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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


A Queens Tour

Commemorative £5 coin of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, 2002

HRH The Duke of York inspects some Jubilee coin designs

HRH The Duke of York inspects some Jubilee coin designs

2002 was the year of the Golden Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. This means that she had ruled for an amazing 50 years. Female rulers in history were rare. They sometimes had to be very tough, to show that they could be as strong as men. Click the arrows below to meet some queens from the past.

For parents

Historically queens were usually mothers or wives of male rulers, and through them could have had huge influence, albeit indirectly. Queen Elizabeth II's power is almost completely symbolic, but she is Queen in her own right.

The photos on the left show children from Thames Ditton Primary School designing their own Jubilee coin in the Reading Room, with the help of HRH The Duke of York, who launched the paper Queen's Trail on 25 April 2002.

Print and do activities

Design a coin for the Queen (46 Kb)

A Queens Quiz (51 Kb)