At the 1908 Olympic Games in London, the organisers of the Marathon discovered that the British Royal Box was 385 yards further down route than the 26 mile finishing mark. The route was extended to finish exactly in front of King Edward VII and has been 26 miles and 385 yards ever since.
Italian marathon runner Dorando Pietri struggled across the line in the 1908 Olympics. Despite being in the lead, he nearly collapsed and had to be helped across the line; so was duly disqualified.
Dorando Pietri’s story led the marathon to become popular worldwide. Queen Alexandra presented Pietri with a special gold cup and Irving Berlin wrote a song about him. Pietri’s tale also led to an even greater interest in the Olympics.
What might have happened if the British Royal Box hadn’t meant an extra 385 yards to the finish line?
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years on the throne, is the perfect excuse to have a party and get patriotic! Whether you’re celebrating at home or having a street party get in the spirit with red, white and blue everything. We’ve negotiated an exclusive 15% off Scarlett Willow’s gorgeous Jubilee products until the end of June 2012 – just quote MNT0512 and visit www.scarletwillow.co.uk or call +44 (0) 20 7720 8331 to order.
Food, as always, is the centre of any party. Here are some suggestions for a stress-free day.
Diamond Jubilee Platter – Duck Egg Blue £29.50
Coronation chicken is a real crowd pleaser. Get creative and update yours to Diamond Jubilee status by adding anything from mango, avocado and red peppers to coriander, mint and Indian spices. For the basic recipe cut left over cooked chicken into long pieces, mix with mayonnaise (and cream or yoghurt), curry powder, lemon juice and mango chutney and mix. Serve with salad, new potatoes or crusty bread. Show off your sandwiches, quiche or Jubilee Chicken on this patriotic platter!
Vintage Jack tray £94.20-112, stand extra
Union Jack Boys – £21.50
For pudding you can’t go wrong with traditional strawberries and cream. For added wow factor combine them with 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, zest and juice of an orange and brown sugar to taste. If you’ve the time and inclination then get the kids decorating fairy cakes (in red, white and blue of course!) and serve them on this gorgeous vintage jack tray.
Top Tip: If you’re watching the Royal Pageant on the Thames, navigate the same route and give the kids (and yourself) a history lesson on London’s most famous “street” with the official i-Pad app. Download The Thames: London’s Crown Jewel from the i-Tunes App Store http://bit.ly/JB26hV for just £1.99 and 50% of the profits go to the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation.