By Katie Raymond
Britons know that when the sun shines you need to take advantage of it. With so many fantastic events spanning the summer months, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the British summertime. Come rain or shine, we present a Who’s Who quiz of British summer events sure to keep your summer bright.
What makes the British summer so special? Let’s start off on a “high note” with Glyndebourne Opera Festival. The 2013 season celebrates three major composers who are intrinsically linked with Glyndebourne’s history: Verdi, Britten, and Wagner. Then it’s a gentle trot north-west to take in the milliners’ favourite event of the summer, Royal Ascot. The event takes place the third week in June in the small town of Ascot, Berkshire. This year’s prestigious Gold Cup went to HM the Queen. If you can throw a tennis ball 33 miles then it could end up at Wimbledon, our next destination. Wimbledon hosted over 480,000 in attendance in 2012, with a peak audience of 16.9m tuning in to watch last year’s championship game between Andy Murray and Roger Federer. Then it’s a short drive to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix for our next pit stop. 120,000 fans filled the one-time airfield to see British drivers like Jenson Button compete in one of the summer’s best events.
First held in 1839, the Henley Royal Regatta is the best known regatta in the world and the next stop on our Who’s Who quiz. The race earned the royal status in 1851 when Prince Albert became its first royal patron. Next up it’s The Ashes, a cricket series that began in 1882 and is played alternately in England and Australia. This legendary series has featured some of the greatest cricketers of all time, such as England’s Jack Hobbs. Then, head to London to admire the BBC Proms, which run from July to September at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The summer spectacular culminates in Hyde Park for Proms in the Park. This year’s finale event will be presented by Sir Terry Wogan with British pop legend Bryan Ferry leading the entertainment. Penultimately, The British Open, which takes place the third weekend in July, is the only major held outside of the United States on one of nine links courses in Scotland or England. Ernie Els will be defending his title at Muirfield this summer. The last destination and challenge in our Who’s Who quiz is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where playwrights and national treasures such as Alan Bennett got their big breaks.
And now for the whistle-stop tour of the British summer designed to inform and amuse you in equal measure. Have you got what it takes to be the Who’s Who“top banana” (or should I say strawberry)? Take the quiz to find out…
Katie Raymond is an editorial assistant in the reference department of Oxford University Press.
Who’s Who is the essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in every area of public life, published worldwide, and written by the entrants themselves. Who’s Who 2013 includes autobiographical information on over 34,000 influential people from all walks of life. You can browse by people, education, and even recreation. The 165th edition includes a foreword by Arianna Huffington on ways technology is rapidly transforming the media. Please note that the Who’s Who articles in this blog post will be freely accessible until the 20th June 2013, after which you can access through a subscription. You can follow Who’s Who on Twitter @ukwhoswho.
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Image credit: Photo of Henley Royal Regatta, 1890s. Image courtesy of United States’ Library of Congress via WikiCommons.