Thirty and counting

Back in May ‘Sue the Vic’ asked if my embroidery would be finished in time to exhibit in the jubilee exhibition in one of our local churches, and suggested that I could write a piece about the elements discovered in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

The race was on to pick up from the Royal School of Needlework and get it to a framer in time to have it in a frame for the Jubilee weekend. Andy Miller from Byard Art at Chesterton Mill came up trumps and here it is on display.

It turns out that the Queen’s reign and lifetime rather nicely coincide with the switchover from elements being discovered in nature to synthetic elements. The first element discovered in her lifetime was technetium, the first synthetic element. The second was francium, the last element to be discovered in nature (though four others that were first made were then discovered in minute quantities in nature: plutonium, neptunium, astatine and promethium).

In total, twenty elements have been discovered in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and thirty in her lifetime. This compares with 31 in Queen Victoria’s lifetime. Can our Queen equal or overtake Victoria? The race for element 119 is on!

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