Traditions like Royal Oak day
The Royal Oak is the English oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
Nick Griffin MEP, has recently been asked if he would, as part of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, press for the restoration of Royal Oak Day as a public holiday.
Before printing the response from Mr Griffin’s Constituency Outreach office, here is a little history about Royal Oak Day:
The Oak tree was located in Boscobel Wood, which was part of the park of Boscobel House. This was confirmed by Charles to Samuel Pepys in 1680, when he stated that while he was hiding in the tree, a Parliamentarian soldier passed directly below it.
The story was popular after the Restoration, and has been remembered every year in the English traditions of Royal Oak Day. Numerous large dishes painted in slip with the Boscobel Oak, supported by the Lion and Unicorn, with the king's face peeping from the branches were made by the Staffordshire potter Thomas Toft.
Some traditions and information about Royal Oak Day courtesy of the http://royaloakday.org.uk.
Oak Sprigs are traditionally worn on Royal Oak Day and Oak branches can be found placed around statues of Charles II on this day. Plum Pudding washed down with a Royal Oak Ale, especially in a Royal Oak Inn, is traditional in England on this day.
Enjoying art and poetry, dances and songs and theatre are also traditional ways to celebrate, and there is a tradition of beautiful Pottery decorated with the Royal Oak.
The route Charles II took in his escape is known as Monarch's Way. It is now a popular long distance walk around the 29th May (but is not yet connected to the London underground).
There was also a special prayer commemorating the Restoration of Charles II.
In the Diary of John Evelyn under the date of May 29th, 1665, is the following statement: —
"This was the first anniversary appointed by Act of Parliament to be observed as a day of General Thanksgiving for the miraculous restoration of His Majesty: our vicar preaching on Psalm cxviii., 24, requiring us to be thankful and rejoice, as indeed we had cause".
This commemorative prayer and thus our national Royal Oak holiday was removed from the Prayer Book in 1859. Dr Eichhorn an expert on trees, recently made a video entitled "Oak - a very English Tree". But his suggestion that St George is "a peculiar national symbol" with "no particular associations with England" is incorrect. Charles II's Restoration was completed on St. George's Day, at his English Coronation in 1661.
Thank you for your email regarding the restoration of Royal Oak Day as a public holiday, on the 29th May.
Mr Griffin has asked me to reply to you on his behalf.
As a British National Party MEP, Mr Griffin is keen to support initiatives which preserve and celebrate English cultural heritage.
Nick Griffin and the British National Party have, for example, been campaigning for St George’s Day to be a national holiday for many years. The Party celebrates St George’s Day with a variety of social events across the country, in an effort to maintain English identity, culture and tradition. In recent years, Mr Griffin has also been able to offer community groups in his North West of England European constituency the opportunity to apply for funding from his English Fair Fund (to which he donates 10 per cent of his monthly European Parliament salary) to help with their St George’s Day event costs.
In his capacity as an MEP, Nick Griffin has submitted a Written Declaration to the European Parliament urging Member States to declare their National Saints’ Days to be public holidays, marked publicly by the flying of their respective Saint’s flag on all public buildings. He is also utilising his MEP communications budget to fund his campaign to have St George’s Day declared a national holiday in England. (I attach a copy of the leaflet for your information.)
Please be assured that Mr Griffin will continue to do all he can to ensure that Britain’s cultural heritage is preserved and celebrated.