Princess Elizabeth became HRH Queen Elizabeth II on the 6th February 1952 after the death of her father King George VI. Next year the Queen's Diamond Jubilee marks only the second occasion in British history that a monarch has reached sixty years on the throne; a milestone that will not have escaped many people's attention.
Many events and tributes will be taking place, and along with the Olympics it should be a great year that can do much to have a positive effect on the economy and the mood of the nation.
N.E.J. Stevenson Ltd are delighted to have been commissioned to make a major contribution to the celebrations by helping to raise money for QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust), which was established to provide financial scholarships to traditional craftsmen and women of all ages. The Trust was formed in 1990 coinciding with Queen Mothers ninetieth birthday and 150 years of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, of which we are members. However, due to the renaissance of traditional skills and the subsequent rise in applications for support the Trust is unable to meet the growing demands, and so a major campaign to raise awareness of QEST, its purpose and its ethos is now well underway.
Johnnie Walker and Sons have promised a donation of £1,000,000 plus all the proceeds from the sale of sixty unique bottles of whiskey blended from malts in 1952.
Our part in this great project is to make the chest that will hold the lead crystal vessel and two hand-engraved glasses. We are now ready to start construction of each of the chests after producing the first prototype almost a year ago. The chest is a true piece of cabinetry incorporating hand dovetailed secret drawers and complex veneer patterns. We are currently not able to show a picture of the chest but we can show you the cut glass vessel resting in a cut glass cradle, with Britannia silver embellishments and a half-carat diamond by Hamilton and Inches. Each of the chests retail at £100,000 and it is hoped that at least £3,000,000 will be donated to QEST.
Her Majesty has shown great interest in the project and has allowed us to select timber from her private estates at Balmoral and Sandringham and these are complemented by two Commonwealth timbers, Wenge and Australian black bean.
As part of the launch Neil was invited to two banquets held at Stirling Castle, which in keeping with the Scottish heritage of the project required him to don a rather fetching kilt.
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