Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Royal Cyphers: VR

Of course, my favorite post box and/or royal cypher is on Spital, going south from King's College toward the city center. BAM! VR! Queen Victoria! Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, remains legendary, and many Brits consider the Victorian Era to be the height of British culture, society, and national prestige. (Some of you may remember Queen Victoria from her prior appearance here on the blog.) Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 until her death in January of 1901, making her Britain's longest-reigning monarch (a record due to be surpassed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2015). That means that the post box dates back to at least 1901, and I'd be willing to bet £5 that they didn't have little red post boxes before 1837, so I'm almost positive that I'll never run across one with an older cypher on it.

Except... What's that!? Another VR!? That's right, ladies and gentlemen, there's another of Queen Victoria's post boxes just down the road, right here, next to the University of Aberdeen's Taylor Building (right across the street from the bakery where I get my pies, and just a hop, skip, and a jump from the St. Machar Bar and Blackwell's). I actually discovered it after I had written the original version of this post, but since I hadn't posted yet, I figured that this was well worth an edit. Being one of the giant cylinder post boxes, vice the in-wall box post boxes, it even has the signature version of Queen Victoria's royal cypher, instead of just block letters. Outstanding! And as it turns out, I've actually dropped mail into this particular post box before, without even realizing how old it actually was. Pretty cool, huh?

Queen Victoria was a pretty amazing woman, who reigned during a very dynamic and challenging era. Her reign played a massive role in shaping the world we live in today. You can learn more about her from my friends The History Chicks: here, here, and here. As for me and my royal cypher quest, there are more, so stay tuned!

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