Names in the news, May 29

Posted May 28, 2012, at 4:50 p.m.

Stung by royal break-ups, relentless snipping over her tax-free status and a fire at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II famously dubbed 1992 her annus horribilis, or horrible year. Two decades later, the world’s highest profile monarch finds herself basking in the glow of something wholly different: an annus mirabilis. Commemorating her 60th year on the throne, the 86-year-old queen’s “diamond jubilee” is drawing an estimated 1 million people to London for a four-day fete starting Saturday that, in terms of sheer pageantry, will dwarf last year’s nuptials of her grandson Prince William and his now-famous bride, Catherine. Aboard a royal barge, the monarch will lead a 1,000-vessel flotilla down the Thames in a majestic scene inspired by a Canaletto painting. A network of 2,012 beacons will be lit in her honor from the Scottish Highlands to the Channel Islands. Paul McCartney and Elton John will serenade her at a glittering concert outside Buckingham Palace. The queen is just three years shy of becoming Britain’s longest reigning monarch — only Queen Victoria also made it this far . … A statue in the likeness of a Pennsylvania native whose quiet leadership was chronicled in the World War II book and television miniseries “Band of Brothers” is being unveiled in France. Maj. Dick Winters was a lieutenant when he led his troops during the D-Day invasion of France. Beginning June 6, a statue of him will survey the Normandy landscape that saw the crucial operation that helped end the war. The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., reports that the monument is dedicated to all junior military officers serving that day. World War II Foundation chairman Tim Gray says that helped convince Winters to agree to the project. Winters died last year at age 92. The exploits of Winters and his “Easy Company” were featured in the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries.

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