Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Tobacco

Tomorrow is not only Friday, April 29th 2011, it is also the day in which the world will be watching Britain's Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton engage vows in an elaborate ceremony of wedlock. As I catch a glimpse of this attractive couple on the Telly (T.V.), I contemplate the rich history within Britain's Royal Family and the various periods of English history involving tobacco. Here is a snapshot of the last 100 years focused on the Royal family and the Royal Tobacco plant:

• 1901 - ENGLAND: End of an Age: Queen Victoria dies. Edward VII, the tobacco-hating queen's son and successor, gathers friends together in a large drawing room at Buckingham Palace. He enters the room with a lit cigar in his hand and announces, "Gentlemen, you may smoke."
• 1901 - By royal warrant, Philip Morris & Co., Ltd., is appointed tobacconist for King Edward VII.
• 1902 - British American Tobacco (BAT) company formed headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
• 1908 - ENGLAND LEGISLATION: 1908 Children Act prohibits the sales of tobacco to under 16 -- based on the belief that smoking stunts children's growth.
• 1910 - King George V ascends the throne.
• 1911 - Tobacco growing is allowed in England for the first time in more than 250 years.
• 1911 - The American Tobacco Company sold its share of the BAT company.
• 1913 - Prince Albert tobacco uses Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians in its ads.
• 1917 - World War I, the House of Windsor comes into being, when the name is adopted as the British Royal Family's official name by a proclamation of King George V.
• 1930 - Cigar prices fall so low most hand-rolling cigar businesses fail.
• 1933 - Philip Morris resuscitates and revitalizes its Philip Morris as a tony, but only premium-priced ("Now only 15 cents") "English Blend" brand.
• 1936 - George V dies and is succeeded by his son Edward VIII.
• 1936 - Edward VIII is in love with a divorced American woman, Wallis Simpson (divorced twice) would not be acceptable as Queen.
• 1940 - General Douglas McArthur makes the corncob pipe his trademark by posing with it on dramatic occasions such as his wading ashore during the invasion and reconquest of the Philippines.
• 1942 - British researcher L.M. Johnston successfully substituted nicotine injections for smoking Johnston discusses aspects of addiction including tolerance, craving and withdrawal symptoms. He concludes: Clearly the essence of tobacco smoking is the tobacco and not the smoking. Satisfaction can be obtained from chewing it, from snuff taking, and from the administration of nicotine. The experiment is reported in the British medical journal Lancet.
• 1946 - Newsweek runs a story by Dr Wm D Stroud, professor of cardiology at the UPenn Graduate School of Medicine, "Smoke, Drink, and Get Well."
• 1947 - George VI's first-born Princess Elizabeth marries Philip Mountbatten, who becomes Duke of Edinburgh.
• 1952 - Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, set out on a tour of Africa and Asia in place of her ailing father King George VI (who dies before spring).
• 1953 - Queen Elizabeth is crowned at Westminster Abbey in the first televised coronation service.
• 1960 - The queen gives birth to her third child, Andrew. Her eldest son, Charles, was born in 1948 and Anne in 1950. The queen has her last child, Edward in 1964.
• 1973 - The queen's only daughter, Princess Anne, marries Captain Mark Phillips. They divorce in 1992.
• 1976 - The British Tobacco Company and American Tobacco Company were reorganized under a new holding company, B.A.T. Industries.
• 1977 - The queen marks her Silver Jubilee with a tour of Commonwealth countries and lavish celebrations in Britain.
• 1981 - Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer in a glittering ceremony. They divorce in 1996.
• 1982 - Prince William, is born to Charles and Diana. Prince Harry is born two years later.
• 1986 - Andrew marries publishing executive Sarah Ferguson, dubbed "Fergie" by the tabloid press.
• 1992 - Queen Elizabeth's 40th year on the throne, which is marked by marital upsets, a fire and public dissent. Andrew and Sarah separate. Anne divorces Mark Phillips. Windsor Castle is badly damaged by fire. The queen agrees to pay income tax.
• 1996 - Charles and Diana are divorced.
• 1997 - Diana and her millionaire companion Dodi Al Fayed are killed when their car crashes while being chased through Paris by photographers on motorcycles.
• 1999 - BAT merged with Rothman's International, with a factory in Burma.
• 2002 - The queen marks the 50th anniversary of her accession. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother dies at Windsor Castle aged 101.
• 2003 - The British Government made an "exceptional request" for Rothman's to sell its share after being criticized from Human Rights Groups.
• 2005 - Charles announces he will marry his long-time lover Camilla Parker Bowles in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
• 2007 - The queen arrives in the U.S. to mark the 400th anniversary, on May 14, 1607, of Virginia Company explorers landing on Jamestown Island to establish the Virginia English colony on the banks of the James River. In 1614, the first shipment of Virginia tobacco was sold in London.
• 2010 - The queen cancels a planned Christmas party at Buckingham Palace after deciding it would be inappropriate to celebrate as Britons feel the pinch from the economic crisis.
• 2011 - Britain and Ireland announce that the queen is to travel to Ireland in 2011, the first official visit by a British monarch since before the Irish state gained independence from Britain in 1921.
• April 29, 2011 - Prince William, the queen's grandson and Kate Middleton are to marry in Westminster Abbey.

As you watch the Royal Wedding tomorrow, do so smoking a bowl of your favorite English Tobacco Blend and admire the rich history that has gone and went, and the rich history occurring at that very moment.

Timeline - 100 years of Britain's Royal Family written by David Cutler (

Tobacco Timeline - The Twentieth Century 1900-1949 (