze statue of the Sir Nils, which takes pride of place outside Penguins Rock.
  • Edinburgh Zoo has a long history with penguins and Norway. The Norwegian family of Christian Salvesen presented the Zoo with its first-ever king penguin in 1913, another reason why Nils is so special.
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